Cristina Dalle Ore

Cristina Dalle Ore
Senior Scientist
Curriculum Vitae: 
This is an esoteric kind of detective work that is giving insight into chemistry that led to life

Cristina is one astronomer who’s gone to the dark side. In particular, she studies the organic compounds known as tholins – blackish compounds that form when ultraviolet light from the Sun impinges on water, ice, methane, and nitrogen. This dark, low-temperature material covers many of the moons and other small bodies of the outer solar system, and understanding how it was formed and where it is found could offer us important clues to life’s origin.

Cristina doesn’t have to visit these cold worlds to study their tholins. Instead, she matches spectroscopic observations to computer-generated spectra. To do this, she varies the amount of each of the tholin ingredients, as well as the grain size of the compounds, in making the computer-generated spectra that she then matches with the telescopic observations. This is an esoteric kind of detective work that is giving insight into a class of organic materials that might be implicated in the early chemistry that led to life.

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Study of the ISM in Early-type Galaxies: the Infrared View

A study to determine the fraction of elliptical galaxies that show star formation and to measure their star formation rates.

Cassini Data Analysis and Organic Materials on Solar System Bodies

Extract and analyze the data collected by Cassini to assist in identifying the compounds that exist on Saturn and other objects within the solar system.