WorldWideScience

Sample records for exosphere

  1. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Exospheres are relatively common in the outer solar system among the moons of the gas giant planets. They span the range from very tenuous, surface-bounded exospheres (e.g., Rhea, Dione) to quite robust exospheres with exobase above the surface (e.g., lo, Triton), and include many intermediate cases (e.g., Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus). The exospheres of these moons exhibit an interesting variety of sources, from surface sputtering, to frost sublimation, to active plumes, and also well illustrate another common characteristic of the outer planet satellite exospheres, namely, that the primary species often exists both as a gas in atmosphere, and a condensate (frost or ice) on the surface. As described by Yelle et al. (1995) for Triton, "The interchange of matter between gas and solid phases on these bodies has profound effects on the physical state of the surface and the structure of the atmosphere." A brief overview of the exospheres of the outer planet satellites will be presented, including an inter-comparison of these satellites exospheres with each other, and with the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury.

  2. Magnetosphere, exosphere, and surface of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, A.F.; Krimigis, S.M.; Johnson, R.E.; Lanzerotti, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    It is presently suggested in light of the atomic Na exosphere discovered for Mercury that this planet, like the Jupiter moon Io, is capable of maintaining a heavy ion magnetosphere. Na(+) ions from the exosphere are in this scenario accelerated to keV energies en route to making substantial contributions to the mass and energy budgets of the magnetosphere. Since Mercury's Na supply to the exosphere is primarily internal, it would appear that Mercury is losing its semivolatiles and that this process will proceed by way of photosputtering, which maintains an adequate Na-ejection rate from the planet's surface. 39 references

  3. Seasonal Variations in Mercury's Dayside Calcium Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2014-01-01

    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer on the MESSENGER spacecraft has observed calcium emission in Mercury's exosphere on a near-daily basis since March 2011. During MESSENGER's primary and first extended missions (March 2011 - March 2013) the dayside calcium exosphere was measured over eight Mercury years. We have simulated these data with a Monte Carlo model of exospheric source processes to show that (a) there is a persistent source of energetic calcium located in the dawn equatorial region, (b) there is a seasonal dependence in the calcium source rate, and (c) there are no obvious year-to-year variations in the near-surface dayside calcium exosphere. Although the precise mechanism responsible for ejecting the calcium has not yet been determined, the most likely process is the dissociation of Ca-bearing molecules produced in micrometeoroid impact plumes to form energetic, escaping calcium atoms.

  4. Hydrogen Bearing Material in the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, D.; Benna, M.; Colaprete, A.; Retherford, K. D.; Cook, J. C.; Elphic, R. C.; Farrell, W. M.; Killen, R. M.; Sarantos, M.

    2015-12-01

    We report on observations of water and its daughters in the lunar exosphere. Data from LADEE NMS, LADEE UVS, and LRO LAMP indicating the presence of H, H2, OH, and H2O are presented in terms of their relationship to external drivers. These observations point to the roles of solar wind and micrometeoroids in the source and release of hydrogen-bearing atoms and molecules in the exosphere. In particular, the implantation of H via solar wind is found to be the largest contributor to H2 in the moon's exosphere. However, the spatial distribution is more consistent with a release mechanism centered on the morning hemisphere. Thus the data are consistent with H2 created through a 2-step process involving the implantation of solar wind and subsequent release by micrometeoroids. This accounts for >12% of the solar wind H budget, leaving day water cycle occurring on the Moon.

  5. Mercury's Seasonal Sodium Exosphere: MESSENGER Orbital Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Timothy A.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2014-01-01

    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft now orbiting Mercury provides the first close-up look at the planet's sodium exosphere. UVVS has observed the exosphere from orbit almost daily for over 10 Mercury years. In this paper we describe and analyze a subset of these data: altitude profiles taken above the low-latitude dayside and south pole. The observations show spatial and temporal variations, but there are no obvious year-to-year variations in most of the observations. We do not see the episodic variability reported by some ground-based observers. We used these altitude profiles to make estimates of sodium density and temperature. The bulk of the exosphere, at about 1200 K, is much warmer than Mercury's surface. This value is consistent with some ground-based measurements and suggests that photon-stimulated desorption is the primary ejection process. We also observe a tenuous energetic component but do not see evidence of the predicted thermalized (or partially thermalized) sodium near Mercury's surface temperature. Overall we do not see the variable mixture of temperatures predicted by most Monte Carlo models of the exosphere.

  6. Monte Carlo Simulation of Callisto's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorburger, Audrey; Wurz, Peter; Galli, André; Mousis, Olivier; Barabash, Stas; Lammer, Helmut

    2014-05-01

    Whereas Callisto's surface has been mapped as early as in 1980 by the two Voyager missions, Callisto's tenuous atmosphere, also called an exosphere, was not directly observed until the Galileo mission in 1999. The Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer detected a CO2 signal up to 100 km above the surface [Carlson, Science, 1999]. Radio occultation measurements, also conducted by Galileo, led to the detection of an ionosphere with inferred densities much higher than can be explained by the measured CO2 exosphere, though [Kliore et al., J. Geophys. Res, 2002]. Insight about Callisto's exosphere is expected to be boosted by the Neutral Ion Mass Spectrometer (NIM) of the Particle Environment Package (PEP) on board the planned JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission, which will conduct the first-ever direct sampling of the exospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. To ensure that NIM's mass resolution and mass range will be sufficient for NIM to detect most expected species in Callisto's exosphere, we model said exosphere ab initio. Since Callisto is thought to consist to about equal parts of both icy and rocky components [Showman and Malhotra, Science, 1999], we model particle release from an icy as well as from a mineral surface separately. For the ice component, we investigate two different compositions, for reducing and oxidising conditions, which find analogy in the initial gas phase conditions in the solar nebula [Mousis et al., Planet. Space Sci., submitted]. For the non-ice material, the mineral surface, we investigate surfaces with compositions similar to CI chondrites and L/LL type chondrites, both of which have been suggested to represent Callisto's non-ice material best [Kuskov and Kronrod, Icarus, 2005 and Moore et al., Cambridge University Press, 2004]. For all mentioned materials, we compute density profiles for particles released by either surface sublimation or ion induced sputtering up to an altitude of 100'000 km. Our results show that close

  7. Calcium in Mercury's Exosphere: Modeling MESSENGER Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Merkel, Aimee; Vervack, Ronald J.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.

    2011-01-01

    Mercury is surrounded by a surface-bounded exosphere comprised of atomic species including hydrogen, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and likely oxygen. Because it is collisionless. the exosphere's composition represents a balance of the active source and loss processes. The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) on the MErcury Surface. Space ENvironment. GEochemistry. and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has made high spatial-resolution observations of sodium, calcium, and magnesium near Mercury's surface and in the extended, anti-sunward direction. The most striking feature of these data has been the substantial differences in the spatial distribution of each species, Our modeling demonstrates that these differences cannot be due to post-ejection dynamics such as differences in photo-ionization rate and radiation pressure. but instead point to differences in the source mechanisms and regions on the surface from which each is ejected. The observations of calcium have revealed a strong dawn/dusk asymmetry. with the abundance over the dawn hemisphere significantly greater than over the dusk. To understand this asymmetry, we use a Monte Carlo model of Mercury's exosphere that we developed to track the motions of exospheric neutrals under the influence of gravity and radiation pressure. Ca atoms can be ejected directly from the surface or produced in a molecular exosphere (e.g., one consisting of CaO). Particles are removed from the system if they stick to the surface or escape from the model region of interest (within 15 Mercury radii). Photoionization reduces the final weighting given to each particle when simulating the Ca radiance. Preliminary results suggest a high temperature ( I-2x 10(exp 4) K) source of atomic Ca concentrated over the dawn hemisphere. The high temperature is consistent with the dissociation of CaO in a near-surface exosphere with scale height <= 100 km, which imparts 2 eV to the freshly produced Ca atom. This

  8. Mercury's exosphere: observations during MESSENGER's First Mercury flyby.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, William E; Bradley, E Todd; Vervack, Ronald J; Killen, Rosemary M; Sprague, Ann L; Izenberg, Noam R; Solomon, Sean C

    2008-07-04

    During MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer measured Mercury's exospheric emissions, including those from the antisunward sodium tail, calcium and sodium close to the planet, and hydrogen at high altitudes on the dayside. Spatial variations indicate that multiple source and loss processes generate and maintain the exosphere. Energetic processes connected to the solar wind and magnetospheric interaction with the planet likely played an important role in determining the distributions of exospheric species during the flyby.

  9. Observations of Metallic Species in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Potter, Andrew E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Bradley, E. Todd; McClintock, William E.; Anderson, Carrie M.; Burger, Matthew H.

    2010-01-01

    From observations of the metallic species sodium (Na), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) in Mercury's exosphere, we derive implications for source and loss processes. All metallic species observed exhibit a distribution and/or line width characteristic of high to extreme temperature - tens of thousands of degrees K. The temperatures of refractory species, including magnesium and calcium, indicate that the source process for the atoms observed in the tail and near-planet exosphere are consistent with ion sputtering and/or impact vaporization of a molecule with subsequent dissociation into the atomic form. The extended Mg tail is consistent with a surface abundance of 5-8% Mg by number, if 30% of impact-vaporized Mg remains as MgO and half of the impact vapor condenses. Globally, ion sputtering is not a major source of Mg, but locally the sputtered source can be larger than the impact vapor source. We conclude that the Na and K in Mercury's exosphere can be derived from a regolith composition similar to that of Luna 16 soil (or Apollo 17 orange glass), in which the abundance by number is 0.0027 (0.0028) for Na and 0.0006 (0.0045) for K.

  10. MESSENGER MASCS/UVVS Observations of Cold Exospheric Calcium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, T. A.

    2018-05-01

    Exospheric calcium is primarily ejected by a high energy process on the dawn hemisphere. UVVS data also show a sporadic cold component at low altitudes. Its temperature is consistent with laboratory measurements of photodesorption of calcium sulfide.

  11. Refilling the plasmasphere through the exospheric sieve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krall, J.; Huba, J.; Emmert, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    The ability to compute plasmasphere densities is critical to many space weather concerns. The sensitivity of refilling to the solar cycle is compelling because, paradoxically, refilling rates are generally lowest when the ionosphere is strongest. In the past, this has been attributed to a dearth of exosphere H at solar maximum. While H is needed to supply H + O+ -> H+ + O charge exchange, recent work demonstrates a significant sensitivity to O [1]. Results will be based on preliminary model-data comparisons using in situ Van Allen Probe EMFISIS data and the SAMI3 ionosphere/plasmasphere code. We will assess the impact of atmospheric composition (i.e., O and H) and solar activity (e.g., F10.7) on plasmasphere refilling rates and density following magnetic storms. SAMI3 (Sami3 is Also a Model of the Ionosphere) is a first-principles ionosphere/plasmasphere model. SAMI3 includes 7 ion species (H+, He+, O+, N+, O2+, N2+, NO+), each treated as a separate fluid, with temperature equations being solved for H+, He+, O+ and e- [2]. SAMI3 uses the empirical MSIS thermosphere/exosphere model to specify O and H densities. SAMI3 includes scaling factors that can be used to tune MSIS densities to bring them in line with measurements of satellite drag. Key inputs for this data-driven modeling are the thermosphere oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) densities, and the F10.7 proxy for solar ultraviolet irradiance. [1 ]Krall, J., J. T. Emmert, F. Sassi, S. E. McDonald, and J. D. Huba (2016), Day-to-day variability in the thermosphere and its impact on plasmasphere refilling, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, doi:10.1002/2015JA022328. [2] Huba, J. and J. Krall (2013), Modeling the plasmasphere with SAMI3, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 6-10, doi:10.1029/2012GL054300 Research supported by NRL base funds.

  12. Mercury's Na Exosphere from MESSENGER Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Burger, M. H.; Cassidy, T. A.; Sarantos, M.; Vervack, R. J.; McClintock, W. El; Merkel, A. W.; Sprague, A. L.; Solomon, S. C.

    2012-01-01

    MESSENGER entered orbit about Mercury on March 18, 2011. Since then, the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UWS) channel of MESSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) has been observing Mercury's exosphere nearly continuously. Daily measurements of Na brightness were fitted with non-uniform exospheric models. With Monte Carlo sampling we traced the trajectories of a representative number of test particles, generally one million per run per source process, until photoionization, escape from the gravitational well, or permanent sticking at the surface removed the atom from the simulation. Atoms were assumed to partially thermally accommodate on each encounter with the surface with accommodation coefficient 0.25. Runs for different assumed source processes are run separately, scaled and co-added. Once these model results were saved onto a 3D grid, we ran lines of sight from the MESSENGER spacecraft :0 infinity using the SPICE kernels and we computed brightness integrals. Note that only particles that contribute to the measurement can be constrained with our method. Atoms and molecules produced on the nightside must escape the shadow in order to scatter light if the excitation process is resonant-light scattering, as assumed here. The aggregate distribution of Na atoms fits a 1200 K gas, with a PSD distribution, along with a hotter component. Our models constrain the hot component, assumed to be impact vaporization, to be emitted with a 2500 K Maxwellian. Most orbits show a dawnside enhancement in the hot component broadly spread over the leading hemisphere. However, on some dates there is no dawn/dusk asymmetry. The portion of the hot/cold source appears to be highly variable.

  13. First In-Situ Observations of Exospheric Response to CME Impact at Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, J. M.; Wallace, K. L.; Sarantos, M.; Jasinksi, J. M.; Tracy, P. J.; Dewey, R. M.; Weberg, M. J.; Slavin, J. A.

    2018-05-01

    We present the first in-situ observations of enhancements to Mercury's He exosphere generated by CME impact. These results have implications for understanding exosphere generation and loss processes, as well space weathering of the planet's surface.

  14. Neural networks to predict exosphere temperature corrections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choury, Anna; Bruinsma, Sean; Schaeffer, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    Precise orbit prediction requires a forecast of the atmospheric drag force with a high degree of accuracy. Artificial neural networks are universal approximators derived from artificial intelligence and are widely used for prediction. This paper presents a method of artificial neural networking for prediction of the thermosphere density by forecasting exospheric temperature, which will be used by the semiempirical thermosphere Drag Temperature Model (DTM) currently developed. Artificial neural network has shown to be an effective and robust forecasting model for temperature prediction. The proposed model can be used for any mission from which temperature can be deduced accurately, i.e., it does not require specific training. Although the primary goal of the study was to create a model for 1 day ahead forecast, the proposed architecture has been generalized to 2 and 3 days prediction as well. The impact of artificial neural network predictions has been quantified for the low-orbiting satellite Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer in 2011, and an order of magnitude smaller orbit errors were found when compared with orbits propagated using the thermosphere model DTM2009.

  15. Centrifugally Stimulated Exospheric Ion Escape at Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delcourt, Dominique; Seki, K.; Terada, N.; Moore, Thomas E.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the transport of ions in the low-altitude magnetosphere magnetosphere of Mercury. We show that, because of small spatial scales, the centrifugal effect due to curvature of the E B drift paths can lead to significant particle energization in the parallel direction. We demonstrate that because of this effect, ions with initial speed smaller than the escape speed such as those produced via thermal desorption can overcome gravity and escape into the magnetosphere. The escape route of this low-energy exosphere originating material is largely controlled by the magnetospheric convection rate. This escape route spreads over a narrower range of altitudes when the convection rate increases. Bulk transport of low-energy planetary material thus occurs within a limited region of space once moderate magnetospheric convection is established. These results suggest that, via release of material otherwise gravitationally trapped, the E B related centrifugal acceleration is an important mechanism for the net supply of plasma to the magnetosphere of Mercury.

  16. Seasonal variability of the hydrogen exosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halekas, J. S.

    2017-05-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission measures both the upstream solar wind and collisional products from energetic neutral hydrogen atoms that precipitate into the upper atmosphere after their initial formation by charge exchange with exospheric hydrogen. By computing the ratio between the densities of these populations, we derive a robust measurement of the column density of exospheric hydrogen upstream of the Martian bow shock. By comparing with Chamberlain-type model exospheres, we place new constraints on the structure and escape rates of exospheric hydrogen, derived from observations sensitive to a different and potentially complementary column from most scattered sunlight observations. Our observations provide quantitative estimates of the hydrogen exosphere with nearly complete temporal coverage, revealing order of magnitude seasonal changes in column density and a peak slightly after perihelion, approximately at southern summer solstice. The timing of this peak suggests either a lag in the response of the Martian atmosphere to solar inputs or a seasonal effect driven by lower atmosphere dynamics. The high degree of seasonal variability implied by our observations suggests that the Martian atmosphere and the thermal escape of light elements depend sensitively on solar inputs.

  17. Mercury's Sodium Exosphere: Observations during the MESSENGER Orbital Phase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.; McClintock, William E.; Benna, Mehdi; Solomon, Sean C.

    2012-01-01

    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft entered into orbit about Mercury on March 18,2011. We now have approximately five Mercury years of data from orbit. Prior to the MESSENGER mission, Mercury's surface-bounded exosphere was known to contain H, He, Na. K, and Ca. The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) began routine orbital observations of both the dayside and nightside exosphere on March 29. 2011, measuring altitude profiles for all previously detected neutral species except for He and K. We focus here on what we have learned about the sodium exosphere: its spatial, seasonal, and sporadic variation. Observations to date permit delineation of the relative roles of photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) and impact vaporization (IV) from seasonal and spatial effects, as well as of the roles of ions both as sputtering agents and in their possible role to enhance the efficiency of PSD. Correlations of Mercury's neutral sodium exosphere with measurements from MESSENGER's Magnetometer (MAG) and Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) provide insight into the roles of ions and electrons. Models incorporating MAG observations provide a basis for identifying the location and area of the surface exposed to solar wind plasma, and EPPS observations reveal episodic populations of energetic electrons in the magnetosphere and the presence of planetary He(+), 0(+), and Na(+),

  18. Solar wind charge exchange observed through the lunar exosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Robertson, I. P.; Sembay, S.; Stubbs, T. J.; Kuntz, K. D.; Collier, M. R.; Cravens, T. E.; Snowden, S. L.; Hills, H. K.; Porter, F. S.; Trávníček, Pavel M.; Carter, J. A.; Read, A. M.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 36, - (2009), L21102/1-L21102/5 ISSN 0094-8276 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : lunar exosphere * solar wind * X-rays Subject RIV: BL - Plasma and Gas Discharge Physics Impact factor: 3.204, year: 2009

  19. Quantifying the Exospheric Component of Soft X-ray Emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntz, Kip; Collier, Michael R.; Snowden, Steven L.; Robertson, Ina; Hansen, Kenneth; Cravens, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    High charge state heavy ions in the solar wind exchange charge with ambient neutral gas. This process creates a product ion in an excited state. During the radiative cascade process, EUV and X-ray photons are emitted with energies in the range of about 100 eV to 1 keV. Because the terrestrial exospheric density at the nominal magnetopause location is relatively high, approx. 10 cu cm, solar wind charge exchange, or SWCX, can be observed by Earth-orbiting soft X-ray instruments such as the ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counters (PSPC). In this presentation, we will compare simulated and observed soft Xray emission during an event on August 18-19, 1991 and discuss the role of exospheric SWCX emission for this and other events.

  20. Modeling MESSENGER Observations of Calcium in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Matthew Howard; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sprague, Ann L.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2012-01-01

    The Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) on the MESSENGER spacecraft has made the first high-spatial-resolution observations of exospheric calcium at Mercury. We use a Monte Carlo model of the exosphere to track the trajectories of calcium atoms ejected from the surface until they are photoionized, escape from the system, or stick to the surface. This model permits an exploration of exospheric source processes and interactions among neutral atoms, solar radiation, and the planetary surface. The MASCS data have suggested that a persistent, high-energy source of calcium that was enhanced in the dawn, equatorial region of Mercury was active during MESSENGER's three flybys of Mercury and during the first seven orbits for which MASCS obtained data. The total Ca source rate from the surface varied between 1.2x10(exp 23) and 2.6x10(exp 23) Ca atoms/s, if its temperature was 50,000 K. The origin of this high-energy, asymmetric source is unknown, although from this limited data set it does not appear to be consistent with micrometeoroid impact vaporization, ion sputtering, electron-stimulated desorption, or vaporization at dawn of material trapped on the cold nightside.

  1. Insights into the Nature of Mercury's Exosphere: Early Results from the MESSENGER Orbital Mission Phase

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, William E.; Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Sprague, Ann L.; Solomon, Sean C.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer aboard the MESSENGER spacecraft has been making routine observations of Mercury's exosphere since March 29, 2011. Correlations of the spatial distributions of Ca, Mg, and Na with MESSENGER magnetic field and energetic particle distribution data provide insight into the processes that populate the neutral exosphere

  2. The impact of exospheric neutral dynamics on ring current decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilie, R.; Liemohn, M. W.; Skoug, R. M.; Funsten, H. O.; Gruntman, M.; Bailey, J. J.; Toth, G.

    2015-12-01

    The geocorona plays an important role in the energy budget of the Earth's inner magnetosphere since charge exchange of energetic ions with exospheric neutrals makes the exosphere act as an energy sink for ring current particles. Long-term ring current decay following a magnetic storm is mainly due to these electron transfer reactions, leading to the formation energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) that leave the ring current system on ballistic trajectories. The number of ENAs emitted from a given region of space depends on several factors, such as the energy and species of the energetic ion population in that region and the density of the neutral gas with which the ions undergo charge exchange. However, the density and structure of the exosphere are strongly dependent on changes in atmospheric temperature and density as well as charge exchange with the ions of plasmaspheric origin, which depletes the geocorona (by having a neutral removed from the system). Moreover, the radiation pressure exerted by solar far-ultraviolet photons pushes the geocoronal hydrogen away from the Earth in an anti-sunward direction to form a tail of neutral hydrogen. TWINS ENA images provide a direct measurement of these ENA losses and therefore insight into the dynamics of the ring current decay through interactions with the geocorona. We assess the influence of geocoronal neutrals on ring current formation and decay by analysis of the predicted ENA emissions using 6 different geocoronal models and simulations from the HEIDI ring current model during storm time. Comparison with TWINS ENA images shows that the location of the peak ENA enhancements is highly dependent on the distribution of geocoronal hydrogen density. We show that the neutral dynamics has a strong influence on the time evolution of the ring current populations as well as on the formation of energetic neutral atoms.

  3. Limits to Mercury's Magnesium Exosphere from MESSENGER Second Flyby Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarantos, Menelaos; Killen, Rosemary M.; McClintock, William E.; Bradley, E. Todd; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.

    2011-01-01

    The discovery measurements of Mercury's exospheric magnesium, obtained by the MErcury Surface. Space ENvironment, GEochemistry. and Ranging (MESSENGER) probe during its second Mercury flyby, are modeled to constrain the source and loss processes for this neutral species. Fits to a Chamberlain exosphere reveal that at least two source temperatures are required to reconcile the distribution of magnesium measured far from and near the planet: a hot ejection process at the equivalent temperature of several tens of thousands of degrees K, and a competing, cooler source at temperatures as low as 400 K. For the energetic component, our models indicate that the column abundance that can be attributed to sputtering under constant southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions is at least a factor of five less than the rate dictated by the measurements, Although highly uncertain, this result suggests that another energetic process, such as the rapid dissociation of exospheric MgO, may be the main source of the distant neutral component. If meteoroid and micrometeoroid impacts eject mainly molecules, the total amount of magnesium at altitudes exceeding approximately 100 km is found to be consistent with predictions by impact vaporization models for molecule lifetimes of no more than two minutes. Though a sharp increase in emission observed near the dawn terminator region can be reproduced if a single meteoroid enhanced the impact vapor at equatorial dawn, it is much more likely that observations in this region, which probe heights increasingly near the surface, indicate a reservoir of volatile Mg being acted upon by lower-energy source processes.

  4. Mercury's complex exosphere: results from MESSENGER's third flyby.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervack, Ronald J; McClintock, William E; Killen, Rosemary M; Sprague, Ann L; Anderson, Brian J; Burger, Matthew H; Bradley, E Todd; Mouawad, Nelly; Solomon, Sean C; Izenberg, Noam R

    2010-08-06

    During MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer detected emission from ionized calcium concentrated 1 to 2 Mercury radii tailward of the planet. This measurement provides evidence for tailward magnetospheric convection of photoions produced inside the magnetosphere. Observations of neutral sodium, calcium, and magnesium above the planet's north and south poles reveal altitude distributions that are distinct for each species. A two-component sodium distribution and markedly different magnesium distributions above the two poles are direct indications that multiple processes control the distribution of even single species in Mercury's exosphere.

  5. Mercury's Complex Exosphere: Results from MESSENGER's Third Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Anderson, Brian J.; Burger, Matthew H.; Bradley, E. Todd; Mouawad, Nelly; Solomon, Sean C.; Izenberg, Noam R.

    2010-01-01

    During MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer detected emission from ionized calcium concentrated 1 to 2 Mercury radii tailward of the planet. This measurement provides evidence for tailward magnetospheric convection of photoions produced inside the magnetosphere. Observations of neutral sodium, calcium, and magnesium above the planet's north and south poles reveal attitude distributions that are distinct for each species. A two-component sodium distribution and markedly different magnesium distributions above the two poles are direct indications that multiple processes control the distribution of even single species in Mercury's exosphere,

  6. Impact Vaporization as a Possible Source of Mercury's Calcium Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury's calcium exosphere varies in a periodic way with that planet's true anomaly. We show that this pattern can be explained by impact vaporization from interplanetary dust with variations being due to Mercury's radial and vertical excursions through an interplanetary dust disk having an inclination within 5 degrees of the plane of Mercury's orbit. Both a highly inclined dust disk and a two-disk model (where the two disks have a mutual inclination) fail to reproduce the observed variation in calcium exospheric abundance with Mercury true anomaly angle. However, an additional source of impacting dust beyond the nominal dust disk is required near Mercury's true anomaly (?) 25deg +/-5deg. This is close to but not coincident with Mercury's true anomaly (?=45deg) when it crosses comet 2P/Encke's present day orbital plane. Interestingly, the Taurid meteor storms at Earth, which are also due to Comet Encke, are observed to occur when Earth's true anomaly is +/-20 or so degrees before and after the position where Earth and Encke orbital planes cross. The lack of exact correspondence with the present day orbit of Encke may indicate the width of the potential stream along Mercury's orbit or a previous cometary orbit. The extreme energy of the escaping calcium, estimated to have a temperature greater than 50000 K if the source is thermal, cannot be due to the impact process itself but must be imparted by an additional mechanism such as dissociation of a calcium-bearing molecule or ionization followed by recombination.

  7. Simulations of Water Migration in the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, D.; Benna, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Elphic, R. C.; Goldstein, D. B.

    2014-12-01

    We perform modeling and analysis of water in the lunar exosphere. There were two controlled experiments of water interactions with the surface of the Moon observed by the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS). The Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon on 14 Dec 2013 putatively sprayed ~120 kg of water on the surface on the Moon at a mid-morning local time. Observations by LADEE near the noon meridian on six of the orbits in the 24 hours following the landing constrain the propagation of water vapor. Further, on 4 Apr 2014, LADEE's Orbital Maintenance Manuever (OMM) #21 sprayed the surface of the Moon with an estimated 0.73 kg of water in the pre-dawn sector. Observations of this maneuver and later in the day constrain the adsorption and release at dawn of adsorbed materials. Using the Chang'e 3 exhaust plume and LADEE's OMM-21 as control experiments, we set limits to the adsorption and thermalization of water with lunar regolith. This enables us to predict the efficiency of the migration of water as a delivery mechanism to the lunar poles. Then we simulate the migration of water through the lunar exosphere using the rate of sporadic inputs from meteoritic sources (Benna et al., this session). Simulations predict the amount of water adsorbed to the surface of the Moon and the effective delivery rate to the lunar polar cold traps.

  8. High-Resolution Spectroscopy of the Lunar Sodium Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierkiewicz, E. J.; Oliversen, R. J.; Roesler, F. L.; Lupie, O. L.

    2014-01-01

    We have applied high-resolution Fabry-Perot spectroscopy to the study of the lunar sodium exosphere for the study of exospheric effective temperature and velocity variations. Observing from the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce Telescope, we used a dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer with a resolving power of 180,000 to measure line widths and Doppler shifts of the sodium D2 (5889.95 Å) emission line. Our field of view was 360 km, and measurements were made in equatorial and polar regions from 500 km to 3500 km off the limb. Data were obtained from full moon to 3 days following full moon (waning phase) in March 2009. Measured Doppler line widths within 1100 km of the sunlit east and south lunar limbs for observations between 5 and 40 deg lunar phase imply effective temperatures ranging between 3260 +/- 190 and 1000 +/- 135 K. Preliminary line center analysis indicates velocity displacements between different locations off the lunar limb ranging between 100 and 600 m/s from the lunar rest velocity with a precision of +/-20 to +/-50 m/s depending on brightness. Based on the success of these exploratory observations, an extensive program has been initiated that is expected to constrain lunar atmospheric and surface-process modeling and help quantify source and escape mechanisms.

  9. Pathways for Energization of Ca in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the possible pathways to produce the extreme energy observed in the calcium exosphere of Mercury. Any mechanism must explain the facts that Ca in Mercury's exosphere is extremely hot, that it is seen almost exclusively on the dawnside of the planet, and that its content varies seasonally, not sporadically. Simple diatomic molecules or their clusters are considered, focusing on calcium oxides while acknowledging that Ca sulfides may also be the precursor molecules. We first discuss impact vaporization to justify the assumption that CaO and Ca-oxide clusters are expected from impacts on Mercury. Then we discuss processes by which the atomic Ca is energized to a 70,000 K gas. The processes considered are (1) electron-impact dissociation of CaO molecules, (2) spontaneous dissociation of Ca-bearing molecules following impact vaporization, (3) shock-induced dissociative ionization, (4) photodissociation and (5) sputtering. We conclude that electron-impact dissociation cannot produce the required abundance of Ca, and sputtering cannot reproduce the observed spatial and temporal variation that is measured. Spontaneous dissociation is unlikely to result in the high energy that is seen. Of the two remaining processes, shock induced dissociative ionization produces the required energy and comes close to producing the required abundance, but rates are highly dependent on the incoming velocity distribution of the impactors. Photodissociation probably can produce the required abundance of Ca, but simulations show that photodissociation cannot reproduce the observed spatial distribution.

  10. Mercury Sodium Exospheric Emission as a Proxy for Solar Perturbations Transit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsini, S.; Mangano, V.; Milillo, A.; Plainaki, C.; Mura, A.; Raines, J. M.; Laurenza, M.; De Angelis, E.; Rispoli, R.; Lazzarotto, F.; Aronica, A.

    2018-05-01

    We report about recent results published on Scientific Reports @nature.com showing the first evidence of direct relationship between exosphere Na dynamics observed from ground and ICME transit at Mercury, as detected by MESSENGER.

  11. Differential equation of exospheric lateral transport and its application to terrestrial hydrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. R., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    The differential equation description of exospheric lateral transport of Hodges and Johnson is reformulated to extend its utility to light gases. Accuracy of the revised equation is established by applying it to terrestrial hydrogen. The resulting global distributions for several static exobase models are shown to be essentially the same as those that have been computed by Quessette using an integral equation approach. The present theory is subsequently used to elucidate the effects of nonzero lateral flow, exobase rotation, and diurnal tidal winds on the hydrogen distribution. Finally it is shown that the differential equation of exospheric transport is analogous to a diffusion equation. Hence it is practical to consider exospheric transport as a continuation of thermospheric diffusion, a concept that alleviates the need for an artificial exobase dividing thermosphere and exosphere.

  12. Synodic and semiannual oscillations of argon-40 in the lunar exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. Richard; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2016-01-01

    The neutral mass spectrometer on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft collected a trove of exospheric data, including a set of high-quality measurements of radiogenic 40Ar over a period of 142 days. Data synthesis studies, using well-established exosphere simulation tools, show that the LADEE argon data are consistent with an exosphere-regolith interaction that is dominated by adsorption and that the desorption process generates the Armand distribution of exit velocities. The synthesis work has uncovered an apparent semiannual oscillation of argon that is consistent with temporal sequestration in the seasonal cold traps created at the poles by the obliquity of the Moon. In addition, the LADEE data provide new insight into the pristine nature of lunar regolith, its spatially varying sorption properties, and the influence of sorption processes on the synodic oscillation of the argon exosphere.

  13. Exospheric transport restrictions on water ice in lunar polar traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    There is little doubt that at least 10 exp 17 g of water has accreted on the moon as a result of the reduction of ferric iron at the regolith surface by solar wind protons, the vaporization of chondrites, and perhaps comet impacts. Lacking an efficient escape mechanism, most of this water (or its progeny) is probably on the moon now. If the water were to have migrated to permanently shaded cold traps near the lunar poles, ice deposts with densities greater than 1000 g/sq cm would cover the traps, providing accessible resources. However, exospheric transport considerations suggest that the actual amount of water ice in the cold traps is probably too small to be of practical interest. The alternative is global assimilation of most of the water into the regolith, a process that must account for about 30 micromoles of water per gram of soil.

  14. Line Profile Measurements of the Lunar Exospheric Sodium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliversen, Ronald J.; Mierkiewicz, Edwin J.; Line, Michael R.; Roesler, Fred L.; Lupie, Olivia L.

    2012-01-01

    We report ongoing results of a program to measure the lunar sodium exospheric line profile from near the lunar limb out to two lunar radii (approx 3500 km). These observations are conducted from the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce telescope using a dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer with a resolving power of 180,600 (1.7 km/s) to measure line widths and velocity shifts of the Na D2 (5889 950 A) emission line in equatorial and polar regions at different lunar phases. The typical field of view (FOV) is 3 arcmin (approx 360 km) with an occasional smaller 1 arcmin FOV used right at the limb edge. The first data were obtained from full Moon to 3 days following full Moon (waning phase) in March 2009 as part of a demonstration run aimed at establishing techniques for a thorough study of temperatures and velocity variations in the lunar sodium exosphere. These data indicate velocity displacements from different locations off the lunar limb range between 150 and 600 m/s from the lunar rest velocity with a precision of +/- 20 to +/- 50 m/s depending on brightness. The measured Doppler line widths for observations within 10.5 arcmin of the east and south lunar limbs for observations between 5 deg and 40 deg lunar phase imply temperatures ranging decreasing from 3250 +/- 260K to 1175 +/- 150K. Additional data is now being collected on a quarterly basis since March 2011 and preliminary results will be reported.

  15. On the origin of alkali metals in Europa exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozgurel, Ozge; Pauzat, Françoise; Ellinger, Yves; Markovits, Alexis; Mousis, Olivier; LCT, LAM

    2016-10-01

    At a time when Europa is considered as a plausible habitat for the development of an early form of life, of particular concern is the origin of neutral sodium and potassium atoms already detected in its exosphere (together with magnesium though in smaller abundance), since these atoms are known to be crucial for building the necessary bricks of prebiotic species. However their origin and history are still poorly understood. The most likely sources could be exogenous and result from the contamination produced by Io's intense volcanism and/or by meteoritic bombardment. These sources could also be endogenous if these volatile elements originate directly from Europa's icy mantle. Here we explore the possibility that neutral sodium and potassium atoms were delivered to the satellite's surface via the upwelling of ices formed in contact with the hidden ocean. These metallic elements would have been transferred as ions to the ocean at early epochs after Europa's formation, by direct contact of water with the rocky core. During Europa's subsequent cooling, the icy layers formed at the top of the ocean would have kept trapped the sodium and potassium, allowing their future progression to the surface and final identification in the exosphere of the satellite. To support this scenario, we have used chemistry numerical models based on first principle periodic density functional theory (DFT). These models are shown to be well adapted to the description of compact ice and are capable to describe the trapping and neutralization of the initial ions in the ice matrix. The process is found relevant for all the elements considered, alkali metals like Na and K, as well as for Mg and probably for Ca, their respective abundances depending essentially of their solubility and chemical capabilities to blend with water ices.

  16. Early MESSENGER Results for Less Abundant or Weakly Emitting Species in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2011-01-01

    Now that the Messenger spacecraft is in orbit about Mercury, the extended observing time enables searches for exospheric species that are less abundant or weakly emitting compared with those for which emission has previously been detected. Many of these species cannot be observed from the ground because of terrestrial atmospheric absorption. We report here on the status of MESSENGER orbital-phase searches for additional species in Mercury's exosphere.

  17. Neutralized solar wind ahead of the Earth's magnetopause as contribution to non-thermal exospheric hydrogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Fahr

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In a most recent paper by Qin and Waldrop (2016, it had been found that the scale height of hydrogen in the upper exosphere of the Earth, especially during solar minimum conditions, appears to be surprisingly large. This indicates that during minimum conditions when exobasic temperatures should be small, large exospheric H-scale heights predominate. They thus seem to indicate the presence of a non-thermal hydrogen component in the upper exosphere. In the following parts of the paper we shall investigate what fraction of such expected hot hydrogen atoms could have their origin from protons of the shocked solar wind ahead of the magnetopause converted into energetic neutral atoms (ENAs via charge-exchange processes with normal atmospheric, i.e., exospheric hydrogen atoms that in the first step evaporate from the exobase into the magnetosheath plasma region. We shall show that, dependent on the sunward location of the magnetopause, the density of these types of non-thermal hydrogen atoms (H-ENAs becomes progressively comparable with the density of exobasic hydrogen with increasing altitude. At low exobasic heights, however, their contribution is negligible. At the end of this paper, we finally study the question of whether the H-ENA population could even be understood as a self-consistency phenomenon of the H-ENA population, especially during solar activity minimum conditions, i.e., H-ENAs leaving the exosphere being replaced by H-ENAs injected into the exosphere.

  18. Neutralized solar wind ahead of the Earth's magnetopause as contribution to non-thermal exospheric hydrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahr, Hans J.; Nass, Uwe; Dutta-Roy, Robindro; Zoennchen, Jochen H.

    2018-03-01

    In a most recent paper by Qin and Waldrop (2016), it had been found that the scale height of hydrogen in the upper exosphere of the Earth, especially during solar minimum conditions, appears to be surprisingly large. This indicates that during minimum conditions when exobasic temperatures should be small, large exospheric H-scale heights predominate. They thus seem to indicate the presence of a non-thermal hydrogen component in the upper exosphere. In the following parts of the paper we shall investigate what fraction of such expected hot hydrogen atoms could have their origin from protons of the shocked solar wind ahead of the magnetopause converted into energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) via charge-exchange processes with normal atmospheric, i.e., exospheric hydrogen atoms that in the first step evaporate from the exobase into the magnetosheath plasma region. We shall show that, dependent on the sunward location of the magnetopause, the density of these types of non-thermal hydrogen atoms (H-ENAs) becomes progressively comparable with the density of exobasic hydrogen with increasing altitude. At low exobasic heights, however, their contribution is negligible. At the end of this paper, we finally study the question of whether the H-ENA population could even be understood as a self-consistency phenomenon of the H-ENA population, especially during solar activity minimum conditions, i.e., H-ENAs leaving the exosphere being replaced by H-ENAs injected into the exosphere.

  19. Non-detection of a Helium Exosphere for the Hot Jupiter WASP-12b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura; Oklopčić, Antonija

    2018-06-01

    An exosphere was recently detected around the exoplanet WASP-107b, a low-density, warm Neptune, based on an absorption feature from metastable helium (which has a vacuum wavelength of 10833 \\AA). Inspired by the WASP-107b detection, we reanalyzed archival HST observations of another evaporating exoplanet, WASP-12b, to search for signs of helium in its exosphere. We find no significant increase in transit depth at 10833 \\AA. We compare this result to theoretical predictions from a 1D model, and find that the expected helium feature amplitude is small, in agreement with the observed non-detection. We discuss possible explanations for why the helium feature is weaker for WASP-12b than WASP-107b, and conclude that the amplitude of the signal is highly sensitive to the stellar spectrum and the geometry of the evaporating gas cloud. These considerations should be taken into account in the design of future searches for helium exospheres.

  20. MESSENGER observations of Mercury's exosphere: detection of magnesium and distribution of constituents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, William E; Vervack, Ronald J; Bradley, E Todd; Killen, Rosemary M; Mouawad, Nelly; Sprague, Ann L; Burger, Matthew H; Solomon, Sean C; Izenberg, Noam R

    2009-05-01

    Mercury is surrounded by a tenuous exosphere that is supplied primarily by the planet's surface materials and is known to contain sodium, potassium, and calcium. Observations by the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer during MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby revealed the presence of neutral magnesium in the tail (anti-sunward) region of the exosphere, as well as differing spatial distributions of magnesium, calcium, and sodium atoms in both the tail and the nightside, near-planet exosphere. Analysis of these observations, supplemented by observations during the first Mercury flyby, as well as those by other MESSENGER instruments, suggests that the distinct spatial distributions arise from a combination of differences in source, transfer, and loss processes.

  1. An Exospheric Temperature Model Based On CHAMP Observations and TIEGCM Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Haibing; Lei, Jiuhou; Dou, Xiankang; Liu, Siqing; Aa, Ercha

    2018-02-01

    In this work, thermospheric densities from the accelerometer measurement on board the CHAMP satellite during 2002-2009 and the simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (NCAR-TIEGCM) are employed to develop an empirical exospheric temperature model (ETM). The two-dimensional basis functions of the ETM are first provided from the principal component analysis of the TIEGCM simulations. Based on the exospheric temperatures derived from CHAMP thermospheric densities, a global distribution of the exospheric temperatures is reconstructed. A parameterization is conducted for each basis function amplitude as a function of solar-geophysical and seasonal conditions. Thus, the ETM can be utilized to model the thermospheric temperature and mass density under a specified condition. Our results showed that the averaged standard deviation of the ETM is generally less than 10% than approximately 30% in the MSIS model. Besides, the ETM reproduces the global thermospheric evolutions including the equatorial thermosphere anomaly.

  2. Probing of Hermean Exosphere by ultraviolet spectroscopy: Instrument presentation, calibration philosophy and first lights results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariscal, J. F.; Rouanet, N.; Maria, J. L.; Quémerais, E.; Mine, P. O.; Zuppella, P.; Suman, M.; Nicolosi, P.; Pelizzo, M. G.; Yoshikawa, I.; Yoshioka, K.; Murakami, G.

    2017-11-01

    PHEBUS (Probing of Hermean Exosphere by Ultraviolet Spectroscopy) is a double spectrometer for the Extreme Ultraviolet range (55-155 nm) and the Far Ultraviolet range (145-315 nm) dedicated to the characterization of Mercury's exosphere composition and dynamics, and surface-exosphere connections. PHEBUS is part of the ESA BepiColombo cornerstone mission payload devoted to the study of Mercury. The BepiColombo mission consists of two spacecrafts: the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) on which PHEBUS will be mounted. PHEBUS is a French-led instrument implemented in a cooperative scheme involving Japan (detectors), Russia (scanner) and Italy (ground calibration). Before launch, PHEBUS team want to perform a full absolute calibration on ground, in addition to calibrations which will be made in-flight, in order to know the instrument's response as precisely as possible. Instrument overview and calibration philosophy are introduced along with the first lights results observed by a first prototype.

  3. Dione and Rhea seasonal exospheres revealed by Cassini CAPS and INMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teolis, B. D.; Waite, J. H.

    2016-07-01

    A Dione O2 and CO2 exosphere of similar composition and density to Rhea's is confirmed by Cassini spacecraft Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) flyby data. INMS results from three Dione and two Rhea flybys show exospheric spatial and temporal variability indicative of seasonal exospheres, modulated by winter polar gas adsorption and desorption at the equinoxes. Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) pickup ion fluxes also show exospheric structure and evolution at Rhea consistent with INMS, after taking into consideration the anticipated charge exchange, electron impact, and photo-ionization rates. Data-model comparisons show the exospheric evolution to be consistent with polar frost diffusion into the surface regolith, which limits surface exposure and loss of the winter frost cap by sputtering. Implied O2 source rates of ∼45(7) × 1021 s-1 at Dione(Rhea) are ∼50(300) times less than expected from known O2 radiolysis yields from ion-irradiated pure water ice measured in the laboratory, ruling out secondary sputtering as a major exospheric contributor, and implying a nanometer scale surface refractory lag layer consisting of concentrated carbonaceous impurities. We estimate ∼30:1(2:1) relative O2:CO2 source rates at Dione(Rhea), consistent with a stoichiometric bulk composition below the lag layer of 0.01(0.13) C atoms per H2O molecule, deriving from endogenic constituents, implanted micrometeoritic organics, and (in particular at Dione) exogenous H2O delivery by E-ring grains. Impact deposition, gardening and vaporization may thereby control the global O2 source rates by fresh H2O ice exposure to surface radiolysis and trapped oxidant ejection.

  4. MESSENGER Searches for Less Abundant or Weakly Emitting Species in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2011-01-01

    Mercury's exosphere is composed of material that originates at the planet's surface, whether that material is native or delivered by the solar wind and micrometeoroids. Many exospheric species have been detected by remote sensing, including H and He by Mariner 10, Na, K, and Ca by ground-based observations, and H, Na, Ca, Mg, and Ca+ by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. Other exospheric species, including Fe, AI, Si, 0, S, Mn, CI, Ti, OH, and their ions, are expected to be present on the basis of MESSENGER surface measurements and models of Mercury's surface chemistry. Here we report on searches for these species made with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) channel of the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS). No obvious signatures of the listed species have yet been observed in Mercury's exosphere by the UVVS as of this writing. It is possible that detections are elusive because the optimum regions of the exosphere have not been sampled. The Sun-avoidance constraints on MESSENGER place tight limits on instrument boresight directions, and some regions are probed infrequently. If there are strong spatial gradients in the distribution of weakly emitting species, a high-resolution sampling of specific regions may be required to detect them. Summing spectra over time will also aid in the ability to detect weaker emission. Observations to date nonetheless permit strong upper limits to be placed on the abundances of many undetected species, in some cases as functions of time and space. As those limits are lowered with time, the absence of detections can provide insight into surface composition and the potential source mechanisms of exospheric material.

