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Rachel Klima

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Planetary Geologist
  • Ph.D., Planetary Geology
    2008, Brown University
  • M.S., Planetary Geology
    2006, Brown University
  • M.S., Earth and Environmental Science
    2003, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • B.A., Geophysical Sciences
    1997, University of Chicago

My research focuses on planetary spectroscopy--in particular, using reflected light to characterized the mineralogy of solid surfaces in the solar system. I am interested in how planetary differentiation proceeds in different environments throughout the inner solar system. In the laboratory, my research centers on understanding the how mineral structure and composition affect the spectral properties observed in reflectance data, so that we can improve our ability to probe the geochemistry of surfaces from orbit. I have worked with data calibration for several infrared spectrometers as well as analysis of data covering the Moon and Mercury. I am currently involved with the development of a number of mission concepts to study the Moon, Mercury, and asteroids.

Notable Awards and Leadership

Year(s) Description
2019 - Present Deputy Principal Investigator, Lunar Trailblazer Mission
2019 - Present Director, Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium
2018 NASA/SSERVI Susan Mahan Niebur Early Career Award
2017 - Present Associate Editor, Science Advances
2013 - 2015 Guest Associate Editor, American Mineralogist
2012 NASA Carl Sagan Early Career Fellowship
2004 - Present Member, Meteoritical Society, Mineralogical Society of America
2001 - Present Member, American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America

Scholarly Publications

Global Distribution and Spectral Properties of Low‐Reflectance Material on Mercury

Geophysical Research Letters, 2018
Rachel L. Klima, Brett W. Denevi, Carolyn M. Ernst, Scott L. Murchie, Patrick N. Peplowski, (2018), Global Distribution and Spectral Properties of Low-Reflectance Material on Mercury, Geophysical Research Letters , 45, 7, 2945--2953, https://doi.org/10.1002/2018gl077544

Can Formulas Derived From Pyroxenes and/or HEDs Be Used to Determine the Mineralogies of V‐Type Asteroids?

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2018
T. H. Burbine, P. C. Buchanan, R. L. Klima, R. P. Binzel, (2018), Can Formulas Derived From Pyroxenes and/or HEDs Be Used to Determine the Mineralogies of V‐Type Asteroids?, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Widespread distribution of OH/H2O on the lunar surface inferred from spectral data

Nature Geoscience, 2018
Christopher S. Edwards, Rachel L. Klima, Michael J. Poston, Joshua L. Bandfield, (2018), Widespread distribution of OH/H2O on the lunar surface inferred from spectral data, Nature Geoscience

Evaluating an impact origin for Mercury's high‐magnesium region

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2017
Elizabeth A. Frank, Ross W. K. Potter, Oleg Abramov, Peter B. James, Rachel L. Klima, Stephen J. Mojzsis, Larry R. Nittler, (2017), Evaluating an impact origin for Mercury's high-magnesium region, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets , 122, 3, 614--632, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016je005244

Remotely distinguishing and mapping endogenic water on the Moon

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2017
Rachel L. Klima, Noah E. Petro, (2017), Remotely distinguishing and mapping endogenic water on the Moon, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences , 375, 2094, 20150391, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2015.0391

EFFECTS OF SPACE WEATHERING ON REFLECTANCE SPECTRA OF UREILITES: A PROOF-OF-CONCEPT STUDY

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2017
Rachel L. P. Klima, (2017), EFFECTS OF SPACE WEATHERING ON REFLECTANCE SPECTRA OF UREILITES: A PROOF-OF-CONCEPT STUDY, Meteoritics & Planetary Science

Remote sensing evidence for an ancient carbon-bearing crust on Mercury

Nature Geoscience, 2016
Sean C. Solomon, Larry R. Nittler, Scott L. Murchie, John O. Goldsten, Elizabeth A. Frank, Brett W. Denevi, Carolyn M. Ernst, David J. Lawrence, Rachel L. Klima, Patrick N. Peplowski, (2016), Remote sensing evidence for an ancient carbon-bearing crust on Mercury, Nature Geoscience

Mineralogical indicators of Mercury's hollows composition in MESSENGER color observations

Geophysical Research Letters, 2016
James W. Head, William M. Vaughan, David T. Blewett, Noam R. Izenberg, Scott L. Murchie, Karen R. Stockstill-Cahill, Rachel L. Klima, Alessandro Maturilli, Mario D'Amore, Joern Helbert, Deborah L. Domingue, Faith Vilas, (2016), Mineralogical indicators of Mercury's hollows composition in MESSENGER color observations, Geophysical Research Letters

