Lior Rubanenko

PhD student, The department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA

I am a geophysics and space physics PhD candidate at the department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), working with David Paige . My goal is to understand how planetary surfaces and atmospheres form and evolve, and how are they affected by external processes such as impacts, solar radiation and space weathering. Additionally, I am a member of the LRO Diviner team, working on a variety of problems related to the way surface roughness affects ice stability on airless bodies.

I recieved my Master's degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel , where I worked with Oded Aharonson on the stability of ice on airless planetary bodies such the Moon and Mercury. During my degree, I designed and implemented a ray-casting based thermosphysical model that calculates the temperature of rough airless bodies, accounting for insolation, scattering, thermal emission and subsurface conduction.

In the past I have worked with Prof. Yoav Yair (the Open University) and Prof. Colin Price (Tel-Aviv University), studying Transient Luminous Events (TLEs), such as Sprites and Elves, above the mediterrenian.

Apart from research, I am also very much involved in science outreach. I am one of the editors of "Mada Gadol Bektana" (literal translation: little-big science; "Science in a Nutshell"), the largest public outreach Facebook page in Israel, and now a non-profit organization. From time to time I also publish articles on planetary science or astronomy in Israeli news sites (e.g. on the recent evidence for the existence of a planetary mass object in the Kuipter Belt, based on this paper).