Photo of Rachel Klima

Rachel Klima

View All People
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 , 123, 7, 1791--1803, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018je005561

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

Nature Geoscience, 2018
Joshua L. Bandfield, Michael J. Poston, Rachel L. Klima, Christopher S. Edwards, (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 , 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
Patrick N. Peplowski, Rachel L. Klima, David J. Lawrence, Carolyn M. Ernst, Brett W. Denevi, Elizabeth A. Frank, John O. Goldsten, Scott L. Murchie, Larry R. Nittler, Sean C. Solomon, (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
Faith Vilas, Deborah L. Domingue, Joern Helbert, Mario D'Amore, Alessandro Maturilli, Rachel L. Klima, Karen R. Stockstill-Cahill, Scott L. Murchie, Noam R. Izenberg, David T. Blewett, William M. Vaughan, James W. Head, (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
Sean C. Solomon, Rachel L. Klima, Noam R. Izenberg, Richard D. Starr, Timothy A. Goudge, Carolyn M. Ernst, Christian Klimczak, Laura Kerber, Timothy J. McCoy, Patrick N. Peplowski, Scott L. Murchie, Larry R. Nittler, Shoshana Z. Weider, (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
Joern Helbert, Zoltan Sternovsky, Barbara A. Cohen, Helmut Seifert, Lauren Mehr, James Leary, Rachel Klima, Carolyn Ernst, Nancy Chabot, Oliver Barnouin, Richard Anderson, Andrew S. Rivkin, (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
Rachel L. Klima, Rachel L. Klima, David T. Blewett, David T. Blewett, Aaron K. Boyd, Aaron K. Boyd, Mark S. Robinson, Mark S. Robinson, Brett W. Denevi, Brett W. Denevi, (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
Sean C. Solomon, William E. McClintock, Mario D'Amore, Joern Helbert, Gregory M. Holsclaw, Noam R. Izenberg, Rachel L. Klima, (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
Vishnu Reddy, David Vokrouhlicky, William F. Bottke, Petr Pravec, Juan A. Sanchez, Bruce L. Gary, Rachel Klima, Edward A. Cloutis, Adrian Galad, Tan Thiam Guan, Kamil Hornoch, Matthew R. M. Izawa, Peter Kusnirak, Lucille Le Corre, Paul Mann, Nicholas Moskovitz, Brian Skiff, Jan Vrastil, (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
Scott L. Murchie, Rachel L. Klima, Brett W. Denevi, Carolyn M. Ernst, Mary R. Keller, Deborah L. Domingue, David T. Blewett, Nancy L. Chabot, Christopher D. Hash, Erick Malaret, Noam R. Izenberg, Faith Vilas, Larry R. Nittler, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, James W. Head, Sean C. Solomon, (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
David J. Lawrence, Patrick N. Peplowski, Larry G. Evans, Rachel L. Klima, David T. Blewett, John O. Goldsten, Scott L. Murchie, Timothy J. McCoy, Larry R. Nittler, Sean C. Solomon, Richard D. Starr, Shoshana Z. Weider, (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
Katrin Stephan, Ralf Jaumann, Maria C. De Sanctis, Eleonora Ammannito, Klaus-Dieter Matz, Lucy A. McFadden, Thomas Roatsch, Rachel Klima, Carol A. Raymond, Christopher T. Russell, (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
Mahesh Anand, Jeremy W. Boyce, Dana M. Hurley, Stephen M. Elardo, David J. Lawrence, Allan H. Treiman, Charles K. Shearer, Jessica J. Barnes, James Mortimer, Yang Liu, Rachel L. Klima, Romain Tartèse, Kathleen E. Vander Kaaden, Francis M. McCubbin, (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
Piero D’Incecco, Jörn Helbert, Alessandro Maturilli, James W. Head, Rachel L. Klima, Noam R. Izenberg, William E. McClintock, Harald Hiesinger, Sabrina Ferrari, Mario D’Amore, (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

