Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article by Jani Radebaugh originally appeared in Science & Mormonism Series 1: Cosmos, Earth, and Man (2016).
Abstract: In this chapter, planetary scientist Jani Radebaugh explores the creative side of our Creator with a breathtaking photographic tour of the unusual planets and moons in the outer solar system. Emerging discoveries have helped open our minds to the possibilities of other worlds with life in our galaxy.
To download this chapter in PDF format, click here.
JANI RADEBAUGH[The biography of Jani Radebaugh was inadvertently left out of the published manuscript and is included here for completeness.]
Jani Radebaugh is a planetary scientist who specializes in the shapes and origins of landscapes on Earth and other planets in the solar system. She is an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at Brigham Young University, where she interacts with many students through research and teaching a variety of courses. She obtained her PhD in planetary science from the world-renowned University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and has been at BYU since 2006.
Jani analyses images of other planets obtained by spacecraft to determine the geologic histories of the surfaces and interiors. She studies landforms on Earth, where it is possible to walk around on them and obtain samples, to gain insight into similar landforms and processes on other planets. Her current investigations include giant sand dunes, mountains, volcanoes, rivers and lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan from the currently operating Cassini spacecraft, and she studies actively erupting volcanoes and mountains on Jupiter’s moon Io from the Galileo, Cassini, and Voyager spacecraft. She has done field work in the Egyptian Sahara, the Arabian peninsula, the Ethiopian Afar Rift Valley, Australia, the Argentine Altiplano, Hawaii, and the desert southwestern U.S. She is a regular participant in the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites Program, where she spends six weeks at a time in a tent in the deep field, returning with hundreds of meteorites from around the solar system including the Moon and Mars. She seeks to understand how field studies on Earth, including work on big desert dunes and remote volcanoes, as well as meteorite searching in Antarctica, help us better understand processes in the solar system revealed by the myriad spacecraft at other planetary bodies.
Jani communicates the results, excitement, and passion of her research with the public through many avenues. She is a science contributor for the internationally syndicated Discovery Science Channel’s How the Universe Works seasons 4 and 5. She gave a TEDxBYU talk and a BYU-wide forum on “Exploration for Discovery,” and she regularly does other radio and public speaking events. She presents at the Spacefest convention, which draws most of the Apollo and Skylab and some space shuttle astronauts and their fans. Reconciliation of Jani’s scientific and religious leanings began while she was a student at BYU, mainly under the tutelage of her geology professors, and now she continues to help educate students on the same path.
Jani was born and raised in the church and has five younger siblings and fourteen nieces and nephews. She has worked in a variety of church callings and has enjoyed attending church in many different countries. Jani is part of the church’s diverse and talented singles community and has enjoyed the many singles wards she has been privileged to serve in throughout her life.
About the Interpreter Foundation Book Chapter Reprint Series
The purpose of this reprint series is to make individual chapters from books published by The Interpreter Foundation more accessible to readers. Chapters from large format books will be made available as pdf files, while chapters from smaller format books will appear within the Interpreter journal, making this content available in a form suitable for many popular digital readers.
Although in some instances the formatting and pagination may have been changed, the content of this chapter, like others in this reprint series, is identical to what appeared in its original book publication. It has not been updated to incorporate research that has appeared subsequently nor to reflect the current practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use the full name of the Church and to avoid terms such as “Mormon” and “LDS.”