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Interview with Andrew P. Ingersoll

Ingersoll, Andrew P. (2006) Interview with Andrew P. Ingersoll. [Oral History] ttp://

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Interview in two sessions conducted by Sara Lippincott in 2004 with Andrew P. Ingersoll, Earle C. Anthony Professor of Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology. Discusses parents' social activism in the 1930s. His youth and education at Amherst College (B.A. physics, 1960) and Harvard University (M.A. physics, 1961; PhD 1966); his early interest in atmospheres, oceans and meteorology; working with A. Arons and H. Stommel at Woods Hole on ocean acoustics. Recruited to Caltech in 1966 in planetary science; early atmospheric studies of Venus, Jupiter (Great Red Spot) and Mars; collaborates with G. Munch and G. Neugebauer. Involvement with NASA's Pioneer 11 and Voyager imaging team at JPL; results of Voyager's "Grand Tour" of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune; his theories on winds and turbulence in outer space. The Shoemaker-Levy comet, Hubble Space Telescope observations, and Jupiter's effect on protecting the Earth from comets. Works with the Soviet Venera space program on Venus' atmosphere; visit to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Galileo and photographing Jupiter's atmosphere; Europa lander to study its subterranean ocean. Discusses recent evidence of water on Mars, terraforming Mars, and colonizing planets. Concludes with administrative work at Caltech: Executive officer for planetary sciences (1987-1994); G. Wasserburg as division head (1987-1988); Caltech committees; Caltech's core curriculum and the need for greater emphasis on research time. Teaching atmospheric dynamics; discussion of global warming; research in oceanography and the precession of the equinoxes.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:planetary science
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Ingersoll_A
Persistent URL:ttp://
Official Citation:Ingersoll, Andrew P. Interview by Sara Lippincott. Pasadena, California, April 13 and 26, 2004. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Geology
All Records
Subjects > Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Subjects > Astronomy
ID Code:124
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:20 Dec 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 07:05

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