Ricky Hart

Grad Student & System Admin, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UCLA
B.S. in Astrophysics with a minor in Mathematics, UCLA 2008
A.S. in Mathematics, Antelope Valley College 2005

I began working with the Russell group at IGPP while I was an undergraduate in 2008. Initially I took on the task of processing and cleaning the datat for the POLAR Magnetic Field Experiment, but I later accepted the position of Computer Systems Administrator for the group. In 2012 I began a Ph.D. program in Space Physics with Dr. Chris Russell. I continued to supervise POLAR processing and assist with projects including ground magnetometers. My tasks also included data managemement for various missions, including MMS and Dawn. I have also assisted in the Citizen Science Asteroid Mappers project that enabled the public to map asteroids on the protoplanet Vesta.

My main area of research is the study of lightning on Venus, which has been an area of interest for Chris Russell since the 1970's. Using magentic field data from the ESA Venus Express mission, I am working on characterizing lightning on Venus and comparing it with that of terrestrial lightning. With this magnetic field data we have observed thousands of whistler-mode waves from which we can infer lightning in the atmosphere of Venus. Unfortunately, Venus Express has no visual observations of lightning, but its occurrence is undeniable with the existence of these whistler waves.

Dept. of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
University of California, Los Angeles
5833 Slichter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Telephone: 310-206-9955
FAX: 310-206-8042
Email: rhart@igpp.ucla.edu