  5. Mercury sodium exospheric emission as a proxy for solar perturbations transit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsini, S.; Mangano, V.; Milillo, A.; Plainaki, C.; Mura, A.; Raines, J. M.; Laurenza, M.; De Angelis, E.; Rispoli, R.; Lazzarotto, F.; Aronica, A.

    2017-12-01

    The first evidence at Mercury of direct relation between ICME transit and Na exosphere dynamics is presented, suggesting that Na emission, observed from ground, could be a proxy of planetary space weather at Mercury. The link existing between the dayside exosphere Na patterns and the solar wind-magnetosphere-surface interactions is investigated. This goal is pursued by analyzing the Na intensity hourly images, as observed by the ground-based THEMIS solar telescope (Mangano et al., 2015*) during 10 selected periods between 2012 and 2013 (with seeing, σ 10.1016/j.pss.2015.04.001, 2015.

  6. Mars Exospheric Temperature Trends as Revealed by MAVEN NGIMS Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, Stephen W.; Olsen, Kirk; Roeten, Kali; Bell, Jared; Mahaffy, Paul; Benna, Mehdi; Elrod, Meredith; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-11-01

    The Martian dayside upper thermosphere and exosphere temperatures (Texo) have been the subject of considerable debate and study since the first Mariner ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS) measurements (1969-1972), up to recent Mars Express SPICAM UVS measurements (2004-present) (e.g., see reviews by Stewart 1987; Bougher et al. 2000, 2014; Müeller-Wodarg et al. 2008; Stiepen et al. 2014). Prior to MAVEN, the Martian upper atmosphere thermal structure was poorly constrained by a limited number of both in-situ and remote sensing measurements at selected locations, seasons, and periods scattered throughout the solar cycle. Nevertheless, it is recognized that the Mars orbit eccentricity determines that both the solar cycle and seasonal variations in upper atmosphere temperatures must be considered together. The MAVEN NGIMS instrument measures the neutral composition of the major gas species (e.g. He, N, O, CO, N2, O2, NO, Ar and CO2) and their major isotopes, with a vertical resolution of ~5 km for targeted species and a target accuracy of <25% for most of these species (Mahaffy et al. 2014; 2015). Corresponding temperatures can now be derived from the neutral scale heights (especially CO2, Ar, and N2) (e.g. Mahaffy et al. 2015; Bougher et al. 2015). Texo mean temperatures spanning ~200 to 300 km are examined for both Deep Dip and Science orbits over 11-February 2015 (Ls ~ 290) to 14-July 2015 (Ls ~ 12). During these times, dayside sampling below 300 km occurred from the dusk terminator, across the dayside, and approaching the dawn terminator. NGIMS temperatures are investigated to extract spatial (e.g. SZA) and temporal (e.g. orbit-to-orbit, seasonal, solar rotational) variability and trends over this sampling period. Solar and seasonal driven trends in Texo are clearly visible, but orbit-to-orbit variability is significant, and demands further investigation to uncover the major drivers that are responsible.

  7. LRO-LAMP Observations of the Lunar Exosphere Coordinated with LADEE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grava, C.; Retherford, K. D.; Greathouse, T. K.; Gladstone, R.; Hurley, D.; Cook, J. C.; Stern, S. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Miles, P. F.; Pryor, W. R.; Halekas, J. S.

    2014-12-01

    The polar orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's (LRO) Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) carried out an atmospheric campaign during the month of December 2013, at the same time the Lunar Atmospheric and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission was sampling the lunar exosphere in a retrograde equatorial orbit. Observations of the lunar exosphere were performed by LAMP during a solar "beta-90" geometry, i.e. riding along the lunar terminator. During this geometry, the LAMP nadir-pointed line of sight to the nightside surface also includes illuminated columns of foreground emissions from exospheric species, which is invaluable in the study of the tenuous lunar exosphere. Other types of maneuvers to probe the lunar exosphere were also performed by LAMP/LRO during this campaign. During backward pitch slews, the LRO spacecraft was pitched to look opposite its direction of motion to a point just inside the limb in the nightside region around the polar terminator. Forward pitch slews were also obtained, and the angles of 63 deg or 77 deg from nadir were set depending on the polar region observed. Finally, during lateral roll slews, LRO rotated by ~60 deg towards the nightside limb, maximizing the amount of illuminated atmosphere in the foreground probed by the LAMP field of view. We extract day to day density variations on helium and/or upper limits for numerous other species that were accessible to both LAMP and LADEE (e.g., Ar, Ne, O, and H2). Moreover, constraints on helium density will complement measurements of solar wind alpha particles (He++) from the ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, & Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun) mission. This comparison will provide a comprehensive picture of composition, abundance, and spatial and temporal variations of volatiles of the lunar exosphere, combining equatorial (LADEE) and polar (LAMP) measurements for the first time. Volatiles in the lunar exosphere, especially water, are of paramount

  8. Contributions of solar-wind induced potential sputtering to the lunar surface erosion rate and it's exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alnussirat, S. T.; Barghouty, A. F.; Edmunson, J. E.; Sabra, M. S.; Rickman, D. L.

    2018-04-01

    Sputtering of lunar regolith by solar-wind protons and heavy ions with kinetic energies of about 1 keV/amu is an important erosive process that affects the lunar surface and exosphere. It plays an important role in changing the chemical composition and thickness of the surface layer, and in introducing material into the exosphere. Kinetic sputtering is well modeled and understood, but understanding of mechanisms of potential sputtering has lagged behind. In this study we differentiate the contributions of potential sputtering from the standard (kinetic) sputtering in changing the chemical composition and erosion rate of the lunar surface. Also we study the contribution of potential sputtering in developing the lunar exosphere. Our results show that potential sputtering enhances the total characteristic sputtering erosion rate by about 44%, and reduces sputtering time scales by the same amount. Potential sputtering also introduces more material into the lunar exosphere.

  9. First in-situ observations of exospheric response to CME impact at Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, J. M.; Wallace, K. L.; Sarantos, M.; Jasinski, J. M.; Tracy, P.; Dewey, R. M.; Weberg, M. J.; Slavin, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    We present the first in-situ observations of enhancements to Mercury's He exosphere generated by CME impact. We analyzed both plasma and magnetic field measurements from the Mercury Surface Space Environment, Geochemistry and Mapping (MESSENGER) spacecraft over a 60-hour period as a coronal mass ejection (CME) passed by the planet. We identified the shock, magnetic cloud and cavity regions of the moderate intensity CME while MESSENGER was in the solar wind. Inside the magnetosphere just after the CME shock passage, we observed a very active dayside magnetosphere, as evident from the high flux plasma parcels passing through the dayside and a broad northern magnetospheric cusp with exceptionally high planetary ion content. All of these signatures indicate substantial reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, making conditions that were excellent for solar wind access to Mercury's surface. The CME appeared to have been particularly enriched in He2+, causing the observed density of solar wind He2+ in the cusp to rise above 0.1 cm-3 and putting it in the top 1% of the over 3200 cusps analyzed. As the low-density CME cavity passed over the planet on the next orbit, the magnetosphere appeared much quieter, with smoother magnetic fields and a smaller, less intense northern cusp but with greatly enhanced He+ content. The elevated He+ observed density continued to increase on subsequent cusp crossings, peaking at 0.1 cm-3 36 hours after CME impact, the highest observed throughout the entire MESSENGER mission. We suggest that the enhancement in He+ indicates an increase to the neutral He exosphere density from the He-enriched CME, a phenomenon observed at the moon, possibly acting as follows: Increased access to the surface from CME-enhanced reconnection, combined with high He2+ flux, enhanced surface implantation. Neutral He atoms were then liberated at an increased rate by surface processes supplying the exosphere, causing a gradual increase in He exosphere density. This

  10. Lunar atmosphere. How surface composition and meteoroid impacts mediate sodium and potassium in the lunar exosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colaprete, A; Sarantos, M; Wooden, D H; Stubbs, T J; Cook, A M; Shirley, M

    2016-01-15

    Despite being trace constituents of the lunar exosphere, sodium and potassium are the most readily observed species due to their bright line emission. Measurements of these species by the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVS) on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) have revealed unambiguous temporal and spatial variations indicative of a strong role for meteoroid bombardment and surface composition in determining the composition and local time dependence of the Moon's exosphere. Observations show distinct lunar day (monthly) cycles for both species as well as an annual cycle for sodium. The first continuous measurements for potassium show a more repeatable variation across lunations and an enhancement over KREEP (Potassium Rare Earth Elements and Phosphorus) surface regions, revealing a strong dependence on surface composition. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. MESSENGER observations of the composition of Mercury's ionized exosphere and plasma environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurbuchen, Thomas H; Raines, Jim M; Gloeckler, George; Krimigis, Stamatios M; Slavin, James A; Koehn, Patrick L; Killen, Rosemary M; Sprague, Ann L; McNutt, Ralph L; Solomon, Sean C

    2008-07-04

    The region around Mercury is filled with ions that originate from interactions of the solar wind with Mercury's space environment and through ionization of its exosphere. The MESSENGER spacecraft's observations of Mercury's ionized exosphere during its first flyby yielded Na+, O+, and K+ abundances, consistent with expectations from observations of neutral species. There are increases in ions at a mass per charge (m/q) = 32 to 35, which we interpret to be S+ and H2S+, with (S+ + H2S+)/(Na+ + Mg+) = 0.67 +/- 0.06, and from water-group ions around m/q = 18, at an abundance of 0.20 +/- 0.03 relative to Na+ plus Mg+. The fluxes of Na+, O+, and heavier ions are largest near the planet, but these Mercury-derived ions fill the magnetosphere. Doubly ionized ions originating from Mercury imply that electrons with energies less than 1 kiloelectron volt are substantially energized in Mercury's magnetosphere.

  12. Examining the Combined Saturn and Ring Exosphere/Ionosphere using Cassini's Proximal orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, O. J.; Tseng, W. L.; Johnson, R. E.; Perry, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    Neutral molecules that are emitted from Saturn's exobase (i.e., H2) and the main rings (i.e., H2, O2, H) are a source of material for both the Saturn and ring ionospheres as well as Saturn's magnetosphere (Tseng et al., 2013 [PSS 85 164 - 167]). However, the density gradient of H2 produced from the main rings is very different than that produced by Saturn's exospheric flux due to its emission from the ring plane and distance from Saturn. Cassini measurements obtained during the proximal orbits can likely be used to identify contributions from Saturn and the rings. Here we present results obtained from Monte Carlo models of the Saturn and ring exosphere used to analyze INMS data of neutrals and ions measured along the trajectories of the Proximal orbits. Understanding the sources of neutrals and the concomitant ions can help provide insight about the dynamics occurring in the Saturn system.

  13. High-Resolution Spectroscopic Observations of Potassium Emissions in the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Sarena D.; Oliversen, Ronald J.; Mierkiewicz, Edwin J.; Kuruppuaratchi, Dona Chathuni P.; Derr, Nicholas James; Gallant, Margaret A.; McFarland, Christina G.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2018-01-01

    We investigate lunar exospheric potassium D1 emissions (7698.9646 Å) using high-resolution (R = 180,000 or 1.7 km/s) spectroscopy with our dual-etalon Fabry-Perot instrument to measure line widths and radial velocities. The Field of View (FOV) is 2 arcmins (~224 km at the mean lunar distance of 384,400 km) positioned tangent to the sunlit limb. The FOV placements are at cardinal directions from a variety of reference craters. All observations are collected at the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce Telescope in Kitt Peak, Arizona. The data are from several observations from 2014 through 2017 at various times of the year. Results are produced via a newly created automated data reduction using Python. Python was chosen as an open-source alternative to the previously used IDL and MATLAB scripts to decrease the cost of software licenses and maintenance. The potassium spectral line profiles provide a direct method to track exospheric effective temperatures and velocities. By monitoring the state of the potassium emissions over different lunar phases, solar activity, and the influx of meteor streams, we can constrain physical processes of sources and sinks at the lunar surface. Mechanisms that create the exosphere include photon-stimulated desorption, thermal evaporation, meteoroid impact vaporization, and ion sputtering via solar wind. In contrast, the exosphere is diminished due to the low lunar escape velocity, solar radiation pressure, and neutral gas being ionized and swept away by the interplanetary and terrestrial magnetic field. Preliminary analysis of 2017 data (January through June, excluding February) indicates an average potassium temperature of 1140 K but varying over the range of 550 K to 2000 K. Preliminary results from 2014 data depict a similar range of temperatures to that of 2017. Further analysis is expected for additional data from 2014 to later observations in 2017 that were not included in the initial set of models.

  14. Venus thermosphere and exosphere - First satellite drag measurements of an extraterrestrial atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, G. M.; Tolson, R. H.; Hinson, E. W.

    1979-01-01

    Atmospheric drag measurements obtained from the study of the orbital decay of Pioneer Venus I indicate that atomic oxygen predominates in the Venus atmosphere above 160 kilometers. Drag measurements give evidence that conditions characteristic of a planetary thermosphere disappear near sundown, with inferred exospheric temperatures sharply dropping from approximately 300 K to less than 150 K. Observed densities are generally lower than given by theoretical models.

  15. Temporal Variability of Lunar Exospheric Helium During January 2012 from LRO/LAMP

    OpenAIRE

    Feldman, Paul D.; Hurley, Dana M.; Retherford, Kurt D.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Stern, S. Alan; Pryor, Wayne; Parker, Joel Wm.; Kaufmann, David E.; Davis, Michael W.; Versteeg, Maarten; team, LAMP

    2012-01-01

    We report observations of the lunar helium exosphere made between December 29, 2011, and January 26, 2012, with the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) ultraviolet spectrograph on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission (LRO). The observations were made of resonantly scattered He I 584 from illuminated atmosphere against the dark lunar surface on the dawn side of the terminator. We find no or little variation of the derived surface He density with latitude but day-to-day variations that li...

  16. Reconciling the dawn-dusk asymmetry in Mercury's exosphere with the micrometeoroid impact directionality

    OpenAIRE

    Pokorný, Petr; Sarantos, Menelaos; Janches, Diego

    2017-01-01

    Combining dynamical models of dust from Jupiter Family Comets and Halley-type Comets, we demonstrate that the seasonal variation of the dust/meteoroid environment at Mercury is responsible for producing the dawn-dusk asymmetry in Mercury's exosphere observed by the MESSENGER spacecraft. Our latest models, calibrated recently from ground-based and space-borne measurements, provide unprecedented statistics that enable us to study the longitudinal and latitudinal distribution of meteoroids impac...

  17. On the Origins of Mars' Exospheric Nonthermal Oxygen Component as Observed by MAVEN and Modeled by HELIOSARES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblanc, F.; Chaufray, J. Y.; Modolo, R.; Leclercq, L.; Curry, S.; Luhmann, J.; Lillis, R.; Hara, T.; McFadden, J.; Halekas, J.; Schneider, N.; Deighan, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Benna, M.; Johnson, R. E.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M. A.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B.

    2017-12-01

    The first measurements of the emission brightness of the oxygen atomic exosphere by Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission have clearly shown that it is composed of a thermal component produced by the extension of the upper atmosphere and of a nonthermal component. Modeling these measurements allows us to constrain the origins of the exospheric O and, as a consequence, to estimate Mars' present oxygen escape rate. We here propose an analysis of three periods of MAVEN observations based on a set of three coupled models: a hybrid magnetospheric model (LATmos HYbrid Simulation (LatHyS)), an Exospheric General Model (EGM), and the Global Martian Circulation model of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-GCM), which provide a description of Mars' environment from the surface up to the solar wind. The simulated magnetosphere by LatHyS is in good agreement with MAVEN Plasma and Field Package instruments data. The LMD-GCM modeled upper atmospheric profiles for the main neutral and ion species are compared to Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer/MAVEN data showing that the LMD-GCM can provide a satisfactory global view of Mars' upper atmosphere. Finally, we were able to reconstruct the expected emission brightness intensity from the oxygen exosphere using EGM. The good agreement with the averaged measured profiles by Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph during these three periods suggests that Mars' exospheric nonthermal component can be fully explained by the reactions of dissociative recombination of the O2+ ion in Mars' ionosphere, limiting significantly our ability to extract information from MAVEN observations of the O exosphere on other nonthermal processes, such as sputtering.

  18. Mercury's Exosphere During MESSENGER's Second Flyby: Detection of Magnesium and Distinct Distributions of Neutral Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, William E.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Bradley, E. Todd; Killen, Rosemary M.; Mouawad, Nelly; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Solomon, Sean C.; Izenberg, Noam R.

    2009-01-01

    During MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby, the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer observed emission from Mercury's neutral exosphere. These observations include the first detection of emission from magnesium. Differing spatial distributions for sodium, calcium, and magnesium were revealed by observations beginning in Mercury's tail region, approximately 8 Mercury radii anti-sunward of the planet, continuing past the nightside, and ending near the dawn terminator. Analysis of these observations, supplemented by observations during the first Mercury flyby as well as those by other MESSENGER instruments, suggests that the distinct spatial distributions arise from a combination of differences in source, transfer, and loss processes.

  19. Probing the Martian Exosphere and Neutral Escape Using Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Cravens, T.; Halekas, J. S.; Lillis, R. J.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Thiemann, E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dunn, P.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Espley, J. R.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Soon after the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft started orbiting Mars in September 2014, the SEP (Solar Energetic Particle), SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer), and STATIC (Supra-Thermal and Thermal Ion Composition) instruments onboard the spacecraft started detecting planetary pickup ions. SEP can measure energetic (>50 keV) oxygen pickup ions, the source of which is the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars. Model results show that these pickup ions originate from tens of Martian radii upstream of Mars and are energized by the solar wind motional electric field as they gyrate back towards Mars. SEP is blind to pickup hydrogen, as the low energy threshold for detection of hydrogen in SEP is 20 keV; well above the maximum pickup hydrogen energy, which is four times the solar wind proton energy. SWIA and STATIC, on the other hand, can detect both pickup oxygen and pickup hydrogen with energies below 30 keV and created closer to Mars. During the times when MAVEN is outside the Martian bow shock and in the upstream undisturbed solar wind, the solar wind velocity measured by SWIA and the solar wind (or interplanetary) magnetic field measured by the MAG (magnetometer) instrument can be used to model pickup oxygen and hydrogen fluxes near Mars. Solar wind flux measurements of the SWIA instrument are used in calculating charge-exchange frequencies, and data from the EUVM (Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor) and SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) instruments are also used in calculating photo-ionization and electron impact frequencies of neutral species in the Martian exosphere. By comparing SEP, SWIA, and STATIC measured pickup ion fluxes with model results, the Martian thermal hydrogen and hot oxygen neutral densities can be probed outside the bow shock, which would place constraints on estimates of oxygen and hydrogen neutral escape rates. We will present model-data comparisons of pickup ions measured outside the Martian bow shock. Our analysis reveals an

  20. Imaging the Extended Hot Hydrogen Exosphere at Mars to Determine the Water Escape Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Dolon

    2017-08-01

    ACS SBC imaging of the extended hydrogen exosphere of Mars is proposed to identify the hot hydrogen population present in the exosphere of Mars. Determining the characteristics of this population and the underlying processes responsible for its production are critical towards constraining the escape flux of H from Mars, which in turn is directly related to the water escape history of Mars. Since the hot atoms appear mainly at high altitudes, these observations will be scheduled when Mars is far from Earth allowing us to image the hot hydrogen atoms at high altitudes where they dominate the population. The altitude coverage by HST will extend beyond 30,000 km or 8.8 Martian radii in this case, which makes it perfect for this study as orbiting spacecraft remain at low altitudes (MAVEN apoapse is 6000 km) and cannot separate hot atoms from the thermal population at those altitudes. The observations will also be carried out when Mars is near aphelion, the atmospheric temperature is low, and the thermal population has a small scale height, allowing the clear characterization of the hot hydrogen layer. Another advantage of conducting this study in this cycle is that the solar activity is near its minimum, allowing us to discriminate between changes in the hot hydrogen population from processes taking place within the atmosphere of Mars and changes due to external drivers like the solar wind, producing this non-thermal population. This proposal is part of the HST UV initiative.

  1. Monte Carlo Modeling of Sodium in Mercury's Exosphere During the First Two MESSENGER Flybys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Matthew H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Bradley, E. Todd; McClintock, William E.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Mouawad, Nelly

    2010-01-01

    We present a Monte Carlo model of the distribution of neutral sodium in Mercury's exosphere and tail using data from the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft during the first two flybys of the planet in January and September 2008. We show that the dominant source mechanism for ejecting sodium from the surface is photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) and that the desorption rate is limited by the diffusion rate of sodium from the interior of grains in the regolith to the topmost few monolayers where PSD is effective. In the absence of ion precipitation, we find that the sodium source rate is limited to approximately 10(exp 6) - 10(exp 7) per square centimeter per second, depending on the sticking efficiency of exospheric sodium that returns to the surface. The diffusion rate must be at least a factor of 5 higher in regions of ion precipitation to explain the MASCS observations during the second MESSENGER f1yby. We estimate that impact vaporization of micrometeoroids may provide up to 15% of the total sodium source rate in the regions observed. Although sputtering by precipitating ions was found not to be a significant source of sodium during the MESSENGER flybys, ion precipitation is responsible for increasing the source rate at high latitudes through ion-enhanced diffusion.

  2. Exospheric Neutral Density at the Earth's subsolar magnetopause deduced from the XMM-Newton X-ray observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, H. K.; Carter, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Soft X-rays can be emitted when highly charged solar wind ions and exospheric neutrals exchange electrons. Astrophysics missions, such as XMM-Newton and ROSAT X-ray telescopes, have found that such solar wind charge exchange happens at the Earth's exosphere. The Earth's magnetosphere can be imaged via soft X-rays in order to understand its interaction with solar wind. Consequently, two soft X-ray telescope missions (CuPID and SMILE) are scheduled to launch in 2019 and 2021. They will provide wide field-of-view soft X-ray images of the Earth's dayside magnetosphere. The imagers will track the location and movement of the cusps, magnetopause, and bow shock in response to solar wind variations. To support these missions, an understanding of exospheric neutral density profile is needed. The neutral density is one of the controlling factors of soft X-ray signals. Strong neutral density can help to obtain high-resolution and high-cadence of soft X-ray images. In this study, we estimate the exospheric neutral density at 10 RE subsolar point using XMM X-ray observations, Cluster plasma observations, and OpenGGCM global magnetosphere - ionosphere MHD model. XMM-Newton observes line-of-sight, narrow field-of-view, integrated soft X-ray emissions when it looks through the dayside magnetosphere. OpenGGCM reproduces soft X-ray signals seen by the XMM spacecraft, assuming exospheric neutral density as a function of the neutral density at the 10RE subsolar point and the radial distance. Cluster observations are used to confirm OpenGGCM plasma results. Finally, we deduce the neutral density at 10 RE subsolar point by adjusting the model results to the XMM-Newton soft X-ray observations.

  3. Exospheric density and escape fluxes of atomic isotopes on Venus and Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, M.K.

    1978-01-01

    Energetic neutrals in dissociative recombinations near or above the exobase provided an important component of exospheric density and escape fluxes. Plasma thermal velocities provide the main contribution to the velocity spread and an exact integral for the escape flux applicable in marginal cases is found for a simple atmosphere and collisional cut-off. Atomic fragments from recombination of diatomic oxygen and nitrogen ions in the Venus and Mars atmospheres are examined and density integrals derived. The oxygen escape flux on Mars is half that previously estimated and there is very little isotope preference supplementing diffusive separation. However, escape of the heavier 15 N isotope is low by a factor two. Reinterpretation of its 75% enrichment as detected by Viking leads to a range 0.4-1.4 mbar for the primeval nitrogen content on Mars. (author)

  4. Quantifying Sources, Sinks and Gas-surface Interactions on the Moon from LADEE Measurements of Exospheric Na and K

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colaprete, A.; Sarantos, M.; Poppe, A. R.; Bennett, C.; Orlando, T. M.

    2015-12-01

    We present numerical simulations of the generation and loss of the sodium (Na) and potassium (K) exospheres of the Moon and compare these results to recent LADEE observations. While both species appear to migrate towards the poles like other volatiles, Na resides on the soil and exosphere for one to two months before getting lost to the solar wind or the subsurface. K exhibits a different evolutionary trend: it is lost much more quickly than ionization and sputtering rates allow for, suggesting that it is lost to the ground in just a few bounces. Thus, the two alkalis exhibit very different interactions with the lunar surface. Reproducing the monthly variation exhibited by Na requires higher source rates at Mare, or higher sink rates at Highlands, or a combination of both. The very different behavior of Na on Mare and Highlands soils is reminiscent of laboratory experiments of water binding on Apollo fine soils.

  5. Non-thermal Processes in the Formation of Mercury's Tenuous Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaible, M. J.; Bennett, C.; Jones, B. M.; Orlando, T. M.

    2017-12-01

    Recent observations from the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury have established that a quasi-trapped population of ions and electrons with 1-10 keV energy exists at a distance of about 1.5 RM (RM is Mercury's radius) around much of the planet. Recent observations from the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS), taken groups). The sources of these ions are not clear. A newly developed global kinetic transport model suggests that electron-stimulated desorption (ESD), and possibly light ion stimulated desorption (ISD), can directly yield ions that can be transported and dynamically accelerated to the plasma cusp regions observed by FIPS. Neutrals desorbed from the surface by ESD, ISD, photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) and meteorite impact may also be photoionized and transported/injected into the cusp region. Though the relative importance of these mechanisms in the formation of Mercury's tenuous atmosphere and the subsequent effects on the exosphere/magnetosphere dynamics are not known, it is likely that all of these contribute significantly. The goals of this work are to measure desorption cross-sections and ejection velocities for Na+, O+, and water group ions under relevant electron and ion bombardment energies. This program utilizes state-of-the art surface science capabilities to probe the role of ESD and ISD as a source of ions and neutrals present in the exosphere of Mercury. The experimental chamber is equipped with a dosing system, a cryogenic cooled temperature controlled sample holder, as well as pulsed ion and electron sources. The ESD and ISD ion yields and velocity measurements are obtained directly by sampling with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The measured ESD ion yields from adsorbate covered Mercury surface analogs such as the sulfur bearing minerals MgS, Na2S and K2S are low. Additionally, ISD experiments using incident protons also yielded low ion signals. These results implicate PSD and neutral desorption as dominant processes. The

  6. A Seasonal Feature in Mercury's Exosphere Caused by Meteoroids from Comet Encke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, M. H.; Christou, A.; Killen, R. M.

    2015-12-01

    The planet Mercury is enveloped in a tenuous atmosphere, the result of a delicate balance between poorly understood sources and sinks (Killen et al, 2007). Meteoroid impacts are a contributing source process (eg Wurz et al, 2010), but their importance compared to other production mechanisms is uncertain. Killen and Hahn (2015) found that seasonal variations in Mercury's calcium exosphere as observed by the MASCS spectrometer onboard the MESSENGER spacecraft (Burger et al, 2014) may be due to impact vaporization of surface material by the infall of interplanetary dust. However, an additional dust source was required to explain a Ca excess at a True Anomaly Angle (TAA) of 25±5 deg. Killen and Hahn suggested that dust from comet 2P/Encke, crossing Mercury's orbital plane at TAA=45 deg, may be the culprit. We have simulated numerically the stream of meteoroids ejected from Encke to test the Killen and Hahn conjecture. We find that Encke particles evolving solely under the gravity of the major planets and the Sun encounter Mercury at TAA=50-60 deg, well after the peak of the Ca excess emission. However, the addition of Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag in our model couples the age and size of the meteoroids to the TAA at encounter, causing smaller, older particles to encounter Mercury progressively earlier in the Hermean year. In particular, mm-sized grains ejected between 10 and 20 kyr ago impact on the nightside hemisphere of Mercury at TAA = 350-30 deg, near the observed peak time of the exospheric feature. During this presentation, we will describe our model results and discuss their implications for the physical mechanism that injects impact-liberated Ca into sunlight as well as the origin and evolution of the Encke stream of meteoroids. Astronomical research at the Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL). RMK was supported by NASA Grant NNX07AR78G-S01 as a Participating Scientist on the NASA MESSENGER

  7. A seasonal feature in Mercury’s exosphere caused by meteoroids from comet Encke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Apostolos; Killen, Rosemary M.; Burger, Matthew H.

    2015-11-01

    The planet Mercury is enveloped in a tenuous atmosphere, the result of a delicate balance between poorly understood sources and sinks (Killen et al, 2007). Meteoroid impacts are a contributing source process (eg Wurz et al, 2010), but their importance compared to other production mechanisms is uncertain.Killen and Hahn (2015) found that seasonal variations in Mercury's calcium exosphere as observed by Mercury Atmospheric, and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) onboard the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft (Burger et al, 2014) may be attributed to impact vaporization of surface material by the infall of interplanetary dust. However, an additional dust source was required to explain a Ca excess at a True Anomaly Angle (TAA) of 25±5 deg. Killen and Hahn suggested that dust from comet 2P/Encke, crossing Mercury's orbital plane at TAA=45 deg, may be the culprit.We have simulated numerically the stream of meteoroids ejected from Encke in order to identify those particles that impact Mercury at the present epoch and test the Killen and Hahn conjecture. We find that Encke particles evolving solely under the gravity of the major planets and the Sun encounter Mercury at TAA=50-60 deg, well after the peak of the Ca excess emission. This result is independent of the time of ejection. However, the addition of Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag in our model couples the age and size of the meteoroids to the TAA at encounter, causing smaller, older particles to encounter Mercury progressively earlier in the Hermean year. In particular, mm-sized grains ejected between 10 and 20 kyr ago impact on the nightside hemisphere of Mercury at TAA = 350-30 deg, near the observed peak time of the exospheric feature.During this presentation, we will describe our model results and discuss their implications for the physical mechanism that injects impact-liberated Ca into sunlight as well as the origin and evolution of the Encke stream of

  8. Seasonal variation of Martian pick-up ions: Evidence of breathing exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamauchi, M.; Hara, T.; Lundin, R.; Dubinin, E.; Fedorov, A.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Frahm, R. A.; Ramstad, R.; Futaana, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Barabash, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Mars Express (MEX) Ion Mass Analyser (IMA) found that the detection rate of the ring-like distribution of protons in the solar wind outside of the bow shock to be quite different between Mars orbital summer (around perihelion) and orbital winter (around aphelion) for four Martian years, while the north-south asymmetry is much smaller than the perihelion-aphelion difference. Further analyses using eight years of MEX/IMA solar wind data between 2005 and 2012 has revealed that the detection frequency of the pick-up ions originating from newly ionized exospheric hydrogen with certain flux strongly correlates with the Sun-Mars distance, which changes approximately every two years. Variation due to the solar cycle phase is not distinguishable partly because this effect is masked by the seasonal variation under the MEX capability of plasma measurements. This finding indicates that the variation in solar UV has a major effect on the formation of the pick-up ions, but this is not the only controlling factor.

  9. A Systematic Search for Solar Wind Charge Exchange Emission from the Earth's Exosphere with Suzaku

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishi, D.; Ishikawa, K.; Ezoe, Y.; Ohashi, T.; Miyoshi, Y.; Terada, N.

    2017-10-01

    We report on a systematic search of all the Suzaku archival data covering from 2005 August to 2015 May for geocoronal Solar Wind Charge eXchange (SWCX). In the vicinity of Earth, solar wind ions strip an electron from Earth's exospheric neutrals, emitting X-ray photons (e.g., Snowden et al. 1997). The X-ray flux of this geocoronal SWCX can change depending on solar wind condition and line of sight direction. Although it is an immediate background for all the X-ray astronomy observations, the X-ray flux prediction and the dependence on the observational conditions are not clear. Using the X-ray Imaging Spectrometer onboard Suzaku which has one of the highest sensitivities to the geocoronal SWCX, we searched the data for time variation of soft X-ray background. We then checked the solar wind proton flux taken with the WIND satellite and compared it with X-ray light curve. We also analyzed X-ray spectra and fitted them with a charge exchange emission line model constructed by Bodewits et al. (2007). Among 3055 data sets, 90 data showed SWCX features. The event rate seems to correlate with solar activity, while the distribution of SWCX events plotted in the solar magnetic coordinate system was relatively uniform.

  10. Observations of the Minor Species Al, Fe and Ca(+) in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bida, Thomas A.; Killen, Rosemary M.

    2011-01-01

    We report the first detections of Al and Fe, and strict upper limits for Ca(+) in the exosphere of Mercury, using the HIRES spectrometer at the Keck I telescope. We report observed 4-sigma tangent columns of 1.5x10(exp 7) Al atoms per square centimeter at an altitude of 1220 km (1.5 Mercury radii (R(sub M)) from planet center), and that for Fe of 1.6 x 10 per square centimeter at an altitude of 950 km (1.4 R(sub M)). The observed 3-sigma Ca(+) column was 3.9x10(exp 6) ions per square centimeter at an altitude of 1630 km (1.67 R(sub M). A simple model for zenith column abundances of the neutral species were 9.5 x 10(exp 7) Al per square centimeter, and 3.0 x 10(exp 8) Fe per square centimeter. The observations appear to be consistent with production of these species by impact vaporization with a large fraction of the ejecta in molecular form. The scale height of the Al gas is consistent with a kinetic temperature of 3000 - 9000 K while that of Fe is 10500 K. The apparent high temperature of the Fe gas would suggest that it may be produced by dissociation of molecules. A large traction of both Al and Fe appear to condense in a vapor cloud at low altitudes.

  11. A dynamo theory prediction for solar cycle 22: Sunspot number, radio flux, exospheric temperature, and total density at 400 km

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatten, K. H.; Hedin, A. E.

    1986-01-01

    Using the dynamo theory method to predict solar activity, a value for the smoothed sunspot number of 109 + or - 20 is obtained for solar cycle 22. The predicted cycle is expected to peak near December, 1990 + or - 1 year. Concommitantly, F(10.7) radio flux is expected to reach a smoothed value of 158 + or - 18 flux units. Global mean exospheric temperature is expected to reach 1060 + or - 50 K and global total average total thermospheric density at 400 km is expected to reach 4.3 x 10 to the -15th gm/cu cm + or - 25 percent.

  12. A dynamo theory prediction for solar cycle 22 - Sunspot number, radio flux, exospheric temperature, and total density at 400 km

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatten, K. H.; Hedin, A. E.

    1984-01-01

    Using the 'dynamo theory' method to predict solar activity, a value for the smoothed sunspot number of 109 + or - 20 is obtained for solar cycle 22. The predicted cycle is expected to peak near December, 1990 + or - 1 year. Concommitantly, F(10.7) radio flux is expected to reach a smoothed value of 158 + or - 18 flux units. Global mean exospheric temperature is expected to reach 1060 + or - 50 K and global total average total thermospheric density at 400 km is expected to reach 4.3 x 10 to the -15th gm/cu cm + or - 25 percent.

  13. Solar wind sputtering of small bodies: Exospheres of Phobos and Deimos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaible, M. J.; Johnson, R. E.; Lee, P.; Benna, M.; Elphic, R. C.

    2014-12-01

    Solar wind, magnetospheric ions and micrometeorites impact the surface of airless bodies in the solar system and deposit energy in the surface material. Excitation and momentum transfer processes lead to sputtering or desorption of molecules and atoms, thereby creating a dynamic exosphere about an otherwise airless body. Ion mass spectrometry of ejected materials provides a highly sensitive method for detecting sputter products and determining the surface composition [Johnson and Baragiola, 1991; Elphic et al., 1991]. Though most of the material is sputtered as neutral gas, UV photons can ionize ejected neutrals and a small fraction of the ejecta leaves the surface in an ionized state. However, ions are deflected by the variably-oriented solar wind magnetic field and thus relating their detection to a surface location can be problematic. Here we estimate the average ion density close to the surface of Phobos or Deimos to predict whether modern mass spectrometry instruments [Mahaffey et al. 2014] would be able to obtain sufficient compositional information to place constraints on their origin. The open source Monte Carlo program SRIM.SR was used to simulate the effect of ions incident onto a surface representing several different meteorite compositions and gave estimates of the damage and sputtering effects. As much of the empirical data supporting SRIM results comes from sputtering of metallic and organic molecular targets which can differ greatly from materials that make up planetary surfaces, measurements of cohesive energies and enthalpies of formation were used to estimate the surface binding energies for minerals, though these can vary significantly depending on the chemical composition. Since these properties affect the sputtering yield, comparisons of simulations with laboratory measurements were made to test the validity of our estimates. Using the validated results and a constant fraction to estimate ion yields, the density of ejected ions and neutrals vs

  14. No hydrogen exosphere detected around the super-Earth HD 97658 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrier, V.; Ehrenreich, D.; King, G.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.; Wheatley, P. J.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Pepe, F.; Udry, S.

    2017-01-01

    The exoplanet HD 97658 b provides a rare opportunity to probe the atmospheric composition and evolution of moderately irradiated super-Earths. It transits a bright K star at a moderate orbital distance of 0.08 au. Its low density is compatible with a massive steam envelope that could photodissociate at high altitudes and become observable as escaping neutral hydrogen. Our analysis of three transits with HST/STIS at Lyman-α reveals no such signature, suggesting that the thermosphere of HD 97658 b is not hydrodynamically expanding and is subjected to a low escape of neutral hydrogen (soft X-ray source with signs of chromospheric variability in the Lyman-α line core. We determine an average reference for the intrinsic Lyman-α line and X-EUV (XUV) spectrum of the star, and show that HD 97658 b is in mild conditions of irradiation compared to other known evaporating exoplanets with an XUV irradiation about three times lower than the evaporating warm Neptune GJ436 b. This could be the reason why the thermosphere of HD 97658 b is not expanding: the low XUV irradiation prevents an efficient photodissociation of any putative steam envelope. Alternatively, it could be linked to a low hydrogen content or inefficient conversion of the stellar energy input. The HD 97658 system provides clues for understanding the stability of low-mass planet atmospheres in terms of composition, planetary density, and irradiation. Our study of HD 97658 b can be seen as a control experiment of our methodology, confirming that it does not bias detections of atmospheric escape and underlining its strength and reliability. Our results show that stellar activity can be efficiently discriminated from absorption signatures by a transiting exospheric cloud. They also highlight the potential of observing the upper atmosphere of small transiting planets to probe their physical and chemical properties.

  15. Space Weathering of Super-Earths: Model Simulations of Exospheric Sodium Escape from 61 Virgo b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoneda, M.; Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J. [Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics, Schöneckstraße 6, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany)

    2017-10-01

    Rocky exoplanets are expected to be eroded by space weather in a similar way as in the solar system. In particular, Mercury is one of the dramatically eroded planets whose material continuously escapes into its exosphere and further into space. This escape is well traced by sodium atoms scattering sunlight. Due to solar wind impact, micrometeorite impacts, photo-stimulated desorption and thermal desorption, sodium atoms are released from surface regolith. Some of these released sodium atoms are escaping from Mercury’s gravitational-sphere. They are dragged anti-Sun-ward and form a tail structure. We expect similar phenomena on exoplanets. The hot super-Earth 61 Vir b orbiting a G3V star at only 0.05 au may show a similar structure. Because of its small separation from the star, the sodium release mechanisms may be working more efficiently on hot super-Earths than on Mercury, although the strong gravitational force of Earth-sized or even more massive planets may be keeping sodium atoms from escaping from the planet. Here, we performed model simulations for Mercury (to verify our model) and 61 Vir b as a representative super-Earth. We have found that sodium atoms can escape from this exoplanet due to stellar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts, to form a sodium tail. However, in contrast to Mercury, the tail on this hot super-Earth is strongly aligned with the anti-starward direction because of higher light pressure. Our model suggests that 61 Vir b seems to have an exo-base atmosphere like that of Mercury.

  16. Space Weathering of Super-Earths: Model Simulations of Exospheric Sodium Escape from 61 Virgo b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoneda, M.; Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J.

    2017-01-01

    Rocky exoplanets are expected to be eroded by space weather in a similar way as in the solar system. In particular, Mercury is one of the dramatically eroded planets whose material continuously escapes into its exosphere and further into space. This escape is well traced by sodium atoms scattering sunlight. Due to solar wind impact, micrometeorite impacts, photo-stimulated desorption and thermal desorption, sodium atoms are released from surface regolith. Some of these released sodium atoms are escaping from Mercury’s gravitational-sphere. They are dragged anti-Sun-ward and form a tail structure. We expect similar phenomena on exoplanets. The hot super-Earth 61 Vir b orbiting a G3V star at only 0.05 au may show a similar structure. Because of its small separation from the star, the sodium release mechanisms may be working more efficiently on hot super-Earths than on Mercury, although the strong gravitational force of Earth-sized or even more massive planets may be keeping sodium atoms from escaping from the planet. Here, we performed model simulations for Mercury (to verify our model) and 61 Vir b as a representative super-Earth. We have found that sodium atoms can escape from this exoplanet due to stellar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts, to form a sodium tail. However, in contrast to Mercury, the tail on this hot super-Earth is strongly aligned with the anti-starward direction because of higher light pressure. Our model suggests that 61 Vir b seems to have an exo-base atmosphere like that of Mercury.

  17. Observations of the Minor Species Al and Fe in Mercury's Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bida, Thomas A.; Killen, Rosemary M.

    2016-01-01

    We report here on the first observational evidence of Al and Fe in the exosphere of Mercury, based on measurements of resolved emission lines of these metals with Keck-1/HIRES. Al emission was observed on two separate runs, in 2008 and 2013, with tangent column densities of 3.1 +/- 1.0 and 4.0 +/-1.5 x 10(exp 7) Al atoms cm(exp - 2) at altitudes of 1185 and 1870 km (1.5 and 1.75 R(sub M). The Al radiative intensity was seen to increase where the slit crossed the planetary penumbral shadow, and then decrease monotonically with altitude. Fe emission has been observed once, in 2009, indicating an extended source. We also present observed 3- Sigma Ca(+) upper limits near Mercury's equatorial anti-solar limb, from which an abundance limit of 4.0 x 10(exp 6) cm(exp -2) at 1650 km altitude is derived for the Ca ion. A simple model for zenith column abundances of the neutral species yields 1.9 -5.2 x 10(exp 7) Al cm(exp -2) , and 8.2 x 10(exp 8) Fe cm(exp -2) . The observations appear to be consistent with production of these species by impact vaporization, with a large fraction of the Al ejecta in molecular form, and that for Fe in mixed atomic and molecular forms. The scale height of the Al gas is consistent with a kinetic temperature of 6100-8000 K. The apparent high temperature and low density of the Al gas would suggest that it may be produced by dissociation of molecules.

  18. A Combined Experimental and Modeling Program to Study the Impact of Solar Wind Ions on the Surface and Exosphere of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savin, D. W.; Bostick, B. C.; Domingue, D. L.; Ebel, D. S.; Harlow, G. E.; Killen, R. M.

    2018-05-01

    We aim to improve the interpretation of in-situ and remote-sensing data of Mercury. We will use updated exosphere and spectrophotometric models incorporating new data from lab simulations of solar wind ion irradiation of Mercury’s regolith surface.

  19. Modeling the Impact Ejected Dust Contribution to the Lunar Exosphere: Results from Experiments and Ground Truth from LADEE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermalyn, B.; Colaprete, A.

    2013-12-01

    A considerable body of evidence indicates the presence of lofted regolith dust above the lunar surface. These observations range from multiple in-situ and orbital horizon glow detections to direct measurement of dust motion on the surface, as by the Apollo 17 Lunar Ejecta and Meteorites (LEAM) experiment. Despite this evidence, the specific mechanisms responsible for the lofting of regolith are still actively debated. These include impact ejection, electrostatic lofting, effects of high energy radiation, UV/X- rays, and interplay with solar wind plasma. These processes are highly relevant to one of the two main scientific objectives of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission (due to launch September, 2013): to directly measure the lunar exospheric dust environment and its spatial and temporal variability towards the goal of better understanding the dust flux. Of all the proposed mechanisms taking place on the lunar surface, the only unequivocal ongoing process is impact cratering. Hypervelocity impact events, which mobilize and redistribute regolith across planetary surfaces, are arguably the most pervasive geologic process on rocky bodies. While many studies of dust lofting state that the impact flux rate is orders of magnitude too low to account for the lunar horizon glow phenomenon and discount its contribution, it is imperative to re-examine these assumptions in light of new data on impact ejecta, particularly from the contributions from mesoscale (impactor size on the order of grain size) and macroscale (impactor > grain size) cratering. This is in large part due to a previous lack of data, for while past studies have established a canonical ejecta model for main-stage ejection of sand targets from vertical impacts, only recent studies have been able to begin quantitatively probing the intricacies of the ejection process outside this main-stage, vertical regime. In particular, it is the high-speed early-time ejecta that will reach

  20. On Lunar Exospheric Column Densities and Solar Wind Access Beyond the Terminator from ROSAT Soft X-Ray Observations of Solar Wind Charge Exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Michael R.; Snowden, S. L.; Sarantos, M.; Benna, M.; Carter, J. A.; Cravens, T. E.; Farrell, W. M.; Fatemi, S.; Hills, H. Kent; Hodges, R. R.; hide

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the Rontgen satellite (ROSAT) position sensitive proportional counter soft X-ray image of the Moon taken on 29 June 1990 by examining the radial profile of the surface brightness in three wedges: two 19 deg wedges (one north and one south) 13-32 deg off the terminator toward the dark side and one wedge 38 deg wide centered on the antisolar direction. The radial profiles of both the north and the south wedges show significant limb brightening that is absent in the 38 deg wide antisolar wedge. An analysis of the soft X-ray intensity increase associated with the limb brightening shows that its magnitude is consistent with that expected due to solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) with the tenuous lunar atmosphere based on lunar exospheric models and hybrid simulation results of solar wind access beyond the terminator. Soft X-ray imaging thus can independently infer the total lunar limb column density including all species, a property that before now has not been measured, and provide a large-scale picture of the solar wind-lunar interaction. Because the SWCX signal appears to be dominated by exospheric species arising from solar wind implantation, this technique can also determine how the exosphere varies with solar wind conditions. Now, along with Mars, Venus, and Earth, the Moon represents another solar system body at which SWCX has been observed.

