Jamie Molaro, PhD
Planetary Scientist, Feminist, Artist, Nerd

I am a Postdoc Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.* My current research focuses on rock breakdown due to diurnal thermal stresses induced at the surfaces of terrestrial bodies throughout the solar system. My work aims to quantify the contribution thermal breakdown processes make to the breakdown of rocks and craters, production of regolith, and modification of their surfaces over time. Thermal breakdown likely plays a significant role on bodies that have large diurnal temperature ranges, such as Mercury and Phaethon, the Mercury crossing asteroid that is the source of the geminid meteor shower. I study these processes at a variety of scales, from micro- to macroscopic, working to build an in-depth understanding the role thermal forcing plays in surface evolution. I'm also investigating the role thermal cycling plays on surfaces that have a mixture of rock and ice, such as Ceres, comets, and icy moons, and exploring the differences in fracture processes between rock and ice. Other projects focus on understanding asteroid thermal inertia and characterizing active surface processes at Europa. I employ primarily numerical modeling techniques in my research, along with the occasional laboratory experiment and terrestrial field study


Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-205
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109


jmolaro (at) jpl.nasa.gov


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*(Content and opinions on this site are my own)