Faculty Members Carol Paty and Britney Schmidt Interviewed About Jupiter's Moon Europa


Planetary Scientists Dr. Carol Paty and Dr. Britney Schmidt of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences were recently interviewed by meteorologist Katie Walls of WSB TV in Atlanta about how local scientists help NASA explore Europa, keeping Georgia a front-runner for space exploration.

The segment can be seen on WSB's website here.  From the segment:

“Europa has this incredible ability to spark the imagination. There’s a sub-surface ocean, we know it’s there,” explained Georgia Tech planetary scientist Dr. Carol Paty.

“What we’re doing here is we’re orbiting Jupiter, but we’re doing multiple close flybys of Europa,” Georgia Tech planetary scientist, Dr. Britney Schmidt said.
With each flyby nine pre-selected scientific instruments will gather valuable information. Paty and Schmidt are working on two of them, one an ice-penetrating radar!
“Think about it as an X-ray or MRI of the outer part of an ice shell. So for the first time, we’ll actually be able to see Europa’s plumbing,” Schmidt told Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Katie Walls. “We know that life can’t exist on the surface of Europa, but it could be down there swimming around in the ocean or living in the ice shell just as things do here on earth.”
Photo Credit:  NASA
Carol Paty
Dr. Carol Paty joined the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2008. Her research is in the area of space and planetary scientist focused primarily on magnetosphere dynamics particularly as it pertains to the near-space environment of planetary bodies. She received her Ph.D. degree in Earth and Space Sciences from the University of Washington in 2006. She was a Postdoctoral researcher at the Southwest research Institute from 2006 to 2008.  

Britney Schmidt

Dr. Britney Schmidt, Assistant Professor, received a BS in Physics from University of Arizona and Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space physics from UCLA. Her area of expertise is planetary ices and the early solar system. She is keenly interested in the habitability of icy worlds to search for life beyond Earth. A veteran of Antarctic fieldwork, she studies Earth’s ice shelves and glaciers to capture the impacts of changing climate and explore analogs for Europa. Britney played a central role in developing several mission concepts, including the recently selected Europa Multiple Flyby mission where she is Co-I on the REASON radar team. She is an associate of the Dawn Framing Camera team. She is PI of Sub-Ice Marine and Planetary Analog Ecosystems (SIMPLE), a $5M NASA program studying the McMurdo Ice Shelf using remote sensing and underwater vehicles. She leads the Georgia Tech built Icefin AUV for under ice exploration.