  1. Solar Wind Implantation into Lunar Regolith II: Monte Carlo Simulations of Hydrogen Retention in a Surface with Defects and the Hydrogen (H, H2) Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, O. J.; Farrell, W. M.; Killen, R. M.; Hurley, D. M.

    2018-01-01

    Recently, the near-infrared observations of the OH veneer on the lunar surface by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) have been refined to constrain the OH content to 500-750 parts per million (ppm). The observations indicate diurnal variations in OH up to 200 ppm possibly linked to warmer surface temperatures at low latitude. We examine the M3 observations using a statistical mechanics approach to model the diffusion of implanted H in the lunar regolith. We present results from Monte Carlo simulations of the diffusion of implanted solar wind H atoms and the subsequently derived H and H2 exospheres.

  2. Martian Bow Shock and Magnetic Pile-Up Barrier Formation Due to the Exosphere Ion Mass-Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eojin Kim

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow shock, formed by the interaction between the solar wind and a planet, is generated in different patterns depending on the conditions of the planet. In the case of the earth, its own strong magnetic field plays a critical role in determining the position of the bow shock. However, in the case of Mars of which has very a small intrinsic magnetic field, the bow shock is formed by the direct interaction between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. It is known that the position of the Martian bow shock is affected by the mass loading-effect by which the supersonic solar wind velocity becomes subsonic as the heavy ions originating from the planet are loaded on the solar wind. We simulated the Martian magnetosphere depending on the changes of the density and velocity of the solar wind by using the three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model built by modifying the comet code that includes the mass loading effect. The Martian exosphere model of was employed as the Martian atmosphere model, and only the photoionization by the solar radiation was considered in the ionization process of the neutral atmosphere. In the simulation result under the normal solar wind conditions, the Martian bow shock position in the subsolar point direction was consistent with the result of the previous studies. The three-dimensional simulation results produced by varying the solar wind density and velocity were all included in the range of the Martian bow shock position observed by Mariner 4, Mars 2, 3, 5, and Phobos 2. Additionally, the simulation result also showed that the change of the solar wind density had a greater effect on the Martian bow shock position than the change of the solar wind velocity. Our result may be useful in analyzing the future observation data by Martian probes.

  3. Simulated solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere: influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Modolo

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere is investigated by means of 3-D multi-species hybrid simulations. The influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is examined by comparing two simulations describing the two extreme states of the solar cycle. The hybrid formalism allows a kinetic description of each ions species and a fluid description of electrons. The ionization processes (photoionization, electron impact and charge exchange are included self-consistently in the model where the production rate is computed locally, separately for each ionization act and for each neutral species. The results of simulations are in a reasonable agreement with the observations made by Phobos 2 and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The position of the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is weakly dependent of the solar EUV flux. The motional electric field creates strong asymmetries for the two plasma boundaries.

  4. Sources of Sodium in the Lunar Exosphere: Modeling Using Ground-Based Observations of Sodium Emission and Spacecraft Data of the Plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarantos, Menelaos; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sharma, A. Surjalal; Slavin, James A.

    2009-01-01

    Observations of the equatorial lunar sodium emission are examined to quantify the effect of precipitating ions on source rates for the Moon's exospheric volatile species. Using a model of exospheric sodium transport under lunar gravity forces, the measured emission intensity is normalized to a constant lunar phase angle to minimize the effect of different viewing geometries. Daily averages of the solar Lyman alpha flux and ion flux are used as the input variables for photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) and ion sputtering, respectively, while impact vaporization due to the micrometeoritic influx is assumed constant. Additionally, a proxy term proportional to both the Lyman alpha and to the ion flux is introduced to assess the importance of ion-enhanced diffusion and/or chemical sputtering. The combination of particle transport and constrained regression models demonstrates that, assuming sputtering yields that are typical of protons incident on lunar soils, the primary effect of ion impact on the surface of the Moon is not direct sputtering but rather an enhancement of the PSD efficiency. It is inferred that the ion-induced effects must double the PSD efficiency for flux typical of the solar wind at 1 AU. The enhancement in relative efficiency of PSD due to the bombardment of the lunar surface by the plasma sheet ions during passages through the Earth's magnetotail is shown to be approximately two times higher than when it is due to solar wind ions. This leads to the conclusion that the priming of the surface is more efficiently carried out by the energetic plasma sheet ions.

  5. On the feasibility of studying the exospheres of Earth-like exoplanets by Lyman- α monitoring. Detectability constraints for nearby M stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Ana I. Gómez de; Beitia-Antero, Leire; Ustamujic, Sabina

    2018-04-01

    Observations of the Earth's exosphere have unveiled an extended envelope of hydrogen reaching further than 10 Earth radii composed of atoms orbiting around the Earth. This large envelope increases significantly the opacity of the Earth to Lyman α (Ly α) photons coming from the Sun, to the point of making feasible the detection of the Earth's transit signature from 1.35 pc if pointing with an 8 meter primary mirror space telescope through a clean line of sight ( N H flux variability. We show that, in spite of the interstellar, heliospheric and astrospheric absorption, the transit signature in M5 V type stars would be detectable with a dedicated Ly α flux monitor implemented in a 4-8 m class space telescope. Such monitoring programs would enable measuring the robustness of planetary atmospheres under heavy space weather conditions like those produced by M-type stars. A 2-m class telescope, such as the World Space Observatory, would suffice to detect an Earth-like planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri, if there was such a planet or nearby M5 type stars.

  6. Sodium ion exosphere of Mercury during MESSENGER flybys

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paral, Jan; Trávníček, Pavel M.; Rankin, R.; Schriver, D.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 19 (2010), L19102/1-L19102/5 ISSN 0094-8276 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517; CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : MESSENGER flybys * solar wind sputtering * photo-stimulated desorption Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.505, year: 2010 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL044413/abstract

  7. Effects of the Solar Wind Pressure on Mercury's Exosphere: Hybrid Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travnicek, P. M.; Schriver, D.; Orlando, T. M.; Hellinger, P.

    2017-12-01

    We study effects of the changed solar wind pressure on the precipitation of hydrogen on the Mercury's surface and on the formation of Mercury's magnetosphere. We carry out a set of global hybrid simulations of the Mercury's magnetosphere with the interplanetary magnetic field oriented in the equatorial plane. We change the solar wind pressure by changing the velocity of injected solar wind plasma (vsw = 2 vA,sw; vsw = 4 vA,sw; vsw = 6 vA,sw). For each of the cases we examine proton and electron precipitation on Mercury's surface and calculate yields of heavy ions released from Mercury's surface via various processes (namely: Photo-Stimulated Desorption, Solar Wind Sputtering, and Electron Stimulated Desorption). We study circulation of the released ions within the Mercury's magnetosphere for the three cases.

  8. ROSAT Observations of Solar Wind Charge Exchange with the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Michael R.; Snowden, S. L.; Benna, M.; Carter, J. A.; Cravens, T. E.; Hills, H. Kent; Hodges, R. R.; Kuntz, K. D.; Porter, F. Scott; Read, A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    We analyze the ROSAT PSPC soft X-ray image of the Moon taken on 29 June 1990 by examining the radial profile of the count rate in three wedges, two wedges (one north and one south) 13-32 degrees off (19 degrees wide) the terminator towards the dark side and one wedge 38 degrees wide centered on the anti-solar direction. The radial profiles of both the north and the south wedges show substantial limb brightening that is absent in the 38 degree wide antisolar wedge. An analysis of the count rate increase associated with the limb brightening shows that its magnitude is consistent with that expected due to solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) with the tenuous lunar atmosphere. Along with Mars, Venus, and Earth, the Moon represents another solar system body at which solar wind charge exchange has been observed. This technique can be used to explore the solar wind-lunar interaction.

  9. Comments on "Long-Term Variations of Exospheric Temperature Inferred From foF1 Observations: A Comparison to ISR Ti Trend Estimates" by Perrone and Mikhailov

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shun-Rong; Holt, John M.; Erickson, Philip J.; Goncharenko, Larisa P.

    2018-05-01

    Perrone and Mikhailov (2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024193) and Mikhailov et al. (2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA023909) have recently examined thermospheric and ionospheric long-term trends using a data set of four thermospheric parameters (Tex, [O], [N2], and [O2]) and solar EUV flux. These data were derived from one single ionospheric parameter, foF1, using a nonlinear fitting procedure involving a photochemical model for the F1 peak. The F1 peak is assumed at the transition height ht with the linear recombination for atomic oxygen ions being equal to the quadratic recombination for molecular ions. This procedure has a number of obvious problems that are not addressed or not sufficiently justified. The potentially large ambiguities and biases in derived parameters make them unsuitable for precise quantitative ionospheric and thermospheric long-term trend studies. Furthermore, we assert that Perrone and Mikhailov (2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024193) conclusions regarding incoherent scatter radar (ISR) ion temperature analysis for long-term trend studies are incorrect and in particular are based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the incoherent scatter radar measurement process. Large ISR data sets remain a consistent and statistically robust method for determining long term secular plasma temperature trends.

  10. On lunar exospheric column densities and solar wind access beyond the terminator from ROSAT soft X-ray observations of solar wind charge exchange

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Collier, M. R.; Snowden, S. L.; Sarantos, M.; Benna, M.; Carter, J. A.; Cravens, T. E.; Farrell, W.M.; Fatemi, S.; Hills, H. K.; Hodges, R. R.; Holmstrom, M.; Kuntz, K. D.; Porter, F. S.; Read, A.; Robertson, I. P.; Sembay, S. F.; Sibeck, D. G.; Stubbs, T. J.; Trávníček, Pavel; Walsh, B. M.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 119, č. 7 (2014), s. 1459-1478 ISSN 2169-9097 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : HPC2N * Moon * PSPC * ROSAT * SWCX Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics OBOR OECD: Astronomy (including astrophysics,space science) Impact factor: 3.440, year: 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JE004628/epdf

  11. Interaction of Titan's atmosphere with Saturn's magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartle, R.E.

    1985-01-01

    The Voyager 1 measurements made during the Titan flyby reveal that Saturn's rotating magnetospheric plasma interacts directly with Titan's neutral atmosphere and ionosphere. This results from the lack of an intrinsic magnetic field at Titan. The interaction induces a magnetosphere which deflects the flowing plasma around Titan and forms a plasma wake downstream. Within the tail of the induced magnetosphere, ions of ionospheric origin flow away from Titan. Just outside Titan's magnetosphere, a substantial ion-exosphere forms from an extensive hydrogen-nitrogen exosphere. The exospheric ions are picked up and carried downstream into the wake by the plasma flowing around Titan. Mass loading produced by the addition of exospheric ions slows the wake plasma down considerably in the vicinity of the magnetopause. 36 references

  12. The First Wide-field X-ray Imaging Telescope for Observations of Charge Exchange

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Soft x-ray emission from the interaction of solar wind with the earth's exosphere provides a very significant foreground to all soft x-ray observations. It is...

  13. Reply to comment "On the hydrogen escape: Comment to variability of the hydrogen in the Martian upper atmosphere as simulated by a 3D atmosphere-exosphere coupling by J.-Y. Chaufray et al." by V. Krasnopolsky, Icarus, 281, 262

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M.; Leblanc, F.; Modolo, R.; Hess, S.

    2018-02-01

    Krasnopolsky (2017) makes a careful review of our recent results about the Martian hydrogen content of the Martian upper atmosphere (Chaufray et al., 2015). We comment here on his two major points. First, he suggests that the non-thermal escape of H2, and particularly collisions with hot oxygen, not taken into account in our general circulation model (GCM), should modify our reported H2 and H density profiles. This is an important issue; we acknowledge that future effective coupling of our GCM with comprehensive models of the Martian solar wind interaction, ideally after being validated with the latest plasma observations of H2+, would allow for better estimations of the relative importance of the H2 non-thermal and thermal escape processes. For the time being we need assumptions in the GCM, with proper and regular updates. According to a recent and detailed study of the anisotropic elastic and inelastic collision cross sections between O and H2 (Gacesa et al., 2012), the escape rates used by Krasnopolsky (2010) for this process might be overestimated. We therefore do not include non thermal escape of H2 in the model. And secondly, in response to Krasnopolsky's comment on the H escape variability with the solar cycle, we revised our calculations and found a small bug in the computation of the Jeans effusion velocity. Our revised computed H escape rates are included here. They have a small impact on our key conclusions: similar seasonal variations, a reduced variation with the solar cycle but still larger than Krasnopolsky (2017), and again a hydrogen scape systematically lower than the diffusion-limited flux. This bug does not affect the latest Mars Climate Database v5.2.

  14. Solar cycle variations of geocoronal balmer α emission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nossal, S.; Reynolds, R.J.; Roesler, F.L.; Scherb, F.

    1993-01-01

    Observations of the geocoronal Balmer in nightglow have been made from Wisconsin for more than a solar cycle with an internally consistent intensity reference to standard astronomical nebulae. These measurements were made with a double etalon, pressure-scanned, 15-cm aperture Fabry-Perot interferometer. The resulting long time data provides an opportunity to examine solar cycle influence on the mid-latitude exosphere and to address accompanying questions concerning the degree to which the exosphere is locally static or changing. The exospheric Balmer α absolute intensity measurements reported here show no statistically significant variations throughout the solar cycle when the variation with viewing geometry is removed by normalizing the data to reference exospheric model predictions by Anderson et al. However, the relative intensity dependence on solar depression angle does show a solar cycle variation. This variation suggests a possible related variation in the exospheric hydrogen density profile, although other interpretations are also possible. The results suggest that additional well-calibrated data taken over a longer time span could probe low-amplitude variations over the solar cycle and test predictions of a slow monotonic increase in exospheric hydrogen arising from greenhouse gases. 21 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs

  15. Short-term cyclic variations and diurnal variations of the Venus upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, G. M.; Taylor, F. W.; Nicholson, J. Y.; Hinson, E. W.

    1979-01-01

    The vertical structure of the nighttime thermosphere and exosphere of Venus was discussed. A comparison of the day and nighttime profiles indicates, contrary to the model of Dickinson and Riley (1977), that densities (principally atomic oxygen) dropped sharply from day to night. It was suggested either that the lower estimates were related to cooler exospheric temperatures at night or that the atomic bulge was flatter than expected at lower altitudes. Large periodic oscillations, in both density and inferred exospheric temperatures, were detected with periods of 5 to 6 days. The possibility that cyclic variations in the thermosphere and stratosphere were caused by planetary-scale waves, propagated upward from the lower atmosphere, was investigated using simultaneous temperature measurements obtained by the Venus radiometric temperature experiment (VORTEX). Inferred exospheric temperatures in the morning were found to be lower than in the evening as if the atmosphere rotated in the direction of the planet's rotation, similar to that of earth. Superrotation of the thermosphere and exosphere was discussed as a possible extension of the 4-day cyclic atmospheric rotation near the cloud tops.

  16. Global Distribution of Mercury's Neutrals from MESSENGER Measurements Combined with a Tomographic Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarantos, Menelaos; McClintock, Bill; Vervack, Ron, Jr.; Killen, Rosemary; Merkel, Aimee; Slavin, James; Solomon, Sean C.

    2011-01-01

    The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft entered orbit about Mercury on March 18, 2011. Since then, the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) onboard this spacecraft has been observing Mercury's collisionless exosphere. We present measurements by MESSENGER UVVS of the sodium, calcium, and magnesium distributions that were obtained during multiple passes through the tail over a period of one month. Global maps of the exosphere were constructed daily from such measurements using a recently developed tomographic technique. During this period, Mercury moved towards the Sun from being about 0.44 astronomical units (AU) to approximately 0.32 AU from the Sun. Hence, our reconstructions provide information about the three-dimensional structure of the exosphere, the source processes for these species, and their dependence with orbital distance during the entire in-leg of Mercury's orbit.

  17. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroid Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominque, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Orlando, Thomas M.; Schriver, David; hide

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the composition of Mercury's crust is key to comprehending the formation of the planet. The regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered via a set of space weathering processes. These processes are the same set of mechanisms that work to form Mercury's exosphere, and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of an intrinsic planetary magnetic field. The alterations need to be understood in order to determine the initial crustal compositions. The complex interrelationships between Mercury's exospheric processes, the space environment, and surface composition are examined and reviewed. The processes are examined in the context of our understanding of these same processes on the lunar and asteroid regoliths. Keywords: Mercury (planet) Space weathering Surface processes Exosphere Surface composition Space environment 3

  18. Constraints on water vapor and sulfur dioxide at Ceres: Exploiting the sensitivity of the Hubble Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Lorenz

    2018-05-01

    Far-ultraviolet observations of dwarf-planet (1) Ceres were obtained on several occasions in 2015 and 2016 by the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), both on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We report a search for neutral gas emissions at hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur lines around Ceres from a potential teneous exosphere. No detectable exosphere emissions are present in any of the analyzed HST observations. We apply analytical models to relate the derived upper limits for the atomic species to a water exosphere (for H and O) and a sulfur dioxide exosphere (for S and O), respectively. The H and O upper limits constrain the H2O production rate at the surface to (2 - 4) ×1026 molecules s-1 or lower, similar to or slightly larger than previous detections and upper limits. With low fluxes of energetic protons measured in the solar wind prior to the HST observations and the obtained non-detections, an assessment of the recently suggested sputter-generated water exosphere during solar energetic particle events is not possible. Investigating a sulfur dioxide-based exosphere, we find that the O and S upper limits constrain the SO2 density at the surface to values ∼ 1010 times lower than the equilibrium vapor pressure density. This result implies that SO2 is not present on Ceres' sunlit surface, contrary to previous findings in HST ultraviolet reflectance spectra but in agreement with the absence of SO2 infrared spectral features as observed by the Dawn spacecraft.

  19. Comparative study of ion cyclotron waves at Mars, Venus and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, H. Y.; Russell, C. T.; Zhang, T. L.; Blanco-Cano, X.

    2011-08-01

    Ion cyclotron waves are generated in the solar wind when it picks up freshly ionized planetary exospheric ions. These waves grow from the free energy of the highly anisotropic distribution of fresh pickup ions, and are observed in the spacecraft frame with left-handed polarization and a wave frequency near the ion's gyrofrequency. At Mars and Venus and in the Earth's polar cusp, the solar wind directly interacts with the planetary exospheres. Ion cyclotron waves with many similar properties are observed in these diverse plasma environments. The ion cyclotron waves at Mars indicate its hydrogen exosphere to be extensive and asymmetric in the direction of the interplanetary electric field. The production of fast neutrals plays an important role in forming an extended exosphere in the shape and size observed. At Venus, the region of exospheric proton cyclotron wave production may be restricted to the magnetosheath. The waves observed in the solar wind at Venus appear to be largely produced by the solar-wind-Venus interaction, with some waves at higher frequencies formed near the Sun and carried outward by the solar wind to Venus. These waves have some similarity to the expected properties of exospherically produced proton pickup waves but are characterized by magnetic connection to the bow shock or by a lack of correlation with local solar wind properties respectively. Any confusion of solar derived waves with exospherically derived ion pickup waves is not an issue at Mars because the solar-produced waves are generally at much higher frequencies than the local pickup waves and the solar waves should be mostly absorbed when convected to Mars distance as the proton cyclotron frequency in the plasma frame approaches the frequency of the solar-produced waves. In the Earth's polar cusp, the wave properties of ion cyclotron waves are quite variable. Spatial gradients in the magnetic field may cause this variation as the background field changes between the regions in which

  20. The Gas-Surface Interaction of a Human-Occupied Spacecraft with a Near-Earth Object

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Hurley, D. M.; Poston, M. J.; Zimmerman, M. I.; Orlando, T. M.; Hibbitts, C. A.; Killen, R. M.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's asteroid redirect mission (ARM) will feature an encounter of the human-occupied Orion spacecraft with a portion of a near- Earth asteroid (NEA) previously placed in orbit about the Moon by a capture spacecraft. Applying a shuttle analog, we suggest that the Orion spacecraft should have a dominant local water exosphere, and that molecules from this exosphere can adsorb onto the NEA. The amount of adsorbed water is a function of the defect content of the NEA surface, with retention of shuttle-like water levels on the asteroid at 10(exp 15) H2O's/m2 for space weathered regolith at T approximately 300 K.

  1. Measurement of visible and UV emission from Energetic Neutral Atom Precipitation (ENAP), on Spacelab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinsley, B. A.

    1980-01-01

    The charge exchange of plasmaspheric ions and exospheric H and O and of solar wind ions with exospheric and interplanetary H are sources of precipitating neutrals whose faint emission may be observed by the imaging spectrometric observatory during dark periods of the SL-1 orbit. Measurements of the interactions of these precipitating atoms with the thermosphere are needed to evaluate the heating and ionization effects on the atmosphere as well as the selective loss of i energetic ions from the sources (predominantly the ring current).

  2. Dynamics of electrons and heavy ions in Mercury's magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ip, W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The present investigation of Mercury magnetosphere processes employs simple models for the adiabatic acceleration and convection of equatorially mirroring charged particles, as well as the current sheet acceleration effect and the acceleration of such exospheric ions as that of Na(+) by both electric and magnetic magnetospheric fields near Mercury's surface. The large gyroradii of such heavy ions as those of Na allow surface reimpact as well as magnetopause-interception losses to occur; gyromotion-derived kinetic energy could in the case of the latter process account for the loss of as many as half of the planet's exospheric ions. 27 references

  3. Lunar Riometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Burns, J. O.; Kasper, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent and its behavior over time, including modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the peak plasma density of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of nanometer- to micron-scale dust. The LUNAR consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  4. Contribution to the study of slab thickness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moraitis, G.A.; Rorris, G.P.

    1978-01-01

    A method is proposed for calculating the time-independent values of the equivalent slab thickness of the ionosphere, defined as the ratio of the total electron content to the corresponding maximum electron density of the F region. Periodic variations of slab thickness are studied and are correlated to relative changes in exospheric temperature, deduced from the OGO-6 model

  5. Electron-stimulated desorption of silicates: A potential source for ions in Mercury's space environment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    McLain, J.L.; Sprague, A.L.; Grieves, G.A.; Schriver, D.; Trávníček, Pavel M.; Orlando, T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 116, - (2011), E03007/1-E03007/9 ISSN 0148-0227 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : auger decay * Mercury * Mercury's exosphere * magnetospheric interactions Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.021, year: 2011

  6. Sodium Pick-Up Ion Observations in the Solar Wind Upstream of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinski, J. M.; Raines, J. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Regoli, L. R.; Murphy, N.

    2018-05-01

    We present the first observations of sodium pick-up ions upstream of Mercury’s magnetosphere. From these observations we infer properties of Mercury’s sodium exosphere and implications for the solar wind interaction with Mercury’s magnetosphere.

  7. MAVEN Pickup Ion Constraints on Mars Neutral Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Cravens, T.; Lillis, R. J.; Dunn, P.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Thiemann, E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Espley, J. R.; Eparvier, F. G.

    2017-12-01

    Mars is currently losing its atmosphere mainly due to the escape of neutral hydrogen and oxygen. Directly measuring the rate of escaping neutrals is difficult, because the neutral density in the Mars exosphere is dominated, up to several Martian radii, by atoms that are gravitationally bound to the planet. Neutral atoms in the Martian exosphere, however, can get ionized, picked up, and accelerated by the solar wind motional electric field and energized to energies high enough for particle detectors to measure them. The MAVEN SEP instrument detects O+ pickup ions that are created at altitudes where the escaping part of the exosphere is dominant. Fluxes of these ions reflect neutral densities in the distant exosphere of Mars, allowing us to constrain neutral oxygen escape rates. The MAVEN SWIA and STATIC instruments measure pickup H+ and O+ created closer to Mars; comparisons of these data with models can be used to constrain exospheric hot O and thermal H densities and escape rates. In this work, pickup ion measurements from SEP, SWIA, and STATIC, taken during the first 3 Earth years of the MAVEN mission, are compared to the outputs of a pickup ion model to constrain the variability of neutral escape at Mars. The model is based on data from six MAVEN instruments, namely, MAG providing magnetic field used in calculating pickup ion trajectories, SWIA providing solar wind velocity as well as 3D pickup H+ and O+ spectra, SWEA providing solar wind electron spectrum used in electron impact ionization rate calculations, SEP providing pickup O+ spectra, STATIC providing mass resolved 3D pickup H+ and O+ spectra, and EUVM providing solar EUV spectra used in photoionization rate calculations. A variability of less than a factor of two is observed in hot oxygen escape rates, whereas thermal escape of hydrogen varies by an order of magnitude with Mars season. This hydrogen escape variability challenges our understanding of the H cycle at Mars, but is consistent with other

  8. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE): Initial Science Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphic, R. C.; Hine, B.; Delory, G. T.; Salute, J. S.; Noble, S.; Colaprete, A.; Horanyi, M.; Mahaffy, P.

    2014-01-01

    On September 6, 2013, a near-perfect launch of the first Minotaur V rocket successfully carried NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) into a high-eccentricity geocentric orbit. LADEE arrived at the Moon on October 6, 2013, dur-ing the government shutdown. The spacecraft impact-ed the lunar surface on April 18, 2014, following a completely successful mission. LADEE's science objectives were twofold: (1) De-termine the composition and variability of the lunar atmosphere; (2) Characterize the lunar exospheric dust environment, and its variability. The LADEE science payload consisted of the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX), which sensed dust impacts in situ, for parti-cles between 100 nm and 5 micrometers; a neutral mass spectrometer (NMS), which sampled lunar exo-spheric gases in situ, over the 2-150 Dalton mass range; an ultraviolet/visible spectrometer (UVS) ac-quired spectra of atmospheric emissions and scattered light from tenuous dust, spanning a 250-800 nm wave-length range. UVS also performed dust extinction measurements via a separate solar viewer optic. The following are preliminary results for the lunar exosphere: (1) The helium exosphere of the Moon, first observed during Apollo, is clearly dominated by the delivery of solar wind He++. (2) Neon 20 is clearly seen as an important constituent of the exosphere. (3) Argon 40, also observed during Apollo and arising from interior outgassing, exhibits variations related to surface temperature-driven condensation and release, and is also enhanced over specific selenographic longi-tudes. (4) The sodium abundance varies with both lu-nar phase and with meteoroid influx, implicating both solar wind sputtering and impact vaporization process-es. (5) Potassium was also routinely monitored and exhibits some of the same properties as sodium. (6) Other candidate species were seen by both NMS and UVS, and await confirmation. Dust measurements have revealed a persistent "shroud" of small dust particles

  9. Observation of solar hydrogen Ly-αline with the K-10-12 rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koshio, Takafumi; Masuoka, Toshio; Tono, Ichiro; Watanabe, Norihiko.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of the observation is to perform the absolute irradiance measurement of the solar hydrogen Ly-α line (1216 A 0 ) in the exosphere. The solar hydrogen Ly-α line is emitted from the chromosphere, and contributes to the ionization in the lower ionosphere. The ionization chamber was used for the detection of the solar hydrogen Ly-α line. The K-10-9 rocket was launched on Jan. 18, 1976. The irradiance of the solar hydrogen Ly-α line was measured in the exosphere, and the height distribution of O 2 density was studied on the basis of the absorbancy of the HLy-α line. The result was in good agreement with the previously observed results. (Yoshimori, M.)

  10. Discontinuities and the magnetospheric phenomena

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rajaram, R.; Kalra, G.L.; Tandon, J.N.

    1978-01-01

    Wave coupling at contact discontinuities has an important bearing on the transmission of waves from the solar wind into the magnetosphere across the cusp region of the solar wind-magnetosphere boundary and on the propagation of geomagnetic pulsations in the polar exosphere. Keeping this in view, the problems of wave coupling across a contact discontinuity in a collisionless plasma, described by a set of double adiabatic fluid equations, is examined. The magnetic field is taken normal to the interface and it is shown that total reflection is not possible for any angle of incidence. The Alfven and the magneto-acoustic waves are not coupled. The transmission is most efficient for small density discontinuities. Inhibition of the transmission of the Alfven wave by the sharp density gradients above the F2-peak in the polar exosphere appears to account for the decrease in the pulsation amplitude, on the ground, as the poles are approached from the auroral zone. (author)

  11. Modeling Solar-Wind Heavy-Ions' Potential Sputtering of Lunar KREEP Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barghouty, A. F.; Meyer, F. W.; Harris, R. P.; Adams, J. H., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Recent laboratory data suggest that potential sputtering may be an important weathering mechanism that can affect the composition of both the lunar surface and its tenuous exosphere; its role and implications, however, remain unclear. Using a relatively simple kinetic model, we will demonstrate that solar-wind heavy ions induced sputtering of KREEP surfaces is critical in establishing the timescale of the overall solar-wind sputtering process of the lunar surface. We will also also show that potential sputtering leads to a more pronounced and significant differentiation between depleted and enriched surface elements. We briefly discuss the impacts of enhanced sputtering on the composition of the regolith and the exosphere, as well as of solar-wind sputtering as a source of hydrogen and water on the moon.

  12. The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: scientific objectives and implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Sean C.; McNutt, Ralph L.; Gold, Robert E.; Acuña, Mario H.; Baker, Daniel N.; Boynton, William V.; Chapman, Clark R.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Gloeckler, George; Head, James W., III; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McClintock, William E.; Murchie, Scott L.; Peale, Stanton J.; Phillips, Roger J.; Robinson, Mark S.; Slavin, James A.; Smith, David E.; Strom, Robert G.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-12-01

    Mercury holds answers to several critical questions regarding the formation and evolution of the terrestrial planets. These questions include the origin of Mercury's anomalously high ratio of metal to silicate and its implications for planetary accretion processes, the nature of Mercury's geological evolution and interior cooling history, the mechanism of global magnetic field generation, the state of Mercury's core, and the processes controlling volatile species in Mercury's polar deposits, exosphere, and magnetosphere. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission has been designed to fly by and orbit Mercury to address all of these key questions. After launch by a Delta 2925H-9.5, two flybys of Venus, and two flybys of Mercury, orbit insertion is accomplished at the third Mercury encounter. The instrument payload includes a dual imaging system for wide and narrow fields-of-view, monochrome and color imaging, and stereo; X-ray and combined gamma-ray and neutron spectrometers for surface chemical mapping; a magnetometer; a laser altimeter; a combined ultraviolet-visible and visible-near-infrared spectrometer to survey both exospheric species and surface mineralogy; and an energetic particle and plasma spectrometer to sample charged species in the magnetosphere. During the flybys of Mercury, regions unexplored by Mariner 10 will be seen for the first time, and new data will be gathered on Mercury's exosphere, magnetosphere, and surface composition. During the orbital phase of the mission, one Earth year in duration, MESSENGER will complete global mapping and the detailed characterization of the exosphere, magnetosphere, surface, and interior.

  13. Lunar Riometry: Proof-of-Concept Instrument Package

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K.; Giersch, L.; Burns, J. O.; Farrell, W. M.; Kasper, J. C.; O'Dwyer, I.; Hartman, J.

    2012-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent, the extent of contributions from volatile outgassing from the Moon, and its behavior over time, including response to the solar wind and modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) is based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the vertical extent of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. The instrument concept is simple, consisting of an antenna implemented as a metal deposited on polyimide film and receiver. We illustrate various deployment mechanisms and performance of a prototype in increasing lunar analog conditions. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of dust impactors. The Lunar University Network for Astrophysical Research consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  14. Lunar Atmosphere Probe Station: A Proof-of-Concept Instrument Package for Monitoring the Lunar Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K. P.; Burns, J. O.; Farrell, W. M.; Giersch, L.; O'Dwyer, I. J.; Hicks, B. C.; Polisensky, E. J.; Hartman, J. M.; Nesnas, I.; Weiler, K.; Kasper, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent, the extent of contributions from volatile outgassing from the Moon, and its behavior over time, including response to the solar wind and modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, *in situ*, the vertical extent of the lunar exosphere over time. We provide an update on a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report or commercial ventures. The instrument concept is simple, consisting of an antenna implemented as a metal deposited on polyimide film and receiver. We illustrate various deployment mechanisms and performance of a prototype in increasing lunar analog conditions. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of dust impactors. The Lunar University Network for Astrophysical Research consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Artist's impression of the Lunar Atmosphere Probe Station.

  15. Ecological aspects of the space-rocket technology effect on the magnetosphere and the near space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shushkova, V.B.; Khanan'yan, A.A.

    1991-01-01

    A brief review of the main types of authropogenic contamination of near-Earth space, linked with destruction of space vehicles and propulsion system operation is given. It is mentioned, that fragments of artificial origin including radioactive ones, represent a real danger now, while global changes of the environment (ionosphere exhaustion, exosphere density increase, climatic changes, etc.) can take place under the further intensification of space activity

  16. Kinetic and Potential Sputtering of Lunar Regolith: The Contribution of the Heavy Highly Charged (Minority) Solar Wind Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, F. W.; Barghouty, A. F.

    2012-01-01

    Solar wind sputtering of the lunar surface helps determine the composition of the lunar exosphere and contributes to surface weathering. To date, only the effects of the two dominant solar wind constituents, H+ and He+, have been considered. The heavier, less abundant solar wind constituents have much larger sputtering yields because they have greater mass (kinetic sputtering) and they are highly charged (potential sputtering) Their contribution to total sputtering can therefore be orders of magnitude larger than their relative abundances would suggest

  17. The influence of surface roughness on volatile transport on the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prem, P.; Goldstein, D. B.; Varghese, P. L.; Trafton, L. M.

    2018-01-01

    The Moon and other virtually airless bodies provide distinctive environments for the transport and sequestration of water and other volatiles delivered to their surfaces by various sources. In this work, we conduct Monte Carlo simulations of water vapor transport on the Moon to investigate the role of small-scale roughness (unresolved by orbital measurements) in the migration and cold-trapping of volatiles. Observations indicate that surface roughness, combined with the insulating nature of lunar regolith and the absence of significant exospheric heat flow, can cause large variations in temperature over very small scales. Surface temperature has a strong influence on the residence time of migrating water molecules on the lunar surface, which in turn affects the rate and magnitude of volatile transport to permanently shadowed craters (cold traps) near the lunar poles, as well as exospheric structure and the susceptibility of migrating molecules to photodestruction. Here, we develop a stochastic rough surface temperature model suitable for simulations of volatile transport on a global scale, and compare the results of Monte Carlo simulations of volatile transport with and without the surface roughness model. We find that including small-scale temperature variations and shadowing leads to a slight increase in cold-trapping at the lunar poles, accompanied by a slight decrease in photodestruction. Exospheric structure is altered only slightly, primarily at the dawn terminator. We also examine the sensitivity of our results to the temperature of small-scale shadows, and the energetics of water molecule desorption from the lunar regolith - two factors that remain to be definitively constrained by other methods - and find that both these factors affect the rate at which cold trap capture and photodissociation occur, as well as exospheric density and longevity.

  18. Cassini CAPS Identification of Pickup Ion Compositions at Rhea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, R. T.; Taylor, S. A.; Regoli, L. H.; Coates, A. J.; Nordheim, T. A.; Cordiner, M. A.; Teolis, B. D.; Thomsen, M. F.; Johnson, R. E.; Jones, G. H.; Cowee, M. M.; Waite, J. H.

    2018-02-01

    Saturn's largest icy moon, Rhea, hosts a tenuous surface-sputtered exosphere composed primarily of molecular oxygen and carbon dioxide. In this Letter, we examine Cassini Plasma Spectrometer velocity space distributions near Rhea and confirm that Cassini detected nongyrotropic fluxes of outflowing CO2+ during both the R1 and R1.5 encounters. Accounting for this nongyrotropy, we show that these possess comparable along-track densities of ˜2 × 10-3 cm-3. Negatively charged pickup ions, also detected during R1, are surprisingly shown as consistent with mass 26 ± 3 u which we suggest are carbon-based compounds, such as CN-, C2H-, C2-, or HCO-, sputtered from carbonaceous material on the moon's surface. The negative ions are calculated to possess along-track densities of ˜5 × 10-4 cm-3 and are suggested to derive from exogenic compounds, a finding consistent with the existence of Rhea's dynamic CO2 exosphere and surprisingly low O2 sputtering yields. These pickup ions provide important context for understanding the exospheric and surface ice composition of Rhea and of other icy moons which exhibit similar characteristics.

  19. Elemental Mercury Diffusion Processes and Concentration at the Lunar Poles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moxley, Frederick; Killen, Rosemary M.; Hurley, Dana M.

    2011-01-01

    In 2009, the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) spectrograph onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft made the first detection of element mercury (Hg) vapor in the lunar exosphere after the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Centaur rocket impacted into the Cabeus crater in the southern polar region of the Moon. The lunar regolith core samples from the Apollo missions determined that Hg had a devolatilized pattern with a concentration gradient increasing with depth, in addition to a layered pattern suggesting multiple episodes of burial and volatile loss. Hg migration on the lunar surface resulted in cold trapping at the poles. We have modeled the rate at which indigenous Hg is lost from the regolith through diffusion out of lunar grains. We secondly modeled the migration of Hg vapor in the exosphere and estimated the rate of cold-trapping at the poles using a Monte Carlo technique. The Hg vapor may be lost from the exosphere via ionization, Jeans escape, or re-impact into the surface causing reabsorption.

  20. The Big Picture: Imaging of the Global Geospace Environment by the TWINS Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, J.; McComas, D. J.

    2018-03-01

    Encircling our planet at distances of 2.5 to 8 Earth radii is a dynamic plasma population known as the ring current (RC). During geomagnetic storms, the solar wind's interaction with Earth's magnetic field pumps petaJoules of energy into the RC, energizing and transporting particles. To measure the global geospace response, RC imaging is performed by capturing energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) created by charge exchange between geospace ions and the neutral exosphere. The H exosphere is itself imaged via its geocoronal Lyman-α glow. Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) is a stereoscopic ENA and Lyman-α imaging mission that has recorded the deep minimum of solar cycle (SC) 23 and the moderate maximum of SC 24, observing geospace conditions ranging from utterly quiet to major storms. This review covers TWINS studies of the geospace response published during 2013 to 2017. Stereo ENA imaging has revealed new dimensionality and structure of RC ions. Continuous coverage by two imagers has allowed monitoring storms from start to finish. Deconvolution of the low-altitude signal has extended ENA analysis and revealed causal connections between the trapped and precipitating ion populations. ENA-based temperature and composition analyses have been refined, validated, and applied to an unprecedented sequence of solar activity changes in SC 23 and SC 24. Geocoronal imaging has revealed a surprising amount of time variability and structure in the neutral H exosphere, driven by both Sun and solar wind. Global models have been measurably improved. Routine availability of simultaneous in situ measurements has fostered huge leaps forward in the areas of ENA validation and cross-scale studies.

  1. Collecting the Puzzle Pieces: Completing HST's UV+NIR Survey of the TRAPPIST-1 System ahead of JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien

    2017-08-01

    Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, our team has discovered 7 Earth-sized planets around the nearby Ultra-cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. These planets are the first to be simultaneously Earth-sized, temperate, and amenable for in-depth atmospheric studies with space-based observatories (notably, JWST). TRAPPIST-1's system thus provides us with the first opportunity to probe the atmospheres of Earth-sized exoplanets and search for signs of habitability beyond our solar system, which will require spectral information from the UV to the IR to complete their atmospheric puzzles.We request 114 HST orbits to complete the UV+NIR survey of the 7 planets in preparation for their in-depth followup with JWST. The suggested low-density of the planets combined with their complex orbital resonance chain indicate that they migrated inward to their current positions and may harbor large water rich reservoir or leftover primordial H2 atmospheres. We have already ruled out the presence of clear H2 atmospheres for the 5 innermost planets using WFC3 and are requesting 16 WFC3 orbits to complete the TRAPPIST-1 NIR reconnaissance survey. Our primary request consists in 98 STIS orbits to complete the survey for extended H-exospheres around each of the planets. H-exospheres are the most accessible observables for volatile reservoirs, which have not been ruled out by our WFC3 observations. Exosphere detection is only amenable using HST unique capabilities in the UV and are pivotal to guide JWST's in-depth followup. The combined information from HST's UV and NIR observations will allow us put the first critical pieces of the atmospheric puzzle in place for these temperate earth-sized worlds.

  2. The search for active Europa plumes in Galileo plasma particle detector data: the E12 flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huybrighs, H.; Roussos, E.; Krupp, N.; Fraenz, M.; Futaana, Y.; Barabash, S. V.; Glassmeier, K. H.

    2017-12-01

    Hubble Space Telescope observations of Europa's auroral emissions and transits in front of Jupiter suggest that recurring water vapour plumes originating from Europa's surface might exist. If conclusively proven, the discovery of these plumes would be significant, because Europa's potentially habitable ocean could be studied remotely by taking in-situ samples of these plumes from a flyby mission. The first opportunity to collect in-situ evidence of the plumes will not arise before the early 2030's when ESA's JUICE mission or NASA's Europa Clipper are set to arrive. However, it may be possible that NASA's Galileo mission has already encountered the plumes when it was active in the Jupiter system from 1995 to 2003. It has been suggested that the high plasma densities and anomalous magnetic fields measured during one of the Galileo flybys of Europa (flyby E12) could be connected to plume activity. In the context of the search for Europa plume signatures in Galileo particle data we present an overview of the in-situ plasma particle data obtained by the Galileo spacecraft during the E12 flyby. Focus is in particular on the data obtained with the plasma particle instruments PLS (low energy ions and electrons) and EPD (high energy ions and electrons). We search for signs of an extended exosphere/ionosphere that could be consistent with ongoing plume activity. The PLS data obtained during the E12 flyby show an extended interaction region between Europa and the plasma from Jupiter's magnetosphere, hinting at the existence of an extended ionosphere and exosphere. Furthermore we show how the EPD data are analyzed and modelled in order to evaluate whether a series of energetic ion depletions can be attributed to losses on the moon's surface or its neutral exosphere.

  3. A Reexamination of Deuterium Fractionation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathare, A.; Paige, D. A.

    1997-07-01

    The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the Martian atmosphere is enhanced by a factor of 5 with respect to the terrestrial value, probably due to fractionation associated with thermal Jeans escape from the top of the atmosphere. Theoretical analyses of the relative efficiency of H and D escape have suggested that the deuterium enrichment implies Mars has outgassed the vast majority of its H2O and that the Martian atmosphere is presently not exchanging water with a juvenile reservoir. However, measurements of high and variable D/H values within hydrous minerals in SNC meteorites strongly suggest that mixing between the atmosphere and juvenile water has taken place. Furthermore, the lack of any observed enrichment of atmospheric (18) O with respect to (16) O, in spite of fractionating nonthermal escape mechanisms, indicates buffering by some juvenile source of oxygen, most probably in the form of a surface or subsurface reservoir of water. We propose that this apparent paradox in the interpretation of isotopic hydrogen and oxygen fractionation --or lack thereof-- can be resolved by re-examining the standard model of deuterium fractionation efficiency on Mars. Specifically, we demonstrate the importance of using upper atmospheric temperatures more representative of the range experienced by the Martian exosphere over the course of the solar cycle. Preliminary calculations involving changes in effusion velocity and diffusive separation as a function of exospheric temperature indicate that incorporating these more representative lower exospheric temperatures will reduce the relative efficiency of D escape, in which case the observed enrichment of deuterium can indeed result from exchange with a juvenile source of water. We are in the process of confirming these computations with a one-dimensional upper atmospheric photochemical model that considers the effects of changing solar activity and exospheric temperature on ionospheric composition. If our initial calculations are

  4. Planet Mercury Conference, Tucson, AZ, Aug. 6-9, 1986, Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1987-01-01

    The present conference discusses the mass, gravity field, and ephemeris of the planet Mercury, the vulcanoid hypothesis for the chronology of Mercury's geological and geophysical evolution, the Mercurian crater-filling classes that constrain the intercrater plains material emplacement process, and the wavelength and longitude dependence of Mercury polarization. Also discussed are an analysis of the Mariner 10 color radio map of Mercury, Mercury's magnetosphere, exosphere, and surface, the dynamics of electrons and heavy ions in the Mercury magnetosphere, electron measurements and substorm time scales in the Mercury and earth magnetospheres, Mercury's sodium variations with solar radiation pressure, and appulses and occultations of SAO stars by Mercury in the 1987-1995 period

  5. Numerical prediction of 239Pu migration in unsaturated porous media under infiltration scenario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Dongxu; Si Gaohua; Wang Qinghai; Yu Jing

    2011-01-01

    In terms of the study on site selection of a radioactive waste disposal repository in northwest China, a numerical prediction of 239 Pu migration for potential groundwater pollution in the unsaturated zone was conducted with the HYDRUS-1D model. The results showed that the groundwater will not be contaminated by the migration of soluble 239 Pu. And there is little possibility that 239 Pu migration through groundwater path might have an unacceptable impact on exosphere. Measurements of the distribution coefficient, K d , are critical in the determination of sorption-induced retardation of radionuclide transport. (authors)

  6. On magnetospheric electron impact ionisation and dynamics in Titan's ram-side and polar ionosphere – a Cassini case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. R. Lewis

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available We present data from the sixth Cassini flyby of Titan (T5, showing that the magnetosphere of Saturn strongly interacts with the moon's ionosphere and exo-ionosphere. A simple electron ionisation model provides a reasonable agreement with the altitude structure of the ionosphere. Furthermore, we suggest that the dense and cold exo-ionosphere (from the exobase at 1430 km and outward to several Titan radii from the surface can be explained by magnetospheric forcing and other transport processes whereas exospheric ionisation by impacting low energy electrons seems to play a minor role.