Evidence from MESSENGER for sulfur- and carbon-driven explosive volcanism on Mercury

Geophysical Research Letters, 2016
Shoshana Z. Weider, Larry R. Nittler, Scott L. Murchie, Patrick N. Peplowski, Timothy J. McCoy, Laura Kerber, Christian Klimczak, Carolyn M. Ernst, Timothy A. Goudge, Richard D. Starr, Noam R. Izenberg, Rachel L. Klima, Sean C. Solomon, (2016), Evidence from MESSENGER for sulfur- and carbon-driven explosive volcanism on Mercury, Geophysical Research Letters

The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS)

IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2016
Andrew S. Rivkin, Richard Anderson, Oliver Barnouin, Nancy Chabot, Carolyn Ernst, Rachel Klima, James Leary, Lauren Mehr, Helmut Seifert, Barbara A. Cohen, Zoltan Sternovsky, Joern Helbert, (2016), The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS), IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings

The distribution and extent of lunar swirls

Icarus, 2016
Brett W. Denevi, Brett W. Denevi, Mark S. Robinson, Mark S. Robinson, Aaron K. Boyd, Aaron K. Boyd, David T. Blewett, David T. Blewett, Rachel L. Klima, Rachel L. Klima, (2016), The distribution and extent of lunar swirls, Icarus

VISIBLE TO NEAR-INFRARED HYPERSPECTRAL MEASUREMENTS OF MERCURY: CHALLENGES FOR DECIPHERING SURFACE MINERALOGY

6TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS), 2016
Rachel L. Klima, Noam R. Izenberg, Gregory M. Holsclaw, Joern Helbert, Mario D'Amore, William E. McClintock, Sean C. Solomon, (2016), VISIBLE TO NEAR-INFRARED HYPERSPECTRAL MEASUREMENTS OF MERCURY: CHALLENGES FOR DECIPHERING SURFACE MINERALOGY, 6TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS)

Link between the potentially hazardous Asteroid (86039) 1999 NC43 and the Chelyabinsk meteoroid tenuous

Icarus, 2015
Jan Vrastil, Brian Skiff, Nicholas Moskovitz, Paul Mann, Lucille Le Corre, Peter Kusnirak, Matthew R. M. Izawa, Kamil Hornoch, Tan Thiam Guan, Adrian Galad, Edward A. Cloutis, Rachel Klima, Bruce L. Gary, Juan A. Sanchez, Petr Pravec, William F. Bottke, David Vokrouhlicky, Vishnu Reddy, (2015), Link between the potentially hazardous Asteroid (86039) 1999 NC43 and the Chelyabinsk meteoroid tenuous, Icarus

Orbital multispectral mapping of Mercury with the MESSENGER Mercury Dual Imaging System: Evidence for the origins of plains units and low-reflectance material

Icarus, 2015
Sean C. Solomon, James W. Head, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Larry R. Nittler, Faith Vilas, Noam R. Izenberg, Erick Malaret, Christopher D. Hash, Nancy L. Chabot, David T. Blewett, Deborah L. Domingue, Mary R. Keller, Carolyn M. Ernst, Brett W. Denevi, Rachel L. Klima, Scott L. Murchie, (2015), Orbital multispectral mapping of Mercury with the MESSENGER Mercury Dual Imaging System: Evidence for the origins of plains units and low-reflectance material, Icarus

Constraints on the abundance of carbon in near-surface materials on Mercury: Results from the MESSENGER Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

Planetary and Space Science, 2015
Shoshana Z. Weider, Richard D. Starr, Sean C. Solomon, Larry R. Nittler, Timothy J. McCoy, Scott L. Murchie, John O. Goldsten, David T. Blewett, Rachel L. Klima, Larry G. Evans, Patrick N. Peplowski, David J. Lawrence, (2015), Constraints on the abundance of carbon in near-surface materials on Mercury: Results from the MESSENGER Gamma-Ray Spectrometer, Planetary and Space Science

