Jani Radebaugh


As a planetary scientist I work on Earth and other planets throughout the solar system. My research focuses primarily on three planetary satellites: Saturn's moon Titan, Jupiter's moon Io, and our own Moon.

The Cassini spacecraft is currently orbiting Saturn and its satellites, and with its array of diverse instruments it has discovered many fundamental, new things about the Saturn system. As an Associate Team Member of the Cassini Radar Science Team, I work with scientists to understand the surface processes on Titan that form such features as dunes, mountains, lakes, rivers, and cryovolcanoes.

The Galileo spacecraft spent nearly ten years in orbit around Jupiter, and it brought to light many complex and exciting characteristics of the Jupiter system. My students and I study active volcanoes on Io, specifically the distribution and thermal output of volcanic eruptions from Galileo and Cassini images. We also study the formation and distribution of Io's surface features, such as paterae (volcano-tectonic depressions), hotspots, and tectonic features.

There has been a recent renewed interest in studying the Moon from the ground, from orbit, and from its surface. A group of scientists from BYU is preparing mass spectrometers for study of the lunar environment, and we are linked with a larger group named AEOLUS, which studies the origin and nature of current gas emissions at the lunar surface.

Student Projects

  • Dune distributions, behavior, and maturity on Titan from pattern analysis – Chris Savage
  • Mountain heights across Titan from radarclinometry – Zac Liu
  • Distribution of dune fields on Titan – Karl Arnold
  • Comparisons of dunes on Titan from Cassini Radar images to dunes in the Namib and Saharan deserts – Chris Savage, Chris Spencer
  • Distribution of tectonic features on Io – Kirk Schleiffarth and Rob Windell
  • Distribution and level of activity of paterae on Io – Brandon Barth


  • Geology 101: Introductory Geology
  • Geology 109: Geology of the Solar System
  • Physical Science 110B: Geology for Education Majors
  • Geology 410: Geological Field Methods
  • Geology 411: Geomorphology
  • Geology 440: Geophysics
  • Geology 490R/590R: Planetary Geology
  • Geology 490R/590R: Geology Field Studies