  7. MESSENGER Observations of the Spatial Distribution of Planetary Ions Near Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Raines, Jim M.; Slavin, James A.; Gershman, Daniel J.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Gloeckler, George; Anderson, Brian J.; Baker, Daniel N.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Global measurements by MESSENGER of the fluxes of heavy ions at Mercury, particularly sodium (Na(+)) and oxygen (O(+)), exhibit distinct maxima in the northern magnetic-cusp region, indicating that polar regions are important sources of Mercury's ionized exosphere, presumably through solar-wind sputtering near the poles. The observed fluxes of helium (He(+)) are more evenly distributed, indicating a more uniform source such as that expected from evaporation from a helium-saturated surface. In some regions near Mercury, especially the nightside equatorial region, the Na(+) pressure can be a substantial fraction of the proton pressure.

  8. Dynamic Planet Mercury in the Context of Its Environment

    CERN Document Server

    Clark, Pamela Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    We are in a time of transition in our understanding of Mercury. Of particular interest here is the emerging picture of the planet as a system, with interactions between interior, surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere that have influenced and constrained the evolution of each part of the system. Previous books have emphasized the results of Mariner 10 and current ground-based measurements, with very little discussion of the nature and influence of the magnetosphere. This book will present the planet in the context of its surroundings, thus providing a foundation for the next major influx of information from Mercury and contributing to the planning for future missions.

  9. Properties of the mesosphere and thermosphere and comparison with CIRA 72

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champion, K. S. W.

    Exospheric temperatures of several reference atmosphere are reviewed and a recommendation is made for the exospheric temperature of a proposed mean CIRA. One of the deficiencies of CIRA 72 and other present thermospheric models is the representation of density changes with geomagnetic activity. This deficiency is illustrated with samples of data. The data show the effects of geomagnetic activity, particle precipitation, a solar proton event, and gravity waves. An empirical model developed from the unique AFGL satellite density data bank using multiple linear regression is reviewed. The present model is for low to moderate solar flux and quiet geomagnetic conditions, but it is planned to extend the model to active conditions. Good progress has been made since CIRA 72 was specified in our knowledge and understanding of the properties of the lower thermosphere, although there are still some unresolved problems. The biggest progress has been made in the theory of tidal effects and of particulate energy deposition and of electrojet heating. On the other hand, it is still not possible to define adequately the systematic variations of the lower boundary conditions of thermospheric models. This is due to lack of knowledge of the systematic variations of the structure properties in the 100 to 120 km altitude region and inadequate information on the mesospheric turbulence profile and variations in the turbopause altitude.

  10. Soft X-ray imaging techniques for calculating the Earth's dayside boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Hyunju; Kuntz, Kip; Sibeck, David; Collier, Michael; Aryan, Homayon; Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella; Collado-Vega, Yaireska; Porter, Frederick; Purucker, Michael; Snowden, Steven; Raeder, Joachim; Thomas, Nicholas; Walsh, Brian

    2016-04-01

    Charged particles and neutral atoms exchange electrons in many space plasma venues. Soft X-rays are emitted when highly charged solar wind ions, such as C6+. O7+, and Fe13+, interact with Hydrogen and Helium atoms. Soft X-ray images can be a powerful technique to remotely probe the plasma and neutral density structures created when the solar wind interacts with planetary exospheres, such as those at the Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus, and comets. The recently selected ESA-China joint spacecraft mission, "Solar wind - Magnetosphere - Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE)" will have a soft X-ray imager on board and provide pictures of the Earth's dayside system after its launch in 2021. In preparation for this future mission, we simulate soft X-ray images of the Earth's dayside system, using the OpenGGCM global magnetosphere MHD model and the Hodges model of the Earth's exosphere. Then, we discuss techniques to determine the location of the Earth's dayside boundaries (bow shock and magnetopause) from the soft X-ray images.

  11. The effects of spacecraft charging and outgassing on the LADEE ion measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Lianghai; Zhang, Xiaoping; Zheng, Yongchun; Guo, Dawei

    2017-05-01

    Abnormal ion signals can be usually seen in the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission, including a suddenly enhanced current observed by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) near the sunlight-shadow boundary and an unexpected water ion measured by the neutral mass spectrometer (NMS), with their magnitudes insensitive to the convection electric field of solar wind but dependent on the SW density and the elapsed time of LADEE mission. By analyzing both the LDEX measurements and the NMS measurements, we find that the current enhancement can be caused by a negatively charged spacecraft in the shadow region while the significant water ions should be some artificial ions from spacecraft outgassing. The artificial water ions show a peak near 8:00 LT that may be related to a sunlight-controlled surface outgassing. In addition, the H2O flux can be enhanced near the end of the mission when the spacecraft has a lower altitude. It is found that the H2O enhancement is actually caused by an exosphere-contributed return flux, rather than a real water exosphere.

  12. High Resolution Integral Field Spectroscopy of Europa's Sodium Clouds: Evidence for a Component with Origins in Iogenic Plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, C.; Johnson, R. E.; Mendillo, M.; Baumgardner, J. L.; Moore, L.; O'Donoghue, J.; Leblanc, F.

    2015-12-01

    With the object of constraining Iogenic contributions and identifying drivers for variability, we report new observations of neutral sodium in Europa's exosphere. An R~20000 integral field spectrograph at McDonald Observatory is used to generate Doppler maps of sodium cloud structures with a resolution of 2.8 km/s/pixel. In the five nights of observations since 2011, measurements on UT 6.15-6.31 May 2015 uniquely feature fast (10s of km/s) neutral sodium clouds extending nearly 100 Europa radii, more distant than in any previous findings. During these measurements, the satellite geometry was favorable for the transfer of Na from Io to Europa, located at 1:55 to 4:00 and 3:38 to 4:39 Jovian local time, respectively. Eastward emission (away from Jupiter) extends 10-20 Europa radii retaining the moon's rest velocity, while westward emission blue-shifts with distance, and a broad range of velocities are measured, reaching at least 70 km/s at 80 Europa radii. These cloud features are distinct from Io's "banana" and "stream" features, the distant Jupiter-orbiting nebula, and from terrestrial OH and Na contaminant emissions. Io's production was quiescent during this observation, following an extremely active phase in February 2015. These results are consistent with previous findings that Europa's Na exosphere has peak emission between midnight and dawn Jovian local time and support the idea that sodium escape from Io can significantly enhance the emission intensity measured at Europa.

  13. Evidence for Neutrals-Foreshock Electrons Impact at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazelle, C. X.; Meziane, K.; Mitchell, D. L.; Garnier, P.; Espley, J. R.; Hamza, A. M.; Halekas, J.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2018-05-01

    Backstreaming electrons emanating from the bow shock of Mars reported from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN/Solar Wind Electron Analyzer observations show a flux fall off with the distance from the shock. This feature is not observed at the terrestrial foreshock. The flux decay is observed only for electron energy E ≥ 29 eV. A reported recent study indicates that Mars foreshock electrons are produced at the shock in a mirror reflection of a portion of the solar wind electrons. In this context, and given that the electrons are sufficiently energetic to not be affected by the interplanetary magnetic field fluctuations, the observed flux decrease appears problematic. We investigate the possibility that the flux fall off with distance results from the impact of backstreaming electrons with Mars exospheric neutral hydrogen. We demonstrate that the flux fall off is consistent with the electron-atomic hydrogen impact cross section for a large range of energy. A better agreement is obtained for energy where the impact cross section is the highest. One important consequence is that foreshock electrons can play an important role in the production of pickup ions at Mars far exosphere.

  14. Polar heating in Saturn's thermosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. A. Smith

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available A 3-D numerical global circulation model of the Kronian thermosphere has been used to investigate the influence of polar heating. The distributions of temperature and winds resulting from a general heat source in the polar regions are described. We show that both the total energy input and its vertical distribution are important to the resulting thermal structure. We find that the form of the topside heating profile is particularly important in determining exospheric temperatures. We compare our results to exospheric temperatures from Voyager occultation measurements (Smith et al., 1983; Festou and Atreya, 1982 and auroral H3+ temperatures from ground-based spectroscopic observations (e.g. Miller et al., 2000. We find that a polar heat source is consistent with both the Smith et al. determination of T∞~400 K at ~30° N and auroral temperatures. The required heat source is also consistent with recent estimates of the Joule heating rate at Saturn (Cowley et al., 2004. However, our results show that a polar heat source can probably not explain the Festou and Atreya determination of T∞~800 K at ~4° N and the auroral temperatures simultaneously. Keywords. Ionosphere (Planetary ionosphere – Magnetospherica physics (Planetary magnetospheres – Meterology and atmospheric dynamics (Thermospheric dynamics

  15. Polar heating in Saturn's thermosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. A. Smith

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available A 3-D numerical global circulation model of the Kronian thermosphere has been used to investigate the influence of polar heating. The distributions of temperature and winds resulting from a general heat source in the polar regions are described. We show that both the total energy input and its vertical distribution are important to the resulting thermal structure. We find that the form of the topside heating profile is particularly important in determining exospheric temperatures. We compare our results to exospheric temperatures from Voyager occultation measurements (Smith et al., 1983; Festou and Atreya, 1982 and auroral H3+ temperatures from ground-based spectroscopic observations (e.g. Miller et al., 2000. We find that a polar heat source is consistent with both the Smith et al. determination of T~400 K at ~30° N and auroral temperatures. The required heat source is also consistent with recent estimates of the Joule heating rate at Saturn (Cowley et al., 2004. However, our results show that a polar heat source can probably not explain the Festou and Atreya determination of T~800 K at ~4° N and the auroral temperatures simultaneously.

    Keywords. Ionosphere (Planetary ionosphere – Magnetospherica physics (Planetary magnetospheres – Meterology and atmospheric dynamics (Thermospheric dynamics

  16. Remote Sensing the Thermosphere's State Using Emissions From Carbon Dioxide and Nitric Oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimer, D. R.; Mlynczak, M. G.; Doornbos, E.

    2017-12-01

    Measurements of emissions from nitric oxide and carbon dioxide in the thermosphere have strong correlations with properties that are very useful to the determination of thermospheric densities. We have compared emissions measured with the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument on the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite with neutral density measurements from the Challenging Mini-satellite Payload (CHAMP), the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), the Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), and the three Swarm satellites, spanning a time period of over 15 years. It has been found that nitric oxide emissions match changes in the exospheric temperatures that have been derived from the densities through use of the Naval Reasearch Laboratory Mass Spectrometer, Incoherent Scatter Radar Extended Model (NRLMSISE-00) thermosphere model. Similarly, our results indicate that the carbon dioxide emissions have annual and semiannual oscillations that correlate with changes in the amount of oxygen in the thermosphere, also determined by use of the NRLMSISE-00 model. These annual and semi-annual variations are found to have irregular amplitudes and phases, which make them very difficult to accurately predict. Prediction of exospheric temperatures through the use of geomagnetic indices also tends to be inexact. Therefore, it would be possible and very useful to use measurements of the thermosphere's infrared emissions for real-time tracking of the thermosphere's state, so that more accurate calculations of the density may be obtained.

  17. The Venus flybys opportunity with BEPICOLOMBO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangano, Valeria; de la Fuente, Sara; Montagnon, Elsa; Benkhoff, Johannes; Zender, Joe; Orsini, Stefano

    2017-04-01

    BepiColombo is a dual spacecraft mission to Mercury to be launched in October 2018 and carried out jointly between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) payload comprises eleven experiments and instrument suites. It will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will test Einstein's theory of general relativity. The second spacecraft, the Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter (MMO), will carry five experiments or instrument suites to study the environment around the planet including the planet's exosphere and magnetosphere, and their interaction processes with the solar wind. The composite spacecraft made of MPO, MMO, a transfer module (MTM) and a sunshield (MOSIF) will be launched on an escape trajectory that will bring it into heliocentric orbit on its way to Mercury. During the cruise of 7.2 years toward the inner part of the Solar System, BepiColombo will make 1 flyby to the Earth, 2 to Venus, and 6 to Mercury. Only part of its payload will be obstructed by the sunshield and the cruise spacecraft configuration, so that the two flybys to Venus will allow operations of many instruments, like: spectrometers at many wavelengths, accelerometer, radiometer, ion and electron detectors. A scientific working group has recently formed from the BepiColombo community to identify potentially interesting scientific cases and to analyse operation timelines. Preliminary outputs will be presented and discussed.

  18. Theoretical UV absorption spectra of hydrodynamically escaping O{sub 2}/CO{sub 2}-rich exoplanetary atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gronoff, G.; Mertens, C. J.; Norman, R. B. [NASA LaRC, Hampton, VA (United States); Maggiolo, R. [BIRA-IASB, Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180 Brussels (Belgium); Wedlund, C. Simon [Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering Department of Radio Science and Engineering, P.O. Box 13000, FI-00076 Aalto (Finland); Bell, J. [National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA (United States); Bernard, D. [IPAG, Grenoble (France); Parkinson, C. J. [University of Michigan, MI (United States); Vidal-Madjar, A., E-mail: Guillaume.P.Gronoff@nasa.gov [Observatoire de Paris, Paris (France)

    2014-06-20

    Characterizing Earth- and Venus-like exoplanets' atmospheres to determine if they are habitable and how they are evolving (e.g., equilibrium or strong erosion) is a challenge. For that endeavor, a key element is the retrieval of the exospheric temperature, which is a marker of some of the processes occurring in the lower layers and controls a large part of the atmospheric escape. We describe a method to determine the exospheric temperature of an O{sub 2}- and/or CO{sub 2}-rich transiting exoplanet, and we simulate the respective spectra of such a planet in hydrostatic equilibrium and hydrodynamic escape. The observation of hydrodynamically escaping atmospheres in young planets may help constrain and improve our understanding of the evolution of the solar system's terrestrial planets' atmospheres. We use the dependency of the absorption spectra of the O{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} molecules on the temperature to estimate the temperature independently of the total absorption of the planet. Combining two observables (two parts of the UV spectra that have a different temperature dependency) with the model, we are able to determine the thermospheric density profile and temperature. If the slope of the density profile is inconsistent with the temperature, then we infer the hydrodynamic escape. We address the question of the possible biases in the application of the method to future observations, and we show that the flare activity should be cautiously monitored to avoid large biases.

  19. Theoretical UV absorption spectra of hydrodynamically escaping O2/CO2-rich exoplanetary atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gronoff, G.; Mertens, C. J.; Norman, R. B.; Maggiolo, R.; Wedlund, C. Simon; Bell, J.; Bernard, D.; Parkinson, C. J.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    2014-01-01

    Characterizing Earth- and Venus-like exoplanets' atmospheres to determine if they are habitable and how they are evolving (e.g., equilibrium or strong erosion) is a challenge. For that endeavor, a key element is the retrieval of the exospheric temperature, which is a marker of some of the processes occurring in the lower layers and controls a large part of the atmospheric escape. We describe a method to determine the exospheric temperature of an O 2 - and/or CO 2 -rich transiting exoplanet, and we simulate the respective spectra of such a planet in hydrostatic equilibrium and hydrodynamic escape. The observation of hydrodynamically escaping atmospheres in young planets may help constrain and improve our understanding of the evolution of the solar system's terrestrial planets' atmospheres. We use the dependency of the absorption spectra of the O 2 and CO 2 molecules on the temperature to estimate the temperature independently of the total absorption of the planet. Combining two observables (two parts of the UV spectra that have a different temperature dependency) with the model, we are able to determine the thermospheric density profile and temperature. If the slope of the density profile is inconsistent with the temperature, then we infer the hydrodynamic escape. We address the question of the possible biases in the application of the method to future observations, and we show that the flare activity should be cautiously monitored to avoid large biases.

  20. Sputtering analysis of silicates by XY-TOF-SIMS: Astrophysical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Rafael; Langlinay, Thomas; Ponciano, Cassia; da Silveira, Enio F.; Palumbo, Maria Elisabetta; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R.; Hijazi, Hussein; Boduch, Philippe; Cassimi, Amine; Domaracka, Alicja; Ropars, Frédéric; Rothard, Hermann

    2015-08-01

    Silicates are the dominant material of many objects in the Solar System, e.g. asteroids, the Moon, the planet Mercury and meteorites. Ion bombardment by cosmic rays and solar wind may alter the reflectance spectra of irradiated silicates by inducing physico-chemical changes known as “space weathering”. Furthermore, sputtered particles contribute to the composition of the exosphere of planets or moons. Mercury’s complex particle environment surrounding the planet is composed by thermal and directional neutral atoms (exosphere) originating via surface release and charge-exchange processes, and by ionized particles originated through photo-ionization and again by surface release processes such as ion induced sputtering.As a laboratory approach to understand the evolution of the silicate surfaces and the Na vapor (as well as, in lower concentration, K and Ca) discovered on the solar facing side of Mercury, we measured sputtering yields, velocity spectra and angular distributions of secondary ions from terrestrial silicate analogs. Experiments were performed using highly charged MeV/u and keV/u ions at GANIL in a new UHV set-up (under well controlled surface conditions) [1]. Other experiments were conducted at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) by using Cf fission fragments (~ 1 MeV/u). Nepheline, an aluminosilicate containing Na and K, evaporated on Si substrates (wafers) was used as model for silicates present in Solar System objects. Production yields, measured as a function of the projectile fluence, allow to study the possible surface stoichiometry changes during irradiation. In addition, from the energy distributions N(E) of sputtered particles it is possible to estimate the fraction of particles that can escape from the gravitational field of Mercury, and those that fall back to the surface and contribute to populate the atmosphere (exosphere) of the planet.The CAPES-COFECUB French-Brazilian exchange program, a CNPq postdoctoral

  1. Wide Field-of-View Soft X-Ray Imaging for Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, B. M.; Collier, M. R.; Kuntz, K. D.; Porter, F. S.; Sibeck, D. G.; Snowden, S. L.; Carter, J. A.; Collado-Vega, Y.; Connor, H. K.; Cravens, T. E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Soft X-ray imagers can be used to study the mesoscale and macroscale density structures that occur whenever and wherever the solar wind encounters neutral atoms at comets, the Moon, and both magnetized and unmagnetized planets. Charge exchange between high charge state solar wind ions and exospheric neutrals results in the isotropic emission of soft X-ray photons with energies from 0.1 to 2.0 keV. At Earth, this process occurs primarily within the magnetosheath and cusps. Through providing a global view, wide field-of-view imaging can determine the significance of the various proposed solar wind-magnetosphere interaction mechanisms by evaluating their global extent and occurrence patterns. A summary of wide field-of-view (several to tens of degrees) soft X-ray imaging is provided including slumped micropore microchannel reflectors, simulated images, and recent flight results.

  2. Technologically enhanced natural radioactivity around the coal fired power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kovac, J.; Marovic, G.

    1997-01-01

    In some situations the exposure to natural radiation sources is enhanced as a result to technological developments. Burning of coal is one source of enhanced radiation exposure to naturally occurring elements, particularly radium, thorium and uranium. Most of the radioactive substances are concentrated in the ash and slag, which are heavy and drop to the bottom of a furnace. Lighter fly ash is carried up the chimney and into the atmosphere. The bottom ash and slag are usually deposited in a waste pile, from where some activity may leach into aquifers or be dispersed by wind.The main pathways through which the populations living around coal fired power plants are exposed to enhanced levels of natural radionuclides are inhalation and ingestion of the activity discharged into the Exosphere. For this reason, extensive investigations have been under way for several years in the coal fired power plant in Croatia, which uses an anthracite coal with a higher than usual uranium content. (authors)

  3. Venus: The Atmosphere, Climate, Surface, Interior and Near-Space Environment of an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Fredric W.; Svedhem, Håkan; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    This is a review of current knowledge about Earth's nearest planetary neighbour and near twin, Venus. Such knowledge has recently been extended by the European Venus Express and the Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around the planet; these missions and their achievements are concisely described in the first part of the review, along with a summary of previous Venus observations. The scientific discussions which follow are divided into three main sections: on the surface and interior; the atmosphere and climate; and the thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere. These reports are intended to provide an overview for the general reader, and also an introduction to the more detailed topical surveys in the following articles in this issue, where full references to original material may be found.

  4. A 3D Multi-fluid MHD Study of the Interaction of the Solar Wind with the Ionosphere/Atmosphere System of Venus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najib, D.; Nagy, A.; Toth, G.; Ma, Y.-J.

    2011-10-01

    We use the latest version of our four species multifluid model to study the interaction of the solar wind with Venus. The model solves simultaneously the continuity, momentum and energy equations of the different ions. The lower boundary of our model is at 100 km, below the main ionospheric peak, and the radial resolution is about 10 km in the ionosphere, thus the model does a very good job in reproducing the ionosphere and the associated processes. We carry out calculations for high and low solar activity conditions and establish the importance of mass loading by the extended exosphere of Venus. We demonstrate the importance of using the multi-fluid rather than a single fluid model. We also calculate the atmospheric escape of the ionospheric species and compare our model results with the observed parameters from Pioneer Venus and Venus Express.

  5. Stair-Step Particle Flux Spectra on the Lunar Surface: Evidence for Nonmonotonic Potentials?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Michael R.; Newheart, Anastasia; Poppe, Andrew R.; Hills, H. Kent; Farrell, William M.

    2016-01-01

    We present examples of unusual "stair-step" differential flux spectra observed by the Apollo 14 Suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment on the lunar dayside surface in Earth's magnetotail. These spectra exhibit a relatively constant differential flux below some cutoff energy and then drop off precipitously, by about an order of magnitude or more, at higher energies. We propose that these spectra result from photoions accelerated on the lunar dayside by nonmonotonic potentials (i.e.,potentials that do not decay to zero monotonically) and present a model for the expected differential flux. The energy of the cutoff and the magnitude of the differential flux are related to the properties of the local space environment and are consistent with the observed flux spectra. If this interpretation is correct, these surface-based ion observations provide a unique perspective that both complements and enhances the conclusions obtained by remote-sensing orbiter observations on the Moon's exospheric and electrostatic properties.

  6. A New Instrument Design for Imaging Low Energy Neutral Atoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, John W.; Collier, Michael R.; Chornay, Dennis; Rozmarynowski, Paul; Getty, Stephanie; Cooper, John F.; Smith, Billy

    2007-01-01

    The MidSTAR-2 satellite, to be built at the US Naval Academy as a follow-on to the successful MidSTAR-1 satellite (http://web.ew.usna.edu/midstar/), will launch in 2011 and carry three Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) experiments developed under Goddard's Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program. One of these GSFC instruments, the Miniature Imager for Neutral Ionospheric atoms and Magnetospheric Electrons (MINI-ME) builds on the heritage of the Goddard-developed Low-Energy Neutral Atom (LENA) imager launched on the IMAGE spacecraft in 2000. MINI-ME features a Venetian-blind conversion surface assembly that improves both light rejection and conversion efficiency in a smaller and lighter package than LENA making this an highly effective instrument for viewing solar wind charge exchange with terrestrial and planetary exospheres. We will describe the MINI-ME prototyping effort and its science targets.

  7. Laboratory Impact Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horanyi, M.; Munsat, T.

    2017-12-01

    The experimental and theoretical programs at the SSERVI Institute for Modeling Plasmas, Atmospheres, and Cosmic Dust (IMPACT) address the effects of hypervelocity dust impacts and the nature of the space environment of granular surfaces interacting with solar wind plasma and ultraviolet radiation. These are recognized as fundamental planetary processes due their role in shaping the surfaces of airless planetary objects, their plasma environments, maintaining dust haloes, and sustaining surface bound exospheres. Dust impacts are critically important for all airless bodies considered for possible human missions in the next decade: the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), Phobos, and Deimos, with direct relevance to crew and mission safety and our ability to explore these objects. This talk will describe our newly developed laboratory capabilities to assess the effects of hypervelocity dust impacts on: 1) the gardening and redistribution of dust particles; and 2) the generation of ionized and neutral gasses on the surfaces of airless planetary bodies.

  8. Imaging the Sources and Full Extent of the Sodium Tail of the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgardner, Jeffrey; Wilson, Jody; Mendillo, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Observations of sodium emission from Mercury can be used to describe the spatial and temporal patterns of sources and sinks in the planet s surface-boundary-exosphere. We report on new data sets that provide the highest spatial resolution of source regions at polar latitudes, as well as the extraordinary length of a tail of escaping Na atoms. The tail s extent of approx.1.5 degrees (nearly 1400 Mercury radii) is driven by radiation pressure effects upon Na atoms sputtered from the surface in the previous approx.5 hours. Wide-angle filtered-imaging instruments are thus capable of studying the time history of sputtering processes of sodium and other species at Mercury from ground-based observatories in concert with upcoming satellite missions to the planet. Plasma tails produced by photo-ionization of Na and other gases in Mercury s neutral tails may be observable by in-situ instruments.

  9. Return to Mercury: a global perspective on MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Sean C; McNutt, Ralph L; Watters, Thomas R; Lawrence, David J; Feldman, William C; Head, James W; Krimigis, Stamatios M; Murchie, Scott L; Phillips, Roger J; Slavin, James A; Zuber, Maria T

    2008-07-04

    In January 2008, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft became the first probe to fly past the planet Mercury in 33 years. The encounter revealed that Mercury is a dynamic system; its liquid iron-rich outer core is coupled through a dominantly dipolar magnetic field to the surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere, all of which interact with the solar wind. MESSENGER images confirm that lobate scarps are the dominant tectonic landform and record global contraction associated with cooling of the planet. The history of contraction can be related to the history of volcanism and cratering, and the total contractional strain is at least one-third greater than inferred from Mariner 10 images. On the basis of measurements of thermal neutrons made during the flyby, the average abundance of iron in Mercury's surface material is less than 6% by weight.

  10. The Permanently Shadowed Regions of Dwarf Planet Ceres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorghofer, Norbert; Mazarico, Erwan; Platz, Thomas; Preusker, Frank; Schroeder, Stefan E.; Raymond, Carol A.; Russell, Christopher T.

    2016-01-01

    Ceres has only a small spin axis tilt (4 deg), and craters near its rotational poles can experience permanent shadow and trap volatiles, as is the case on Mercury and on Earth's Moon. Topography derived from stereo imaging by the Dawn spacecraft is used to calculate direct solar irradiance that defines the extent of the permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). In the northern polar region, PSRs cover approximately 1800 sq km or 0.13% of the hemisphere, and most of the PSRs are cold enough to trap water ice over geological time periods. Based on modeling of the water exosphere, water molecules seasonally reside around the winter pole and ultimately an estimated 0.14% of molecules get trapped. Even for the lowest estimates of the amount of available water, this predicts accumulation rates in excess of loss rates, and hence, there should be fresh ice deposits in the cold traps.

  11. The Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation (RPWI) for JUICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlund, J.-E.

    2013-09-01

    We present the Radio & Plasma Waves Investigation (RPWI) selected for implementation on the JUICE mission. RPWI consists of a highly integrated instrument package that provides a whole set of plasma and fields measurements. The RPWI instrument has outstanding new capabilities not previously available to outer planet missions, and that would address many fundamental planetary science objectives. Specifically, RPWI would be able to study the electro-dynamic influence of the Jovian magnetosphere on the exospheres, surfaces and conducting oceans of Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. RPWI would also be able to monitor the sources of radio emissions from auroral regions of Ganymede and Jupiter, and possibly also from lightning activity in Jupiter's clouds. Moreover, RPWI will search for exhaust plumes from cracks on the icy moons, as well as μm-sized dust and related dust-plasmasurface interaction processes occurring near the icy moons of Jupiter.

  12. Transport, charge exchange and loss of energetic heavy ions in the earth's radiation belts - Applicability and limitations of theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spjeldvik, W. N.

    1981-01-01

    Computer simulations of processes which control the relative abundances of ions in the trapping regions of geospace are compared with observations from discriminating ion detectors. Energy losses due to Coulomb collisions between ions and exospheric neutrals are considered, along with charge exchange losses and internal charge exchanges. The time evolution of energetic ion fluxes of equatorially mirroring ions under radial diffusion is modelled to include geomagnetic and geoelectric fluctutations. Limits to the validity of diffusion transport theory are discussed, and the simulation is noted to contain provisions for six ionic charge states and the source effect on the radiation belt oxygen ion distributions. Comparisons are made with ion flux data gathered on Explorer 45 and ISEE-1 spacecraft and results indicate that internal charge exchanges cause the radiation belt ion charge state to be independent of source charge rate characteristics, and relative charge state distribution is independent of the radially diffusive transport rate below the charge state redistribution zone.

  13. HAZE AT OCCATOR CRATER ON DWARF PLANET CERES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thangjam, G.; Hoffmann, M.; Nathues, A.; Platz, T. [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077, Goettingen (Germany); Li, J.-Y., E-mail: thangjam@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: hoffmann@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: nathues@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: platz@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: jyli@psi.edu [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Rd., Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2016-12-20

    A diurnal varying haze layer at the bright spots of Occator on dwarf planet Ceres has been reported from images of the Dawn Framing Camera. This finding is supported by ground-based observations revealing diurnal albedo changes at Occator’s longitude. In the present work, we further investigate the previously reported haze phenomenon in more detail using additional Framing Camera images. We demonstrate that the light scattering behavior at the central floor of Occator is different compared to a typical cerean surface and is likely inconsistent with a pure solid surface scatterer. The identified deviation is best explained by an additional component to the scattered light of the surface, i.e., a haze layer. Our results support the water vapor detection by Herschel observations though the existence of a tenuous cerean exosphere is not yet confirmed.

  14. Beam generated electrostatic electron waves in the magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hultqvist, B.

    1986-03-01

    The generation of growing electrostatic electron waves by electron beams in the ionosphere and magnetosphere is investigated. The auroral F-region, the high latitude exosphere, the auroral acceleration region around 1 Rsub(e), the outer plasmasphere and the plasmasheet are treated. It is found that auroral electron beams can amplify electrostatic waves in all these regions but in different k-ranges. The growth rate, in terms of ωsub(i)/ω, generally increases outward. The propagation direction range of the waves discussed varies from a narrow cone around the magnetic field lines to all directions except close to perpendicularity. Strong cyclotron resonance effects at propagation angles close to 90 degrees are not dealt with. The method used can easily be applied to any plasma system where free energy is available in the form of an electron beam, including laboratory plasma. (author)

  15. Extracting lunar dust parameters from image charge signals produced by the Lunar Dust Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, J.; Kempf, S.; Horanyi, M.; Szalay, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) onboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is an impact ionization dust detector used to characterize the lunar dust exosphere generated by the impacts of large interplanetary particles and meteor streams (Horanyi et al., 2015). In addition to the mass and speed of these lofted particles, LDEX is sensitive to their charge. The resulting signatures of impact events therefore provide valuable information about not only the ambient plasma environment, but also the speed vectors of these dust grains. Here, impact events produced from LDEX's calibration at the Dust Accelerator Laboratory are analyzed using an image charge model derived from the electrostatic simulation program, Coulomb. We show that parameters such as dust grain speed, size, charge, and position of entry into LDEX can be recovered and applied to data collected during LADEE's seven-month mission.

  16. Venus Interior Probe Using In-Situ Power and Propulsion (VIP-INSPR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugga, Ratnakumar V.

    2016-01-01

    Venus, despite being our closest neighboring planet, is under-explored due to its hostile and extreme environment, with a 92 bar pressure and 467 C temperature at the surface. The temperature decreases at higher altitudes, almost at the rate of 7.9 C/km, reaching the Earth surface conditions at 65 km. Due to the less extreme conditions, balloon missions could survive as long as 46 h at an altitude of 54 km. However, because of the opacity of the Venus atmosphere filled with clouds of sulfuric acid and CO2, orbiter or balloon missions are not as revealing and informative in characterizing the surface, as similar missions on Moon and Mars. To understand the evolutionary paths of Venus in relation to Earth, it is imperative to gather basic information on the crust, mantle, core, atmosphere/exosphere and bulk composition of Venus, through in-situ investigations using landers, probes and variable altitude areal platforms.

  17. Hydrogen Balmer alpha intensity distributions and line profiles from multiple scattering theory using realistic geocoronal models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. E., Jr.; Meier, R. R.; Hodges, R. R., Jr.; Tinsley, B. A.

    1987-01-01

    The H Balmer alpha nightglow is investigated by using Monte Carlo models of asymmetric geocoronal atomic hydrogen distributions as input to a radiative transfer model of solar Lyman-beta radiation in the thermosphere and atmosphere. It is shown that it is essential to include multiple scattering of Lyman-beta radiation in the interpretation of Balmer alpha airglow data. Observations of diurnal variation in the Balmer alpha airglow showing slightly greater intensities in the morning relative to evening are consistent with theory. No evidence is found for anything other than a single sinusoidal diurnal variation of exobase density. Dramatic changes in effective temperature derived from the observed Balmer alpha line profiles are expected on the basis of changing illumination conditions in the thermosphere and exosphere as different regions of the sky are scanned.

  18. Sputtering of Lunar Regolith Simulant by Protons and Multicharged Heavy Ions at Solar Wind Energies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, Fred W.; Harris, Peter R.; Taylor, C.N.; Meyer, Harry M. III; Barghouty, N.; Adams, J. Jr.

    2011-01-01

    We report preliminary results on sputtering of a lunar regolith simulant at room temperature by singly and multiply charged solar wind ions using quadrupole and time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry approaches. Sputtering of the lunar regolith by solar-wind heavy ions may be an important particle source that contributes to the composition of the lunar exosphere, and is a possible mechanism for lunar surface ageing and compositional modification. The measurements were performed in order to assess the relative sputtering efficiency of protons, which are the dominant constituent of the solar wind, and less abundant heavier multicharged solar wind constituents, which have higher physical sputtering yields than same-velocity protons, and whose sputtering yields may be further enhanced due to potential sputtering. Two different target preparation approaches using JSC-1A AGGL lunar regolith simulant are described and compared using SEM and XPS surface analysis.

  19. The Sheath Transport Observer for the Redistribution of Mass (STORM) Image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntz, Kip; Collier, Michael; Sibeck, David G.; Porter, F. Scott; Carter, J. A.; Cravens, Thomas; Omidi, N.; Robertson, Ina; Sembay, S.; Snowden, Steven L.

    2008-01-01

    All of the solar wind energy that powers magnetospheric processes passes through the magnetosheath and magnetopause. Global images of the magnetosheath and magnetopause boundary layers will resolve longstanding controversy surrounding fundamental phenomena that occur at the magnetopause and provide information needed to improve operational space weather models. Recent developments showing that soft X-rays (0.15-1 keV) result from high charge state solar wind ions undergoing charge exchange recombination through collisions with exospheric neutral atoms has led to the realization that soft X-ray imaging can provide global maps of the high-density shocked solar wind within the magnetosheath and cusps, regions lying between the lower density solar wind and magnetosphere. We discuss an instrument concept called the Sheath Transport Observer for the Redistribution of Mass (STORM), an X-ray imager suitable for simultaneously imaging the dayside magnetosheath, the magnetopause boundary layers, and the cusps.

  20. The Sheath Transport Observer for the Redistribution of Mass (STORM) Imager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Michael R.; Sibeck, David G.; Porter, F. Scott; Burch, J.; Carter, J. A.; Cravens, Thomas; Kuntz, Kip; Omidi, N.; Read, A.; Robertson, Ina; hide

    2010-01-01

    All of the solar wind energy that powers magnetospheric processes passes through the magnetosheath and magnetopause. Global images of the magnetosheath and magnetopause boundary layers will resolve longstanding controversies surrounding fundamental phenomena that occur at the magnetopause and provide information needed to improve operational space weather models. Recent developments showing that soft X-rays (0.15-1 keV) result from high charge state solar wind ions undergoing charge exchange recombination through collisions with exospheric neutral atoms has led to the realization that soft X-ray imaging can provide global maps of the high-density shocked solar wind within the magnetosheath and cusps, regions lying between the lower density solar wind and magnetosphere. We discuss an instrument concept called the Sheath Transport Observer for the Redistribution of Mass (STORM), an X-ray imager suitable for simultaneously imaging the dayside magnetosheath, the magnetopause boundary layers, and the cusps.

  1. New Understanding of Mercury's Magnetosphere from MESSENGER'S First Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A.; Acuna, Mario H.; Anderson, Brian J.; Baker, Daniel N.; Benna, Mehdi; Gloeckler, George; Gold, Robert E.; Ho, George C.; Killen, M.; Korth, Haje; hide

    2008-01-01

    Observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft on 14 January 2008 have revealed new features of the solar system's smallest planetary magnetosphere. The interplanetary magnetic field orientation was unfavorable for large inputs of energy from the solar wind and no evidence of magnetic substorms, internal magnetic reconnection, or energetic particle acceleration was detected. Large-scale rotations of the magnetic field were measured along the dusk flank of the magnetosphere and ultra-tow frequency waves were frequently observed beginning near closest approach. Outbound the spacecraft encountered two current-sheet boundaries across which the magnetic field intensity decreased in a step-like manner. The outer current sheet is the magnetopause boundary. The inner current sheet is similar in structure, but weaker and -1000 km closer to the planet. Between these two current sheets the magnetic field intensity is depressed by the diamagnetic effect of planetary ions created by the photo-ionization of Mercury's exosphere.

  2. Mercury's Atmosphere and Magnetosphere: MESSENGER Third Flyby Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A.; Anderson, Brian J.; Baker, Daniel N.; Benna, Mehdi; Johnson, Catherine L.; Gloeckler, George; Killen, Rosemary M.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McClintock, William; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; hide

    2009-01-01

    MESSENGER's third flyby of Mercury en route to orbit insertion about the innermost planet took place on 29 September 2009. The earlier 14 January and 6 October 2008 encounters revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is highly dipolar and stable over the 35 years since its discovery by Mariner 10; that a structured, temporally variable exosphere extends to great altitudes on the dayside and forms a long tail in the anti-sunward direction; a cloud of planetary ions encompasses the magnetosphere from the dayside bow shock to the downstream magnetosheath and magnetotail; and that the magnetosphere undergoes extremely intense magnetic reconnect ion in response to variations in the interplanetary magnetic field. Here we report on new results derived from observations from MESSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS), Magnetometer (MAG), and Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) taken during the third flyby.

  3. Electrical stress and strain in lunar regolith simulants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Richard, D.; Davis, S.

    2011-11-01

    Experiments to entrain dust with electrostatic and fluid-dynamic forces result in particulate clouds of aggregates rather than individual dust grains. This is explained within the framework of Griffith-flaw theory regarding the comminution/breakage of weak solids. Physical and electrical inhomogeneities in powders are equivalent to microcracks in solids insofar as they facilitate failure at stress risers. Electrical charging of powders induces bulk sample stresses similar to mechanical stresses experienced by strong solids, depending on the nature of the charging. A powder mass therefore "breaks" into clumps rather than separating into individual dust particles. This contrasts with the expectation that electrical forces on the Moon will eject a submicron population of dust from the regolith into the exosphere. A lunar regolith will contain physical and electrostatic inhomogeneities similar to those in most charged powders.

  4. The Mars thermosphere. 2. General circulation with coupled dynamics and composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bougher, S.W.; Roble, R.G.; Ridley, E.C.; Dickinson, R.E.

    1990-01-01

    The National Center for Atmospheric Research thermospheric general circulation model (TGCM) for the Earth's thermosphere has been modified to examine the three-dimensional structure and circulation of the upper mesosphere and thermosphere of Mars (MTGCM). The computational framework and major processes unique to a CO 2 thermosphere are similar to those utilized in a recent Venus TGCM. Solar EUV, UV, and IR heating alone combine to drive the Martian winds above ∼100 km. An equinox version of the code is used to examine the Mars global dynamics and structure for two specific observational periods spanning a range of solar activity: Viking 1 (July 1976) and Mariner 6-7 (August-September 1969). The MTGCM is then modified to predict the state of the Mars thermosphere for various combinations of solar and orbital conditions. Calculations show that no nightside cryosphere of the type observed on Venus is obtained on the Mars nightside. Instead, planetary rotation significantly modifies the winds and the day-to-night contrast in densities and temperatures, giving a diurnal behavior similar to the Earth under quiet solar conditions. Maximum exospheric temperatures are calculated near 1,500 LT (≤ 305 K), with minimum values at 0500 LT (≤ 175 K). The global temperature distribution is strongly modified by nightside adiabatic heating (subsidence) and dayside cooling (upwelling). The global winds also affect vertical density distributions; vertical eddy diffusion much weaker than used in previous one-dimensional models is required to maintain observed Viking profiles. A solar cycle variation in dayside exospheric temperatures of ∼195-305 K is simulated by the Viking and Mariner runs

  5. Search for an evaporating ocean on the super-Earth HIP 116454b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrier, Vincent

    2017-08-01

    The super-Earth HIP116454b was the first exoplanet detected by the K2 mission, in transit across a bright and nearby K1 dwarf (V=10.2, d=55 pc). The low density of the planet suggests it must have at least 30% water or a 0.5% H-He envelope. Given the strong XUV irradiation from the young (2 Gyr) host star, this H-He envelope should have been lost through evaporation in a few hundred millions year, suggesting that HIP 116454b likely contains a large mass fraction of water. The shallow transit depth makes difficult the search for water vapor in the lower atmosphere with HST/WFC3. The moderate orbital distance of this warm ( 700 K) planet favors the formation of a super-critical steam envelope, which should be promptly dissociated at high altitude by the XUV irradiation and become observable as hydrogen flowing within and beyond the Roche lobe. The host star is similar to HD 189733, host to an evaporating hot Jupiter, and numerical simulations of HIP116454b show that the hydrogen exosphere resulting from the dissociation of water is observable with HST/STIS at Ly-alpha. The detection of this exosphere would be the first signature of an evolved evaporating ocean on an extrasolar planet, as well as the first validation of internal structure models of exoplanets in this mass regime. It would also determine how to best search for water in the lower atmosphere of HIP116454b with the JWST. A non-detection of escaping hydrogen, as with 55 Cnc e and HD 97658b, would bring useful constraints on the nature of the planetary atmosphere, the evolutionary path of close-in super-Earths, and the progenitors of the rocky evaporation remnants detected by Kepler.

  6. LADEE UVS Observations of Atoms and Dust in the Lunar Tail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Colaprete, Anthony; Cook, Amanda M.; Shirley, Mark H.; Vargo, Kara E.; Elphic, Richard C.; Stubbs, Timothy J.; Glenar, David A.

    2014-01-01

    The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) was a lunar orbiter launched in September 2013 that investigated the composition and temporal variation of the tenuous lunar exosphere and dust environment. A major goal of the mission was to characterize the dust exosphere prior to future lunar exploration activities, which may alter the lunar environment. The Ultraviolet/Visible Spectrometer (UVS) onboard LADEE addresses this goal, utilizing two sets of optics: a limbviewing telescope, and a solar-viewing telescope. We report on spectroscopic (approximately 280 - 820 nm) observations viewing down the lunar wake or along the 'lunar tail' from lunar orbit. Prior groundbased studies have observed the emission from neutral sodium atoms extended along the lunar tail, so often this region is referred to as the lunar sodium tail. UVS measurements were made on the dark side of the moon, with the UVS limb-viewing telescope pointed outward in the direction of the Moon's wake (almost anti-sun), during different lunar phases. These UVS observation activities sample a long column and allow the characterization of scattered light from dust and emission lines from atoms in the lunar tail. Observations in this UVS configuration show the largest excess of scattered blue light in our data set, indicative of the presence of small dust grains in the tail. Once lofted, nanoparticles may become charged and picked up by the solar wind, similar to the phenomena witnessed above Enceladus's northern hemisphere or by the STEREO/WAVES instrument while close to Earth's orbit. The UVS data show that small dust grains as well as atoms become entrained in the lunar tail.

  7. Oxygen Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN Outside the Martian Bow Shock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Cravens, T.; Larson, D. E.; Lillis, R. J.; Dunn, P.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Eparvier, F. G.; Thiemann, E.; Mitchell, D. L.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    The MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft entered orbit around Mars on September 21, 2014 and has since been detecting energetic oxygen pickup ions by its SEP (Solar Energetic Particles) and SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer) instruments. The oxygen pickup ions detected outside the Martian bowshock and in the upstream solar wind are associated with the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars, which is created mainly by the dissociative recombination of molecular oxygen ions with electrons in the ionosphere. We use analytic solutions to the equations of motion of pickup ions moving in the undisturbed upstream solar wind magnetic and motional electric fields and calculate the flux of oxygen pickup ions at the location of MAVEN. Our model calculates the ionization rate of oxygen atoms in the exosphere based on the hot oxygen densities predicted by Rahmati et al. (2014), and the sources of ionization include photo-ionization, charge exchange, and electron impact ionization. The photo-ionization frequency is calculated using the FISM (Flare Irradiance Spectral Model) solar flux model, based on MAVEN EUVM (Extreme Ultra-Violet Monitor) measurements. The frequency of charge exchange between a solar wind proton and an oxygen atom is calculated using MAVEN SWIA solar wind proton flux measurements, and the electron impact ionization frequency is calculated based on MAVEN SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) solar wind electron flux measurements. The solar wind magnetic field used in the model is from the measurements taken by MAVEN MAG (magnetometer) in the upstream solar wind. The good agreement between our predicted pickup oxygen fluxes and the MAVEN SEP and SWIA measured ones confirms detection of oxygen pickup ions and these model-data comparisons can be used to constrain models of hot oxygen densities and photochemical escape flux.