SPIN-FORBIDDEN PYROXENE ABSORPTIONS IN THE VIR-SPECTRA OF 4VESTA

7TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS), 2015
Christopher T. Russell, Carol A. Raymond, Rachel Klima, Thomas Roatsch, Lucy A. McFadden, Klaus-Dieter Matz, Eleonora Ammannito, Maria C. De Sanctis, Ralf Jaumann, Katrin Stephan, (2015), SPIN-FORBIDDEN PYROXENE ABSORPTIONS IN THE VIR-SPECTRA OF 4VESTA, 7TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS)

Magmatic volatiles (H, C, N, F, S, Cl) in the lunar mantle, crust, and regolith: Abundances, distributions, processes, and reservoirs

American Mineralogist, 2015
Francis M. McCubbin, Kathleen E. Vander Kaaden, Romain Tartèse, Rachel L. Klima, Yang Liu, James Mortimer, Jessica J. Barnes, Charles K. Shearer, Allan H. Treiman, David J. Lawrence, Stephen M. Elardo, Dana M. Hurley, Jeremy W. Boyce, Mahesh Anand, (2015), Magmatic volatiles (H, C, N, F, S, Cl) in the lunar mantle, crust, and regolith: Abundances, distributions, processes, and reservoirs, American Mineralogist

Shallow crustal composition of Mercury as revealed by spectral properties and geological units of two impact craters

Planetary and Space Science, 2015
Mario D’Amore, Sabrina Ferrari, Harald Hiesinger, William E. McClintock, Noam R. Izenberg, Rachel L. Klima, James W. Head, Alessandro Maturilli, Jörn Helbert, Piero D’Incecco, (2015), Shallow crustal composition of Mercury as revealed by spectral properties and geological units of two impact craters, Planetary and Space Science

CHARACTERIZING DARK SPECTRA IN MERCURY SURFACE OBSERVATIONS BY NONLINEAR HYPERSPECTRAL MODELING

6TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS), 2015
Andrea Marinoni, Rachel Klima, Paolo Gamba, (2015), CHARACTERIZING DARK SPECTRA IN MERCURY SURFACE OBSERVATIONS BY NONLINEAR HYPERSPECTRAL MODELING, 6TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS)

Experimental constraints on Mercury's core composition

Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2014
Michelle E. Minitti, Rachel L. Klima, E. Alex Wollack, Nancy L. Chabot, (2014), Experimental constraints on Mercury's core composition, Earth and Planetary Science Letters

Visible to near-infrared optical properties of pure synthetic olivine across the olivine solid solution

American Mineralogist, 2014
J. Bishop, L. C. Cheek, R. L. Klima, M. Lane, M. D. Dyar, T. Hiroi, C. M. Pieters, J. M. Sunshine, P. J. Isaacson, (2014), Visible to near-infrared optical properties of pure synthetic olivine across the olivine solid solution, American Mineralogist

Global inventory and characterization of pyroclastic deposits on Mercury: New insights into pyroclastic activity from MESSENGER orbital data

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2014
Timothy A. Goudge, James W. Head, Laura Kerber, David T. Blewett, Brett W. Denevi, Deborah L. Domingue, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Klaus Gwinner, Jörn Helbert, Gregory M. Holsclaw, Noam R. Izenberg, Rachel L. Klima, William E. McClintock, Scott L. Murchie, Gregory A. Neumann, David E. Smith, Robert G. Strom, Zhiyong Xiao, Maria T. Zuber, Sean C. Solomon, (2014), Global inventory and characterization of pyroclastic deposits on Mercury: New insights into pyroclastic activity from MESSENGER orbital data, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Surveying the South Pole-Aitken basin magnetic anomaly for remnant impactor metallic iron

Icarus, 2014
David T. Blewett, Justin J. Hagerty, Rachel L. Klima, David J. Lawrence, Joshua T.S. Cahill, (2014), Surveying the South Pole-Aitken basin magnetic anomaly for remnant impactor metallic iron, Icarus

The low-iron, reduced surface of Mercury as seen in spectral reflectance by MESSENGER

Icarus, 2014
Noam R. Izenberg, Rachel L. Klima, Scott L. Murchie, David T. Blewett, Gregory M. Holsclaw, William E. McClintock, Erick Malaret, Calogero Mauceri, Faith Vilas, Ann L. Sprague, Joern Helbert, Deborah L. Domingue, James W. Head, Timothy A. Goudge, Sean C. Solomon, Charles A. Hibbitts, M. Darby Dyar, (2014), The low-iron, reduced surface of Mercury as seen in spectral reflectance by MESSENGER, Icarus