7TH WORKSHOP ON HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE AND SIGNAL PROCESSING: EVOLUTION IN REMOTE SENSING (WHISPERS), 2015
Rachel L. P. Klima, Andrea Marinoni, Paolo Gamba, (2015), CHARACTERIZING DARK SPECTRA IN MERCURY SURFACE OBSERVATIONS BY NONLINEAR HYPERSPECTRAL MODELING, 7TH 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
Nancy L. Chabot, E. Alex Wollack, Rachel L. Klima, Michelle E. Minitti, (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
P. J. Isaacson, J. M. Sunshine, C. M. Pieters, T. Hiroi, M. D. Dyar, M. Lane, R. L. Klima, L. C. Cheek, J. Bishop, (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
Sean C. Solomon, Maria T. Zuber, Zhiyong Xiao, Robert G. Strom, David E. Smith, Gregory A. Neumann, Scott L. Murchie, William E. McClintock, Rachel L. Klima, Noam R. Izenberg, Gregory M. Holsclaw, Jörn Helbert, Klaus Gwinner, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Deborah L. Domingue, Brett W. Denevi, David T. Blewett, Laura Kerber, James W. Head, Timothy A. Goudge, (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
Joshua T.S. Cahill, David J. Lawrence, Rachel L. Klima, Justin J. Hagerty, David T. Blewett, (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
M. Darby Dyar, Charles A. Hibbitts, Sean C. Solomon, Timothy A. Goudge, James W. Head, Deborah L. Domingue, Joern Helbert, Ann L. Sprague, Faith Vilas, Calogero Mauceri, Erick Malaret, William E. McClintock, Gregory M. Holsclaw, David T. Blewett, Scott L. Murchie, Rachel L. Klima, Noam R. Izenberg, (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
R. L. Klima, S. E. Peel, M. D. Dyar, A. Fleagle, (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
R. Klima, D. Lawrence, J. Hagerty, J. Cahill, (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
Thomas B. McCord, Joseph Boardman, Carle M. Pieters, Lawrence A. Taylor, James W. Head, Jean-Philippe Combe, Roger N. Clark, Ian Garrick-Bethell, Rachel Klima, Jeffrey Nettles, Deepak Dhingra, Sebastien Besse, Georgiana Y. Kramer, (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
Stefanie Tompkins, Cassandra J. Runyon, Jessica M. Sunshine, Matthew I. Staid, Noah E. Petro, Rachel L. Klima, Roger N. Clark, Sebastien Besse, James W. Head, Peter J. Isaacson, Carle M. Pieters, John F. Mustard, (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
Stefanie Tompkins, Kevin G. Thaisen, Lawrence A. Taylor, Jessica M. Sunshine, Matthew I. Staid, Noah E. Petro, John F. Mustard, Rachel L. Klima, James W. Head, Roger N. Clark, Sebastien Besse, Carle M. Pieters, Peter J. Isaacson, (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
Stefanie Tompkins, Lawrence A. Taylor, Jessica M. Sunshine, Matthew I. Staid, Noah E. Petro, Jeff W. Nettles, John F. Mustard, Peter J. Isaacson, James W. Head, Robert O. Green, Joseph W. Boardman, Carle M. Pieters, Rachel L. Klima, (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
D. Wilson, M. White, P. Varanasi, G. Vane, H. Tseng, S. Tompkins, K. Thaisen, L. Taylor, J. Sunshine, M. Staid, H. Sobel, C. Smith, G. Sellar, C. Runyon, J. Rodriquez, C. Racho, K. Plourde, N. Petro, J. Nettles, J. Mustard, S. McLaughlin, T. McCord, E. Malaret, S. Lundeen, K. Lee, A. S. K. Kumar, G. Kramer, T. Koch, R. Klima, S. Hyman, L. Hovland, J. Head, V. Haemmerle, R. Green, J. N. Goswami, S. Geier, V. Essandoh, D. Dhingra, J. Combe, L. Cheek, R. Clark, A. Chatterjee, D. Cate, B. Buratti, D. Barr, S. Besse, M. Annadurai, P. Isaacson, T. Glavich, J. Boardman, M. Eastwood, P. Mouroulis, C. Pieters, R. O. Green, (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
J. Whitten, S. Tompkins, K. Thaisen, L. A. Taylor, J. Sunshine, M. Staid, C. Runyon, N. Petro, J. Nettles, J. Mustard, T. McCord, E. Malaret, S. Lundeen, G. Kramer, R. Klima, P. Isaacson, J. W. Head, R. O. Green, J. N. Goswami, D. Dhingra, J. P. Combe, R. N. Clark, L. Cheek, B. Buratti, J. Boardman, S. Besse, C. M. Pieters, (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
Jessica Sunshine, Janice L. Bishop, Takahiro Hiroi, Rachel Klima, Carle M. Pieters, M. Darby Dyar, Timothy D. Glotch, Melissa D. Lane, (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
Carle M. Pieters, Lucy A. McFadden, Thomas Prettyman, M. Cristina De Sanctis, Thomas B. McCord, Takahiro Hiroi, Rachel Klima, Jian-Yang Li, Ralf Jaumann, (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
Rachel L. KLIMA, M. Darby DYAR, Carlé M. PIETERS, (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
L. A. Taylor, C. M. Pieters, G. Kramer, R. Klima, P. Isaacson, D. Dhingra, R. N. Clark, J. Boardman, S. Besse, M. Staid, J. W. Nettles, (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
F. Vilas, D. I. Shestopalov, L. A. McFadden, L. F. Golubeva, A. Coradini, Lindsay Kaletzke, Rachel L. Klima, Edward A. Cloutis, (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
Rachel L. KLIMA, Carlé M. PIETERS, M. Darby DYAR, (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
Rachel L. Klima, M. Darby Dyar, Carlé M. Pieters, (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
M. D. Dyar, R. L. Klima, D. Lindsley, C. M. Pieters, (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
CM Pieters, RL Klima, (2006), Near- and mid-infrared microspectroscopy of the Ronda peridotite, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth