Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Paul Corlies

Current graduate student in planetary science


My research focuses on studying and understanding the hydrologic cycle of Titan, a moon of Saturn, and the only other known body in our solar system with an active hydrologic cycle.  To this end, my research. working with Alex Hayes, focuses on studying the frequency, duration, location, and characteristics of storms on Titan.  We do this through a combination of ground and space based observations (using the Cassini spacecraft currently in orbit around Saturn) to image Titan in the near-IR, where we can see through Titan's thick atmosphere.

Titan's atmosphere (and surface) remain an extremely complex environment, with new mysteries being solved and uncovered each day.  The observing campaign we have been conducting to monitor cloud activity hopes to provide only a small piece of the puzzle to understand this complex system, similar to that of Earth's, which can perhaps even provide insight into our own atmosphere.

In addition to this modelling effort, I am also interested and involved in a set of instrumentation projections working in the visible, near-IR, and sub-millimeter/millimeter wavelengths.  My current instrumentation project involved working with Michael Niemack on designing and building a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), designed to work in the submillimeter/millimeter to be used for testing the transmissive properties of various optical components currently being designed for telescopes operating in this wavelength regime.

Outside of research, Paul is currently a TA for introductory astronomy courses, teaching students about everything from how the universe began to how it will end.  He also is an avid baker and “loves all things food."