Henry Roe, Astronomer
Henry Roe’s research interests include weather on Saturn’s moon Titan and methane in the outer solar system. Titan is an amazing place that is simultaneously familiar and truly bizarre when compared with what we have on Earth. Recently the spectacular images of Titan’s surface from the Cassini craft and Huygens landing probe showed channels cut by flowing liquid methane, lakes of liquid hydrocarbons, and enormous regions of sand dunes. In many ways, Titan is the most similar place in our solar system to Earth — even more so than Mars — because of its active hydrology on the surface and meteorology in its atmosphere, processes that interact in a seasonal climate cycle. An intriguing aspect is that Titan’s hydrology and meteorology are based on methane, not water. Roe regularly observes Titan’s methane weather with a variety of ground-based telescopes, including the Gemini 8-m and Keck 10-m.
In 2006 Roe moved to Lowell Observatory after a post-doctoral fellowship at Caltech in Pasadena. He is an expert in ground-based planetary observations using techniques such as high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy and adaptive optics.
He is also a participant in our Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program.