  8. Loss of Water to Space from Mars: Processes and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, D. M.

    2001-12-01

    One of the major sinks for water on Mars is the loss to space. This occurs via a complex series of processes that transport the individual atoms to the upper atmosphere, where several escape mechanisms remove them. Hydrogen and deuterium are lost primarily by Jeans escape. Non-thermal processes also remove H and D, but are only important in determining D loss at solar minimum under modern conditions. The present H loss rate is equivalent to the loss of 10-3~pr-\\micron~yr-1 of water. The loss of oxygen is more complicated. The three main processes are indirect (or ionospheric) sputtering, solar wind pickup of O+, and O2+ dissociative recombination. Their relative importance has varied over the history of Mars. The combined effect of the O loss processes is to remove a ~ 50~m global layer of water over the last 3.5 Gyr. Based on photochemical modeling, the loss of oxygen and hydrogen are balanced (over geological timescales) by a feedback process. During the early history of Mars, impact erosion and hydrodynamic blow-off may have removed significant water. But, it is difficult to estimate their quantitative effects. The transport of individual H, D and O atoms to the exosphere where they can escape is not completely understood. It occurs primarily via intermediate species, H2, HD, O2 and CO2. The H2 and HD are formed by photolysis of water and the odd hydrogen photochemistry. One open issue is the mechanism regulating the partitioning of D between HDO and HD (which controls the supply of D available for escape from the exosphere). The various loss processes isotopically enrich Martian water since the exospheric escape source region is depleted. Jeans escape and the transport from the lower atmosphere further fractionate hydrogen, the most useful isotopic system. Based on recent observations, the D/H fractionation factor, F ~ 0.02. Measurements of atmospheric water vapor indicate it is enriched in deuterium, with a D/H ratio ~ 5 times the terrestrial value. Since

  9. How large is the subducted water flux? New constraints on mantle regassing rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parai, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2012-02-01

    Estimates of the subducted water (H2O) flux have been used to discuss the regassing of the mantle over Earth history. However, these estimates vary widely, and some are large enough to have reduced the volume of water in the global ocean by a factor of two over the Phanerozoic. In light of uncertainties in the hydration state of subducting slabs, magma production rates and mantle source water contents, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to set limits on long-term global water cycling and the return flux of water to the deep Earth. Estimates of magma production rates and water contents in primary magmas generated at ocean islands, mid-ocean ridges, arcs and back-arcs are paired with estimates of water entering trenches via subducting oceanic slab in order to construct a model of the deep Earth water cycle. The simulation is constrained by reconstructions of Phanerozoic sea level change, which suggest that ocean volume is near steady-state, though a sea level decrease of up to 360 m may be supported. We provide limits on the return flux of water to the deep Earth over the Phanerozoic corresponding to a near steady-state exosphere (0-100 meter sea level decrease) and a maximum sea level decrease of 360 m. For the near steady-state exosphere, the return flux is 1.4 - 2.0- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 2-3% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. The return flux that generates the maximum sea level decrease over the Phanerozoic is 3.5- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 5% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. Our estimates of the return flux of water to the mantle are up to 7 times lower than previously suggested. The imbalance between our estimates of the return flux and mantle output flux leads to a low rate of increase in bulk mantle water content of up to 24 ppm/Ga.

  10. Observing Planets and Small Bodies in Sputtered High Energy Atom (SHEA) Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milillo, A.; Orsini, S.; Hsieh, K. C.; Baragiola, R.; Fama, M.; Johnson, R.; Mura, A.; Plainaki, Ch.; Sarantos, M.; Cassidy, T. A.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the surfaces of bodies unprotected by either strong magnetic fields or thick atmospheres in the Solar System is caused by various processes, induced by photons, energetic ions and micrometeoroids. Among these processes, the continuous bombardment of the solar wind or energetic magnetospheric ions onto the bodies may significantly affect their surfaces, with implications for their evolution. Ion precipitation produces neutral atom releases into the exosphere through ion sputtering, with velocity distribution extending well above the particle escape limits. We refer to this component of the surface ejecta as sputtered high-energy atoms (SHEA). The use of ion sputtering emission for studying the interaction of exposed bodies (EB) with ion environments is described here. Remote sensing in SHEA in the vicinity of EB can provide mapping of the bodies exposed to ion sputtering action with temporal and mass resolution. This paper speculates on the possibility of performing remote sensing of exposed bodies using SHEA The evolution of the surfaces of bodies unprotected by either strong magnetic fields or thick atmospheres in the Solar System is caused by various processes, induced by photons, energetic ions and micrometeoroids. Among these processes, the continuous bombardment of the solar wind or energetic magnetospheric ions onto the bodies may significantly affect their surfaces, with implications for their evolution. Ion precipitation produces neutral atom releases into the exosphere through ion sputtering, with velocity distribution extending well above the particle escape limits. We refer to this component of the surface ejecta as sputtered high-energy atoms (SHEA). The use of ion sputtering emission for studying the interaction of exposed bodies (EB) with ion environments is described here. Remote sensing in SHEA in the vicinity of EB can provide mapping of the bodies exposed to ion sputtering action with temporal and mass resolution. This paper

  11. PREFACE: 14th Annual International Astrophysics Conference: Linear and Nonlinear Particle Energization throughout the Heliosphere and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zank, G. P.

    2015-09-01

    The 14th Annual International Astrophysics Conference was held at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel, Tampa, Florida, USA, during the week of 19-24 April 2015. The meeting drew some 75 participants from all over the world, representing a wide range of interests and expertise in the energization of particles from the perspectives of theory, modelling and simulations, and observations. The theme of the meeting was "Linear and Nonlinear Particle Energization throughout the Heliosphere and Beyond." Energetic particles are ubiquitous to plasma environments, whether collisionless such as the supersonic solar wind, the magnetospheres of planets, the exospheres of nonmagnetized planets and comets, the heliospheric-local interstellar boundary regions, interstellar space and supernova remnant shocks, and stellar wind boundaries. Energetic particles are found too in more collisional regions such as in the solar corona, dense regions of the interstellar medium, accretion flows around stellar objects, to name a few. Particle acceleration occurs wherever plasma boundaries, magnetic and electric fields, and turbulence are present. The meeting addressed the linear and nonlinear physical processes underlying the variety of particle acceleration mechanisms, the role of particle acceleration in shaping different environments, and acceleration processes common to different regions. Both theory and observations were addressed with a view to encouraging crossdisciplinary fertilization of ideas, concepts, and techniques. The meeting addressed all aspects of particle acceleration in regions ranging from the Sun to the interplanetary medium to magnetospheres, exospheres, and comets, the boundaries of the heliosphere, and beyond to supernova remnant shocks, galactic jets, stellar winds, accretion flows, and more. The format of the meeting included 25-minute presentations punctuated by two 40-minute talks, one by Len Fisk that provided an historical overview of particle acceleration in the

  12. Planetary X-ray studies: past, present and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella

    2016-07-01

    Our solar system is a fascinating physics laboratory and X-ray observations are now firmly established as a powerful diagnostic tool of the multiple processes taking place in it. The science that X-rays reveal encompasses solar, space plasma and planetary physics, and the response of bodies in the solar system to the impact of the Sun's activity. This talk will review what we know from past observations and what we expect to learn in the short, medium and long term. Observations with Chandra and XMM-Newton have demonstrated that the origin of Jupiter's bright soft X-ray aurorae lies in the Charge eXchange (CX) process, likely to involve the interaction with atmospheric neutrals of local magnetospheric ions, as well as those carried in the solar wind. At higher energies electron bremsstrahlung is thought to be the X-ray emitting mechanism, while the whole planetary disk acts as a mirror for the solar X-ray flux via Thomson and fluorescent scattering. This 'X-ray mirror' phenomenon is all that is observed from Saturn's disk, which otherwise lacks X-ray auroral features. The Earth's X-ray aurora is bright and variable and mostly due to electron bremsstrahlung and line emission from atmospheric species. Un-magnetised planets, Venus and Mars, do not show X-ray aurorae but display the interesting combination of mirroring the solar X-ray flux and producing X-rays by Solar Wind Charge eXchange (SWCX) in their exospheres. These processes respond to different solar stimulation (photons and solar wind plasma respectively) hence their relative contributions are seen to vary according to the Sun's output. Present and future of planetary X-ray studies are very bright. We are preparing for the arrival of the Juno mission at Jupiter this summer and for coordinated observations with Chandra and XMM-Newton on the approach and later during Juno's orbital phase. These will allow direct correlation of the local plasma conditions with the X-ray emissions and the establishment of the

  13. Joint Europa Mission (JEM) : A multi-scale study of Europa to characterize its habitability and search for life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc, Michel; Prieto Ballesteros, Olga; Andre, Nicolas; Cooper, John F.

    2017-04-01

    Europa is the closest and probably the most promising target to perform a comprehensive characterization of habitability and search for extant life. We propose that NASA and ESA join forces to design an ambitious planetary mission we call JEM (for Joint Europa Mission) to reach this objective. JEM will be assigned the following overarching goal: Understand Europa as a complex system responding to Jupiter system forcing, characterize the habitability of its potential biosphere, and search for life in its surface, sub-surface and exosphere. Our observation strategy to address these goals will combine three scientific measurement sequences: measurements on a high-latitude, low-latitude Europan orbit providing a continuous and global mapping of planetary fields (magnetic and gravity) and of the neutral and charged environment during a period of three months; in-situ measurements at the surface, using a soft lander operating during 35 days, to search for bio-signatures at the surface and sub-surface and operate a geophysical station; measurements of the chemical composition of the very low exosphere and plumes in search for biomolecules. The implementation of these three observation sequences will rest on the combination of two science platforms equipped with the most advanced instrumentation: a soft lander to perform all scientific measurements at the surface and sub-surface at a selected landing site, and a carrier/relay/orbiter to perform the orbital survey and descent sequences. In this concept, the orbiter will perform science operations during the relay phase on a carefully optimized halo orbit of the Europa-Jupiter system before moving to its final Europan orbit. The design of both orbiter and lander instruments will have to accommodate the very challenging radiation mitigation and Planetary Protection issues. The proposed lander science platform is composed of a geophysical station and of two complementary astrobiology facilities dedicated to bio

  14. Martian ionosphere as observed by the Viking retarding potential analyzers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.B.; Sanatani, S.; Zuccaro, D.R.

    1977-01-01

    The retarding potential analyzers on the Viking landers obtained the first in situ measurements of ions from another planetary ionosphere. Mars has an F 1 ionosphere layer with a peak ion concentration of approximately 10 5 cm -3 just below 130-km altitude, of which approx.90% are O 2 + and 10% CO 2 + . At higher altitudes, O + ions were detected with peak concentration near 225 km of less than 10 3 cm -3 . Viking 1 measured ion temperatures of approximately 150 0 K near the F 1 peak increasing to an apparent exospheric temperature of 210 0 K near 175 km. Above this altitude, departures from thermal equilibrium with the neutral gas occur, and T 1 increases rapidly to >1000 0 K at 250 km. An equatorward horizontal ion velocity of the order of 100--200 m/s was observed near 200 km and near the F 1 peak, with a minimum velocity at intermediate heights. Both landers entered the F 1 layer at a solar zenith angle near 44 0 , though the local times of the Viking 1 and 2 entries were 16:13 and 9:49 LT, respectively. On Viking 2, considerably more structure was observed in the height profiles of ionospheric quantities, although they were similar in shape to the Viking 1 profiles

  15. Cassini MIMI Close-Up of Saturn Energetic Particles: Low Altitude Trapped Radiation, Auroral Ion Acceleration, and Interchange Flow Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, D. G.; Krimigis, S. M.; Krupp, N.; Paranicas, C.; Roussos, E.; Kollmann, P.

    2017-12-01

    We present observations from the final orbits of the Cassini Mission at Saturn by the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI). Crossing inside the D-Ring at the equator and just above Saturn's atmosphere, these orbits covered regions never visited previously in the mission. Highlights include the confirmation of an inner radiation belt analogous to the inner radiation belt at Earth by the Low Energy Magnetospheric Measurement System (LEMMS), with surprising twists—Saturn's D-ring material appears to be a source for these particles. Details will be presented in another session. The Grand Finale orbits also afforded a close-up view of the auroral ion acceleration regions by the Ion and Neutral Camera (INCA). Ionospheric ions at the base of auroral field lines are accelerated perpendicular to the magnetic field to 10's and 100's of keV, and charge exchange with exospheric neutrals to be emitted as energetic neutral atoms and images by INCA. We show that this acceleration region lies at about 0.1 Rs. Another feature seen previously in the mission but imaged with greater resolution is a flow channel associated with interchange motion in the middle magnetosphere. We show this feature to extend over several Saturn radii in the radial direction, and over about 2 Saturn radii azimuthally. Additional data have been received since the writing of this abstract and before Cassini's plunge into the atmosphere on September 15, so additional features may be presented.

  16. The global thermospheric mapping study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, W.L.; Salah, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    The Global Thermospheric Mapping Study (GTMS) is a multitechnique experimental pilot study of the Earth's thermosphere designed to map simultaneously its spatial and temporal morphology. This paper provides the background for the study and presents the analysis techniques employed at Millstone Hill and results to date on thermospheric structure and dynamics. The first latitudinal-temporal maps of exospheric temperature obtained from the incoherent scatter radar chain at 70W meridian are presented for the two solstice periods, revealing substantial seasonal differences between them. The observed structure shows a relatively depressed temperature at high latitude in summer in contrast to the mass spectrometer/incoherent scatter 1983 [MSIS-83] empirical model, which shows a maximum temperature at polar latitudes. The MSIS-83 model predictions are in good agreement with the observed latitudinal-temporal structure in winter. Comparison with the numerical predictions made for the June 26-28, 1984 period with the National Center for Atmospheric Research thermospheric general circulation model shows reasonable agreement in the latitudinal gradient but the observations indicate a cooler thermosphere by several hundred degrees. Neutral winds at mid-latitudes are presented showing the expected strong southward winds at night, which are found to be consistent with the temperature gradients observed in the latitudinal maps. There is good agreement in the June winds between the available numerical model calculations and the observations. Work performed elsewhere on the GTMS data base is summarized for completeness

  17. Using Dawn to Observe SEP Events Past 2 AU

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, M. N.; Russell, C. T.; Prettyman, T. H.

    2017-12-01

    The launch of the STEREO spacecraft provided much insight into the longitudinal and radial distribution of solar energetic particles (SEPs) relative to their origin site. However, almost all of the observations of SEP events have been made exclusively near 1 AU. The Dawn mission, which orbited around Vesta before arriving at Ceres, provides an opportunity to analyze these events at much further distances. Although Dawn's Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) is not optimized for SEP characterization, it is sensitive to protons greater than 4 MeV, making it capable of detecting a solar energetic particle event in its vicinity. Solar energetic particles in this area of the solar system are important as they are believed to cause sputtering at bodies such as Ceres and comets (Villarreal et al., 2017; Wurz et al., 2015). In this study, we use Dawn's GRaND data from 2011-2015 when Dawn was at distances between 2-3 AU. We compare the SEP events seen by Dawn with particle measurements at 1 AU using STEREO, Wind, and ACE to understand how the SEP events evolved past 1 AU.References: Villarreal, M. N., et al. (2017), The dependence of the Cerean exosphere on solar energetic particle events, Astrophys. J. Lett., 838, L8.Wurz, P. et al. (2015), Solar wind sputtering of dust on the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, A&A, 583, A22.

  18. Overview of the LADEE Ultraviolet-visible Spectrometer: Design, Performance and Planned Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colaprete, A.; Elphic, R. C.; Landis, D.; Karcz, J.; Osetinsky, L.; Shirley, M.; Vargo, K.; Wooden, D.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is an orbital lunar science mission currently under development to address the goals of the 2003 National Research Council decadal survey, the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Roadmap, and the "Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon" (SCEM) report, and has been recommended for execution by the 2011 Planetary Missions Decadal Survey. The mission s focus is to study the pristine state of the lunar atmosphere and dust environment prior to possible lunar exploration activities by countries, including the United States, China, India, and Japan, among others. Activity on the lunar surface has the potential of altering the tenuous lunar atmosphere, but changing the type and concentration of gases in the atmosphere. Before these activities occur it is important to make measurements of the current lunar atmosphere in its unmodified state. LADEE will determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere and investigate the processes that control its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions. It will monitor variations in known gases, such as sodium, potassium, argon and helium, and will search for other, as-yet-undetected gases of both lunar and extra-lunar origin. LADEE will also determine whether dust is present in the lunar exosphere, and reveal the processes that contribute to its sources and variability. Launch is planned for August, 2013.

  19. The lunar atmosphere and dust environment explorer mission (LADEE)

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    This volume contains five articles describing the mission and its instruments.  The first paper, by the project scientist Richard C. Elphic and his colleagues, describes the mission objectives, the launch vehicle, spacecraft and the mission itself.  This is followed by a description of LADEE’s Neutral Mass Spectrometer by Paul Mahaffy and company.  This paper describes the investigation that directly targets the lunar exosphere, which can also be explored optically in the ultraviolet.  In the following article Anthony Colaprete describes LADEE’s Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer that operated from 230 nm to 810 nm scanning the atmosphere just above the surface.  Not only is there atmosphere but there is also dust that putatively can be levitated above the surface, possibly by electric fields on the Moon’s surface.  Mihaly Horanyi leads this investigation, called the Lunar Dust Experiment, aimed at understanding the purported observations of levitated dust.  This experiment was also very succes...

  20. Dayside pickup oxygen ion precipitation at Venus and Mars: Spatial distributions, energy deposition and consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luhmann, J.G.; Kozyra, J.U.

    1991-01-01

    The fluxes and energy spectra of picked-up planetary O + ions incident on the dayside atmospheres of Venus and Mars are calculated using the neutral exposure models of Nagy and Cravens (1988) and the Spreiter and Stahara (1980) gasdynamic model of the magnetosheath electric and magnetic field. Cold (∼10 eV) O + ions are launched from hemispherical grids of starting points covering the daysides of the planets and their trajectories are followed until they either impact the dayside obstacle or cross the terminator plane. The impacting, or precipitating, ion fluxes are weighted according to the altitude of the hemispherical starting point grid in a manner consistent with the exosphere density models and the local photoion production rate. Maps of precipitating ion number flux and energy flux show the asymmetrical distribution of dayside energy deposition expected from this source which is unique to the weakly magnetized planets. Although the associated heating of the atmosphere and ionsphere is found to be negligible compared to that from the usual sources, backscattered or sputtered neutral oxygen atoms are produced at energies exceeding that needed for escape from the gravitational fields of both planets. These neutral winds, driven by pickup ion precipitation, represent a possibly significant loss of atmospheric constituents over the age of the solar system

  1. Non-LTE models of Titan's upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelle, Roger V.

    1991-01-01

    Models for the thermal structure of Titan's upper atmosphere, between 0.1 mbar and 0.01 nbar are presented. The calculations include non-LTE heating/cooling in the rotation-vibration bands of CH4, C2H2, and C2H6, absorption of solar IR radiation in the near-IR bands of CH4 and subsequent cascading to the nu-4 band of CH4, absorption of solar EUV and UV radiation, thermal conduction and cooling by HCN rotational lines. Unlike earlier models, the calculated exospheric temperature agrees well with observations, because of the importance of HCN cooling. The calculations predict a well-developed mesopause with a temperature of 135-140 K at an altitude of approximately 600 km and pressure of about 0.1 microbar. The mesopause is at a higher pressure than predicted by earlier calculations because non-LTE radiative transfer in the rotation-vibration bands of CH4, C2H2, and C2H6 is treated in an accurate manner. The accuracy of the LTE approximation for source functions and heating rates is discussed.

  2. An extremely high altitude plume seen at Mars morning terminator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin; Garcia-Muñoz, Antonio; Garcia-Melendo, Enrique; Perez-Hoyos, Santiago; Gomez-Forrellad, Josep M.; Pellier, Christophe; Delcroix, Marc; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Jaeschke, Wayne; Parker, Donald C.; Phillips, James H.; Peach, Damian

    2014-11-01

    We report the occurrence in March and April 2012 of two bright very high altitude plumes at the Martian terminator at 250 km or more above the surface, thus well into the ionosphere and bordering on the exosphere. They were located at about 195 deg West longitude and -45 deg latitude (at Terra Cimmeria) and lasted for about 10 days. The features showed day-to-day variability, and were seen at the morning terminator but not at the evening limb, which indicates rapid evolution in less than 10 hours and a cyclic behavior. Photometric measurements are used to explore two possible scenarios to explain their nature. If the phenomenon is due to suspended particles (dust, CO2 or H2O ice clouds) reflecting solar radiation, the mean size is about 0.1 microns with a nadir optical depth > 0.06. Alternatively, the plume could be auroral emission above a region with a strong magnetic anomaly and where aurora has previously been detected. Importantly, both explanations defy our current understanding of the Mars upper atmosphere.AcknowledgementsThis work was supported by the Spanish MINECO projects AYA2012-36666 with FEDER support, CONSOLIDER program ASTROMOL CSD2009-00038 and AYA2011-30613-CO2-1. Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT765-13 and UPV/EHU UFI11/55.

  3. Formation of the lunar helium corona and atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, R. R., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Helium is one of the dominant gases of the lunar atmosphere. Its presence is easily identified in data from the mass spectrometer at the Apollo 17 landing site. The major part of these data was obtained in lunar nighttime, where helium concentration reaches the maximum of its diurnal cyclic variation. The large night to day concentration ratio agrees with the basic theory of exospheric lateral transport reported by Hodges and Johnson (1968). A reasonable fraction of atmospheric helium atoms has a velocity in excess of the gravitational escape velocity. The result is a short average lifetime and a tenuous helium atmosphere. A description is presented of an investigation which shows that the atmosphere of the moon has two distinct components including low energy atoms, which are gravitationally bound in trajectories that intersect the lunar surface, and higher energy atoms, which are trapped in satellite orbits. The total helium abundance in the lunar corona is shown to be about 1.3 times 10 to the 30th power atoms.

  4. Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD): Science Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.; McClintock, W. E.; Eastes, R.; Anderson, D. N.; Andersson, L.; Burns, A. G.; Codrescu, M.; Daniell, R. E.; England, S.; Eparvier, F. G.; Evans, J. S.; Krywonos, A.; Lumpe, J. D.; Richmond, A. D.; Rusch, D. W.; Siegmund, O.; Woods, T. N.

    2017-12-01

    The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) is a NASA mission of opportunity that will image the Earth's thermosphere and ionosphere from geostationary orbit. GOLD will investigate how the thermosphere-ionosphere (T-I) system responds to geomagnetic storms, solar radiation, and upward propagating tides and how the structure of the equatorial ionosphere influences the formation and evolution of equatorial plasma density irregularities. GOLD consists of a pair of identical imaging spectrographs that will measure airglow emissions at far-ultraviolet wavelengths from 132 to 162 nm. On the disk, temperature and composition will be determined during the day using emissions from molecular nitrogen Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) band and atomic oxygen 135.6 nm, and electron density will be derived at night from 135.6 nm emission. On the limb, exospheric temperature will be derived from LBH emission profiles, and molecular oxygen density will be measured using stellar occultations. This presentation describes the GOLD mission science implementation including the as-built instrument performance and the planned observing scenario. It also describes the results of simulations performed by the GOLD team to validate that the measured instrument performance and observing plan will return adequate data to address the science objectives of the mission.

  5. Low Energy Electrons in the Mars Plasma Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, Richard

    2001-01-01

    The ionosphere of Mars is rather poorly understood. The only direct measurements were performed by the Viking 1 and 2 landers in 1976, both of which carried a Retarding Potential Analyzer. The RPA was designed to measure ion properties during the descent, although electron fluxes were estimated from changes in the ion currents. Using these derived low-energy electron fluxes, Mantas and Hanson studied the photoelectron and the solar wind electron interactions with the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. Unanswered questions remain regarding the origin of the low-energy electron fluxes in the vicinity of the Mars plasma boundary. Crider, in an analysis of Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer measurements, has attributed the formation of the magnetic pile-up boundary to electron impact ionization of exospheric neutral species by solar wind electrons. However, the role of photoelectrons escaping from the lower ionosphere was not determined. In the proposed work, we will examine the role of solar wind and ionospheric photoelectrons in producing ionization in the upper ionosphere of Mars. Low-energy (internal (photoelectron) sources of ionization, and accounts for Auger electron production. The code will be used to analyze Mars Global Surveyor measurements of solar wind and photoelectrons down to altitudes below 200 km in the Mars ionosphere, in order to determine the relative roles of solar wind and escaping photoelectrons in maintaining plasma densities in the region of the Mars plasma boundary.

  6. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  7. The Extreme Ultraviolet spectrometer on bard the Hisaki satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshioka, K.; Murakami, G.; Yamazaki, A.; Tsuchiya, F.; Kagitani, M.; Kimura, T.; Yoshikawa, I.

    2017-12-01

    The extreme ultraviolet spectroscope EXCEED (EXtrem ultraviolet spetrosCope for ExosphEric Dynamics) on board the Hisaki satellite was launched in September 2013 from the Uchinoura space center, Japan. It is orbiting around the Earth with an orbital altitude of around 950-1150 km. This satellite is dedicated to and optimized for observing the atmosphere and magnetosphere of terrestrial planets such as Mercury, Venus, Mars, as well as Jupiter. The instrument consists of an off axis parabolic entrance mirror, switchable slits with multiple filters and shapes, a toroidal grating, and a photon counting detector, together with a field of view guiding camera. The design goal is to achieve a large effective area but with high spatial and spectral resolution. Based on the after-launch calibration, the spectral resolution of EXCEED is found to be 0.3-0.5 nm FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) over the entire spectral band, and the spatial resolution is around 17". The evaluated effective area is larger than 1cm2. In this presentation, the basic concept of the instrument design and the observation technique are introduced. The current status of the spacecraft and its future observation plan are also shown.

  8. Dusk/dawn atmospheric asymmetries on tidally-locked satellites: O2 at Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oza, Apurva V.; Johnson, Robert E.; Leblanc, François

    2018-05-01

    We use a simple analytic model to examine the effect of the atmospheric source properties on the spatial distribution of a volatile in a surface-bounded atmosphere on a satellite that is tidally-locked to its planet. Spatial asymmetries in the O2 exosphere of Europa observed using the Hubble Space Telescope appear to reveal on average a dusk enhancement in the near-surface ultraviolet auroral emissions. Since the hop distances in these ballistic atmospheres are small, we use a 1-D mass conservation equation to estimate the latitudinally-averaged column densities produced by suggested O2 sources. Although spatial asymmetries in the plasma flow and in the surface properties certainly affect the spatial distribution of the near-surface aurora, the dusk enhancements at Europa can be understood using a relatively simple thermally-dependent source. Such a source is consistent with the fact that radiolytically produced O2 permeates their porous regoliths and is not so sensitive to the local production rate from ice. The size of the shift towards dusk is determined by the ratio of the rotation rate and atmospheric loss rate. A thermally-dependent source emanating from a large reservoir of O2 permeating Europa's icy regolith is consistent with the suggestion that its subsurface ocean might be oxidized by subduction of such radiolytic products.

  9. Chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strobel, D.F.

    1982-01-01

    The chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere is reviewed in the light of the scientific findings from the Voyager mission. It is argued that the present N 2 atmosphere may be Titan's initial atmosphere rather than photochemically derived from an original NH 3 atmosphere. The escape rate of hydrogen from Titan is controlled by photochemical production from hydrocarbons. CH 4 is irreversibly converted to less hydrogen rich hydrocarbons, which over geologic time accumulate on the surface to a layer thickness of approximately 0.5 km. Magnetospheric electrons interacting with Titan's exosphere may dissociate enough N 2 into hot, escaping N atoms to remove approximately 0.2 of Titan's present atmosphere over geologic time. The energy dissipation of magnetospheric electrons exceeds solar e.u.v. energy deposition in Titan's atmosphere by an order of magnitude and is the principal driver of nitrogen photochemistry. The environmental conditions in Titan's upper atmosphere are favorable to building up complex molecules, particularly in the north polar cap region. (author)

  10. Jupiter's Auroral Energy Input Observed by Hisaki/EXCEED and its Modulations by Io's Volcanic Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, C.; Kimura, T.; Tsuchiya, F.; Murakami, G.; Yoshioka, K.; Kita, H.; Yamazaki, A.; Kasaba, Y.; Yoshikawa, I.; Fujimoto, M.

    2016-12-01

    Aurora is an important indicator representing the momentum transfer from the fast-rotating outer planet to the magnetosphere and the energy input into the atmosphere through the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Long-term monitoring of Jupiter's northern aurora was achieved by the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) spectrometer called EXCEED (Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscope for Exospheric Dynamics) onboard JAXA's Earth-orbiting planetary space telescope Hisaki until today after its launch in September 2013. We have proceeded the statistical survey of the Jupiter's auroral energy input into the upper atmosphere. The auroral electron energy is estimated using a hydrocarbon color ratio (CR) adopted for the wavelength range of EXCEED, and the emission power in the long wavelength range 138.5-144.8 nm is used as an indicator of total emitted power before hydrocarbon absorption and auroral electron energy flux. Temporal dynamic variation of the auroral intensity was detected when Io's volcanic activity and thus EUV emission from the Io plasma torus are enhanced in the early 2015. Average of the total input power over 80 days increases by 10% with sometimes sporadically more than a factor of 3 upto 7, while the CR indicates the auroral electron energy decrease by 20% during the volcanic event compared to the other period. This indicates much more increase in the current system and Joule heating which contributes heating of the upper atmosphere. We will discuss the impact of this event on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.

  11. The GOLD Science Data Center - Algorithm Heritage, Data Product Descriptions and User Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumpe, J. D.; Foroosh, H.; Eastes, R.; Krywonos, A.; Evans, J. S.; Burns, A. G.; Strickland, D. J.; Daniell, R. E.; England, S.; Solomon, S. C.; McClintock, W. E.; Anderson, D. N.

    2013-12-01

    The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument is an imaging spectrograph to be launched onboard a commercial communications satellite in 2017. From its vantage point in geosynchronous orbit GOLD will image the Earth in the far-ultraviolet from 132 to 162 nm. The instrument consists of two independent optical channels, allowing for simultaneous implementation of multiple measurement sequences with different temporal sampling and spectral resolution. In addition to continuously scanning the disk of the Earth, GOLD will also perform routine limb scan and stellar occultation measurements. These measurements will be used to retrieve a variety of data products characterizing the temperature and composition of the thermosphere-ionosphere, and their response to geomagnetic storms and solar forcing. Primary data products include: daytime neutral temperatures near 160 km altitude; daytime O/N2 column density ratios; nighttime peak electron density; thermospheric O2 density profiles (day and night); daytime exospheric neutral temperature on the limb; atmospheric tides from temperature perturbations; and the location and evolution of ionospheric bubbles. GOLD data will be processed at the Science Data Center (SDC) located at the University of Central Florida. The SDC will also serve as the primary gateway for distribution of GOLD data products to end-users. In this talk we summarize the heritage and theoretical basis of the GOLD retrieval algorithms and describe the full range of GOLD data products that will be available at the SDC, including estimates of data latency and quality.

  12. POTASSIUM DETECTION AND LITHIUM DEPLETION IN COMETS C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) AND C/1965 S1 (IKEYA-SEKI)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fulle, M.; Molaro, P. [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico, Via Tiepolo 11, I-34143 Trieste (Italy); Buzzi, L.; Valisa, P., E-mail: fulle@oats.inaf.it [Societa Astronomica Schiaparelli, Via Beato Angelico 1, Varese (Italy)

    2013-07-10

    On 2013 March 21, high-resolution slit spectrographs of the comet C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs), at a heliocentric distance r = 0.46 AU, were obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico Campo dei Fiori, Italy. Emission lines of sodium were the strongest in the spectrum as is common in comets, but potassium lines were also detected. These have rarely been observed in comets since the apparition of the brightest comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki). Lithium was not detected and stringent upper limits of its abundance compared to other alkali were derived. We obtain the abundance ratios Na/K = 54 {+-} 14 and Na/Li {>=}810{sup 3}. In addition to Mercury's exosphere (Leblanc and Doressoundiram), we show that photoionization at the beginning of the alkali tails may increase the solar ratio Na/K = 15.5 (Asplund et al.) by a factor three, close to that required to match the observed value. In the same tail position, the Na/Li ratio increases only by a factor two, very far from the factor {>=}8 required to match an original meteoritic ratio. We apply the same model to similar alkali data (Preston) of the comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki) and obtain consistent results. An original solar Na/K ratio fits the observed value at the beginning of the alkali tails within the slit size, whereas Li is depleted by a factor {>=}8.

  13. International Lunar Observatory Association Advancing 21st Century Astronomy from the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, Steve

    2015-08-01

    Long considered a prime location to conduct astronomical observations, the Moon is beginning to prove its value in 21st Century astronomy through the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope aboard China’s Chang’e-3 Moon lander and through the developing missions of the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA). With 24 hours / Earth day of potential operability facilitating long-duration observations, the stable platform of the lunar surface and extremely thin exosphere guaranteeing superior observation conditions, zones of radio-quiet for radio astronomy, and the resources and thermal stability at the lunar South Pole, the Moon provides several pioneering advantages for astronomy. ILOA, through MOUs with NAOC and CNSA, has been collaborating with China to make historic Galaxy observations with the Chang’e-3 LUT, including imaging Galaxy M101 in December 2014. LUT has an aperture of 150mm, covers a wavelength range of 245 to 340 nanometers and is capable of detecting objects at a brightness down to 14 mag. The success of China’s mission has provided support and momentum for ILOA’s mission to place a 2-meter dish, multifunctional observatory at the South Pole of the Moon NET 2017. ILOA also has plans to send a precursor observatory instrument (ILO-X) on the inaugural mission of GLXP contestant Moon Express. Advancing astronomy and astrophysics from the Moon through public-private and International partnerships will provide many valuable research opportunities while also helping to secure humanity’s position as multi world species.

  14. Low Altitude Emission (LAE) of Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) Observed by TWINS and its Relation to the CINEMA CubeSat Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazell, D.; Sotirelis, T.; Nair, H.; Roelof, E. C.; Brandt, P. C.

    2009-12-01

    The brightest source of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) at energies >1keV is low altitude emission (LAE) from ~200-400km near auroral latitudes where precipitating energetic ions undergo multiple atomic collisions with the monatomic (O) exosphere. This emission is many times brighter than that from the high-altitude ring current region where the energetic ions interact only weakly with the much less dense monatomic (H) hydrogen geocorona. The recently selected NSF CubeSat mission CINEMA [Lin et al., this special session] has, as part of its science payload (STEIN), an ENA imager covering energies 4-100keV. From a high-inclination ~800km orbit, STEIN will view the LAE four times during every 90 minutes. The NASA TWINS stereo ENA imagers (2-40keV) will also view the LAE from their Molniya orbits (apogee radius~7Re). We have been analyzing the TWINS ENA images of LAE and comparing them with in situ ion measurements (1-40keV) from DMSP spacecraft when their tracks take them under the ion precipitation regions imaged by TWINS. We have developed an ENA emissivity function that relates the directionally-dependent emergent ENA spectrum to that of the precipitating ions. The TWINS/DMSP direct comparisons show good agreement. We offer suggestions on joint observing strategies for CINEMA, TWINS and DMSP after the CINEMA launch in the second half of 2011.

  15. Titan's plasma environment: 3D hybrid simulation and comparison with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Sittler, E. C.; Hartle, R. E.

    2007-12-01

    A multiscale combined (fluid--kinetic) numerical method allows us to use more realistic plasma models at Titan. This method takes into account charge-exchange and photoionization processes. We study the Titan's plasma environment in case of high, intermediate and low exosphere density in Chamberlain models. The background ions H+, O+ and pickup ions H2+, CH4+ and N2+ are described in a kinetic approximation, where the electrons are approximated as a fluid. We also include an immobile ionosphere at the height 1300km. In this report we consider the multiscale spatial structure for plasma and electromagnetic field, and the velocity distribution of ions that results from the coupling between background ions and pickup ions. Special attention will be paid for the comparisons our numerical results with Voyager and Cassini observations (see e.g. [Sittler, Hartle, et al., 2005; Hartle, Sittler et al., 2006]). We shall estimate of mass loading rate for Ta, energy input to upper atmosphere from ambient +pickup ions, and the T9 encounter with two crossings. \

  16. Gone with the Wind: Three Years of MAVEN Measurements of Atmospheric Loss at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, David; MAVEN Team

    2017-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is making measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere and near space environment, and their interactions with energy inputs from the Sun. A major goal of the mission is to evaluate the loss of atmospheric gases to space in the present epoch, and over Martian history. MAVEN is equipped with instruments that measure both the neutral and charged upper atmospheric system (thermosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and magnetosphere), inputs from the Sun (extreme ultraviolet flux, solar wind and solar energetic particles, and interplanetary magnetic field), and escaping atmospheric particles. The MAVEN instruments, coupled with models, allow us to more completely understand the physical processes that control atmospheric loss and the particle reservoirs for loss.Here, we provide an overview of the significant results from MAVEN over approximately 1.5 Mars years (nearly three Earth years) of observation, from November 2014 to present. We argue that the MAVEN measurements tell us that the loss of atmospheric gases to space was significant over Martian history, and present the seasonal behavior of the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. We also discuss the influence of extreme events such as solar storms, and a variety of new discoveries and observations of the Martian system made by MAVEN.

  17. Survey of pickup ion signatures in the vicinity of Titan using CAPS/IMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regoli, L. H.; Coates, A. J.; Thomsen, M. F.; Jones, G. H.; Roussos, E.; Waite, J. H.; Krupp, N.; Cox, G.

    2016-09-01

    Pickup ion detection at Titan is challenging because ion cyclotron waves are rarely detected in the vicinity of the moon. In this work, signatures left by freshly produced pickup heavy ions (m/q ˜ 16 to m/q ˜ 28) as detected in the plasma data by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer/Ion Mass Spectrometer (CAPS/IMS) instrument on board Cassini are analyzed. In order to discern whether these correspond to ions of exospheric origin, one of the flybys during which the reported signatures were observed is investigated in detail. For this purpose, ion composition data from time-of-flight measurements and test particle simulations to constrain the ions' origin are used. After being validated, the detection method is applied to all the flybys for which the CAPS/IMS instrument gathered valid data, constraining the region around the moon where the signatures are observed. The results reveal an escape region located in the anti-Saturn direction as expected from the nominal corotation electric field direction. These findings provide new constraints for the area of freshly produced pickup ion escape, giving an approximate escape rate of 3.3-2+3×1023 ions· s-1.

  18. Sodium Atoms in the Lunar Exotail: Observed Velocity and Spatial Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Line, Michael R.; Mierkiewicz, E. J.; Oliversen, R. J.; Wilson, J. K.; Haffner, L. M.; Roesler, F. L.

    2011-01-01

    The lunar sodium tail extends long distances due to radiation pressure on sodium atoms in the lunar exosphere. Our earlier observations determined the average radial velocity of sodium atoms moving down the lunar tail beyond Earth along the Sun-Moon-Earth line (i.e., the anti-lunar point) to be 12.4 km/s. Here we use the Wisconsin H-alpha Mapper to obtain the first kinematically resolved maps of the intensity and velocity distribution of this emission over a 15 x times 15 deg region on the sky near the anti-lunar point. We present both spatially and spectrally resolved observations obtained over four nights around new moon in October 2007. The spatial distribution of the sodium atoms is elongated along the ecliptic with the location of the peak intensity drifting 3 degrees east along the ecliptic per night. Preliminary modeling results suggest that the spatial and velocity distributions in the sodium exotail are sensitive to the near surface lunar sodium velocity distribution and that observations of this sort along with detailed modeling offer new opportunities to describe the time history of lunar surface sputtering over several days.

  19. A low-energy antiproton detector prototype for AFIS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Lingxin; Greenwald, Daniel; Hahn, Alexander; Hauptmann, Philipp; Konorov, Igor; Losekamm, Martin; Paul, Stephan; Poeschl, Thomas; Renker, Dieter [Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany)

    2014-07-01

    Antiprotons are produced in interactions of primary cosmic rays with earth's exosphere, where a fraction of them will be confined in the geomagnetic field in the inner van Allen Belt. The antiproton-to-proton flux ratio predicted by theory is in good agreement with recent results from the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) published by the PAMELA collaboration. We have designed the AFIS (Antiproton Flux in Space) project in order to extend the measurable range of antiprotons towards the low-energy region. In scope of this project a small antiproton detector consisting of scintillating fibers and silicon photomultipliers is being developed as payload for a CubeSat traversing the SAA in Low Earth Orbit. For the proof of concept we have built a prototype called ''CubeZero'' which completed its first test using pion and proton beams at PSI, Switzerland. Our primary goal was to investigate on the performance of tracking and Bragg peak identification in hardware and software. Analysis of detector performance based on data taken during this beam test is presented in this talk.

  20. Satellite accelerometer measurements of neutral density and winds during geomagnetic storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcos, F. A.; Forbes, J. M.

    1986-01-01

    A new thermospheric wind measurement technique is reported which is based on a Satellite Electrostatic Triaxial Accelerometer (SETA) system capable of accurately measuring accelerations in the satellite's in-track, cross-track and radial directions. Data obtained during two time periods are presented. The first data set describes cross-track winds measured between 170 and 210 km during a 5-day period (25 to 29 March 1979) of mostly high geomagnetic activity. In the second data set, cross-track winds and neutral densities from SETA and exospheric temperatures from the Millstone Hill incoherent scatter radar are examined during an isolated magnetic substorm occurring on 21 March 1979. A polar thermospheric wind circulation consisting of a two cell horizontal convection pattern is reflected in both sets of cross-track acceleration measurements. The density response is highly asymmetric with respect to its day/night behavior. Latitude structures of the density response at successive times following the substorm peak suggest the equatorward propagation of a disturbance with a phase speed between 300 and 600 m/s. A deep depression in the density at high latitudes (less than 70 deg) is evident in conjunction with this phenomenon. The more efficient propagation of the disturbance to lower latitudes during the night is probably due to the midnight surge effect.

  1. Orbital misalignment of the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b with the spin of its cool star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrier, Vincent; Lovis, Christophe; Beust, Hervé; Ehrenreich, David; Henry, Gregory W.; Astudillo-Defru, Nicola; Allart, Romain; Bonfils, Xavier; Ségransan, Damien; Delfosse, Xavier; Cegla, Heather M.; Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Heng, Kevin; Lavie, Baptiste; Pepe, Francesco

    2018-01-01

    The angle between the spin of a star and the orbital planes of its planets traces the history of the planetary system. Exoplanets orbiting close to cool stars are expected to be on circular, aligned orbits because of strong tidal interactions with the stellar convective envelope. Spin–orbit alignment can be measured when the planet transits its star, but such ground-based spectroscopic measurements are challenging for cool, slowly rotating stars. Here we report the three-dimensional characterization of the trajectory of an exoplanet around an M dwarf star, derived by mapping the spectrum of the stellar photosphere along the chord transited by the planet. We find that the eccentric orbit of the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b is nearly perpendicular to the stellar equator. Both eccentricity and misalignment, surprising around a cool star, can result from dynamical interactions (via Kozai migration) with a yet-undetected outer companion. This inward migration of GJ 436b could have triggered the atmospheric escape that now sustains its giant exosphere.

  2. The Sodium Tail of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matta, M.; Smith, S.; Baumgardner, J.; Wilson, J.; Martinis, C.; Mendillo, M.

    2009-01-01

    During the few days centered about new Moon, the lunar surface is optically hidden from Earth-based observers. However, the Moon still offers an observable: an extended sodium tail. The lunar sodium tail is the escaping "hot" component of a coma-like exosphere of sodium generated by photon-stimulated desorption, solar wind sputtering and meteoroid impact. Neutral sodium atoms escaping lunar gravity experience solar radiation pressure that drives them into the anti-solar direction forming a comet-like tail. During new Moon time, the geometry of the Sun, Moon and Earth is such that the anti-sunward sodium flux is perturbed by the terrestrial gravitational field resulting in its focusing into a dense core that extends beyond the Earth. An all-sky camera situated at the El Leoncito Observatory (CASLEO) in Argentina has been successfully imaging this tail through a sodium filter at each lunation since April 2006. This paper reports on the results of the brightness of the lunar sodium tail spanning 31 lunations between April 2006 and September 2008. Brightness variability trends are compared with both sporadic and shower meteor activity, solar wind proton energy flux and solar near ultra violet (NUV) patterns for possible correlations. Results suggest minimal variability in the brightness of the observed lunar sodium tail, generally uncorrelated with any single source, yet consistent with a multi-year period of minimal solar activity and non-intense meteoric fluxes.

