2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress
2025 Plenary Speaker

Sarah Hörst

APR 30, 2024
Sarah Horst

Sarah Hörst

Sarah Hörst is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University where she specializes in atmospheric chemistry. Her research focuses on understanding the formation and composition of planetary atmospheric hazes, especially the complex organic chemistry occurring in the atmosphere of Titan.

Hörst received a B.S. in Planetary Science and B.S. in Literature from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. She started her research career studying Europa and Titan while at Caltech, then worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory after graduation, analyzing images of Saturn from the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) on the Cassini spacecraft. She went on to graduate school at the University of Arizona, where she studied the chemistry occurring in Titan’s atmosphere at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. After finishing her PhD in 2011, she was an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at University of Colorado-Boulder.

In March 2018, Hörst’s group at Johns Hopkins demonstrated that they could simulate the atmosphere of alien worlds inside the laboratory, allowing them to analyze the composition of their haze. The study will aid in the analysis of data collected by the James Webb Space Telescope, which NASA expects to launch in 2021.

She is part of the Science & Engineering team for the Dragonfly mission to Titan.