Fundamental Mossbauer parameters of synthetic Ca-Mg-Fe pyroxenes

American Mineralogist, 2013
A. Fleagle, M. D. Dyar, S. E. Peel, R. L. Klima, (2013), Fundamental Mossbauer parameters of synthetic Ca-Mg-Fe pyroxenes, American Mineralogist

Remote detection of magmatic water in Bullialdus Crater on the Moon

Nature Geoscience, 2013
J. Cahill, J. Hagerty, D. Lawrence, R. Klima, (2013), Remote detection of magmatic water in Bullialdus Crater on the Moon, Nature Geoscience

Theory of reflectance and emittance spectroscopy

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2012
Rachel Klima, (2012), Theory of reflectance and emittance spectroscopy, Meteoritics & Planetary Science

CONSTRAINING MERCURY'S BUILDING BLOCKS THROUGH CORE FORMATION EXPERIMENTS.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2012
Nancy L Chabot, (2012), CONSTRAINING MERCURY'S BUILDING BLOCKS THROUGH CORE FORMATION EXPERIMENTS., Meteoritics & Planetary Science

M-3 spectral analysis of lunar swirls and the link between optical maturation and surface hydroxyl formation at magnetic anomalies

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
Georgiana Y. Kramer, Sebastien Besse, Deepak Dhingra, Jeffrey Nettles, Rachel Klima, Ian Garrick-Bethell, Roger N. Clark, Jean-Philippe Combe, James W. Head, Lawrence A. Taylor, Carle M. Pieters, Joseph Boardman, Thomas B. McCord, (2011), M-3 spectral analysis of lunar swirls and the link between optical maturation and surface hydroxyl formation at magnetic anomalies, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Compositional diversity and geologic insights of the Aristarchus crater from Moon Mineralogy Mapper data

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
John F. Mustard, Carle M. Pieters, Peter J. Isaacson, James W. Head, Sebastien Besse, Roger N. Clark, Rachel L. Klima, Noah E. Petro, Matthew I. Staid, Jessica M. Sunshine, Cassandra J. Runyon, Stefanie Tompkins, (2011), Compositional diversity and geologic insights of the Aristarchus crater from Moon Mineralogy Mapper data, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Remote compositional analysis of lunar olivine-rich lithologies with Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3) spectra

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
Peter J. Isaacson, Carle M. Pieters, Sebastien Besse, Roger N. Clark, James W. Head, Rachel L. Klima, John F. Mustard, Noah E. Petro, Matthew I. Staid, Jessica M. Sunshine, Lawrence A. Taylor, Kevin G. Thaisen, Stefanie Tompkins, (2011), Remote compositional analysis of lunar olivine-rich lithologies with Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3) spectra, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

New insights into lunar petrology: Distribution and composition of prominent low-Ca pyroxene exposures as observed by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3)

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
Rachel L. Klima, Carle M. Pieters, Joseph W. Boardman, Robert O. Green, James W. Head, Peter J. Isaacson, John F. Mustard, Jeff W. Nettles, Noah E. Petro, Matthew I. Staid, Jessica M. Sunshine, Lawrence A. Taylor, Stefanie Tompkins, (2011), New insights into lunar petrology: Distribution and composition of prominent low-Ca pyroxene exposures as observed by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3), Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3) imaging spectrometer for lunar science: Instrument description, calibration, on-orbit measurements, science data calibration and on-orbit validation

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
R. O. Green, C. Pieters, P. Mouroulis, M. Eastwood, J. Boardman, T. Glavich, P. Isaacson, M. Annadurai, S. Besse, D. Barr, B. Buratti, D. Cate, A. Chatterjee, R. Clark, L. Cheek, J. Combe, D. Dhingra, V. Essandoh, S. Geier, J. N. Goswami, R. Green, V. Haemmerle, J. Head, L. Hovland, S. Hyman, R. Klima, T. Koch, G. Kramer, A. S. K. Kumar, K. Lee, S. Lundeen, E. Malaret, T. McCord, S. McLaughlin, J. Mustard, J. Nettles, N. Petro, K. Plourde, C. Racho, J. Rodriquez, C. Runyon, G. Sellar, C. Smith, H. Sobel, M. Staid, J. Sunshine, L. Taylor, K. Thaisen, S. Tompkins, H. Tseng, G. Vane, P. Varanasi, M. White, D. Wilson, (2011), The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M-3) imaging spectrometer for lunar science: Instrument description, calibration, on-orbit measurements, science data calibration and on-orbit validation, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Mg-spinel lithology: A new rock type on the lunar farside

