Richard Cartwright
Richard Cartwright

Research Scientist

Disciplines: Planetary Astronomy

Degree/Major: Ph.D., Geology, 2017, University of Tennessee Knoxville

I am keenly interested in the origin and evolution of volatile surface constituents and regoliths throughout the Solar System. To investigate these topics, I use ground- and space-based telescopes. My current research projects include determining the composition and processes modifying the surface of Callisto, Triton, and the large moons of Uranus.


Ph.D. Geology, 2017 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Major Awards

2014-2017: NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship. Dark material on the large moons of Uranus: What is it and where did it come from? (Student recipient: Grant #NNX10AP16H).

University of Tennessee Excellence in Graduate Research Award (2015 – 2016).


Cartwright, R.J., Emery, J.P., Pinilla-Alonso, N., Lucas, M.P., Rivkin, A.S. and Trilling, D.E., Red material on the large moons of Uranus: Dust from the irregular satellites? Icarus 314, 210-231. Also on

Cook, J.C., Dalle Ore, C.M., Protopapa, S., Binzel, R.P., Cartwright, R., Cruikshank, D.P., Earle, A., Grundy, W.M., Ennico, K., Howett, C. and Jennings, D.E., 2018. Composition of Pluto’s Small Satellites: Analysis of New Horizons Spectral Images. Icarus 315, 30-45.

Lucas, M.P., Emery, J.P., Pinilla-Alonso, N., Lindsay, S.S., MacLennan, E.M.,Cartwright, R. J., Reddy, V., Sanchez, J.A., Thomas, C.A., and Lorenzi, V., [In prep]. Hungaria Asteroid Region Telescopic Spectral Survey (HARTSS) II: Spectral Homogeneity Among Hungaria Family Asteroids.

Cartwright, R.J., Burr, D.M., 2017. Using Synthetic Aperture Radar data of terrestrial analogs to test for alluvial fan formation mechanisms on Titan. Icarus 284, 183-205.

Cartwright, R.J., Emery, J.P., Rivkin, A.S., Trilling, D.E., Pinilla-Alonso, N., 2015.Distribution of CO2 ice on the large moons of Uranus and evidence for compositional stratification of their near-surfaces. Icarus 257, 428-456.

Burr, D.M., Drummond, S.A., Cartwright, R., Perron, T., Black, B., 2013. Morphology of fluvial networks on Titan: Evidence for structural control. Icarus 226, 742-759.

Cartwright, R., Clayton, J., Kirk, R., 2011. Channel Morphometry, sediment transport, and implications for tectonic activity and surficial ages of Titan basins. Icarus 214, 561-570.

Related projects

American Geophysical Union, December 2017. Compositional Trends on the large moons of Uranus: Evidence for system-wide modification. (poster)

Division for Planetary Sciences, October 2017. Red material on the large moons of Uranus: Dust from irregular satellites? (talk) 

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 2017. Hemispherical asymmetries in spectral reddening on the classical Uranian satellites: Evidence of intraplanetary dust bombardment. (poster)

Lowell Observatory Colloquium, December 2016. Compositional asymmetries on the large moons of Uranus: Implications for charged particle and dust bombardment.(invited talk)