  3. Energetic Particles Dynamics in Mercury's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Brian M.; Ryou, A.S.; Sibeck, D. G.; Alexeev, I. I.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the drift paths of energetic particles in Mercury's magnetosphere by tracing their motion through a model magnetic field. Test particle simulations solving the full Lorentz force show a quasi-trapped energetic particle population that gradient and curvature drift around the planet via "Shabansky" orbits, passing though high latitudes in the compressed dayside by equatorial latitudes on the nightside. Due to their large gyroradii, energetic H+ and Na+ ions will typically collide with the planet or the magnetopause and will not be able to complete a full drift orbit. These simulations provide direct comparison for recent spacecraft measurements from MESSENGER. Mercury's offset dipole results in an asymmetric loss cone and therefore an asymmetry in particle precipitation with more particles precipitating in the southern hemisphere. Since the planet lacks an atmosphere, precipitating particles will collide directly with the surface of the planet. The incident charged particles can kick up neutrals from the surface and have implications for the formation of the exosphere and weathering of the surface

  4. Sodium Ion Dynamics in the Magnetospheric Flanks of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizawa, Sae; Delcourt, Dominique; Terada, Naoki

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the transport of planetary ions in the magnetospheric flanks of Mercury. In situ measurements from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft show evidences of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability development in this region of space, due to the velocity shear between the downtail streaming flow of solar wind originating protons in the magnetosheath and the magnetospheric populations. Ions that originate from the planet exosphere and that gain access to this region of space may be transported across the magnetopause along meandering orbits. We examine this transport using single-particle trajectory calculations in model Magnetohydrodynamics simulations of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. We show that heavy ions of planetary origin such as Na+ may experience prominent nonadiabatic energization as they E × B drift across large-scale rolled up vortices. This energization is controlled by the characteristics of the electric field burst encountered along the particle path, the net energy change realized corresponding to the maximum E × B drift energy. This nonadiabatic energization also is responsible for prominent scattering of the particles toward the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field.

  5. Modeling of the Magnetosphere of Mercury at the Time of the First MESSENGER Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benna, Mehdi; Anderson, Brian J.; Baker, Daniel N.; Boardsen, Scott A.; Gloeckler, George; Gold, Robert E.; Ho, George C.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; hide

    2010-01-01

    The MESSENGER spacecraft flyby of Mercury on 14 January 2008 provided a new opportunity to study the intrinsic magnetic field of the innermost planet and its interaction with the solar wind, The model presented in this paper is based on the solution of the three-dimensional, bi-f1uid equations for solar wind protons and electrons in the absence of mass loading, In this study we provide new estimates of Mercury's intrinsic magnetic field and the solar wind conditions that prevailed at the time of the flyby. We show that the location of the boundary layers and the strength of the magnetic field along the spacecraft trajectory can be reproduced with a solar wind ram pressure P(sub sw) = 6.8 nPa and a planetary magnetic dipole having a magnitude of 210 R(sub M)(exp 3)- nT and an offset of 0.18 R(sub M) to the north of the equator, where R(sub M) is Mercury's radius. Analysis of the plasma flow reveals the existence of a stable drift belt around the planet; such a belt can account for the locations of diamagnetic decreases observed by the MESSENGER Magnetometer. Moreover, we determine that the ion impact rate at the n011hern cusp was four times higher than at the southern cusp, a result that provides a possible explanation for the observed north-south asymmetry in exospheric sodium in the neutral tail.

  6. Observation of Neutral Sodium Above Mercury During the Transit of November 8, 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, A. E.; Killen, R. M.; Reardon, Kevin P.; Bida, T. A.

    2013-01-01

    We mapped the absorption of sunlight by sodium vapor in the exosphere of Mercury during the transit of Mercury on November 8, 2006, using the IBIS Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer at the Dunn Solar Telescope operated by the National Solar Observatory at Sunspot, New Mexico. The measurements were reduced to line-of-sight equivalent widths for absorption at the sodium D2 line around the shadow of Mercury. The sodium absorption fell off exponentially with altitude up to about 600 km. However there were regions around north and south polar-regions where relatively uniform sodium absorptions extended above 1000 km. We corrected the 0-600 km altitude profiles for seeing blur using the measured point spread function. Analysis of the corrected altitude distributions yielded surface densities, zenith column densities, temperatures and scale heights for sodium all around the planet. Sodium absorption on the dawn side equatorial terminator was less than on the dusk side, different from previous observations of the relative absorption levels. We also determined Earthward velocities for sodium atoms, and line widths for the absorptions. Earthward velocities resulting from radiation pressure on sodium averaged 0.8 km/s, smaller than a prediction of 1.5 km/s. Most line widths were in the range of 20 mA after correction for instrumental broadening, corresponding to temperatures in the range of 1000 K.

  7. Reference Atmosphere for Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killen, Rosemary M.

    2002-01-01

    We propose that Ar-40 measured in the lunar atmosphere and that in Mercury's atmosphere is due to current diffusion into connected pore space within the crust. Higher temperatures at Mercury, along with more rapid loss from the atmosphere will lead to a smaller column abundance of argon at Mercury than at the Moon, given the same crustal abundance of potassium. Because the noble gas abundance in the Hermean atmosphere represents current effusion, it is a direct measure of the crustal potassium abundance. Ar-40 in the atmospheres of the planets is a measure of potassium abundance in the interiors, since Ar-40 is a product of radiogenic decay of K-40 by electron capture with the subsequent emission of a 1.46 eV gamma-ray. Although the Ar-40 in the Earth's atmosphere is expected to have accumulated since the late bombardment, Ar-40 in the atmospheres of Mercury and the Moon is eroded quickly by photoionization and electron impact ionization. Thus, the argon content in the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury is representative of current effusion rather than accumulation over the lifetime of the planet.

  8. A Microchannel Inlet to Reduce High-Velocity Impact Fragmentation of Molecules in Orbital and Fly-by Mass Spectrometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Brandon; Anupriya, Anupriya; Sevy, Eric; Austin, Daniel E.

    2017-10-01

    Closed source neutral mass spectrometers are often used on flyby missions to characterize the molecular components of planetary exospheres. In a typical closed source, neutrals are thermalized as they deflect off the walls within a spherical antechamber prior to ionization and mass analysis. However, the high kinetic energy of each molecule as it impacts the chamber can lead to fragmentation before the ionization region is reached. Due to this fragmentation, the original composition of the molecule can be altered, leading to ambiguous identification.Even knowing the fragmentation pathways that occur may not allow deconvolution of data to give the correct composition. Only stable, volatile fragments will be observed in the subsequent mass spectrometer and different organic compounds likely give similar fragmentation products. Simply detecting these products will not lead to unambiguous identication of the precursor molecules. Here, we present a hardware solution to this problem—an inlet that reduces the fragmentation of molecules that impact at high velocities.We present a microchannel inlet that reduces the impact fragmentation by allowing the molecules to dissipate kinetic energy faster than their respective dissociation lifetimes. Preliminary calculations indicate that impact-induced fragmentation will be reduced up to three orders of magnitude compared with conventional closed sources by using this inlet. The benefits of such an inlet apply to any orbital or flyby velocity. The microchannel inlet enables detection of semi-volatile molecules that were previously undetectable due to impact fragmentation.

  9. Irradiation effects induced by multiply charged heavy ions on astrophysical materials such as crystals and ices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langlinay, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The solar system and the interstellar medium are permanently exposed to radiations such as solar wind and cosmic rays. The interaction between energetic particles and astrophysical materials (ices, silicates and carbon-based materials) plays an important role in several astrophysical phenomena. Laboratory experiments correlated to observational data may allow a better understanding of these phenomena. The aim of this thesis was to study the effect of slow and fast heavy ions on lithium fluoride and on astrophysical materials such as ices and silicates. We focused on the sputtering phenomenon. The present study was performed with a time of flight imaging technique (XY-TOF-SIMS) at the CIMAP-GANIL laboratory. The major fraction of secondary ions is found to be emitted in the form of clusters. Several parameters affect sputtering: the stopping power regime, the thickness of the target, the incident angle and, for low highly charged ions, the projectile charge. Our laboratory simulations exhibit the possibility that sputtered particles contribute to the formation of Mercury's and Jupiter's moons exosphere. (author)

  10. Statistical Similarities Between WSA-ENLIL+Cone Model and MAVEN in Situ Observations From November 2014 to March 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, C. L.; Baker, D. N.; Jaynes, A. N.; Dewey, R. M.; Lee, C. O.; Halekas, J. S.; Brain, D. A.

    2018-02-01

    Normal solar wind flows and intense solar transient events interact directly with the upper Martian atmosphere due to the absence of an intrinsic global planetary magnetic field. Since the launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, there are now new means to directly observe solar wind parameters at the planet's orbital location for limited time spans. Due to MAVEN's highly elliptical orbit, in situ measurements cannot be taken while MAVEN is inside Mars' magnetosheath. To model solar wind conditions during these atmospheric and magnetospheric passages, this research project utilized the solar wind forecasting capabilities of the WSA-ENLIL+Cone model. The model was used to simulate solar wind parameters that included magnetic field magnitude, plasma particle density, dynamic pressure, proton temperature, and velocity during a four Carrington rotation-long segment. An additional simulation that lasted 18 Carrington rotations was then conducted. The precision of each simulation was examined for intervals when MAVEN was in the upstream solar wind, that is, with no exospheric or magnetospheric phenomena altering in situ measurements. It was determined that generalized, extensive simulations have comparable prediction capabilities as shorter, more comprehensive simulations. Generally, this study aimed to quantify the loss of detail in long-term simulations and to determine if extended simulations can provide accurate, continuous upstream solar wind conditions when there is a lack of in situ measurements.

  11. Nature of the Venus thermosphere derived from satellite drag measurements (solicited paper)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, G.; Theriot, M.; Bougher, S.

    2008-09-01

    From drag measurements obtained by Pioneer Venus and Magellan, the Venus upper atmosphere was discovered to be much colder than Earth's, even though Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth. On the dayside, exospheric temperatures are near 300K compared to Earth's of near 1200K [1]. This is thought to result principally from 15 micron excitation of carbon dioxide by atomic oxygen resulting in very strong 15 micron emission to space, cooling off the upper atmosphere [2]. On the nightside the Venus upper atmosphere is near 100K [3], compared to Earth where temperatures are near 900K. The nightside Venus temperatures drop with altitude contrary to a thermosphere where temperatures rise with altitude. As a result, the very cold nightside is called a "cryosphere" rather than a thermosphere. This is the first cryosphere discovered in the solar system [1]. Temperatures sharply drop near the terminator. Apparently, heat is somehow blocked near the terminator from being significantly transported to the nightside [4]. Recently, drag studies were performed on a number of Earth satellites to establish whether the rise of carbon dioxide on Earth was cooling the Earth's thermosphere similar to the dayside of Venus. Keating et al. [5] discovered that a 10 percent drop in density near 350km at solar minimum occurred globally over a period of 20 years with a 10 per cent rise in carbon dioxide. This should result in about a factor of 2 decline in density from 1976 values, by the end of the 21st century brought on by thermospheric cooling. Subsequent studies have confirmed these results. Thus we are beginning to see the cooling of Earth's upper atmosphere apparently from the same process cooling the Venus thermosphere. Fig. 1 VIRA Exospheric Temperatures Atmospheric drag data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Magellan were combined to generate an improved version of the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) [6], [7]. A "fountain effect" was discovered where the

  12. Planetary Data Archiving Activities of ISRO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopala Krishna, Barla; D, Rao J.; Thakkar, Navita; Prashar, Ajay; Manthira Moorthi, S.

    composition & mineralogy of mars, Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) to study the composition and density of the Martian neutral atmosphere and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) to investigate the loss process of water in Martian atmosphere, towards fulfilling the mission objectives. Active archive created in PDS for some of the instrument data during the earth phase of the mission is being analysed by the PIs. The Mars science data from the onboard instruments is expected during September 2014. The next planetary mission planned to moon is Chandrayaan-2 which consists of an orbiter having five instruments (http://www.isro.org) viz, (i) Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) for mineral mapping, (ii) TMC-2 for topographic mapping, (iii) MiniSAR to detect water ice in the permanently shadowed regions on the Lunar poles, up to a depth of a few meters, (iv) Large Area Soft X-ray spectrometer (CLASS) & Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) for mapping the major elements present on the lunar surface and (v)Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE2) to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere towards moon exploration; a rover for some specific experiments and a Lander for technology experiment and demonstration. The data is planned to be archived in PDS standards.

  13. First Results from NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphic, R. C.; Colaprete, A.; Horanyi, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Delory, G. T.; Noble, S. K.; Boroson, D.; Hine, B.; Salute, J.

    2013-12-01

    As of early August, 2013, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission is scheduled for launch on a Minotaur V rocket from Wallops Flight Facility during a five-day launch period that opens on Sept. 6, 2013 (early Sept. 7 UTC). LADEE will address 40 year-old mysteries of the lunar atmosphere and the question of levitated lunar dust. It will also pioneer the next generation of optical space communications. LADEE will assess the composition of the lunar atmosphere and investigate the processes that control its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions. LADEE will also determine whether dust is present in the lunar exosphere, and reveal its sources and variability. These investigations are relevant to our understanding of surface boundary exospheres and dust processes occurring at many objects throughout the solar system, address questions regarding the origin and evolution of lunar volatiles, and have potential implications for future exploration activities. Following a successful launch, LADEE will enter a series of phasing orbits, which allows the spacecraft to arrive at the Moon at the proper time and phase. This approach accommodates any dispersion in the Minotaur V launch injection. LADEE's arrival at the moon depends on the launch date, but with the Sept. 6 launch date it should arrive at the Moon in early October. The spacecraft will approach the moon from its leading edge, travel behind the Moon out of sight of the Earth, and then re-emerge and execute a three-minute Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver. This will place LADEE in an elliptical retrograde equatorial orbit with an orbital period of approximately 24 hours. A series of maneuvers is then performed to reduce the orbit to become nearly circular with a 156-mile (250-kilometer) altitude. Spacecraft checkout and science instrument commissioning will commence in early-October and will nominally span 30 days but can be extended for an additional 30

  14. BepiColombo MPO: Status update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2014-04-01

    BepiColombo is a joint project between ESA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Mission consists of two orbiters, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The mission scenario foresees a launch of both spacecraft with an ARIANE V in July 2016 and an arrival at Mercury in the first half of 2024. From their dedicated orbits the two spacecrafts will be studying the planet and its environment. The MPO on BepiColombo will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will be testing Einstein's theory of general relativity. The MMO provided by JAXA focuses on investigating the wave and particle environment of the planet from an eccentric orbit. A suite of state-of-art scientific instruments allow a wide range of scientific questions to be addressed like understanding of the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star, the detailed study of Mercury's figure, its interior structure and composition, the investigation of the interior dynamics and origin of Mercury's magnetic field. Further science goals are trying to understand exoand endogenic surface modifications, cratering, tectonics, and volcanism. The composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury's exosphere and Mercury's magnetosphere will be addressed by combined measurements of both spacecraft. Last but not least scientist believe that they can use BepiColombo also as a laboratory to test Einstein's theory of general relativity, by performing high accurate positioning measurements of the spacecraft. All in all measurements performed by the instruments on BepiColombo will provide clues on the origin and formation of terrestrial planets and help to answer fundamental questions like: "How do Earth-like planets form and evolve in the Universe?" Mercury is a small planet compared to the Earth and difficult to observe from the Earth, due to its close

  15. Investigation of dust particles with future Russian lunar missions: achievements of further development of PmL instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsov, Ilya; Zakharov, Alexander; Afonin, Valeri; Seran, Elena; Godefroy, Michel; Shashkova, Inna; Lyash, Andrey; Dolnikov, Gennady; Popel, Sergey; Lisin, Evgeny

    2016-07-01

    One of the complicating factors of the future robotic and human lunar landing missions is the influence of the dust. Meteorites bombardment has accompanied by shock-explosive phenomena, disintegration and mix of the lunar soil in depth and on area simultaneously. As a consequence, the lunar soil has undergone melting, physical and chemical transformations. Recently we have the some reemergence for interest of Moon investigation. The prospects in current century declare USA, China, India, and European Union. In Russia also prepare two missions: Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource. Not last part of investigation of Moon surface is reviewing the dust condition near the ground of landers. Studying the properties of lunar dust is important both for scientific purposes to investigation the lunar exosphere component and for the technical safety of lunar robotic and manned missions. The absence of an atmosphere on the Moon's surface is leading to greater compaction and sintering. Properties of regolith and dust particles (density, temperature, composition, etc.) as well as near-surface lunar exosphere depend on solar activity, lunar local time and position of the Moon relative to the Earth's magneto tail. Upper layers of regolith are an insulator, which is charging as a result of solar UV radiation and the constant bombardment of charged particles, creates a charge distribution on the surface of the moon: positive on the illuminated side and negative on the night side. Charge distribution depends on the local lunar time, latitude and the electrical properties of the regolith (the presence of water in the regolith can influence the local distribution of charge). On the day side of Moon near surface layer there exists possibility formation dusty plasma system. Altitude of levitation is depending from size of dust particle and Moon latitude. The distribution of dust particles by size and altitude has estimated with taking into account photoelectrons, electrons and ions of solar wind

  16. SIMBIO-SYS for BepiColombo: status and issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flamini, E.; Capaccioni, F.; Cremonese, G.; Palumbo, P.; Formaro, R.; Mugnuolo, R.; Debei, S.; Ficai Veltroni, I.; Dami, M.; Tommasi, L.; SIMBIO-SYS Team

    the type and distribution of mineral species Reconstruction of the surface geology and stratigraphic history: based on the combination of stereo and high- resolution imaging along with compositional information coming from the spectrometer Relative surface age by impact craters population density and distribution: based on the global imaging including the high-resolution mode Surface degradation processes and global resurfacing: derived from the erosional status of the impact crater and ejecta Identification of volcanic landforms and style: using the morphological and compositional information Crustal dynamics and mechanical properties of the lithosphere: based on the identification and classification of tectonic structures from visible images and detailed DTM Surface composition and crustal differentiation: based on the identification and distribution of mineral species as seen by the NIR hyperspectral imager Soil maturity and alteration processes: based on the measure of the spectral slope derived by the hyperspectral imager and the colour capabilities of the stereo camera Determination of moment of inertia of the planet: the high-resolution imaging channel as landmark pairs of surface features that can be observed on the periside as support for the libration experiment Surface-Atmosphere interaction processes and origin of the exosphere: knowledge of the surface composition is also crucial to unambiguously identify the source minerals for each of the constituents of the Mercury.s exosphere The instrument has been realized by Selex-ES under the contract and management of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) that have signed an MoU with CNES for the development of VIHI Proximity Electronics, the Main Electronics, and the instrument final calibration . All the realization and calibration has been carried on under the scientific supervision of the SIMBIO-SYS science team SIMBIOSYS has been delivered to ESA on April 2015 for the final integration on the BepiColombo MPO

  17. Detectability of molecular gas signatures on Jupiter’s moon Europa from ground and space-based facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paganini, Lucas; Villanueva, Geronimo Luis; Hurford, Terry; Mandell, Avi; Roth, Lorenz; Mumma, Michael J.

    2017-10-01

    Plumes and their effluent material could provide insights into Europa’s subsurface chemistry and relevant information about the prospect that life could exist, or now exists, within the ocean. In 2016, we initiated a strong observational campaign to characterize the chemical composition of Europa’s surface and exosphere using high-resolution infrared spectroscopy. While several studies have focused on the detection of water, or its dissociation products, there could be a myriad of complex molecules released by erupting plumes. Our IR survey has provided a serendipitous search for several key molecular species, allowing a chemical characterization that can aid the investigation of physical processes underlying its surface. Since our tentative water detection, presented at the 2016 DPS meeting, we have continued the observations of Europa during 2017 covering a significant extent of the moon’s terrain and orbital position (true anomaly), accounting for over 50 hr on source. Current analyses of these data are showing spectral features that grant further investigation. In addition to analysis algorithms tailored to the examination of Europan data, we have developed simulation tools to predict the possible detection of molecular species using ground-based facilities like the Keck Observatory, NASA’s Infrared Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). In this presentation we will discuss the detectability of key molecular species with these remote sensing facilities, as well as expected challenges and future strategies with upcoming spacecrafts such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), and a possible gas spectrometer onboard an orbiter.This work is supported by NASA’s Keck PI Data Award (PI L.P.) and Solar System Observation Program (PI L.P.), and by the NASA Astrobiology Institute through funding awarded to the Goddard Center for Astrobiology (PI M.J.M.).

  18. BepiColombo: Status update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2013-09-01

    BepiColombo is an interdisciplinary mission to explore the planet Mercury through a partnership between ESA and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). From their dedicated orbits two spacecraft, the ESA provided Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the JAXA provided Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be studying the planet and its environment. Both spacecraft of BepiColombo will arrive at Mercury late 2023. The mission will address a comprehensive set of scientific questions in order to study the planet, its evolution and its surrounding environment. A suite of state-ofart scientific instruments, flying on the two spacecraft, allow a wide range of scientific questions to be addressed like understanding of the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star, the detailed study of Mercury's figure, its interior structure and composition, the investigation of the interior dynamics and origin of Mercury's magnetic field. Further science goals are trying to understand exo- and endogenic surface modifications, cratering, tectonics, and volcanism. The composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury's exosphere and Mercury's magnetosphere will be addressed by combined measurements of both spacecraft. Last but not least scientist believe that they can use BepiColombo also as a laboratory to test Einstein's theory of general relativity, by performing high accurate positioning measurements of the spacecraft. All in all measurements performed by the instruments on BepiColombo will provide clues on the origin and formation of terrestrial planets and help to answer fundamental questions like: "How do Earth-like planets form and evolve in the Universe?"

  19. BepiColombo: Overview and latest updates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2012-09-01

    BepiColombo is an interdisciplinary mission to explore the planet Mercury through a partnership between ESA and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). From their dedicated orbits two spacecraft, the ESA provided Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the JAXA provided Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be studying the planet and its environment. Both spacecraft of BepiColombo will be launched together in summer 2015. The mission will address a comprehensive set of scientific questions in order to study the planet, its evolution and its surrounding environment. A suite of state-of-art scientific instruments, flying on the two spacecraft, allow a wide range of scientific questions to be addressed like understanding of the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star, the detailed study of Mercury's figure, its interior structure and composition, the investigation of the interior dynamics and origin of Mercury's magnetic field. Further science goals are trying to understand exo- and endogenic surface modifications, cratering, tectonics, and volcanism. The composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury's exosphere and Mercury's magnetosphere will be addressed by combined measurements of both spacecraft. Last but not least scientist believe that they can use the BepiColombo also as a laboratory to test Einstein's theory of general relativity, by performing high accurate positioning measurements of the spacecraft. All in all measurements performed by the instruments on BepiColombo will provide clues on the origin and formation of terrestrial planets and help to answer fundamental questions like: "How do Earth-like planets form and evolve in the Universe?"

  20. Europa's surface radiation environment and considerations for in-situ sampling and biosignature detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordheim, T.; Paranicas, C.; Hand, K. P.

    2017-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa is embedded deep within the Jovian magnetosphere and is thus exposed to bombardment by charged particles, from thermal plasma to more energetic particles at radiation belt energies. In particular, energetic charged particles are capable of affecting the uppermost layer of surface material on Europa, in some cases down to depths of several meters (Johnson et al., 2004; Paranicas et al., 2009, 2002). Examples of radiation-induced surface alteration include sputtering, radiolysis and grain sintering; processes that are capable of significantly altering the physical properties of surface material. Radiolysis of surface ices containing sulfur-bearing contaminants from Io has been invoked as a possible explanation for hydrated sulfuric acid detected on Europa's surface (Carlson et al., 2002, 1999) and radiolytic production of oxidants represents a potential source of energy for life that could reside within Europa's sub-surface ocean (Chyba, 2000; Hand et al., 2007; Johnson et al., 2003; Vance et al., 2016). Accurate knowledge of Europa's surface radiation environment is essential to the interpretation of space and Earth-based observations of Europa's surface and exosphere. Furthermore, future landed missions may seek to sample endogenic material emplaced on Europa's surface to investigate its chemical composition and to search for biosignatures contained within. Such material would likely be sampled from the shallow sub-surface, and thus, it becomes crucial to know to which degree this material is expected to have been radiation processed.Here we will present modeling results of energetic electron and proton bombardment of Europa's surface, including interactions between these particles and surface material. In addition, we will present predictions for biosignature destruction at different geographical locations and burial depths and discuss the implications of these results for surface sampling by future missions to Europa's surface.

  1. The need for New In Situ Measurements to Understand the Climate, Geology and Evolution of Venus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinspoon, D. H.

    2017-12-01

    Many measurements needed to address outstanding questions about current processes and evolution of Venus can only be made from in situ platforms such as entry probes, balloons or landers. Among these are precise determination of the value and altitude dependence of the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio, an important tracer of water history which, while clearly greatly elevated compared to the terrestrial ratio, is still unknown within a large range of uncertainty and appears, based on Venus Express results, to display an enigmatic altitude dependence. Rare gas abundances and isotopes provide clues to volatile sources and histories of outgassing and exospheric escape. Modern mass spectrometry at Venus would yield abundances of the eight stable xenon isotopes, bulk abundances of krypton, and isotopes of neon. Altitude profiles of sulfur-containing chemical species would illuminate global geochemical cycles, including cloud formation, outgassing rates and surface-atmosphere interactions. The altitude profile of wind speeds and radiation fluxes, interpreted in light of the Venus Express and Akatsuki data, would enrich understanding of the global circulation and climate dynamics of Venus. Descent and surface images of carefully chosen locations would lend ground truth to interpretations of the near-global Magellan data sets and provide context for global remote sensing data obtained by future orbiter missions. Landed instruments would provide refinement and calibration for chemical abundance measurements by historical missions as well as direct mineralogical measurements of Venusian surface and subsurface rocks. In concert with atmospheric measurements these would greatly constrain geologic history as well as the nature of surface-atmosphere interactions. Such a suite of measurements will deepen our understanding of the origin and evolution of Venus in the context of Solar System and extrasolar terrestrial planets, determine the level and style of current geological activity

  2. Water Ice Radiolytic O2, H2, and H2O2 Yields for Any Projectile Species, Energy, or Temperature: A Model for Icy Astrophysical Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teolis, B. D.; Plainaki, C.; Cassidy, T. A.; Raut, U.

    2017-10-01

    O2, H2, and H2O2 radiolysis from water ice is pervasive on icy astrophysical bodies, but the lack of a self-consistent, quantitative model of the yields of these water products versus irradiation projectile species and energy has been an obstacle to estimating the radiolytic oxidant sources to the surfaces and exospheres of these objects. A major challenge is the wide variation of O2 radiolysis yields between laboratory experiments, ranging over 4 orders of magnitude from 5 × 10-7 to 5 × 10-3 molecules/eV for different particles and energies. We revisit decades of laboratory data to solve this long-standing puzzle, finding an inverse projectile range dependence in the O2 yields, due to preferential O2 formation from an 30 Å thick oxygenated surface layer. Highly penetrating projectile ions and electrons with ranges ≳30 Å are therefore less efficient at producing O2 than slow/heavy ions and low-energy electrons (≲ 400 eV) which deposit most energy near the surface. Unlike O2, the H2O2 yields from penetrating projectiles fall within a comparatively narrow range of (0.1-6) × 10-3 molecules/eV and do not depend on range, suggesting that H2O2 forms deep in the ice uniformly along the projectile track, e.g., by reactions of OH radicals. We develop an analytical model for O2, H2, and H2O2 yields from pure water ice for electrons and singly charged ions of any mass and energy and apply the model to estimate possible O2 source rates on several icy satellites. The yields are upper limits for icy bodies on which surface impurities may be present.

  3. Scientific Payload Of The Emirates Mars Mission: Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (Emirs) Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altunaiji, E. S.; Edwards, C. S.; Christensen, P. R.; Smith, M. D.; Badri, K. M., Sr.

    2017-12-01

    The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) will launch in 2020 to explore the dynamics in the atmosphere of Mars on a global scale. EMM has three scientific instruments to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere. Two of the EMM's instruments, which are the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) and Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) will focus on the lower atmosphere observing dust, ice clouds, water vapor and ozone. On the other hand, the third instrument Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will focus on both the thermosphere of the planet and its exosphere. The EMIRS instrument, shown in Figure 1, is an interferometric thermal infrared spectrometer that is jointly developed by Arizona State University (ASU) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). It builds on a long heritage of thermal infrared spectrometers designed, built, and managed, by ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility, including the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES). EMIRS operates in the 6-40+ µm range with 5 cm-1 spectral sampling, enabled by a Chemical Vapor-Deposited (CVD) diamond beamsplitter and state of the art electronics. This instrument utilizes a 3×3 detector array and a scan mirror to make high-precision infrared radiance measurements over most of a Martian hemisphere. The EMIRS instrument is optimized to capture the integrated, lower-middle atmosphere dynamics over a Martian hemisphere and will capture 60 global images per week ( 20 images per orbit) at a resolution of 100-300 km/pixel. After processing through an atmospheric retrieval algorithm, EMIRS will determine the vertical temperature profiles to 50km altitude and measure the column integrated global distribution and abundances of key atmospheric parameters (e.g. dust, water ice (clouds) and water vapor) over the Martian day, seasons and year.

  4. Temporal Evolution of the High-energy Irradiation and Water Content of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrier, V.; Ehrenreich, D. [Observatoire de l’Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny (Switzerland); Wit, J. de [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Bolmont, E. [Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/DRF—CNRS—Univ. Paris Diderot—IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Stamenković, V. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Wheatley, P. J. [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Burgasser, A. J [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Delrez, L. [Cavendish Laboratory, J J Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0HE (United Kingdom); Demory, B.-O. [University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern (Switzerland); Gillon, M.; Jehin, E.; Grootel, V. Van [Institut dAstrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Aout 19C, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Leconte, J. [Laboratoire dAstrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, F-33615 Pessac (France); Lederer, S. M. [NASA Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas, 77058 (United States); Lewis, N. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 (United States); Triaud, A. H. M. J. [Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2017-09-01

    The ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 hosts seven Earth-size transiting planets, some of which could harbor liquid water on their surfaces. Ultraviolet observations are essential to measuring their high-energy irradiation and searching for photodissociated water escaping from their putative atmospheres. Our new observations of the TRAPPIST-1 Ly α line during the transit of TRAPPIST-1c show an evolution of the star emission over three months, preventing us from assessing the presence of an extended hydrogen exosphere. Based on the current knowledge of the stellar irradiation, we investigated the likely history of water loss in the system. Planets b to d might still be in a runaway phase, and planets within the orbit of TRAPPIST-1g could have lost more than 20 Earth oceans after 8 Gyr of hydrodynamic escape. However, TRAPPIST-1e to h might have lost less than three Earth oceans if hydrodynamic escape stopped once they entered the habitable zone (HZ). We caution that these estimates remain limited by the large uncertainty on the planet masses. They likely represent upper limits on the actual water loss because our assumptions maximize the X-rays to ultraviolet-driven escape, while photodissociation in the upper atmospheres should be the limiting process. Late-stage outgassing could also have contributed significant amounts of water for the outer, more massive planets after they entered the HZ. While our results suggest that the outer planets are the best candidates to search for water with the JWST , they also highlight the need for theoretical studies and complementary observations in all wavelength domains to determine the nature of the TRAPPIST-1 planets and their potential habitability.

  5. A Solar-Pumped Fluorescence Model for Line-By-Line Emission Intensities in the B-X, A-X, and X-X Band Systems of 12C14N

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paganini, L.; Mumma, M. J.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new quantitative model for detailed solar-pumped fluorescent emission of the main isotopologue of CN. The derived fluorescence efficiencies permit estimation and interpretation of ro-vibrational infrared line intensities of CN in exospheres exposed to solar (or stellar) radiation. Our g-factors are applicable to astronomical observations of CN extending from infrared to optical wavelengths, and we compare them with previous calculations in the literature. The new model enables extraction of rotational temperature, column abundance, and production rate from astronomical observations of CN in the inner coma of comets. Our model accounts for excitation and de-excitation of rotational levels in the ground vibrational state by collisions, solar excitation to the A(sup 2)Pi(sub I) and B(sup 2)Sum(sup +) electronically excited states followed by cascade to ro-vibrational levels of X(sup 2)Sum(sup +), and direct solar infrared pumping of ro-vibrational levels in the X(sup 2)Sum(sup +) state. The model uses advanced solar spectra acquired at high spectral resolution at the relevant infrared and optical wavelengths and considers the heliocentric radial velocity of the comet (the Swings effect) when assessing the exciting solar flux for a given transition. We present model predictions for the variation of fluorescence rates with rotational temperature and heliocentric radial velocity. Furthermore, we test our fluorescence model by comparing predicted and measured line-by-line intensities for X(sup 2)Sum(sup +) (1-0) in comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), thereby identifying multiple emission lines observed at IR wavelengths.

  6. Mercury's Solar Wind Interaction as Characterized by Magnetospheric Plasma Mantle Observations With MESSENGER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinski, Jamie M.; Slavin, James A.; Raines, Jim M.; DiBraccio, Gina A.

    2017-12-01

    We analyze 94 traversals of Mercury's southern magnetospheric plasma mantle using data from the MESSENGER spacecraft. The mean and median proton number densities in the mantle are 1.5 and 1.3 cm-3, respectively. For sodium number density these values are 0.004 and 0.002 cm-3. Moderately higher densities are observed on the magnetospheric dusk side. The mantle supplies up to 1.5 × 108 cm-2 s-1 and 0.8 × 108 cm-2 s-1 of proton and sodium flux to the plasma sheet, respectively. We estimate the cross-electric magnetospheric potential from each observation and find a mean of 19 kV (standard deviation of 16 kV) and a median of 13 kV. This is an important result as it is lower than previous estimations and shows that Mercury's magnetosphere is at times not as highly driven by the solar wind as previously thought. Our values are comparable to the estimations for the ice giant planets, Uranus and Neptune, but lower than Earth. The estimated potentials do have a very large range of values (1-74 kV), showing that Mercury's magnetosphere is highly dynamic. A correlation of the potential is found to the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) magnitude, supporting evidence that dayside magnetic reconnection can occur at all shear angles at Mercury. But we also see that Mercury has an Earth-like magnetospheric response, favoring -BZ IMF orientation. We find evidence that -BX orientations in the IMF favor the southern cusp and southern mantle. This is in agreement with telescopic observations of exospheric emission, but in disagreement with modeling.

  7. Astronomy from the Moon: A New Frontier for 21st Century Astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, Steve

    2018-06-01

    The International Lunar Observatory Association of Hawai'i USA continues into its second decade with research and development of South Pole instruments for astronomy, observation and communication from the Moon. Since the pioneering first astronomy observations from the Moon by Apollo 16 Commander John Young (an ILOA founding-emeritus director until his recent passing), with China Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope LUT operations and current American and European considerations for far-side radio telescopes, today's climate is most promising for a diversity of lunar-based astronomy locations, instruments and technologies. ILOA is aiming to advance this frontier through its Galaxy First Light Imaging program, being developed through contracts with Moon Express and Canadensys Aerospace Corp.A wide variety of extreme and unique lunar conditions enable many astronomy activities and installations, on the Moon's near-side, far-side, north pole, and south pole: The extremely thin lunar exosphere favors observations in millimeter / submillimeter to optical, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths; the highly stable platform that is the Moon provides for long-duration observations; ultra cold, shaded areas for cryogenic infrared instruments; far-side radio-quiet environment for radio telescopes and VLF astronomy; 1/6-Earth gravity for production and utilization of new, very lightweight materials and instruments, including large refractors, 100-m class liquid mirror telescopes, and possibly 1,000-m class radio telescopes and interferometer antenna arrays vastly larger than Atacama LMA; North and especially South Pole sites, with high peaks and long solar power windows, offer perhaps the widest variety of lunar conditions and opportunities for astronomical innovation on the Moon: a veritable "condominium of observatories".21st century astrophysics seems likely to find Luna a very busy and productive new frontier, as American Astronomical Society and IAU members will validate, with

  8. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Merging Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Y. J.; Schmidt, G. K.; Bailey, B. E.; Minafra, J. A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration, and was created to enable a deeper understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies. SSERVI is supported jointly by NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The institute currently focuses on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, but the institute goals may expand, depending on NASA's needs, in the future. The 9 initial teams, selected in late 2013 and funded from 2014-2019, have expertise across the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences. Their research includes various aspects of the surface, interior, exosphere, near-space environments, and dynamics of these bodies. NASA anticipates a small number of additional teams to be selected within the next two years, with a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) likely to be released in 2016. Calls for proposals are issued every 2-3 years to allow overlap between generations of institute teams, but the intent for each team is to provide a stable base of funding for a five year period. SSERVI's mission includes acting as a bridge between several groups, joining together researchers from: 1) scientific and exploration communities, 2) multiple disciplines across a wide range of planetary sciences, and 3) domestic and international communities and partnerships. The SSERVI central office is located at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The administrative staff at the central office forms the organizational hub for the domestic and international teams and enables the virtual collaborative environment. Interactions with geographically dispersed teams across the U.S., and global partners, occur easily and frequently in a collaborative virtual environment. This poster will provide an overview of the 9 current US teams and

  9. Titan's cold case files - Outstanding questions after Cassini-Huygens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Lorenz, R. D.; Achterberg, R. K.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; Clark, R. N.; Courtin, R.; Hayes, A.; Iess, L.; Johnson, R. E.; Lopes, R. M. C.; Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Mandt, K.; Mitchell, D. G.; Raulin, F.; Rymer, A. M.; Todd Smith, H.; Solomonidou, A.; Sotin, C.; Strobel, D.; Turtle, E. P.; Vuitton, V.; West, R. A.; Yelle, R. V.

    2018-06-01

    The entry of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft into orbit around Saturn in July 2004 marked the start of a golden era in the exploration of Titan, Saturn's giant moon. During the Prime Mission (2004-2008), ground-breaking discoveries were made by the Cassini orbiter including the equatorial dune fields (flyby T3, 2005), northern lakes and seas (T16, 2006), and the large positive and negative ions (T16 & T18, 2006), to name a few. In 2005 the Huygens probe descended through Titan's atmosphere, taking the first close-up pictures of the surface, including large networks of dendritic channels leading to a dried-up seabed, and also obtaining detailed profiles of temperature and gas composition during the atmospheric descent. The discoveries continued through the Equinox Mission (2008-2010) and Solstice Mission (2010-2017) totaling 127 targeted flybys of Titan in all. Now at the end of the mission, we are able to look back on the high-level scientific questions from the start of the mission, and assess the progress that has been made towards answering these. At the same time, new scientific questions regarding Titan have emerged from the discoveries that have been made. In this paper we review a cross-section of important scientific questions that remain partially or completely unanswered, ranging from Titan's deep interior to the exosphere. Our intention is to help formulate the science goals for the next generation of planetary missions to Titan, and to stimulate new experimental, observational and theoretical investigations in the interim.

  10. The Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation (RPWI) for JUICE - Instrument Concept and Capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, J. E. S.

    2013-09-01

    We present the concept and capabilities of the Radio & Plasma Waves Investigation (RPWI) instrument for the JUICE mission. The RPWI instrument provides measurements of plasma, electric- and magnetic field fluctuations from near DC up to 45 MHz. The RPWI sensors are four Langmuir probes for low temperature plasma diagnostics and electric field measurements, a three-axis searchcoil magnetometer for low-frequency magnetic field measurements, and a three-axial radio antenna, which operates from 80 kHz up to 45 MHz and thus gives RPWI remote sensing capabilities.. In addition, active mutual impedance measurements are used to diagnose the in situ plasma. The RPWI instrument is unique as it provides vector field measurements in the whole frequency range. This makes it possible to employ advanced diagnostics techniques, which are unavailable for scalar measurements. The RPWI instrument has thus outstanding new capabilities not previously available to outer planet missions, which and enables RPWI to address many fundamental planetary science objectives, such as the electrodynamic influence of the Jovian magnetosphere on the exospheres, surfaces and conducting oceans of Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. RPWI will also be able to investigate the sources of radio emissions from auroral regions of Ganymede and Jupiter, in detail and with unprecedented sensitivity, and possibly also lightning. Moreover, RPWI can search for exhaust plumes from cracks on the icy moons, as well as μm-sized dust and related dust-plasmasurface interaction processes occurring near the icy moons of Jupiter. The top-level blockdiagram of the RPWI instrument is shown here. A detailed technical description of the RPWI instrument will be given.

  11. Sink- or Source-driven Phanerozoic carbon cycle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godderis, Y.; Donnadieu, Y.; Maffre, P.; Carretier, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Phanerozoic evolution of the atmospheric CO2 level is controlled by the fluxes entering or leaving the exospheric system. Those fluxes (including continental weathering, magmatic degassing, organic carbon burial, oxidation of sedimentary organic carbon) are intertwined, and their relative importance in driving the global carbon cycle evolution may have fluctuated through time. Deciphering the causes of the Phanerozoic climate evolution thus requires a holistic and quantitative approach. Here we focus on the role played by the paleogeographic configuration on the efficiency of the CO2 sink by continental silicate weathering, and on the impact of the magmatic degassing of CO2. We use the spatially resolved numerical model GEOCLIM (geoclimmodel.worpress.com) to compute the response of the silicate weathering and atmospheric CO2 to continental drift for 22 time slices of the Phanerozoic. Regarding the CO2 released by the magmatic activity, we reconstruct several Phanerozoic histories of this flux, based on published indexes. We calculate the CO2 evolution for each degassing scenario, and accounting for the paleogeographic setting. We show that the paleogeographic setting is a main driver of the climate from 540 Ma to about the beginning of the Jurassic. Regarding the role of the magmatic degassing, the various reconstructions do not converge towards a single signal, and thus introduce large uncertainties in the calculated CO2 level over time. Nevertheless, the continental dispersion, which prevails since the Jurassic, promotes the CO2 consumption by weathering and forces atmospheric CO2 to stay low. Warm climates of the "middle" Cretaceous and early Cenozoic require enhanced CO2 degassing by magmatic activity. In summary, the Phanerozoic climate evolution can be hardly assigned to a single process, but is the result of complex and intertwined processes.

  12. Titan's hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobel, Darrell F.

    2008-02-01

    The upper atmosphere of Titan is currently losing mass at a rate ˜(4-5)×10 amus, by hydrodynamic escape as a high density, slow outward expansion driven principally by solar UV heating by CH 4 absorption. The hydrodynamic mass loss is essentially CH 4 and H 2 escape. Their combined escape rates are restricted by power limitations from attaining their limiting rates (and limiting fluxes). Hence they must exhibit gravitational diffusive separation in the upper atmosphere with increasing mixing ratios to eventually become major constituents in the exosphere. A theoretical model with solar EUV heating by N 2 absorption balanced by HCN rotational line cooling in the upper thermosphere yields densities and temperatures consistent with the Huygens Atmospheric Science Investigation (HASI) data [Fulchignoni, M., and 42 colleagues, 2005. Nature 438, 785-791], with a peak temperature of ˜185-190 K between 3500-3550 km. This model implies hydrodynamic escape rates of ˜2×10 CHs and 5×10 Hs, or some other combination with a higher H 2 escape flux, much closer to its limiting value, at the expense of a slightly lower CH 4 escape rate. Nonthermal escape processes are not required to account for the loss rates of CH 4 and H 2, inferred by the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measurements [Yelle, R.V., Borggren, N., de la Haye, V., Kasprzak, W.T., Niemann, H.B., Müller-Wodarg, I., Waite Jr., J.H., 2006. Icarus 182, 567-576].

  13. A 2D-model of planetary atmospheres based on a collisional approach : application to Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boqueho, V.; Blelly, P. L.; Peymirat, C.

    A 2D model of planetary atmospheres has been developed, based on a collisional approach. The multi-moment multi-species transport equations allow to study the atmospheric regions from the ground to the thermosphere and the exosphere in an only one self-consistent model. A 13-moment approximation is used: concentration, velocities, temperature, heat flows and stress tensor are then solved for each species. On Mars, we consider 8 species in the altitude - longitude plane, from surface to 450 km, the altitude above which atomic hydrogen becomes the major species. Main chemical and photodissociation processes are included, and thermal processes are considered above 80 km. On Titan, 3 species are considered in the altitude range 800 - 3000 km, and UV heating and HCN radiative cooling are accounted for. Different solar conditions have been considered, and simulations have been performed in the equatorial region. Results of the model for Mars are compared to Viking and Mariner data and to Bougher et al. [1988] model. Concerning Titan, the results are compared to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] model. Temperature profiles on Mars appear to be consistent with experimental data, but horizontal winds are very different from Bougher et al. [1988]. On Titan, results appear to be close to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] in the thermosphere; nevertheless, the change in the behavior above the exobase is as important as on Mars. The differences between models are analyzed, and contributions of a multi-moment multi-species approach in 2D are discussed.

  14. Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Cravens, Thomas E.

    2014-03-01

    Introduction I. C. F. Müller-Wodarg, C. A. Griffith, E. Lellouch and T. E. Cravens; Prologue 1: the genesis of Cassini-Huygens W.-H. Ip, T. Owen and D. Gautier; Prologue 2: building a space flight instrument: a P.I.'s perspective M. Tomasko; 1. The origin and evolution of Titan G. Tobie, J. I. Lunine, J. Monteux, O. Mousis and F. Nimmo; 2. Titan's surface geology O. Aharonson, A. G. Hayes, P. O. Hayne, R. M. Lopes, A. Lucas and J. T. Perron; 3. Thermal structure of Titan's troposphere and middle atmosphere F. M. Flasar, R. K. Achterberg and P. J. Schinder; 4. The general circulation of Titan's lower and middle atmosphere S. Lebonnois, F. M. Flasar, T. Tokano and C. E. Newman; 5. The composition of Titan's atmosphere B. Bézard, R. V. Yelle and C. A. Nixon; 6. Storms, clouds, and weather C. A. Griffith, S. Rafkin, P. Rannou and C. P. McKay; 7. Chemistry of Titan's atmosphere V. Vuitton, O. Dutuit, M. A. Smith and N. Balucani; 8. Titan's haze R. West, P. Lavvas, C. Anderson and H. Imanaka; 9. Titan's upper atmosphere: thermal structure, dynamics, and energetics R. V. Yelle and I. C. F. Müller-Wodarg; 10. Titan's upper atmosphere/exosphere, escape processes, and rates D. F. Strobel and J. Cui; 11. Titan's ionosphere M. Galand, A. J. Coates, T. E. Cravens and J.-E. Wahlund; 12. Titan's magnetospheric and plasma environment J.-E. Wahlund, R. Modolo, C. Bertucci and A. J. Coates.

  15. Saturn's Magnetosphere Interaction with Titan for T9 Encounter: 3D Hybrid Modeling and Comparison with CAPS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Sittler, E. C., Jr.; Hartle, R. E.; Cooper, J. F.; Simpson, D. G.

    2011-01-01

    Global dynamics of ionized and neutral gases in the environment of Titan plays an important role in the interaction of Saturn s magnetosphere with Titan. Several hybrid simulations of this problem have already been done (Brecht et al., 2000; Kallio et al., 2004; Modolo et al., 2007a; Simon et al., 2007a, 2007b; Modolo and Chanteur, 2008). Observational data from CAPS for the T9 encounter (Sittler et al., 2009) indicates an absence of O(+) heavy ions in the upstream that change the models of interaction which were discussed in current publications (Kallio et al., 2004; Modolo et al., 2007a; Simon et al., 2007a, 2007b; Ma et al., 2007; Szego et al., 2007). Further analysis of the CAPS data shows very low density or even an absence of H(+) ions in upstream. In this paper we discuss two models of the interaction of Saturn s magnetosphere with Titan: (A) high density of H(+) ions in the upstream flow (0.1/cu cm), and (B) low density of H(+) ions in the upstream flow (0.02/cu cm). The hybrid model employs a fluid description for electrons and neutrals, whereas a particle approach is used for ions. We also take into account charge-exchange and photoionization processes and solve self-consistently for electric and magnetic fields. The model atmosphere includes exospheric H(+), H(2+), N(2+)and CH(4+) pickup ion production as well as an immobile background ionosphere and a shell distribution for active ionospheric ions (M(sub i)=28 amu). The hybrid model allows us to account for the realistic anisotropic ion velocity distribution that cannot be done in fluid simulations with isotropic temperatures. Our simulation shows an asymmetry of the ion density distribution and the magnetic field, including the formation of Alfven wing-like structures. The results of the ion dynamics in Titan s environment are compared with Cassini T9 encounter data (CAPS).

  16. Two Azimuthally Separated Regions of Cusp Ion Injection Observed via Energetic Neutral Atoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, M.; Taguchi, S.; Collier, M. R.; Moore, T. E.

    2011-01-01

    The low-energy neutral atom (LENA) imager on the IMAGE spacecraft can detect energetic neutral atoms produced by ion injection into the cusp through a charge exchange with the Earth's hydrogen exosphere. We examined the occurrence of the LENA cusp signal during positive IMF B(sub z) in terms of the arrival direction and the IMF clock angle theta(sub CA). Results of statistical analyses show that the occurrence frequency is high on the postnoon side when theta(sub CA) is between approximately 20 degrees and approximately 50 degrees. This is ascribed to ion injection caused by cusp reconnection typical of positive IMF B(sub z). Our results also show that there is another situation of high occurrence frequency, which can be identified with theta(sub CA) of approximately 30 degrees to approximately 80 degrees. When theta(sub CA) is relatively large (60 degrees - 80 degrees), occurrence frequencies are high at relatively low latitudes over a wide extent spanning both prenoon and postnoon sectors. This feature suggests that the ion injection is caused by reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. Its postnoon side boundary shifts toward the prenoon as theta(sub CA) decreases. When theta(sub CA) is less than approximately 50 degrees, the high occurrence frequency exists well inside the prenoon sector, which is azimuthally separated from the postnoon region ascribed to cusp reconnection. The prenoon region, which is thought due to ion injection caused by dayside reconnection, may explain the recent report that proton aurora brightening occurs in the unanticipated prenoon sector of the northern high-latitude ionosphere for IMF B(sub y) greater than 0 and B(sub z) greater than 0.

  17. Searching for Lunar Horizon Glow With the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, M. K.; Mazarico, E. M.; McClanahan, T. P.; Sun, X.; Smith, D. E.; Neumann, G. A.; Zuber, M. T.; Head, J. W., III

    2017-12-01

    The dust environment of the Moon is sensitive to the interplanetary meteoroid population and dust transport processes near the lunar surface, and this affects many aspects of lunar surface science and planetary exploration. The interplanetary meteoroid population poses a significant risk to spacecraft, yet it remains one of the more uncertain constituents of the space environment. Observed and hypothesized lunar dust transport mechanisms have included impact-generated dust plumes, electrostatic levitation, and dynamic lofting. Many details of the impactor flux and impact ejection process are poorly understood, a fact highlighted by recent discrepant estimates of the regolith mixing rate. Apollo-era observations of lunar horizon glow (LHG) were interpreted as sunlight forward-scattered by exospheric dust grains levitating in the top meter above the surface or lofted to tens of kilometers in altitude. However, recent studies have placed limits on the dust density orders of magnitude less than what was originally inferred, raising new questions on the time variability of the dust environment. Motivated by the need to better understand dust transport processes and the meteoroid population, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is conducting a campaign to search for LHG with the LOLA Laser Ranging (LR) system. Advantages of this LOLA LHG search include: (1) the LOLA-LR telescope can observe arbitrarily close to the Sun at any time during the year without damaging itself or the other instruments, (2) a long temporal baseline with observations both during and outside of meteor streams, which will improve the chances of detecting LHG, and (3) a focus on altitudes methodology, and preliminary results.

  18. The Lunar Dust Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalay, Jamey Robert

    Planetary bodies throughout the solar system are continually bombarded by dust particles, largely originating from cometary activities and asteroidal collisions. Surfaces of bodies with thick atmospheres, such as Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan are mostly protected from incoming dust impacts as these particles ablate in their atmospheres as 'shooting stars'. However, the majority of bodies in the solar system have no appreciable atmosphere and their surfaces are directly exposed to the flux of high speed dust grains. Impacts onto solid surfaces in space generate charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as solid secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds forming dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and had not yet been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces before NASA's Lunar Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. In this thesis, we first present the measurements taken by the Lunar Dust Explorer (LDEX), aboard LADEE, which discovered a permanently present, asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon. The global characteristics of the lunar dust cloud are discussed as a function of a variety of variables such as altitude, solar longitude, local time, and lunar phase. These results are compared with models for lunar dust cloud generation. Second, we present an analysis of the groupings of impacts measured by LDEX, which represent detections of dense ejecta plumes above the lunar surface. These measurements are put in the context of understanding the response of the lunar surface to meteoroid bombardment and how to use other airless bodies in the solar system as detectors for their local meteoroid environment. Third, we present the first in-situ dust measurements taken over the lunar sunrise terminator. Having found no excess of small grains in this region, we discuss its implications for the putative population of electrostatically lofted dust.

  19. Carbonate metasomatism and CO2 lithosphere-asthenosphere degassing beneath the western Mediterranean: An integrated model arising from petrological and geophysical data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frezzotti, Maria Luce; Peccerillo, Angelo; Panza, Giuliano

    2009-03-01

    We present an integrated petrological, geochemical, and geophysical model that offers an explanation for the present-day anomalously high non-volcanic deep (mantle derived) CO 2 emission in the Tyrrhenian region. We investigate how decarbonation or melting of carbonate-rich lithologies from a subducted lithosphere may affect the efficiency of carbon release in the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. We propose that melting of sediments and/or continental crust of the subducted Adriatic-Ionian (African) lithosphere at pressure greater than 4 GPa (130 km) may represent an efficient mean for carbon cycling into the upper mantle and into the exosphere in the Western Mediterranean area. Melting of carbonated lithologies, induced by the progressive rise of mantle temperatures behind the eastward retreating Adriatic-Ionian subducting plate, generates low fractions of carbonate-rich (hydrous-silicate) melts. Due to their low density and viscosity, such melts can migrate upward through the mantle, forming a carbonated partially molten CO 2 -rich mantle recorded by tomographic images in the depth range from 130 to 60 km. Upwelling in the mantle of carbonate-rich melts to depths less than 60 - 70 km, induces massive outgassing of CO 2 . Buoyancy forces, probably favored by fluid overpressures, are able to allow migration of CO 2 from the mantle to the surface, through deep lithospheric faults, and its accumulation beneath the Moho and within the lower crust. The present model may also explain CO 2 enrichment of the Etna active volcano. Deep CO 2 cycling is tentatively quantified in terms of conservative carbon mantle flux in the investigated area. (author)

  20. Observational Constraints on a Pluto Torus of Circumsolar Neutral Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, M. E.; Kollmann, P.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Smith, H. T.; Bagenal, F.; Brown, L. E.; Elliott, H. A.; Haggerty, D. K.; Horanyi, M.; Krimigis, S. M.; Kusterer, M. B.; Lisse, C. M.; McComas, D. J.; Piquette, M. R.; Sidrow, E. J.; Strobel, D. F.; Szalay, J.; Vandegriff, J. D.; Zirnstein, E.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    We present the concept of a neutral gas torus surrounding the Sun, aligned with Pluto's orbit, and place observational constraints based primarily on comparison of New Horizons (NH) measurements with a 3-D Monte Carlo model adapted from analogous satellite tori surrounding Saturn and Jupiter. Such a torus, or perhaps partial torus, should result from neutral N2 escaping from Pluto's exosphere. Unlike other more massive planets closer to the Sun, neutrals escape Pluto readily owing, e.g., to the high thermal speed relative to the escape velocity. Importantly, escaped neutrals have a long lifetime due to the great distance from the Sun, ~100 years for photoionization of N2 and ~180 years for photoionization of N, which results from disassociated N2. Despite the lengthy 248-year orbit, these long e-folding lifetimes may allow an enhanced neutral population to form an extended gas cloud that modifies the N2 spatial profile near Pluto. These neutrals are not directly observable by NH but once ionized N2+ or N+ are picked up by the solar wind, reaching ~50 keV, making these pickup ions (PUIs) detectable by NH's Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument. PEPSSI observations analyzed to date may constrain the N2 density; the remaining ~95% of the encounter data, scheduled for downlink in August along with similarly anticipated data from the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) experiment, should help determine the Pluto outgassing rates. Measurements from SWAP include the solar wind speed, a quantity that greatly enhances PUI studies by enabling us to directly account for the PUI distribution's sensitive dependence on plasma speed. Note that anomalous cosmic ray Si observed at Voyager is overabundant by a factor of ~3000 relative to interstellar composition. This might be related to "outer source" PUIs, but the fact that N2 and Si are indistinguishable in many instruments could mean that N2 is actually driving this apparent Si discrepancy.

  1. Discovery of Suprathermal Ionospheric Origin Fe+ in and Near Earth's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christon, S. P.; Hamilton, D. C.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D. G.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Spjeldvik, W. N.; Nylund, S. R.

    2017-11-01

    Suprathermal (87-212 keV/e) singly charged iron, Fe+, has been discovered in and near Earth's 9-30 RE equatorial magnetosphere using 21 years of Geotail STICS (suprathermal ion composition spectrometer) data. Its detection is enhanced during higher geomagnetic and solar activity levels. Fe+, rare compared to dominant suprathermal solar wind and ionospheric origin heavy ions, might derive from one or all three candidate lower-energy sources: (a) ionospheric outflow of Fe+ escaped from ion layers near 100 km altitude, (b) charge exchange of nominal solar wind iron, Fe+≥7, in Earth's exosphere, or (c) inner source pickup Fe+ carried by the solar wind, likely formed by solar wind Fe interaction with near-Sun interplanetary dust particles. Earth's semipermanent ionospheric Fe+ layers derive from tons of interplanetary dust particles entering Earth's atmosphere daily, and Fe+ scattered from these layers is observed up to 1000 km altitude, likely escaping in strong ionospheric outflows. Using 26% of STICS's magnetosphere-dominated data when possible Fe+2 ions are not masked by other ions, we demonstrate that solar wind Fe charge exchange secondaries are not an obvious Fe+ source. Contemporaneous Earth flyby and cruise data from charge-energy-mass spectrometer on the Cassini spacecraft, a functionally identical instrument, show that inner source pickup Fe+ is likely not important at suprathermal energies. Consequently, we suggest that ionospheric Fe+ constitutes at least a significant portion of Earth's suprathermal Fe+, comparable to the situation at Saturn where suprathermal Fe+ is also likely of ionospheric origin.

  2. Jupiter Thermospheric General Circulation Model (JTGCM): Global Structure and Dynamics Driven by Auroral and Joule Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; J. Il. Waite, Jr.; Majeed, T.

    2005-01-01

    A growing multispectral database plus recent Galileo descent measurements are being used to construct a self-consistent picture of the Jupiter thermosphere/ionosphere system. The proper characterization of Jupiter s upper atmosphere, embedded ionosphere, and auroral features requires the examination of underlying processes, including the feedbacks of energetics, neutral-ion dynamics, composition, and magnetospheric coupling. A fully 3-D Jupiter Thermospheric General Circulation Model (JTGCM) has been developed and exercised to address global temperatures, three-component neutral winds, and neutral-ion species distributions. The domain of this JTGCM extends from 20-microbar (capturing hydrocarbon cooling) to 1.0 x 10(exp -4) nbar (including aurora/Joule heating processes). The resulting JTGCM has been fully spun-up and integrated for greater than or equal to40 Jupiter rotations. Results from three JTGCM cases incorporating moderate auroral heating, ion drag, and moderate to strong Joule heating processes are presented. The neutral horizontal winds at ionospheric heights vary from 0.5 km/s to 1.2 km/s, atomic hydrogen is transported equatorward, and auroral exospheric temperatures range from approx.1200-1300 K to above 3000 K, depending on the magnitude of Joule heating. The equatorial temperature profiles from the JTGCM are compared with the measured temperature structure from the Galileo AS1 data set. The best fit to the Galileo data implies that the major energy source for maintaining the equatorial temperatures is due to dynamical heating induced by the low-latitude convergence of the high-latitude-driven thermospheric circulation. Overall, the Jupiter thermosphere/ionosphere system is highly variable and is shown to be strongly dependent on magnetospheric coupling which regulates Joule heating.

  3. The Plasma Environment at Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, James M.; Gershman, Daniel J.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gloeckler, George; Slavin, James A.; Anderson, Brian J.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sarantos, Menalos; hide

    2011-01-01

    Mercury is the least explored terrestrial planet, and the one subjected to the highest flux of solar radiation in the heliosphere. Its highly dynamic, miniature magnetosphere contains ions from the exosphere and solar wind, and at times may allow solar wind ions to directly impact the planet's surface. Together these features create a plasma environment that shares many features with, but is nonetheless very different from, that of Earth. The first in situ measurements of plasma ions in the Mercury space environment were made only recently, by the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) during the MESSENGER spacecraft's three flybys of the planet in 2008-2009 as the probe was en route to insertion into orbit about Mercury earlier this year. Here. we present analysis of flyby and early orbital mission data with novel techniques that address the particular challenges inherent in these measurements. First. spacecraft structures and sensor orientation limit the FIPS field of view and allow only partial sampling of velocity distribution functions. We use a software model of FIPS sampling in velocity space to explore these effects and recover bulk parameters under certain assumptions. Second, the low densities found in the Mercury magnetosphere result in a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio for many ions. To address this issue, we apply a kernel density spread function to guide removal of background counts according to a background-signature probability map. We then assign individual counts to particular ion species with a time-of-flight forward model, taking into account energy losses in the carbon foil and other physical behavior of ions within the instrument. Using these methods, we have derived bulk plasma properties and heavy ion composition and evaluated them in the context of the Mercury magnetosphere.

  4. Statistical Correlation of Low-Altitude ENA Emissions with Geomagnetic Activity from IMAGE MENA Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackler, D. A.; Jahn, J.- M.; Perez, J. D.; Pollock, C. J.; Valek, P. W.

    2016-01-01

    Plasma sheet particles transported Earthward during times of active magnetospheric convection can interact with exospheric/thermospheric neutrals through charge exchange. The resulting Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) are free to leave the influence of the magnetosphere and can be remotely detected. ENAs associated with low-altitude (300-800 km) ion precipitation in the high-latitude atmosphere/ionosphere are termed low-altitude emissions (LAEs). Remotely observed LAEs are highly nonisotropic in velocity space such that the pitch angle distribution at the time of charge exchange is near 90deg. The Geomagnetic Emission Cone of LAEs can be mapped spatially, showing where proton energy is deposited during times of varying geomagnetic activity. In this study we present a statistical look at the correlation between LAE flux (intensity and location) and geomagnetic activity. The LAE data are from the MENA imager on the IMAGE satellite over the declining phase of solar cycle 23 (2000-2005). The SYM-H, AE, and Kp indices are used to describe geomagnetic activity. The goal of the study is to evaluate properties of LAEs in ENA images and determine if those images can be used to infer properties of ion precipitation. Results indicate a general positive correlation to LAE flux for all three indices, with the SYM-H showing the greatest sensitivity. The magnetic local time distribution of LAEs is centered about midnight and spreads with increasing activity. The invariant latitude for all indices has a slightly negative correlation. The combined results indicate LAE behavior similar to that of ion precipitation.

  5. Statistical correlation of low-altitude ENA emissions with geomagnetic activity from IMAGE/MENA observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackler, D. A.; Jahn, J.-M.; Perez, J. D.; Pollock, C. J.; Valek, P. W.

    2016-03-01

    Plasma sheet particles transported Earthward during times of active magnetospheric convection can interact with exospheric/thermospheric neutrals through charge exchange. The resulting Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) are free to leave the influence of the magnetosphere and can be remotely detected. ENAs associated with low-altitude (300-800 km) ion precipitation in the high-latitude atmosphere/ionosphere are termed low-altitude emissions (LAEs). Remotely observed LAEs are highly nonisotropic in velocity space such that the pitch angle distribution at the time of charge exchange is near 90°. The Geomagnetic Emission Cone of LAEs can be mapped spatially, showing where proton energy is deposited during times of varying geomagnetic activity. In this study we present a statistical look at the correlation between LAE flux (intensity and location) and geomagnetic activity. The LAE data are from the MENA imager on the IMAGE satellite over the declining phase of solar cycle 23 (2000-2005). The SYM-H, AE, and Kp indices are used to describe geomagnetic activity. The goal of the study is to evaluate properties of LAEs in ENA images and determine if those images can be used to infer properties of ion precipitation. Results indicate a general positive correlation to LAE flux for all three indices, with the SYM-H showing the greatest sensitivity. The magnetic local time distribution of LAEs is centered about midnight and spreads with increasing activity. The invariant latitude for all indices has a slightly negative correlation. The combined results indicate LAE behavior similar to that of ion precipitation.

  6. Updated science issues and observation plans of BepiColombo Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter (MMO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, G.; Fujimoto, M.; Hayakawa, H.

    2017-12-01

    After the successful observation by the first Mercury orbiter MESSENGER ended in 2015, Mercury becomes one of the most curious planets to investigate. MESSENGER raised new science issues, such as the northward offset of planetary dipole magnetic filed, the highly dynamic magnetosphere, and the year-to-year constant exosphere. These outstanding discoveries still remain as open issues due to some limitations of instruments onboard MESSENGER and its extended elliptical orbit with apherm in southern hemisphere. The next Mercury exploration project BepiColombo will address these open issues. BepiColombo is an ESA-JAXA joint mission to Mercury with the aim to understand the process of planetary formation and evolution as well as to understand Mercury's extreme environment in the solar system. Two spacecraft, i.e. the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be launched in October 2018 by an Ariane-5 launch vehicle and arrive at Mercury in December 2025. The mechanical test in a complete stack configuration has been performed in the ESA test center and successfully finished. MMO is mainly designed for plasma observations and is expected to extract essential elements of space plasma physics that become visible in the Hermean environment. MMO has large constraints on science operations, such as thermal issue and limited telemetry rate. Due to the thermal issue each science instrument cannot always be turned on. In addition, due to the low telemetry rate in average, only a part ( 20-30%) of science mission data with high resolution can be downlinked. Therefore, in order to maximize the scientific results and outcomes to be achieved by MMO, we are now working to optimize the science observation and downlink plans in detail. Here we present the updated science goals for MMO based on the latest MESSENGER results and the current observation plans how to approach these science issues.

  7. Dust particles investigation for future Russian lunar missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolnikov, Gennady; Horanyi, Mihaly; Esposito, Francesca; Zakharov, Alexander; Popel, Sergey; Afonin, Valeri; Borisov, Nikolay; Seran, Elena; Godefroy, Michel; Shashkova, Inna; Kuznetsov, Ilya; Lyash, Andrey; Vorobyova, Elena; Petrov, Oleg; Lisin, Evgeny

    One of the complicating factors of the future robotic and human lunar landing missions is the influence of the dust. Meteorites bombardment has accompanied by shock-explosive phenomena, disintegration and mix of the lunar soil in depth and on area simultaneously. As a consequence, the lunar soil has undergone melting, physical and chemical transformations. Recently we have the some reemergence for interest of Moon investigation. The prospects in current century declare USA, China, India, and European Union. In Russia also prepare two missions: Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource. Not last part of investigation of Moon surface is reviewing the dust condition near the ground of landers. Studying the properties of lunar dust is important both for scientific purposes to investigation the lunar exosphere component and for the technical safety of lunar robotic and manned missions. The absence of an atmosphere on the Moon's surface is leading to greater compaction and sintering. Properties of regolith and dust particles (density, temperature, composition, etc.) as well as near-surface lunar exosphere depend on solar activity, lunar local time and position of the Moon relative to the Earth's magneto tail. Upper layers of regolith are an insulator, which is charging as a result of solar UV radiation and the constant bombardment of charged particles, creates a charge distribution on the surface of the moon: positive on the illuminated side and negative on the night side. Charge distribution depends on the local lunar time, latitude and the electrical properties of the regolith (the presence of water in the regolith can influence the local distribution of charge). On light side of Moon near surface layer there exists possibility formation dusty plasma system. Altitude of levitation is depending from size of dust particle and Moon latitude. The distribution dust particle by size and altitude has estimated with taking into account photoelectrons, electrons and ions of solar wind, solar

  8. MOMA and other next-generation ion trap mass spectrometers for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Pinnick, V. T.; Li, X.; Grubisic, A.; Southard, A. E.; Hovmand, L.; Cottin, H.; Makarov, A.

    2016-12-01

    Since the 1970's, quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) systems have served as low-risk, cost-efficient means to explore the inner and outer reaches of the solar system. These legacy instruments have interrogated the compositions of the lunar exosphere (LADEE), surface materials on Mars (MSL), and the atmospheres of Venus (Pioneer Venus), Mars (MAVEN) and outer planets (Galileo and Cassini-Huygens). However, the in situ detection of organic compounds on Mars and Titan, coupled with ground-based measurements of amino acids in meteorites and a variety of organics in comets, has underlined the importance of molecular disambiguation in the characterization of high-priority planetary environments. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) flight instrument, centered on a linear ion trap, enables the in situ detection of volatile and non-volatile organics, but also the characterization of molecular structures through SWIFT ion isolation/excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MSn). Like the SAM instrument on MSL, the MOMA investigation also includes a gas chromatograph (GC), thereby enabling the chemical separation of potential isobaric interferences based on retention times. The Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (LITMS; PI: William Brinckerhoff), developed to TRL 6 via the ROSES MatISSE Program, augments the core MOMA design and adds: expanded mass range (from 20 - 2000 Da); high-temperature evolved gas analysis (up to 1300°C); and, dual polarity detector assemblies (supporting the measurement of negative ions). The LITMS instrument will be tested in the field in 2017 through the Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies (ARADS; PI: Brian Glass) ROSES PSTAR award. Following on these advancements, the Advanced Resolution Organic Molecule Analyzer (AROMA; PI: Ricardo Arevalo Jr.), supported through the ROSES PICASSO Program, combines a highly capable MOMA/LITMS-like linear ion trap and the ultrahigh resolution CosmOrbitrap mass analyzer developed by a consortium of five

  9. Comparative Examination of Reconnection-Driven Magnetotail Dynamics at Mercury and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    MESSENGER plasma and magnetic field observations of Mercury's magnetotail are reviewed and compared to that of Earth. Mercury's magnetosphere is created by the solar wind interaction with its highly dipolar, spin-axis aligned magnetic field. However, its equatorial magnetic field is ~ 150 times weaker than at Earth. As a result the altitude of its subsolar magnetopause is typically only ~ 1000 km and there is no possibility for trapped radiation belts. Magnetopause reconnection at Mercury does not exhibit the "half-wave rectifier" response to interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) direction observed at Earth. Rather magnetopause reconnection occurs for all non-zero shear angles with plasma β as the primary parameter controlling its rate. The cross-magnetosphere electric potential drop derived from magnetopause and plasma mantle structure is ~ 30 kV in contrast to ~ 100 kV at Earth. This large potential drop at Mercury relative to its small size appears due to the lack of an electrically conducting ionosphere and the strong IMF found in the inner heliosphere. Structurally these magnetotails are very similar in most respects, but the magnetic field intensities and plasma densities and temperatures are all higher at Mercury. Plasma sheet composition indicates solar wind origin, but with 10% Na+ derived from it tenuous exosphere. Given Mercury's very slow rotation rate, once every 59 Earth days, most sunward plasma sheet convection will impact the nightside of the planet. Magnetic flux loading/unloading in Mercury's tail is similar to that seen at Earth during substorms. However, the duration and amplitude of these cycles are ~ 2 - 3 min and ~ 30 to 50 %, respectively, as compared to ~ 1 - 2 hr and 10 - 25 % at Earth. These episodic, substorm-like events are accompanied by plasmoid ejection and near-tail dipolarization similar what is seen at Earth. Mercury can also exhibit Earth-like steady magnetospheric convection during which plasmoid ejection and dipolarization

  10. Ceres: Dawn visits a Warm Wet Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, T. B.; Combe, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    materials, with spectral evidence of OH and maybe H2O molecules, consistent with the results of both the evolutionary thermodynamic models and infill of carbonaceous chondrite-like materials. Two reports of OH and H2O in the exosphere, apparently originating from localized sources, suggest present day cryovolcanism.

  11. Some Preliminary Scientific Results of Chang'E-3 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Y.; Li, W.; Zheng, Y.; Li, H.

    2015-12-01

    Chang'E-3 mission is the main task of Phase two of China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), and also is Chinese first probe of landing, working and roving on the moon. Chang'E-3 craft composed of a lander and a rover, and each of them carry four scientific payloads respectively. The landing site of Chang'E-3 was located at 44.12 degrees north latitude and 19.51 degrees west longitude, where is in the northern part of Imbrium Which the distance in its west direction from the landing site of former Soviet probe Luna-17 is about 400 km, and about 780km far from the landing site of Appolo-17 in its southeast direction. Unfortunately, after a series of scientific tests and exploration on the surface of the moon, the motor controller communication of the rover emerged a breakdown on January 16, 2014, which leaded the four payloads onboard the rover can't obtain data anymore. However, we have received some interesting scientific data which have been studied by Chinese scientists. During the landing process of Chang'E-3, the Landing camera got total 4673 images with the Resolution in millimeters to meters, and the lander and rover took pictures for each other at different point with Topography camera and Panoramic camera. We can find characteristic changes in celestial brightness with time by analyzing image data from Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) and an unprecedented constraint on water content in the sunlit lunar exosphere seen by LUT). The figure observed by EUV camera (EUVC) shows that there is a transient weak area of the Earth's plasma sphere; This event took place about three hours. The scientists think that it might be related to the change of the particle density of mid-latitude ionosphere. The preliminary spectral and mineralogical results from the landing site are derived according to the data of Visible and Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS). Seven major elements including Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti and Fe have been identified by the Active Particle

  12. Mass Dependency of Isotope Fractionation of Gases Under Thermal Gradient and Its Possible Implications for Planetary Atmosphere Escaping Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Tao; Niles, Paul; Bao, Huiming; Socki, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Physical processes that unmix elements/isotopes of gas molecules involve phase changes, diffusion (chemical or thermal), effusion and gravitational settling. Some of those play significant roles for the evolution of chemical and isotopic compositions of gases in planetary bodies which lead to better understanding of surface paleoclimatic conditions, e.g. gas bubbles in Antarctic ice, and planetary evolution, e.g. the solar-wind erosion induced gas escaping from exosphere on terrestrial planets.. A mass dependent relationship is always expected for the kinetic isotope fractionations during these simple physical processes, according to the kinetic theory of gases by Chapman, Enskog and others [3-5]. For O-bearing (O16, -O17, -O18) molecules the alpha O-17/ alpha O-18 is expected at 0.5 to 0.515, and for S-bearing (S32,-S33. -S34, -S36) molecules, the alpha S-33/ alpha S-34 is expected at 0.5 to 0.508, where alpha is the isotope fractionation factor associated with unmixing processes. Thus, one isotope pair is generally proxied to yield all the information for the physical history of the gases. However, we recently] reported the violation of mass law for isotope fractionation among isotope pairs of multiple isotope system during gas diffusion or convection under thermal gradient (Thermal Gradient Induced Non-Mass Dependent effect, TGI-NMD). The mechanism(s) that is responsible to such striking observation remains unanswered. In our past studies, we investigated polyatomic molecules, O2 and SF6, and we suggested that nuclear spin effect could be responsible to the observed NMD effect in a way of changing diffusion coefficients of certain molecules, owing to the fact of negligible delta S-36 anomaly for SF6.. On the other hand, our results also showed that for both diffusion and convection under thermal gradient, this NMD effect is increased by lower gas pressure, bigger temperature gradient and lower average temperature, which indicate that the nuclear spin effect may

  13. The co-evolution of seawater δ18O and δD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    The δ18O of marine carbonate and silica precipitates has increased by 15‰ over the last ca. 3.5 billion years. Whether this shift reflects a parallel increase in oxygen isotope compositions of seawater with time, Precambrian atmospheric temperatures >55°C, or complete alteration of ancient samples during diagenesis, remains controversial despite nearly a half-century of debate. Early mass balance models of the modern ocean system suggested near constant δ18OSEAWATER over time due to the buffering capacity of fresh oceanic crust. However, fluxes controlling 18O sources and sinks to the ocean (high-temperature alteration of the seafloor, and low-temperature weathering of continental and ocean crust, respectively) have not remained fixed throughout Earth history. I adapted published mass balance models for δ18OSEAWATER to evaluate how continental growth, the subaerial emergence of continents, and decreasing mantle temperature affect the magnitude of 18O sources and sinks, and thus the evolution of seawater δ18O since the early Archean. These factors also affect the δD of seawater, which is controlled by the flux of water between mantle, crustal and glacial reservoirs, such that its evolution can be used as an independent constraint on the magnitude that these variables have had on δ18O evolution. The models indicate that a key parameter controlling δ18OSEAWATER is the flux of water between the mantle and free water of the exosphere. Recent geophysical models suggest that the capacity for subducting slabs to sequester water into the deep ocean has increased as the mantle has cooled. Hydrous minerals in subducted oceanic crust have a net δ18O lower than seawater. Incomplete recycling of water from these phases in subduction zones results in progressive removal of 16O from the ocean and thus can explain a significant portion of the increase in δ18O recorded in the marine sediment record. However, mass balance constraints on the global hydrogen budget limits

  14. Wind and Temperature Spectrometry of the Upper Atmosphere in Low-Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, Federico

    2011-01-01

    provides a general approach that can obtain non-equilibrium distributions as may exist in the upper regions of the thermosphere, above 500 km and into the exosphere. Finally, WATS serves as a mass spectrometer, with very low mass resolution of roughly 1 part in 3, but easily separating atomic oxygen from molecular nitrogen.

  15. A balloon borne telescope for planetary observations with a fine pointing technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Yasuhiro; Onishi, Tomoya; Battazzo, Steve; Yoshimura, Atsushi; Sakamoto, Yuji; Yoshida, Kazuya; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Taguchi, Makoto

    A balloon borne telescope is one of the effective observation methods for planets under space environment. A telescope is carried up to the stratosphere at an altitude of higher than 32 km where the air density is as thin as 1/100 of that at the ground. The thin atmosphere gives a telescope better observation conditions: fine seeing, stable weather, and high transmittance especially in the infrared region. Moreover there is a chance that a planet can be continuously seen for a window longer than 24 hours from the polar stratosphere. The authors have been developing a balloon borne telescope system for years to take finer images of planets in the solar system., The first object is Venus, of which atmospheric motions are derived by tracking the changes of cloud patterns with bands of UV, visible and NIR. Highly precise pointing control within the error of sub-arcseconds is required so that the balloon borne telescope achieves its diffraction-limited spatial resolution. The flight system is equipped with a three-stage attitude and pointing control system in order to realize the desired pointing control precision. In 2009, the flight system was built and tested in various ground tests and an actual balloon flight. Although the balloon experiment failed due to trouble with an onboard computer, the ground tests before the flight operation have verified that the pointing control system can achieve pointing error of less than 0.2 arcseconds. The balloon borne telescope is being redesigned for a sequential observation of Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the summer of 2011. This flight will be a step for a long-duration observation in the polar stratosphere. Additionally, an observation of the sodium tail of Mercury with a small telescope and a wide field of view has been under consideration. Mercury has very thin atmosphere called a surface-bounded exosphere. Past observations by spacecraft and ground-based telescopes revealed that one of the atmospheric components, gaseous

  16. Deduction of the rates of radial diffusion of protons from the structure of the Earth's radiation belts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovtyukh, Alexander S.

    2016-11-01

    From the data on the fluxes and energy spectra of protons with an equatorial pitch angle of α0 ≈ 90° during quiet and slightly disturbed (Kp ≤ 2) periods, I directly calculated the value DLL, which is a measure of the rate of radial transport (diffusion) of trapped particles. This is done by successively solving the systems (chains) of integrodifferential equations which describe the balance of radial transport/acceleration and ionization losses of low-energy protons of the stationary belt. This was done for the first time. For these calculations, I used data of International Sun-Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE-1) for protons with an energy of 24 to 2081 keV at L = 2-10 and data of Explorer-45 for protons with an energy of 78.6 to 872 keV at L = 2-5. Ionization losses of protons (Coulomb losses and charge exchange) were calculated on the basis of modern models of the plasmasphere and the exosphere. It is shown that for protons with μ from ˜ 0.7 to ˜ 7 keV nT-1 at L ≈ 4.5-10, the functions of DLL can be approximated by the following equivalent expressions: DLL ≈ 4.9 × 10-14μ-4.1L8.2 or DLL ≈ 1.3 × 105(EL)-4.1 or DLL ≈ 1.2 × 10-9fd-4.1, where fd is the drift frequency of the protons (in mHz), DLL is measured in s-1, E is measured in kiloelectronvolt and μ is measured in kiloelectronvolt per nanotesla. These results are consistent with the radial diffusion of particles under the action of the electric field fluctuations (pulsations) in the range of Pc6 and contradict the mechanism of the radial diffusion of particles under the action of sudden impulses (SIs) of the magnetic field and also under the action of substorm impulses of the electric field. During magnetic storms DLL increases, and the expressions for DLL obtained here can change completely.

  17. Deduction of the rates of radial diffusion of protons from the structure of the Earth's radiation belts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Kovtyukh

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available From the data on the fluxes and energy spectra of protons with an equatorial pitch angle of α0 ≈ 90° during quiet and slightly disturbed (Kp ≤ 2 periods, I directly calculated the value DLL, which is a measure of the rate of radial transport (diffusion of trapped particles. This is done by successively solving the systems (chains of integrodifferential equations which describe the balance of radial transport/acceleration and ionization losses of low-energy protons of the stationary belt. This was done for the first time. For these calculations, I used data of International Sun–Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE-1 for protons with an energy of 24 to 2081 keV at L = 2–10 and data of Explorer-45 for protons with an energy of 78.6 to 872 keV at L = 2–5. Ionization losses of protons (Coulomb losses and charge exchange were calculated on the basis of modern models of the plasmasphere and the exosphere. It is shown that for protons with μ from  ∼ 0.7 to ∼ 7 keV nT−1 at L ≈ 4.5–10, the functions of DLL can be approximated by the following equivalent expressions: DLL ≈ 4.9 × 10−14μ−4.1L8.2 or DLL ≈ 1.3 × 105(EL−4.1 or DLL ≈ 1.2 × 10−9fd−4.1, where fd is the drift frequency of the protons (in mHz, DLL is measured in s−1, E is measured in kiloelectronvolt and μ is measured in kiloelectronvolt per nanotesla. These results are consistent with the radial diffusion of particles under the action of the electric field fluctuations (pulsations in the range of Pc6 and contradict the mechanism of the radial diffusion of particles under the action of sudden impulses (SIs of the magnetic field and also under the action of substorm impulses of the electric field. During magnetic storms DLL increases, and the expressions for DLL obtained here can change completely.

  18. Deduction of the rates of radial diffusion of protons from the structure of the Earth's radiation belts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kovtyukh, Alexander S. [Moscow State Univ. (Russian Federation). Skobeltsyn Inst. of Nuclear Physics

    2016-07-01

    From the data on the fluxes and energy spectra of protons with an equatorial pitch angle of α{sub 0} ∼ 90 during quiet and slightly disturbed (Kp≤2) periods, I directly calculated the value D{sub LL}, which is a measure of the rate of radial transport (diffusion) of trapped particles. This is done by successively solving the systems (chains) of integrodifferential equations which describe the balance of radial transport/acceleration and ionization losses of low-energy protons of the stationary belt. This was done for the first time. For these calculations, I used data of International Sun-Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE-1) for protons with an energy of 24 to 2081 keV at L = 2-10 and data of Explorer-45 for protons with an energy of 78.6 to 872 keV at L = 2-5. Ionization losses of protons (Coulomb losses and charge exchange) were calculated on the basis of modern models of the plasmasphere and the exosphere. It is shown that for protons with μ from ∝0.7 to ∝7 keV nT{sup -1} at L ∼ 4.5-10, the functions of D{sub LL} can be approximated by the following equivalent expressions: D{sub LL} ∼ 4.9 x 10{sup -14}μ{sup -4.1}L{sup 8.2} or D{sub LL} ∼ 1.3 x 10{sup 5}(EL){sup -4.1} or D{sub LL} ∼ 1.2 x 10{sup -9}f{sub d}{sup -4.1}, where f{sub d} is the drift frequency of the protons (in mHz), D{sub LL} is measured in s{sup -1}, E is measured in kiloelectronvolt and μ is measured in kiloelectronvolt per nanotesla. These results are consistent with the radial diffusion of particles under the action of the electric field fluctuations (pulsations) in the range of Pc6 and contradict the mechanism of the radial diffusion of particles under the action of sudden impulses (SIs) of the magnetic field and also under the action of substorm impulses of the electric field. During magnetic storms D{sub LL} increases, and the expressions for D{sub LL} obtained here can change completely.

  19. Preservation of Groundwater on Mars Depends on Preservation of an Icy Cryosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, R. E.; Kirchoff, M. R.; Stillman, D. E.

    2017-12-01

    We seek to understand the constraints and controls on the existence of groundwater on Mars today. Tropical ground ice undergoes long-term sublimation and likely exospheric escape. Using multi-reservoir models for the evolution of D/H ratios, we derive a median estimate of the Hesperian-Amazonian H2O loss of 60 m (interquartile range 30-120 m) Global Equivalent Layer (GEL). These figures are substantially smaller than volumes inferred for geological work and for the holding capacity of the upper crust. This suggests that Mars still has substantial subsurface H2O, but it is unknown whether ground water lies beneath ground ice. Without restriction of sublimation, the cryosphere will eventually breach, leading to massive evaporative loss of any underlying groundwater. Using a multiphase H2O transport model, we find that sublimation is retarded (in order of decreasing priority) by higher obliquity, smaller porosity, higher tortuosity, lower heat flow, and smaller pore radius. Our published results suggested low bulk porosity ( 5%) was necessary to limit sublimation to 60 m GEL, but we now recognize that the dependence of effective tortuosity and pore radius on ice saturation can sharply retard loss due to cold trapping, and thus allow nominal ( 30%) porosities. Separately, we find that single-layer ejecta (SLE) craters—long thought to tap subsurface ice—have formed throughout the Amazonian, without any evidence for a declining rate. This suggests that tropical ground ice has remained at relatively shallow depths, at least where these craters are forming. However, there is a striking spatial mixing in highlands near the equator of layered and normal, radial-ejecta craters. This implies strong spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of tropical ground ice. If the cryospheric ice seal is incomplete due to laterally heterogeneous sublimation of ice, then escape of water vapor through the gaps can lead to nearly total loss of groundwater by evaporation. The D

  20. Nitrates in SNCs: Implications for the nitrogen cycle on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Monica M.; Wright, I. P.; Franchi, I. A.; Pillinger, C. T.

    1993-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere, after CO2, present at a level of ca. 2.7 percent. Several authors have hypothesized that earlier in the planet's history, nitrogen was more abundant, but has been removed by processes such as exospheric loss from the atmosphere. However, an alternative sink for atmospheric nitrogen is the regolith; model calculations have predicted that, via the formation of NOx, HNO2 and HNO3 in the lower layers of the Martian atmosphere, the regolith might trap nitrite and nitrate anions, leading to the build-up of involatile nitrates. Integrated over 4.5 x 10(exp 9) yr, such a mechanism would contribute the equivalent of a layer of nitrates up to 0.3 cm thick distributed across the Martian surface. Features in thermal emission spectra of the surface of Mars have been interpreted tentatively as emanating from various anions (carbonates, bicarbonates, sulphates, etc.), and the presence of nitrates has also been addressed as a possibility. The identification of carbonates in SCN meteorites has allowed inferences to be drawn concerning the composition and evolution of the Martian atmosphere in terms of its carbon isotope systematics; if nitrites, nitrates, or other nitrogen-bearing salts could be isolated from SNC's, similar conclusions might be possible for an analogous nitrogen cycle. Nitrates are unstable, being readily soluble in water, and decomposed at temperatures between 50 C and 600 C, depending on composition. Any nitrates present in SNC's might be removed during ejection from the planet's surface, passage to Earth, or during the sample's terrestrial history, by weathering etc. The same might have been said for carbonates, but pockets of shock-produced glass (lithology C) from within the EET A79001 shergottite and bulk samples of other SNC contain this mineral, which did apparently survive. Nitrates occurring within the glassy melt pockets of lithology C in EET A79001 might likewise be protected

  1. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Science and Technology for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Greg; Bailey, Brad; Gibbs, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is a virtual institute focused on research at the intersection of science and exploration, training the next generation of lunar scientists, and development and support of the international community. As part of its mission, SSERVI acts as a hub for opportunities that engage the larger scientific and exploration communities in order to form new interdisciplinary, research-focused collaborations. The nine domestic SSERVI teams that comprise the U.S. complement of the Institute engage with the international science and exploration communities through workshops, conferences, online seminars and classes, student exchange programs and internships. SSERVI represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration enabling a deeper, integrated understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies as human exploration moves beyond low Earth orbit. SSERVI centers on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, with additional aspects of related technology development, including a major focus on human exploration-enabling efforts such as resolving Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs). The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary, exploration-related science focused on airless bodies targeted as potential human destinations. Areas of study represent the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences encompassing investigations of the surface, interior, exosphere, and near-space environments as well as science uniquely enabled from these bodies. This research profile integrates investigations of plasma physics, geology/geochemistry, technology integration, solar system origins/evolution, regolith geotechnical properties, analogues, volatiles, ISRU and exploration potential of the target bodies. New opportunities for both domestic and international partnerships are continually generated through these research and

  2. The 2016 Transit of Mercury Observed from Major Solar Telescopes and Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, Glenn; Gary, Dale; Chen, Bin; Sterling, Alphonse C.; Reardon, Kevin P.; Dantowitz, Ronald; Kopp, Greg A.

    2016-10-01

    We report observations from the ground and space of the 9 May 2016 transit of Mercury. We build on our explanation of the black-drop effect in transits of Venus based on spacecraft observations of the 1999 transit of Mercury (Schneider, Pasachoff, and Golub, Icarus 168, 249, 2004). In 2016, we used the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory with active optics to observe Mercury's transit at high spatial resolution. We again saw a small black-drop effect as 3rd contact neared, confirming the data that led to our earlier explanation as a confluence of the point-spread function and the extreme solar limb darkening (Pasachoff, Schneider, and Golub, in IAU Colloq. 196, 2004). We again used IBIS on the Dunn Solar Telescope of the Sacramento Peak Observatory, as A. Potter continued his observations, previously made at the 2006 transit of Mercury, at both telescopes of the sodium exosphere of Mercury (Potter, Killen, Reardon, and Bida, Icarus 226, 172, 2013). We imaged the transit with IBIS as well as with two RED Epic IMAX-quality cameras alongside it, one with a narrow passband. We show animations of our high-resolution ground-based observations along with observations from XRT on JAXA's Hinode and from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Further, we report on the limit of the transit change in the Total Solar Irradiance, continuing our interest from the transit of Venus TSI (Schneider, Pasachoff, and Willson, ApJ 641, 565, 2006; Pasachoff, Schneider, and Willson, AAS 2005), using NASA's SORCE/TIM and the Air Force's TCTE/TIM. See http://transitofvenus.info and http://nicmosis.as.arizona.edu.Acknowledgments: We were glad for the collaboration at Big Bear of Claude Plymate and his colleagues of the staff of the Big Bear Solar Observatory. We also appreciate the collaboration on the transit studies of Robert Lucas (Sydney, Australia) and Evan Zucker (San Diego, California). JMP appreciates the sabbatical hospitality of the Division of Geosciences and

  3. Modelling Mercury's magnetosphere and plasma entry through the dayside magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massetti, S.; Orsini, S.; Milillo, A.; Mura, A.

    2007-09-01

    Owing to the next space mission Messenger (NASA) and BepiColombo (ESA/JAXA), there is a renewed interest in modelling the Mercury's environment. The geometry of the Mercury's magnetosphere, as well as its response to the solar wind conditions, is one of the major issues. The weak magnetic field of the planet and the increasing weight of the IMF BX component at Mercury's orbit, introduce critical differences with respect to the Earth's case, such as a strong north-south asymmetry and a significant solar wind precipitation into the dayside magnetosphere even for non-negative IMF BZ. With the aim of analysing the interaction between the solar wind and Mercury's magnetosphere, we have developed an empirical-analytical magnetospheric model starting from the Toffoletto-Hill TH93 code. Our model has been tuned to reproduce the key features of the Mariner 10 magnetic data, and to mimic the magnetic field topology obtained by the self-consistent hybrid simulation developed by Kallio and Janhunen [Solar wind and magnetospheric ion impact on Mercury's magnetosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. 30, 1877, doi: 10.1029/2003GL017842]. The new model has then been used to study the effect of the magnetic reconnection on the magnetosheath plasma entry through the open areas of the dayside magnetosphere (cusps), which are expected to be one of the main sources of charged particles circulating inside the magnetosphere. We show that, depending on the Alfvén speeds on both sides of the magnetopause discontinuity, the reconnection process would be able to accelerate solar wind protons up to few tens of keV: part of these ions can hit the surface and then trigger, via ion-sputtering, the refilling of the planetary exosphere. Finally, we show that non-adiabatic effects are expected to develop in the cusp regions as the energy gained by injected particles increases. The extent of these non-adiabatic regions is shown to be also modulated by upstream IMF condition.

  4. Retrieval of ion distributions in RC from TWINS ENA images by CT technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, S.; Yan, W.; Xu, L.; Goldstein, J.; McComas, D. J.

    2010-12-01

    The Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) mission is the first constellation to employ imagers on two separate spacecraft to measure energetic neutral atoms (ENA) produced by charge exchange between ring current energetic ions and cold exospheric neutral atoms. By applying the 3-D volumetric pixel (voxel) computed tomography (CT) inversion method to TWINS images, parent ion populations in the ring current (RC) and auroral regions are retrieved from their ENA signals. This methodology is implemented for data obtained during the main phase of a moderate geomagnetic storm on 11 October 2008. For this storm the two TWINS satellites were located in nearly the same meridian plane at vantage points widely separated in magnetic local time, and both more than 5 RE geocentric distance from the Earth. In the retrieval process, the energetic ion fluxes to be retrieved are assumed being isotropic with respect to pitch angle. The ENA data used in this study are differential fluxes averaged over 12 sweeps (corresponding to an interval of 16 min.) at different energy levels ranging throughout the full 1--100 keV energy range of TWINS. The ENA signals have two main components: (1) a low-latitude/ high-altitude signal from trapped RC ions and (2) a low-altitude signal from precipitating ions in the auroral/subauroral ionosphere. In the retrieved ion distributions, the main part of the RC component is located around midnight toward dawn sector with L from 3 to 7 or farther, while the subauroral low-altitude component is mainly at pre-midnight. It seems that the dominant energy of the RC ions for this storm is at the lowest energy level of 1-2 keV, with another important energy band centered about 44 keV. The low-altitude component is consistent with in situ observations by DMSP/SSJ4. The result of this study demonstrates that with satellite constellations such as TWINS, using all-sky ENA imagers deployed at multiple vantage points, 3-D distribution of RC ion

  5. Geomorphic Evidence for a Late Hesperian Northern Ocean and its Implications for the Planetary Inventory of Water During the Noachian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, S. M.; Costard, F.

    2017-12-01

    Lobate flow deposits, that appear to have emanated from within the Martian northern plains and propagated from lower to higher elevations along the dichotomy boundary, have recently been identified by Rodriguez et al. (2016) and Costard et al. (2017). Backwash channels are also found in association with these deposits. Such features are strikingly similar to those associated with terrestrial tsunamis - suggesting that the Martian examples may have originated from one or more large marine impacts. The distribution of these landforms is consistent with the location of Contact 2 (elevation -3760), previously identified by Parker et al. (1993) as the possible paleoshoreline of a northern ocean. The occrruence and distribution of these features provides new and compelling evidence of the presence of a northern ocean during the Late Hesperian ( 3 Ga). The volume of water necessary to fill the northern plains to the elevation of Contact 2 is 100 m GEL. However, this is only a fraction of the planetary inventory of water that must have existed at this time. For example, virtually all of the crustal porosity, lying at an elevation below that of the ocean sea level, must have been saturated with groundwater - representing a total volume of 225 ± 75 m GEL. An additional 300 ± 100 m GEL is thought to have been cold-trapped in the cryosphere as ground ice, with another 30 m GEL stored in the more extensive Late Hesparian south polar layered deposits (SPLD). This yields a total global inventory of 655 ± 175 m GEL of H2O during the Late Hesperian. The inventory of water during the Noachian was probably similar, as the amounts released by extrusive volcanism and lost by exospheric escape were comparable. However, the 33% higher geothermal heat flow during the Noachian means that 100 m GEL less water would have been stored as ground ice, making it available as a liquid, to be stored as ground- and surface water. This suggests that a Noachian northern ocean would have been at

  6. Radial and azimuthal distribution of Io's oxygen neutral cloud observed by Hisaki/EXCEED

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koga, R.; Tsuchiya, F.; Kagitani, M.; Sakanoi, T.; Yoneda, M.; Yoshikawa, I.; Yoshioka, K.; Murakami, G.; Yamazaki, A.; Kimura, T.; Smith, H. T.

    2017-12-01

    We report the spatial distributions of oxygen neural cloud surrounding Jupiter's moon Io and along Io's orbit observed by the HISAKI satellite. Atomic oxygen and sulfur in Io's atmosphere escape from the exobase and move to corona ( 5.8 Io radii) mainly due to atmospheric sputtering. Io plasma torus is formed by ionization of these atoms by electron impact and charge exchange processes. It is essential to examine the dominant source of Io plasma torus, particularly in the vicinity of Io (5.8 Io radii; extended neutral clouds). The spatial distribution of oxygen and sulfur neutral clouds is important to understand the source. The extreme ultraviolet spectrometer called EXCEED (Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscope for Exospheric Dynamics) installed on the Hisaki satellite observed Io plasma torus continuously in 2014-2015, and we carried out the monitoring of the distribution of atomic oxygen emission at 130.4 nm. The emission averaged over the distance range of 4.5-6.5 Jovian radii on the dawn and dusk sides strongly depends on the Io phase angle (IPA), and has a emission peak between IPA of 60-90 degrees on the dawn side, and between 240-270 degrees on the dusk side, respectively. It also shows the asymmetry with respect to Io's position: the intensity averaged for IPA 60-90 degrees (13.3 Rayleighs (R)) is 1.2 times greater than that for IPA 90-120 degrees (11.1 R) on the dawn side. The similar tendency is found on the dusk side. Weak atomic oxygen emission (4 R) uniformly distributes in every IPA. We also examined the radial distribution of the oxygen neutral cloud during the same period and found the emission peak near Io's orbit with decreasing the intensity toward 8.0 Jupiter radii. The results show the high density component of the oxygen neutral cloud is concentrated around Io and extends mainly toward leading side of Io. In addition, the low density neutrals uniformly exist along Io's orbit. Both components extend radially outward up to 8 Jovian radii with

  7. Cluster and THEMIS observations of the magnetosphere dayside boundaries in preparation for the SMILE mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoubet, C. P.; Dimmock, A. P.; Walsh, B.; Sibeck, D. G.; Berchem, J.; Nykyri, K.; Turc, L.; Read, A.; Branduardi-Raymont, G.; Wang, C.; Sembay, S.; Kuntz, K. D.; Dai, L.; Li, L.; Donovan, E.; Spanswick, E.; Laakso, H. E.; Zheng, J.; Rebuffat, D.

    2016-12-01

    Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) is a novel self-standing mission, in collaboration between ESA and Chinese Academy of Science. Its objective is to observe the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling via simultaneous in situ solar wind/magnetosheath plasma and magnetic field measurements, soft X-Ray images of the magnetosheath and polar cusps, and UV images of global auroral distributions. The observations of the cusps and magnetosheath with the X-ray imager are possible through the relatively recent discovery of solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) X-ray emission, first observed at comets, and subsequently found to occur in the vicinity of the Earth's magnetosphere. In preparation for the mission, we need to determine the cusp's morphology, motion and in situ properties (density, velocity, temperature) that are expected to be observed by the spacecraft. To do so, we have selected a series of cusp crossings by the Cluster spacecraft that can be used to simulate X-ray emissions across the width of the cusp for different IMF orientations. In view of the well-known cusp ion dispersions, we expect that X ray emissions peak near the equatorial boundary of the cusp for southward IMF Bz, but near the poleward boundary of the cusp for northward IMF Bz. We also employ Cluster cusp observations during storms to predict X-ray emissions to be expected for periods of high solar wind fluxes. In addition, we use THEMIS observations from January 2008 to July 2015 for moderate (nsw*vsw 4.9x10^8 /cm^2s) solar wind fluxes to investigate X-rays emitted by the magnetosheath and to determine their variation as a function of distance from the subsolar point along the Sun-Earth line and along the flanks of the magnetosphere. We will show that high solar wind fluxes greatly enhance soft X-ray emissions, not only because solar wind fluxes increases but also because the emission region moves deeper within the Earth's exosphere.

  8. Earth Observation from Space - The Issue of Environmental Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durrieu, Sylvie; Nelson, Ross F.

    2013-01-01

    that they're rare event, space launches may be benign, but study is merited on upper stratospheric and exospheric layers given the chemical activity associated with rocket combustion by-products. (3) Minimization of Type II error should be considered in situations where minimization of Type I error greatly hampers or precludes our ability to correct the environmental condition being studied. (4) In certain situations, airborne collects may be less expensive and more environmentally benign, and comparative studies should be done to determine which path is wisest. (5) International cooperation and data sharing will reduce instrument and launch costs and mission redundancy. Given fiscal concerns of most of the major space agencies e e.g. NASA, ESA, CNES e it seems prudent to combine resources.

  9. Modeling the Interaction of Europa with the Jovian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, M.; Combi, M. R.; Daldorff, L.; Gombosi, T. I.; Hansen, K. C.; Jia, X.; Kivelson, M. G.; Tenishev, V.

    2011-12-01

    The interaction of Jupiter's corotating magnetosphere with Europa's subsurface water ocean is responsible for the observed induced dipolar magnetic field. Furthermore the pick-up process of newly ionized particles from Europa's neutral atmosphere alters the magnetic and electric field topology around the moon. We use the Block-Adaptive-Tree-Solarwind-Roe-Upwind-Scheme (BATS-R-US) of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) to model the interaction of Europa with the Jovian magnetosphere. The BATS-R-US code solves the governing equations of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in a fully 3D adaptive mesh. In our approach we solve the equations for one single ion species, starting from the work by Kabin et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 104, A9, 19983-19992, 1999) accounting for the exospheric mass loading, ion-neutral charge exchange, and ion-electron recombination. We continue by separately solving the electron pressure equation and furthermore extend the magnetic induction equation by the resistive and Hall terms. The resistive term accounts for the finite electron diffusivity and thus allows a more adequate description of the effect of magnetic diffusion due to collisions [Ledvina et al., Sp. Sci. Rev., 139:143-189, 2008]. For this purpose we use ion-electron and electron-neutral collision rates presented by Schunk and Nagy (Ionospheres, Cambridge University Press, 2000). The Hall term allows ions and electrons to move at different velocities while the magnetic field remains frozen to the electrons. The assumed charge neutrality of the ion-electron plasma is maintained everywhere at all times. The model is run at different phases of Jupiter's rotation reflecting the different locations of Europa with respect to the center of the plasma sheet and is compared to measurements obtained by the Galileo magnetometer [Kivelson et al., J. Geophys. Res., 104:4609-4626, 1999]. The resulting influence on the induced magnetic dipolar field is studied and compared to the results from the

  10. Unveiling Mercury's Mysteries with BepiColombo - an ESA/JAXA Mission to Explore the Innermost Planet of our Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's MESSENGER mission has fundamentally changed our view of the innermost planet. Mercury is in many ways a very different planet from what we were expecting. Now BepiColombo has to follow up on answering the fundamental questions that MESSENGER raised and go beyond. BepiColombo is a joint project between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Mission consists of two orbiters, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The mission scenario foresees a launch of both spacecraft with an ARIANE V in October 2018 and an arrival at Mercury in 2025. From their dedicated orbits the two spacecraft will be studying the planet and its environment. BepiColombo will study and understand the composition, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere and history of Mercury, the least explored planet in the inner Solar System. In addition, the BepiColombo mission will provide a rare opportunity to collect multi-point measurements in a planetary environment. This will be particularly important at Mercury because of short temporal and spatial scales in the Mercury's environment. The foreseen orbits of the MPO and MMO will allow close encounters of the two spacecrafts throughout the mission. The MPO scientific payload comprises eleven instruments/instrument packages; The MMO comprises 5 instruments/instrument packages to the the study of the environment. The MPO will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will be testing Einstein's theory of general relativity. Together, the scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide the detailed information necessary to understand Mercury and its magnetospheric environment and to find clues to the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star. The BepiColombo mission will complement and follow up the work of NASA's MESSENGER mission by

  11. Neutral escape at Mars induced by the precipitation of high-energy protons and hydrogen atoms of the solar wind origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shematovich, Valery I.

    2017-04-01

    One of the first surprises of the NASA MAVEN mission was the observation by the SWIA instrument of a tenuous population of protons with solar wind energies travelling anti-sunward near periapsis, at altitudes of 150-250 km (Halekas et al., 2015). While the penetration of solar wind protons to low altitude is not completely unexpected given previous Mars Express results, this population maintains exactly the same velocity as the solar wind observed. From previous studies it was known that some fraction of the solar wind can interact with the extended corona of Mars. By charge exchange with the neutral particles in this corona, some fraction of the incoming solar wind protons can gain an electron and become an energetic neutral hydrogen atom. Once neutral, these particles penetrate through the Martian induced magnetosphere with ease, with free access to the collisional atmosphere/ionosphere. The origin, kinetics and transport of the suprathermal O atoms in the transition region (from thermosphere to exosphere) of the Martian upper atmosphere due to the precipitation of the high-energy protons and hydrogen atoms are discussed. Kinetic energy distribution functions of suprathermal and superthermal (ENA) oxygen atoms formed in the Martian upper atmosphere were calculated using the kinetic Monte Carlo model (Shematovich et al., 2011, Shematovich, 2013) of the high-energy proton and hydrogen atom precipitation into the atmosphere. These functions allowed us: (a) to estimate the non-thermal escape rates of neutral oxygen from the Martian upper atmosphere, and (b) to compare with available MAVEN measurements of oxygen corona. Induced by precipitation the escape of hot oxygen atoms may become dominant under conditions of extreme solar events - solar flares and coronal mass ejections, - as it was shown by recent observations of the NASA MAVEN spacecraft (Jakosky et al., 2015). This work is supported by the RFBR project and by the Basic Research Program of the Praesidium of

  12. Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM): Providing Opportunities for Students and Teachers to Learn About the Solar-lunar Environmental Connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, L.; Weir, H. M.; Twu, Y.; Farrell, W. M.; Gross, N. A.

    2009-12-01

    The Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM) team is one of seven teams comprising the NASA Lunar Science Institute. DREAM’s goal is to reveal, advance, and test the extremes of the solar-lunar environmental connection. DREAM’s education and outreach (E/PO) program is focused on student and teacher participation with scientists. The primary component of the DREAM E/PO program is two Lunar Extreme Workshops (LEWs) and the supporting materials developed for each LEW. The workshops will bring together scientists and modelers from the DREAM team with advanced high school and/or community college students and their teachers. The LEWs will allow student/teacher participants to interact directly with the scientists and to experience the process of science in action. Participation in LEWs and pre-LEW training will expose students to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers and engage them in learning new STEM content. During the two LEWs, the new, integrated lunar models developed by the DREAM team will be tested using extreme environmental drivers. These extreme events include: 1) solar storms and human excursion into Shackleton Crater and 2) human activity/lunar excavation and impact cratering. Although the LEWs will be complex in nature, the students and teachers will receive extensive pre-LEW training via access to online curricular resources already in development and Webinars with DREAM science team members, during which the students/teachers will get to know the team members and put their new knowledge into context. The curricular materials will include resources and activities pertaining to space weather, plasma, electricity, circuits, magnetism, magnetospheres, exospheres, impact cratering, and modeling. The activities are being mapped to the National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Students will be encouraged to read and review

  13. Chandrayaan-2: India's First Soft-landing Mission to Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylswamy, Annadurai; Krishnan, A.; Alex, T. K.; Rama Murali, G. K.

    2012-07-01

    The first Indian planetary mission to moon, Chandrayaan-1, launched on 22nd October, 2008 with a suite of Indian and International payloads on board, collected very significant data over its mission duration of close to one year. Important new findings from this mission include, discovery of hydroxyl and water molecule in sunlit lunar surface region around the poles, exposure of large anorthositic blocks confirming the global lunar magma hypothesis, signature of sub surface ice layers in permanently shadowed regions near the lunar north pole, evidence for a new refractory rock type, mapping of reflected lunar neutral atoms and identification of mini-magnetosphere, possible signature of water molecule in lunar exosphere, preserved lava tube that may provide site for future human habitation and radiation dose en-route and around the moon. Chandrayaan-2:, The success of Chandrayaan-1 orbiter mission provided impetus to implement the second approved Indian mission to moon, Chandrayaan-2, with an Orbiter-Lander-Rover configuration. The enhanced capabilities will enable addressing some of the questions raised by the results obtained from the Chandrayaan-1 and other recent lunar missions and also to enhance our understanding of origin and evolution of the moon. The orbiter that will carry payloads to further probe the morphological, mineralogical and chemical properties of the lunar surface material through remote sensing observations in X-ray, visible, infra-red and microwave regions. The Lander-Rover system will enable in-depth studies of a specific lunar location and probe various physical properties of the moon. The Chandrayaan-2 mission will be collaboration between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia. ISRO will be responsible for the Launch Vehicle, the Orbiter and the Rover while the Lander will be provided by Russia. Initial work to realize the different elements of the mission is currently in progress in both countries

  14. Imaging Plasma Density Structures in the Soft X-Rays Generated by Solar Wind Charge Exchange with Neutrals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibeck, David G.; Allen, R.; Aryan, H.; Bodewits, D.; Brandt, P.; Branduardi-Raymont, G.; Brown, G.; Carter, J. A.; Collado-Vega, Y. M.; Collier, M. R.; Connor, H. K.; Cravens, T. E.; Ezoe, Y.; Fok, M.-C.; Galeazzi, M.; Gutynska, O.; Holmström, M.; Hsieh, S.-Y.; Ishikawa, K.; Koutroumpa, D.; Kuntz, K. D.; Leutenegger, M.; Miyoshi, Y.; Porter, F. S.; Purucker, M. E.; Read, A. M.; Raeder, J.; Robertson, I. P.; Samsonov, A. A.; Sembay, S.; Snowden, S. L.; Thomas, N. E.; von Steiger, R.; Walsh, B. M.; Wing, S.

    2018-06-01

    Both heliophysics and planetary physics seek to understand the complex nature of the solar wind's interaction with solar system obstacles like Earth's magnetosphere, the ionospheres of Venus and Mars, and comets. Studies with this objective are frequently conducted with the help of single or multipoint in situ electromagnetic field and particle observations, guided by the predictions of both local and global numerical simulations, and placed in context by observations from far and extreme ultraviolet (FUV, EUV), hard X-ray, and energetic neutral atom imagers (ENA). Each proposed interaction mechanism (e.g., steady or transient magnetic reconnection, local or global magnetic reconnection, ion pick-up, or the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability) generates diagnostic plasma density structures. The significance of each mechanism to the overall interaction (as measured in terms of atmospheric/ionospheric loss at comets, Venus, and Mars or global magnetospheric/ionospheric convection at Earth) remains to be determined but can be evaluated on the basis of how often the density signatures that it generates are observed as a function of solar wind conditions. This paper reviews efforts to image the diagnostic plasma density structures in the soft (low energy, 0.1-2.0 keV) X-rays produced when high charge state solar wind ions exchange electrons with the exospheric neutrals surrounding solar system obstacles. The introduction notes that theory, local, and global simulations predict the characteristics of plasma boundaries such the bow shock and magnetopause (including location, density gradient, and motion) and regions such as the magnetosheath (including density and width) as a function of location, solar wind conditions, and the particular mechanism operating. In situ measurements confirm the existence of time- and spatial-dependent plasma density structures like the bow shock, magnetosheath, and magnetopause/ionopause at Venus, Mars, comets, and the Earth. However, in situ

  15. Fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon during the Lomagundi (2.22 2.1 Ga) carbon isotope excursion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekker, A.; Holmden, C.; Beukes, N. J.; Kenig, F.; Eglinton, B.; Patterson, W. P.

    2008-07-01

    The Lomagundi (2.22-2.1 Ga) positive carbon isotope excursion in shallow-marine sedimentary carbonates has been associated with the rise in atmospheric oxygen, but subsequent studies have demonstrated that the carbon isotope excursion was preceded by the rise in atmospheric oxygen. The amount of oxygen released to the exosphere during the Lomagundi excursion is constrained by the average global fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon, which is poorly characterized. Because dissolved inorganic and organic carbon reservoirs were arguably larger in the Paleoproterozoic ocean, at a time of lower solar luminosity and lower ocean redox state, decoupling between these two variables might be expected. We determined carbon isotope values of carbonate and organic matter in carbonates and shales of the Silverton Formation, South Africa and in the correlative Sengoma Argillite Formation, near the border in Botswana. These units were deposited between 2.22 and 2.06 Ga along the margin of the Kaapvaal Craton in an open-marine deltaic setting and experienced lower greenschist facies metamorphism. The prodelta to offshore marine shales are overlain by a subtidal carbonate sequence. Carbonates exhibit elevated 13C values ranging from 8.3 to 11.2‰ vs. VPDB consistent with deposition during the Lomagundi positive excursion. The total organic carbon (TOC) contents range from 0.01 to 0.6% and δ13C values range from - 24.8 to - 13.9‰. Thus, the isotopic fractionation between organic and carbonate carbon was on average 30.3 ± 2.8‰ ( n = 32) in the shallow-marine environment. The underlying Sengoma shales have highly variable TOC contents (0.14 to 21.94%) and δ13C values (- 33.7 to - 20.8‰) with an average of - 27.0 ± 3.0‰ ( n = 50). Considering that the shales were also deposited during the Lomagundi excursion, and taking δ13C values of the overlying carbonates as representative of the δ13C value of dissolved inorganic carbon during shale deposition, a carbon

  16. Environmental effects of human exploration of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendell, Wendell

    Aerospace engineers use the term Environment to designate a set of externally imposed bound-ary conditions under which a device must operate. Although the parameters may be time-varying, the engineer thinks of the operating environment as being fixed. Any effect the device might have on the environment generally is neglected. In the case where the device is intended to measure the environment, its effect on the measured quantities must be considered. For example, a magnetometer aboard a spacecraft must be extended on a boom to minimize the disturbing influence of the spacecraft on the magnetic field, particularly if the field is weak. In contrast, Environment has taken on political and even ethical connotations in modern Western society, referring to human-induced alterations to those aspects of the terrestrial environment that are required for a healthy and productive life. The so-called Green Movement takes preservation of the environment as its mantra. Scientists are at the center of the debate on environmental issues. However, the concern of scientists over irreversible consequences of hu-man activity extend beyond ecology to preservation of cultural artifacts and to effects that alter the ability to conduct investigations such as light pollution in astronomy. The policy of Planetary Protection applied to science and exploration missions to other bodies in the solar system arises from the concern for deleterious effects in terrestrial ecology from hypothetical extraterrestrial life forms as well as overprints of extraterrestrial environments by terrestrial biology. Some in the scientific community are advocating extension of the planetary protection concept beyond exobiology to include fragile planetary environments by might be permanently altered by human activity e.g., the lunar exosphere. Beyond the scientific community, some environmentalists argue against any changes to the Moon at all, including formation of new craters or the alteration of the natural

  17. Mercury's Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingue, Deborah L.; Chapman, Clark. R.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.; Gilbert, Jason A.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Benna, Mehdi; Slavin, James A.; Schriver, David; Travnicek, Pavel M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Mercury's regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered by a set of space weathering processes. Before we can interpret crustal composition, it is necessary to understand the nature of these surface alterations. The processes that space weather the surface are the same as those that form Mercury's exosphere (micrometeoroid flux and solar wind interactions) and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of a global magnetic field. To comprehend how space weathering acts on Mercury's regolith, an understanding is needed of how contributing processes act as an interactive system. As no direct information (e.g., from returned samples) is available about how the system of space weathering affects Mercury's regolith, we use as a basis for comparison the current understanding of these same processes on lunar and asteroidal regoliths as well as laboratory simulations. These comparisons suggest that Mercury's regolith is overturned more frequently (though the characteristic surface time for a grain is unknown even relative to the lunar case), more than an order of magnitude more melt and vapor per unit time and unit area is produced by impact processes than on the Moon (creating a higher glass content via grain coatings and agglutinates), the degree of surface irradiation is comparable to or greater than that on the Moon, and photon irradiation is up to an order of magnitude greater (creating amorphous grain rims, chemically reducing the upper layers of grains to produce nanometer scale particles of metallic iron, and depleting surface grains in volatile elements and alkali metals). The processes that chemically reduce the surface and produce nanometer-scale particles on Mercury are suggested to be more effective than similar processes on the Moon. Estimated abundances of nanometer-scale particles can account for Mercury's dark surface relative to that of the Moon without requiring macroscopic grains of opaque minerals. The presence of

  18. The design of Janus, the visible camera for the ESA JUICE mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Corte, Vincenzo; Schmitz, Nicole; Castro, José Maria; Leese, Mark; Debei, Stefano; Magrin, Demetrio; Michalik, Harald

    2014-05-01

    The JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission was selected in May 2012 as the first Large mission in the frame of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. The mission is aimed at an in-depth characterization of the Jovian system, with an operational phase of about 3.5 years. During the whole operational phase, JANUS (Jovis, Amorum ac Natorum Undique Scrutator) will acquire panchromatic and narrow-band images in the visible - NIR range of many targets within the Jovian system: the Galilean satellites surfaces and exospheres, Jupiter atmosphere, minor and irregular satellites, the ring system. After a long trade-off between different design solutions, based on performance requirements, mission design and constraints, the present JANUS design has been based on the following architectural choices detailed below. A catoptric telescope with excellent optical quality is coupled with a framing CMOS detector, avoiding any scan-ning mechanism or operational requirement on the S/C. The three mirror anastigmatic (TMA) off-axis design with F#=4.67 allows an MTF between 62% and 72% at Nyquist, with good straylight rejection. The detector is the CIS115 from e2v; it is a CMOS with a squared 7 micron pixel pitch and image format of 2000x1504. It performs a high readout rate of up to 40 Mpixel/s, high quantum efficiency and low readout noise and dark signal. Fine tuning of instrument parameters allows to perform both high resolution targeted observations and lower resolution global coverage of targets, as required to meet science objectives. The IFoV (Fieldo of View per pixel) is 15 microrad, al-lowing sampling of 7.5 m/pixel from 500 km and 15 km/pixel from 10E6 km, while the FoV is 1.72x1.29 deg. The acquisition parameters allow to cope with the many different observation requirements and conditions that JANUS will face. Design of the two electronics units (a proximity electronics controlling the detector and a main electronics controlling the instrument and the interfaces with

  19. Some inner satellites of giant planets are still outgassing: Triton, Enceladus, Io

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, Gennady G.

    2010-05-01

    plumes of sulfur and sulfur dioxide hundreds of kilometers high. It is admitted that Io's orbital eccentricity is a main reason for volcanism creating its patchy atmosphere and plasma tore ("detached atmosphere"). It is interesting that the latest MESSENGER data show that spacious volcanic effusions cover Mercury and one region appears to have experienced a high level of volcanic activity. Chains of small deep pits occur in the region along with the larger 30 km across crater. The innermost planet Mercury is deeply degassed and almost dry. Areal volcanic effusions, clear traces of contraction (escarps or lobate ledges), numerous chains of deep pits (craters) controlled by lineaments or weakness zones witness this. Not able to keep an atmosphere in the close vicinity to mighty Sun, Mercury still has traces of Na, K, Ca, Mg, and noble gases in its exosphere (but it seems that sputtering from the surface is a main reason for their appearance). References: [1] Kochemasov G.G. (2006) Venus, Earth, Mars, Titan: intensity of wiping out volatiles from celestial bodies and building atmospheres //36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Beijing, China, 16-23 July 2006, Abstr. COSPAR2006-A-00789, CD-ROM; [2] Kochemasov G.G. (2009) A regular row of planetary relief ranges connected with tectonic granulations of celestial bodies // New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, # 51, 58-61. [3] Kochemasov, G.G. (2006). Outgassing of planets in relation to their orbital frequencies // EUROPLANET-2006 Sci. Conference, Sept.22-26, 2006, Berlin, EPSC Abstracts, Vol. 1, EPSC2006-A-00043, CD-ROM.

  20. MESSENGER at Mercury: Early Orbital Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Ralph L., Jr; Solomon, Sean C.; Bedini, Peter D.; Anderson, Brian J.; Blewett, David T.; Evans, Larry G.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    angles. Targeted areas have been selected for spectral coverage into the ultraviolet with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS). MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter is acquiring topographic profiles when the slant range to Mercury's surface is less than 1800 km, encompassing latitudes from 20 deg. S to the north pole. Topography over the remainder of the southern hemisphere will be derived from stereo imaging, radio occultations, and limb profiles. MESSENGER's radio science experiment is determining Mercury's gravity field from Doppler signals acquired during frequent downlinks. MESSENGER's Magnetometer is measuring the vector magnetic field both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar wind environment at an instrument sampling rate of up to 20 samples/s. The UVVS is determining the three-dimensional, time-dependent distribution of Mercury's exospheric neutral and ionic species via their emission lines. During each spacecraft orbit, the Energetic Particle Spectrometer measures energetic electrons and ions, and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measures the energies and mass per charge of thermal plasma components, both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar-wind environment. The primary mission observation sequence will continue for one Earth year, until March 2012. An extended mission, currently under discussion with NASA, would add a second year of orbital observations targeting a set of focused follow-on questions that build on observations to date and take advantage of the more active Sun expected during 2012-2013. MESSENGER's total primary mission cost, projected at $446 M in real-year dollars, is comparable to that of Mariner 10 after adjustment for inflation.

  1. Conquering the Mesoscale of Africa's Landscapes: deciphering the Genomic Record of Individuating Landforms with Geoecodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotterill, Fenton P. D.

    2016-04-01

    In the framework of Earth System Science, landscapes are the templates structuring the biosphere: the membranes interfacing between exosphere and geosphere. The hosts of earth surface processes, in their dynamics and complexity, landscapes hold a pivotal position in the evolving earth system - not least in their archives of Earth history. Their landforms document impacts of formative events originating in extra-terrestrial, geological and climatic processes. Nevertheless, major challenges to reconstruct dynamics at this interface between geosphere and exosphere hamper research efforts. Events at the mesoscale over evolutionary timescales are an important reason for why the academic schools of mega- versus process geomorphology persist (see Summerfield MA 2005. Trans. Inst. Brit Geogr NS, 30, 402-415). Austere limits on what their respective methods can reveal in mesoscale phenomena face several problems (besides costs of sampling and analyses). One, surviving landforms often lack the requisite minerals (e.g. of volcanic events). Second, the spatial resolution of orthodox methods (e.g. thermochronology) cannot resolve mesoscale patterns. Third, the surface dating tools with superb spatial precision have finitee temporal limits (Luminescence-Dating and Cosmogenic Isotopes). Fourth, and by no means least, the cumulative impact of earth surface processes has overwritten and/or eroded physical evidence of earlier formative events. (This problem is exemplified in tropical landscapes where deep, pervasive bioturbation is the dominant earth surface process!) The cumulative outcome of these inherent turnovers of landscapes has shaped the inherent emptiness of the Rock Record, which sets absolute limits on its archives (Ager D 1993. The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record; Miall AD 2015. in: Strata and Time: Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 404, http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP404.4). These limitations on mesoscale

  2. Geobiology of the Critical Zone: the Hierarchies of Process, Form and Life provide an Integrated Ontology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotterill, Fenton P. D.

    2016-04-01

    In the framework of Earth System Science, landscapes are the templates structuring the biosphere: the membranes interfacing between exosphere and geosphere. The hosts of earth surface processes, in their dynamics and complexity, landscapes hold a pivotal position in the evolving earth system - not least in their archives of Earth history. Their landforms document impacts of formative events originating in extra-terrestrial, geological and climatic processes. Nevertheless, major challenges to reconstruct dynamics at this interface between geosphere and exosphere hamper research efforts. Events at the mesoscale over evolutionary timescales are an important reason for why the academic schools of mega- versus process geomorphology persist (see Summerfield MA 2005. Trans. Inst. Brit Geogr NS, 30, 402-415). Austere limits on what their respective methods can reveal in mesoscale phenomena face several problems (besides costs of sampling and analyses). One, surviving landforms often lack the requisite minerals (e.g. of volcanic events). Second, the spatial resolution of orthodox methods (e.g. thermochronology) cannot resolve mesoscale patterns. Third, the surface dating tools with superb spatial precision have finitee temporal limits (Luminescence-Dating and Cosmogenic Isotopes). Fourth, and by no means least, the cumulative impact of earth surface processes has overwritten and/or eroded physical evidence of earlier formative events. (This problem is exemplified in tropical landscapes where deep, pervasive bioturbation is the dominant earth surface process!) The cumulative outcome of these inherent turnovers of landscapes has shaped the inherent emptiness of the Rock Record, which sets absolute limits on its archives (Ager D 1993. The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record; Miall AD 2015. in: Strata and Time: Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 404, http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP404.4). These limitations on mesoscale

  3. WASP-12b and Its Possible Fiery Demise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope. These two new sets of observations, combined with the decade of previous observations, allowed the authors to fit models to WASP-12bs orbit over time.The results show that a constant period for WASP-12b is firmly ruled out this planets orbit is definitely changing over time. The observations are best fit by a model in which the planets orbit is tidally decaying, but a 14-year apsidal precession cycle cant be definitively ruled out.Future ProspectsPossible futures for WASP-12bs orbit, based on the decay model (red) and the precession model (blue). We should be able to differentiate between these models with a few more years of observations. [Patra et al. 2017]If the planets orbit is decaying, then the authors show that its period will shrink to zero within 3.2 million years, suggesting that were currently witnessing the last 0.2% of the planets lifetime. Supporting the orbital-decay hypothesis are independent observations that suggest WASP-12b is approaching a point of tidal disruption it appears to have an extended and escaping exosphere, for instance.While we cant yet state for certain that WASP-12bs orbit is decaying, the authors argue that we should be able to tell conclusively with a few more years of observations. Either of the two outcomes above orbital decay or apsidal precession would have exciting scientific implications, however: if WASP-12bs orbit is decaying, we can measure the tidal dissipation rate of the star. If its orbit is apsidally precessing, we may be able to measure the tidal deformability of an exoplanet. Future observations of this hot Jupiter should prove interesting!CitationKishore C. Patra et al 2017 AJ 154 4. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa6d75

  4. Analysis of Titan's neutral upper atmosphere from Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer measurements in the Closed Source Neutral mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jun

    In this thesis I present an in-depth study of the distribution of various neutral species in Titan's upper atmosphere, at altitudes between 950 and 1,500 km for abundant species (N 2 , CH 4 as well as their isotopes) and between 950 and 1,200 km for most minor species. However, the study of the H 2 distribution on Titan is extended to an altitude as high as 6,000 km in the exosphere. The analysis is based on a large sample of Cassini/INMS (Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer) measurements in the CSN (Closed Source Neutral) mode, obtained during 15 close flybys of Titan. The densities of abundant species including N 2 , CH 4 and H 2 are determined directly from their main channels. However, to untangle the overlapping cracking patterns of minor species, the technique of Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) is used to determine simultaneously the densities of various hydrocarbons, nitriles and oxygen compounds. All minor species except for 40 Ar present density enhancements measured during the outbound legs. This can be interpreted as a result of wall effects, which could be either adsorption/desorption or heterogeneous surface chemistry on the chamber walls. In the thesis, I use a simple model to describe the observed time behavior of minor species. Results on their atmospheric abundances are provided both in terms of direct inbound measurements assuming ram pressure enhancement and values corrected for wall adsorption/desorption. Among all minor species of photochemical interest, the INMS data provide direct observational evidences for C 2 H 2 , C 2 H 4 , C 2 H 6 , CH 3 C 2 H, C 4 H 2 , C 6 H 6 , HC 3 N and C 2 N 2 in Titan's upper atmosphere. Upper limits are put for other minor species. The globally averaged distribution of N 2 , CH 4 and H 2 are each modeled with the diffusion approximation. The N 2 profile suggests an average thermospheric temperature of 154 K. The CH 4 and H 2 distribution constrains their fluxes to be 3.0 × 10 9 cm -2 s -1 and 1.3 × 10 10 cm -2 s

  5. Dissociative Recombination - a Key Process in Ionospheres of Giant Planets and their Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geppert, W. D.; Vigren, E.; Hamberg, M.; Thomas, R. D.; Semaniak, J.; Österdahl, F.; Zhaunerchyk, V.; Kaminska, M.; Hellberg, F.; Larsson, M.

    2007-08-01

    Ion reactions are amongst the most crucial processes in upper layers of planetary atmospheres. Dissociative recombination (DR) plays a particularly important role, since it usually is a barier-less process and thus feasible at the low collision energies prevalent in colder plasmas like the ones encountered in planetary ionospheres. Because of this fact it constitutes the only destruction mechanism for some ionospheric ions. DR processes are therefore included in model calculation of reaction networks for such environments, which greatly depend on the quality of the input data. Unfortunately, very often experimental results on these reactions are lacking even for the most important species. This is aggravated by the fact that, due to their exoergicity, DR reactions usually can have several pathways leading to very different products and the relative importance of these channels has often proven quite surprising. The CRYRING ion storage ring, located at the Manne Siegbahn laboratory at Stockholm University, allows measurement of DR branching ratios and cross sections at collision energies relevant to planetary ionospheres. We present such data for two different ions that are crucial for the chemistry of Io's and Titan's atmosphere, respectively: SO+2 and CH3CNH+. The DR of the SO+2 ion deserves special attention since it has been detected in both the exosphere and ionosphere of the Jovian satellite Io, by both the Voyager and Galileo missions (Bridge et al., 1979, Blanco-Cano et al., 2001). Io is especially interesting in this respect since its atmosphere is actually dominated by sulfur dioxide and, consequently, its ionosphere is particularly rich in SO+2 ions. The branching ratio of the S18O+2 + e- ! S18O + 18O channel amounts to 61%, whilst the three body breakup S18O+2 + e- ! S + 218O accounts for the remaining 39 % of the total reaction (the 18O isotopomere was used for experimental reasons in the present study). The thermal reaction rate obtained followed the

  6. Space-weathering processes and products on volatile-rich asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, D.; Schelling, P.; Consolmagno, G.; Bradley, T.

    2014-07-01

    Space weathering is a generic term for the effects on atmosphereless solid bodies in the solar system from a range of processes associated with direct exposure to the space environment. These include impact processes (shock, vaporization, fragmentation, heating, melting, and ejecta formation), radiation damage (from galactic and solar cosmic rays), solar-wind effects (irradiation, ion implantation, and sputtering), and the chemical reactions driven by these processes. The classic example of space weathering is the formation of the lunar spectral red slope associated with the production of nanophase Fe (npFe0) in the dusty lunar regolith (C.R. Chapman, 2004, Annual Review of Earth & Planet. Sci. 32, C.M. Pieters, 2000, MAPS 35). Similar npFe0 has been recovered from asteroid (25143) Itokawa and some asteroid classes do exhibit modest spectral red slopes (T. Noguchi, 2011, Science 333). Space weathering can be thought of as driven by a combination of the chemical environment of space (hard vacuum, low oxygen fugacity, solar-wind implantation of hydrogen) along with thermal energy supplied by micrometeorite impacts. The forward modeling of space weathering as thermodynamically-driven decomposition of common rock-forming minerals suggests the production of a range of daughter products: (1) The silicate products typically lose oxygen, other volatile elements (i.e., sulfur and sodium), and metallic cations, producing minerals that are typically more disordered and less optically active than the original parent materials. (2) The decomposed metallic cations form in nano-sized blebs including npFe0, on the surfaces or in condensing rims of mineral grains. This creates a powerful optical component as seen in the lunar red slope. Surfaces with exposed npFe0 are an ideal environment for catalyzing further reactions. (3) The liberated volatile elements and gases (O, S, Na) may form an observable exosphere (e.g., Moon and Mercury) and can either escape from the body or

  7. EMAPS: An Efficient Multiscale Approach to Plasma Systems with Non-MHD Scale Effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omelchenko, Yuri A. [Trinum Research, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)

    2016-08-08

    Global interactions of energetic ions with magnetoplasmas and neutral gases lie at the core of many space and laboratory plasma phenomena ranging from solar wind entry into and transport within planetary magnetospheres and exospheres to fast-ion driven instabilities in fusion devices to astrophysics-in-lab experiments. The ability of computational models to properly account for physical effects that underlie such interactions, namely ion kinetic, ion cyclotron, Hall, collisional and ionization processes is important for the success and planning of experimental research in plasma physics. Understanding the physics of energetic ions, in particular their nonlinear resonance interactions with Alfvén waves, is central to improving the heating performance of magnetically confined plasmas for future energy generation. Fluid models are not adequate for high-beta plasmas as they cannot fully capture ion kinetic and cyclotron physics (e.g., ion behavior in the presence of magnetic nulls, shock structures, plasma interpenetration, etc.). Recent results from global reconnection simulations show that even in a MHD-like regime there may be significant differences between kinetic and MHD simulations. Therefore, kinetic modeling becomes essential for meeting modern day challenges in plasma physics. The hybrid approximation is an intermediate approximation between the fluid and fully kinetic approximations. It eliminates light waves, removes the electron inertial temporal and spatial scales from the problem and enables full-orbit ion kinetics. As a result, hybrid codes have become effective tools for exploring ion-scale driven phenomena associated with ion beams, shocks, reconnection and turbulence that control the large-scale behavior of laboratory and space magnetoplasmas. A number of numerical issues, however, make three-dimensional (3D) large-scale hybrid simulations of inhomogeneous magnetized plasmas prohibitively expensive or even impossible. To resolve these difficulties

  8. The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: new insights into geological processes and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James W., III; Solomon, Sean C.; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; Blewett, David T.; Chapman, Clark R.; Domingue, Deborah L.; Evans, Larry G.; Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J.; Hawkins, S. Edward, III; Helbert, Jörn; Holsclaw, Gregory M.; Izenberg, Noam R.; McClintock, William E.; McCoy, Timothy J.; Merline, William J.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larrz R.; Phillips, Roger J.; Prockter, Louise M.; Robinson, Mark S.; Sprague, Ann L.; Strom, Robert G.; Vilas, Faith; Watters, Thomas R.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2008-09-01

    spacecraft [1], we will be able to infer the nature and history of materials on the surface, and how the geological history fits into the larger context of Mercury's dynamic system: a liquid iron-rich outer core, coupled through a dominantly dipolar magnetic field to the surface, exosphere, and magnetosphere, all of which interact with the solar wind. References: [1] S. C. Solomon et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 3- 39. [2] S. C. Solomon et al. (2007) EPSC 2008, this meeting. [3] S. C. Solomon et al. (2008) Science, in press. [4] B. J. Anderson et al. (2008) Science, in press. [5] J. A. Slavin et al. (2008) Science, in press. [6] T. H. Zurbuchen et al. (2008) Science, in press. [7] W. E. McClintock et al. (2008a) Science, in press. [8] M. S. Robinson et al. (2008) Science, in press. [9] W. E. McClintock et al. (2008b) Science, in press. [10] S. L. Murchie et al. (2008) Science, in press. [11] M. T. Zuber et al. (2008) Science, in press. [12] R. G. Strom et al. (2008) Science, in press. [13] J. W. Head et al. (2008) Science, in press. [14] S. E. Hawkins, III, et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 247-338. [15] W. E. McClintock and M. R. Lankton (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 481-522. [16] J. F. Cavanaugh et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 451-480. [17] J. W. Head et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 41-84. [18] W. V. Boynton et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 85-104. [19] M. T. Zuber et al. (2007) Space Sci. Rev., 131, 105-132. [20] M. S. Robinson and P. G. Lucey (1997) Science, 275, 197-200.