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
C. M. Pieters, S. Besse, J. Boardman, B. Buratti, L. Cheek, R. N. Clark, J. P. Combe, D. Dhingra, J. N. Goswami, R. O. Green, J. W. Head, P. Isaacson, R. Klima, G. Kramer, S. Lundeen, E. Malaret, T. McCord, J. Mustard, J. Nettles, N. Petro, C. Runyon, M. Staid, J. Sunshine, L. A. Taylor, K. Thaisen, S. Tompkins, J. Whitten, (2011), Mg-spinel lithology: A new rock type on the lunar farside, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Midinfrared spectroscopy of synthetic olivines: Thermal emission, specular and diffuse reflectance, and attenuated total reflectance studies of forsterite to fayalite

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
Melissa D. Lane, Timothy D. Glotch, M. Darby Dyar, Carle M. Pieters, Rachel Klima, Takahiro Hiroi, Janice L. Bishop, Jessica Sunshine, (2011), Midinfrared spectroscopy of synthetic olivines: Thermal emission, specular and diffuse reflectance, and attenuated total reflectance studies of forsterite to fayalite, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Surface Composition of Vesta: Issues and Integrated Approach

Space Science Reviews, 2011
Ralf Jaumann, Jian-Yang Li, Rachel Klima, Takahiro Hiroi, Thomas B. McCord, M. Cristina De Sanctis, Thomas Prettyman, Lucy A. McFadden, Carle M. Pieters, (2011), Surface Composition of Vesta: Issues and Integrated Approach, Space Science Reviews

Near-infrared spectra of clinopyroxenes: Effects of calcium content and crystal structure

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2011
Carlé M. PIETERS, M. Darby DYAR, Rachel L. KLIMA, (2011), Near-infrared spectra of clinopyroxenes: Effects of calcium content and crystal structure, Meteoritics & Planetary Science

Optical maturity variation in lunar spectra as measured by Moon Mineralogy Mapper data

Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 2011
J. W. Nettles, M. Staid, S. Besse, J. Boardman, R. N. Clark, D. Dhingra, P. Isaacson, R. Klima, G. Kramer, C. M. Pieters, L. A. Taylor, (2011), Optical maturity variation in lunar spectra as measured by Moon Mineralogy Mapper data, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

The 506 nm absorption feature in pyroxene spectra: Nature and implications for spectroscopy-based studies of pyroxene-bearing targets

Icarus, 2010
Edward A. Cloutis, Rachel L. Klima, Lindsay Kaletzke, A. Coradini, L. F. Golubeva, L. A. McFadden, D. I. Shestopalov, F. Vilas, (2010), The 506 nm absorption feature in pyroxene spectra: Nature and implications for spectroscopy-based studies of pyroxene-bearing targets, Icarus

Characterization of the 1.2 μm M1 pyroxene band: Extracting cooling history from near-IR spectra of pyroxenes and pyroxene-dominated rocks

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2008
M. Darby DYAR, Carlé M. PIETERS, Rachel L. KLIMA, (2008), Characterization of the 1.2 μm M1 pyroxene band: Extracting cooling history from near-IR spectra of pyroxenes and pyroxene-dominated rocks, Meteoritics & Planetary Science

Spectroscopy of synthetic Mg-Fe pyroxenes I: Spin-allowed and spin-forbidden crystal field bands in the visible and near-infrared

Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 2007
Carlé M. Pieters, M. Darby Dyar, Rachel L. Klima, (2007), Spectroscopy of synthetic Mg-Fe pyroxenes I: Spin-allowed and spin-forbidden crystal field bands in the visible and near-infrared, Meteoritics & Planetary Science

Effects of differential recoil-free fraction on ordering and site occupancies in Mossbauer spectroscopy of orthopyroxenes

American Mineralogist, 2007
C. M. Pieters, D. Lindsley, R. L. Klima, M. D. Dyar, (2007), Effects of differential recoil-free fraction on ordering and site occupancies in Mossbauer spectroscopy of orthopyroxenes, American Mineralogist

Near- and mid-infrared microspectroscopy of the Ronda peridotite

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2006
RL Klima, CM Pieters, (2006), Near- and mid-infrared microspectroscopy of the Ronda peridotite, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth