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Sample records for earth mars jupiter

  1. Secular Effect of Sun Oblateness on the Orbital Parameters of Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaishwar, Avaneesh; Kushvah, Badam Singh; Mishra, Devi Prasad

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we considered the Mars-Jupiter system to study the behaviour of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) as most of the NEAs originate in the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. The materials obtained from NEAs are very useful for space industrialisation. The variations in orbital parameters, such as eccentricity, inclination, longitude of pericenter and longitude of ascending node of Mars and Jupiter were investigated for a time span of 200,000 years centered on J2000 (January 2000) using secular perturbation theory. We considered the Sun oblateness and studied the effect of Sun oblateness on orbital parameters of Mars and Jupiter. Moreover, we determined the orbital parameters for asteroids moving under the perturbation effect of Mars and Jupiter by using a secular solution of Mars-Jupiter system.

  2. Application of a global solar wind/planetary obstacle interaction computational model: Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahara, S. S.

    1984-01-01

    The investigations undertaken in this report relate to studies of various solar wind interaction phenomena with Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. A computational model is developed for the determination of the detailed plasma and magnetic field properties associated with various planetary obstacles throughout the solar system.

  3. Design of human missions to Mars and robotic missions to Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okutsu, Masataka

    We consider human missions to Mars and robotic missions to Jupiter for launch dates in the near- and far-future. For the near-future, we design trajectories for currently proposed space missions that have well-defined spacecraft and mission requirements. For example, for early human missions to Mars we assume that the constraints used in NASA's design reference missions are indicative of current and near-future technologies, which of course limit our capabilities to explore Mars--and these limits make the problem challenging. Similarly, in the case of robotic exploration of Jupiter, we consider that the technology levels assumed for the proposed Europa Orbiter mission represent reasonable limits. For the far-future (two to three decades from now), we take the best estimates from current literature about the capabilities that may be available in nuclear-powered electric propulsion. We consider hardware capabilities (in terms of specific mass, specific impulse, thrust, power, etc.) for low-thrust trajectories, which range froth near-term to far-future technologies. In designing such missions, several techniques are found useful. For example, the Tisserand Graph, which tracks the changes in orbital shapes and energies, provides insight in designing Jovian tours for the Europa Orbiter mission. The graph is also useful in analyzing abort trajectories for human missions to Mars. Furthermore, a patched-conic propagator, which can generate thousands of potential trajectories, plays a vital role in three of four chapters of this thesis. For launches in the next three decades, we discovered a class of Earth- Mars-Venus-Earth free returns (which appear only four times in the 100-year period), Jovian tours involving ten to twenty flybys of the Galilean satellites, and low-thrust trajectories to Jupiter via gravity assists from Venus, Earth, and Mars. In addition, our continuation method, in which a solution for a conic trajectory is gradually converted into that for a low

  4. A Low Mass for Mars from Jupiter's Early Gas-Driven Migration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.; O'Brien, David P.; Mandell, Avi M.

    2011-01-01

    Jupiter and Saturn formed in a few million years from a gas-dominated protoplanetary disk, and were susceptible to gas-driven migration of their orbits on timescales of only approximately 100,000 years. Hydrodynamic simulations show that these giant planets can undergo a two-stage, inward-then-outward, migration. The terrestrial planets finished accreting much later and their characteristics, including Mars' small mass, are best reproduced by starting from a planetesimal disk with an outer edge at about one astronomical unit from the Sun (1 AU is the Earth-Sun distance). Here we report simulations of the early Solar System that show how the inward migration of Jupiter to 1.5 AU, and its subsequent outward migration, lead to a planetesimal disk truncated at 1 AU; the terrestrial planets then form from this disk over the next 30-50 million years, with an Earth/Mars mass ratio consistent with observations. Scattering by Jupiter initially empties but then repopulates the asteroid belt, with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 AU and outer-belt bodies originating between and beyond the giant planets. This explains the significant compositional differences across the asteroid belt. The key aspect missing from previous models of terrestrial planet formation is the substantial radial migration of the giant planets, which suggests that their behaviour is more similar to that inferred for extrasolar planets than previously thought.

  5. A low mass for Mars from Jupiter's early gas-driven migration.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Kevin J; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N; O'Brien, David P; Mandell, Avi M

    2011-06-05

    Jupiter and Saturn formed in a few million years (ref. 1) from a gas-dominated protoplanetary disk, and were susceptible to gas-driven migration of their orbits on timescales of only ∼100,000 years (ref. 2). Hydrodynamic simulations show that these giant planets can undergo a two-stage, inward-then-outward, migration. The terrestrial planets finished accreting much later, and their characteristics, including Mars' small mass, are best reproduced by starting from a planetesimal disk with an outer edge at about one astronomical unit from the Sun (1 au is the Earth-Sun distance). Here we report simulations of the early Solar System that show how the inward migration of Jupiter to 1.5 au, and its subsequent outward migration, lead to a planetesimal disk truncated at 1 au; the terrestrial planets then form from this disk over the next 30-50 million years, with an Earth/Mars mass ratio consistent with observations. Scattering by Jupiter initially empties but then repopulates the asteroid belt, with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 au and outer-belt bodies originating between and beyond the giant planets. This explains the significant compositional differences across the asteroid belt. The key aspect missing from previous models of terrestrial planet formation is the substantial radial migration of the giant planets, which suggests that their behaviour is more similar to that inferred for extrasolar planets than previously thought. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  6. Planetary lightning - Earth, Jupiter, and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, M. A.; Krider, E. P.; Hunten, D. M.

    1983-05-01

    The principal characteristics of lightning on earth are reviewed, and the evidence for lightning on Venus and Jupiter is examined. The mechanisms believed to be important to the electrification of terrestrial clouds are reviewed, with attention given to the applicability of some of these mechanisms to the atmospheres of Venus and Jupiter. The consequences of the existence of lightning on Venus and Jupiter for their atmospheres and for theories of cloud electrification on earth are also considered. Since spacecraft observations do not conclusively show that lightning does occur on Venus, it is suggested that alternative explanations for the experimental results be explored. Since Jupiter has no true surface, the Jovian lightning flashes are cloud dischargaes. Observations suggest that Jovian lightning emits, on average, 10 to the 10 J of optical energy per flash, whereas on earth lightning radiates only about 10 to the 6th J per flash. Estimates of the average planetary lightning rate on Jupiter range from 0.003 per sq km per yr to 40 per sq km per yr.

  7. Near equality of ion phase space densities at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Krimigis, S. M.; Armstrong, T. P.

    1985-01-01

    Energetic-ion phase-space density profiles are strikingly similar in the inner magnetospheres of earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for ions of first adiabatic invariant near 100 MeV/G and small mirror latitudes. Losses occur inside L approximately equal to 7 for Jupiter and Saturn and inside L approximately equal to 5 at earth. At these L values there exist steep plasma-density gradients at all three planets, associated with the Io plasma torus at Jupiter, the Rhea-Dione-Tethys torus at Saturn, and the plasmasphere at earth. Measurements of ion flux-tube contents at Jupiter and Saturn by the low-energy charged-particle experiment show that these are similar (for O ions at L = 5-9) to those at earth (for protons at L = 2-6). Furthermore, the thermal-ion flux-tube contents from Voyager plasma-science data at Jupiter and Saturn are also very nearly equal, and again similar to those at earth, differing by less than a factor of 3 at the respective L values. The near equality of energetic and thermal ion flux-tube contents at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn suggests the possibility of strong physical analogies in the interaction between plasma and energetic particles at the plasma tori/plasma sheets of Jupiter and Saturn and the plasmasphere of earth.

  8. MarCOs, Mars and Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-03-29

    An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft flying over Mars with Earth in the distance. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats -- a kind of modular, mini-satellite -- flown in deep space. They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. If they make the journey, they will test a relay of data about InSight's entry, descent and landing back to Earth. Though InSight's mission will not depend on the success of the MarCOs, they will be a test of how CubeSats can be used in deep space. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22316

  9. Mass loss from the region of Mars and the asteroid belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weidenschilling, S. J.

    1975-01-01

    Models of the solar nebula suggest that the mass of solid matter which condensed in the region of Mars and the asteroids was much greater than the amount now present. Bombardment by a primordial population of asteroidal bodies originating near Jupiter's orbit could preferentially remove matter from this region, without significant effects in the earth's zone. A critical velocity exists, for which they can be ejected from the solar system by Jupiter. The minimum perihelion attainable at this velocity lies between the orbits of Mars and the earth. The lifetimes of Mars-crossing bodies are limited by collisions with Jupiter; earth-crossers are ejected on a much shorter time scale. The total bombardment flux was at least two orders of magnitude greater in the zone of Mars than in that of the earth. The flux at Venus and Mercury from this source was negligible.

  10. Is Jupiter's magnetosphere like a pulsar's or earth's?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennel, C. F.; Coroniti, F. V.

    1974-01-01

    The application of pulsar physics to determine the magnetic structure in the planet Jupiter outer magnetosphere is discussed. A variety of theoretical models are developed to illuminate broad areas of consistency and conflict between theory and experiment. Two possible models of Jupiter's magnetosphere, a pulsar-like radial outflow model and an earth-like convection model, are examined. A compilation of the simple order of magnitude estimates derivable from the various models is provided.

  11. First Earth-Based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueso, R.; Wesley, A.; Go, C.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; Wong, M. H.; Fletcher, L. N.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Boslough, M. B.; DePater, I.; Orton, G. S.; hide

    2010-01-01

    Cosmic collisions can planets cause detectable optical flashes that range from terrestrial shooting stars to bright fireballs. On 2010 June 3 a bolide in Jupiter's atmosphere was simultaneously observed from the Earth by two amateur astronomers observing Jupiter in red and blue wavelengths, The bolide appeared as a flash of 2 s duration in video recording data of the planet. The analysis of the light carve of the observations results in an estimated energy of the impact of (0.9-4,0) x 10(exp 15) J which corresponds to a colliding body of 8-13 m diameter assuming a mean density of 2 g/cu cm. Images acquired a few days later by the Hubble Space Telescope and other large ground-based facilities did not show any signature of aerosol debris, temperature, or chemical composition anomaly, confirming that the body was small and destroyed in Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Several collisions of this size may happen on Jupiter on a yearly basis. A systematic study of the impact rate and size of these bolides can enable an empirical determination. of the flux of meteoroids in Jupiter with implications for the populations of small bodies in the outer solar system and may allow a better quantification of the threat of impacting bodies to Earth. The serendipitous recording of this optical flash opens a new window in the observation of Jupiter with small telescopes.

  12. Magnitudes of selected stellar occultation candidates for Pluto and other planets, with new predictions for Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sybert, C. B.; Bosh, A. S.; Sauter, L. M.; Elliot, J. L.; Wasserman, L. H.

    1992-01-01

    Occultation predictions for the planets Mars and Jupiter are presented along with BVRI magnitudes of 45 occultation candidates for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. Observers can use these magnitudes to plan observations of occultation events. The optical depth of the Jovian ring can be probed by a nearly central occultation on 1992 July 8. Mars occults an unusually red star in early 1993, and the occultations for Pluto involving the brightest candidates would possibly occur in the spring of 1992 and the fall of 1993.

  13. First Earth-based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Wesley, A.; Go, C.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; Wong, M. H.; Fletcher, L. N.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Boslough, M. B. E.; de Pater, I.; Orton, G. S.; Simon-Miller, A. A.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Edwards, M. L.; Hammel, H. B.; Clarke, J. T.; Noll, K. S.; Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2010-10-01

    On June 3, 2010 a bolide in Jupiter's atmosphere was observed from the Earth for the first time. The flash was detected by amateur astronomers A. Wesley and C. Go observing in two wavelength ranges. We present an analysis of the light curve of those observations that allow estimating the size of the object to be significantly smaller than the SL9 and the July 2009 Jupiter impact. Observations obtained a few days later by large telescopes including HST, VLT, Keck and Gemini showed no signature of the impact in Jupiter atmosphere confirming the small size of the impact body. A nearly continuous observation campaign based on several small telescopes by amateurs astronomers might allow an empirical determination of the flux of meteoroids in Jupiter with implications for the populations of small bodies in the outer solar system and may allow a better quantification of the threat of impacting bodies to Earth. Acknowledgements: RH, ASL and SPH are supported by the Spanish MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07. LNF is supported by a Glasstone Science Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

  14. Balloon concepts for scientific investigation of Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ash, R. L.

    1979-01-01

    Opportunities for scientific investigation of the atmospheric planets using buoyant balloons have been explored. Mars and Jupiter were considered in this study because design requirements at those planets bracket nominally the requirements at Venus, and plans are already underway for a joint Russian-French balloon system at Venus. Viking data has provided quantitative information for definition of specific balloon systems at Mars. Free flying balloons appear capable of providing valuable scientific support for more sophisticated Martian surface probes, but tethered and powered aerostats are not attractive. The Jovian environment is so extreme, hot atmosphere balloons may be the only scientific platforms capable of extended operations there. However, the estimated system mass and thermal energy required are very large.

  15. Entry-probe studies of the atmospheres of earth, Mars, and Venus - A review (Von Karman Lecture)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin

    1990-01-01

    This paper overviews the history (since 1963) of the exploration of planetary atmospheres by use of entry probes. The techniques used to measure the compositions of the atmospheres of the earth, Mars, and Venus are described together with the key results obtained. Attention is also given to the atmosphere-structure experiment aboard the Galileo Mission, launched on October 17, 1989 and now under way on its 6-yr trip to Jupiter, and to future experiments.

  16. Comparison of high-energy trapped particle environments at the Earth and Jupiter.

    PubMed

    Jun, Insoo; Garrett, Henry B

    2005-01-01

    The 'Van Allen belts' of the trapped energetic particles in the Earth's magnetosphere were discovered by the Explorer I satellite in 1958. In addition, in 1959, it was observed that UHF radio emissions from Jupiter probably had a similar source--the Jovian radiation belts. In this paper, the global characteristics of these two planets' trapped radiation environments and respective magnetospheres are compared and state-of-the-art models used to generate estimates of the high-energy electron (> or = 100 keV) and proton (> or = 1 MeV) populations--the dominant radiation particles in these environments. The models used are the AP8/AE8 series for the Earth and the Divine-Garrett/GIRE model for Jupiter. To illustrate the relative magnitude of radiation effects at each planet, radiation transport calculations were performed to compute the total ionising dose levels at the geosynchronous orbit for the Earth and at Europa (Jupiter's 4th largest moon) for Jupiter. The results show that the dose rates are -0.1 krad(Si) d(-1) at the geosynchronous orbit and -30 krad(Si) d((-1) at Europa for a 2.5 mm spherical shell aluminium shield--a factor of -300 between the two planets.

  17. Human Exploration of Earth's Neighborhood and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Condon, Gerald

    2003-01-01

    The presentation examines Mars landing scenarios, Earth to Moon transfers comparing direct vs. via libration points. Lunar transfer/orbit diagrams, comparison of opposition class and conjunction class missions, and artificial gravity for human exploration missions. Slides related to Mars landing scenarios include: mission scenario; direct entry landing locations; 2005 opportunity - Type 1; Earth-mars superior conjunction; Lander latitude accessibility; Low thrust - Earth return phase; SEP Earth return sequence; Missions - 200, 2007, 2009; and Mission map. Slides related to Earth to Moon transfers (direct vs. via libration points (L1, L2) include libration point missions, expeditionary vs. evolutionary, Earth-Moon L1 - gateway for lunar surface operations, and Lunar mission libration point vs. lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR). Slides related to lunar transfer/orbit diagrams include: trans-lunar trajectory from ISS parking orbit, trans-Earth trajectories, parking orbit considerations, and landing latitude restrictions. Slides related to comparison of opposition class (short-stay) and conjunction class (long-stay) missions for human exploration of Mars include: Mars mission planning, Earth-Mars orbital characteristics, delta-V variations, and Mars mission duration comparison. Slides related to artificial gravity for human exploration missions include: current configuration, NEP thruster location trades, minor axis rotation, and example load paths.

  18. Mars at 43 Million Miles From Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2001-06-26

    NASA Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope took the picture on June 26, 2001 when Mars was approximately 43 million miles 68 million km from Earth -- the closest Mars has ever been to Earth since 1988.

  19. 2005 Earth-Mars Round Trip

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents, in viewgraph form, the 2005 Earth-Mars Round Trip. The contents include: 1) Lander; 2) Mars Sample Return Project; 3) Rover; 4) Rover Size Comparison; 5) Mars Ascent Vehicle; 6) Return Orbiter; 7) A New Mars Surveyor Program Architecture; 8) Definition Study Summary Result; 9) Mars Surveyor Proposed Architecture 2003, 2005 Opportunities; 10) Mars Micromissions Using Ariane 5; 11) Potential International Partnerships; 12) Proposed Integrated Architecture; and 13) Mars Exploration Program Report of the Architecture Team.

  20. Transport and acceleration of plasma in the magnetospheres of Earth and Jupiter and expectations for Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kivelson, M. G.

    The first comparative magnetospheres conference was held in Frascati, Italy thirty years ago this summer, less than half a year after the first spacecraft encounter with Jupiter's magnetosphere (Formisano, V. (Ed.), The Magnetospheres of the Earth and Jupiter, Proceedings of the Neil Brice Memorial Symposium held in Frascati, Italy, May 28-June 1, 1974. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Boston, USA, 1975). Disputes highlighted various issues still being investigated, such as how plasma transport at Jupiter deviates from the prototypical form of transport at Earth and the role of substorms in Jupiter's dynamics. Today there is a wealth of data on which to base the analysis, data gathered by seven missions that culminated with Galileo's 8-year orbital tour. We are still debating how magnetic flux is returned to the inner magnetosphere following its outward transport by iogenic plasma. We are still uncertain about the nature of sporadic dynamical disturbances at Jupiter and their relation to terrestrial substorms. At Saturn, the centrifugal stresses are not effective in distorting the magnetic field, so in some ways the magnetosphere appears Earthlike. Yet the presence of plasma sources in the close-in equatorial magnetosphere parallels conditions at Jupiter. This suggests that we need to study both Jupiter and Earth when thinking about what to anticipate from Cassini's exploration of Saturn's magnetosphere. This paper addresses issues relevant to plasma transport and acceleration in all three magnetospheres.

  1. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowell, Edward

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered during the course of the Mars and Earth-crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9-day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars L5 longitude led to speculation that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. The most recent orbit shows that the asteroid's semimajor axis is very similar to that of Mars.

  2. Jupiter and Planet Earth. [planetary and biological evolution and natural satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included.

  3. The U.S. Rosetta Project: Mars Gravity Assist

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Claudia; Holmes, Dwight P.; Goldstein, R.; Parker, Joel

    2008-01-01

    Since launch on March 2, 2004, the International Rosetta Mission has flown by the Earth/Moon system one time and conducted several distant observations of comets, including support for the Deep Impact measurements of comet 9 P/Tempel 1. In 2007, Rosetta flew by Mars for a gravity assist, and conducted observations of the Martian upper atmosphere as well as extended observations, in support of the New Horizons Jupiter encounter, of the Jovian magnetotail and Io torus. In late 2007 Rosetta had its second encounter with the Earth/Moon system. NASA's contribution to the Rosetta mission consists of three hardware experiments, and the portion of the electronics package for a fourth, as well as the participation of an Interdisciplinary Scientist (IDS); backup tracking, telecommunications, and navigation assurance provided by the Deep Space Network (DSN); support for the scientific participation of U.S. investigators on non-U.S. PI-led experiments. Collectively these elements are known as the U.S. Rosetta Project. In this paper we will update the status of the instruments following the both the Mars and Earth/Moon gravity assists. In addition, we will present a summary of the science observations for both Mars and Jupiter. 12.

  4. Pingos on Earth and Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burr, D.M.; Tanaka, K.L.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2009-01-01

    Pingos are massive ice-cored mounds that develop through pressurized groundwater flow mechanisms. Pingos and their collapsed forms are found in periglacial and paleoperiglacial terrains on Earth, and have been hypothesized for a wide variety of locations on Mars. This literature review of pingos on Earth and Mars first summarizes the morphology of terrestrial pingos and their geologic contexts. That information is then used to asses hypothesized pingos on Mars. Pingo-like forms (PLFs) in Utopia Planitia are the most viable candidates for pingos or collapsed pingos. Other PLFs hypothesized in the literature to be pingos may be better explained with other mechanisms than those associated with terrestrial-style pingos. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Earth-based observations of Faraday rotation in radio bursts from Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, J. A.; Ferree, Thomas C.; Wang, Joe

    1989-01-01

    New observations have been made of Faraday rotation in decameter-wavelength radio bursts from the planet Jupiter. Data obtained during six Io-B storms clearly indicate that an appreciable fraction of the observed Faraday rotation occurs in the Jovian magnetosphere. All of the Faraday rotation observed during a single Io-A storm can be accounted for by earth's ionosphere. Measurements of the Faraday effect in Io-B emissions indicate that the source is in Jupiter's northern magnetic hemisphere. Observations of the Faraday effect in Io-C emissions are proposed to determine its location as well.

  6. Calibration Image of Earth by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the NASA spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of color and ultraviolet images of Earth and the Moon. When it gets to Mars, the Mars Color Imager's main objective will be to obtain daily global color and ultraviolet images of the planet to observe martian meteorology by documenting the occurrence of dust storms, clouds, and ozone. This camera will also observe how the martian surface changes over time, including changes in frost patterns and surface brightness caused by dust storms and dust devils.

    The purpose of acquiring an image of Earth and the Moon just three days after launch was to help the Mars Color Imager science team obtain a measure, in space, of the instrument's sensitivity, as well as to check that no contamination occurred on the camera during launch. Prior to launch, the team determined that, three days out from Earth, the planet would only be about 4.77 pixels across, and the Moon would be less than one pixel in size, as seen from the Mars Color Imager's wide-angle perspective. If the team waited any longer than three days to test the camera's performance in space, Earth would be too small to obtain meaningful results.

    The images were acquired by turning Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter toward Earth, then slewing the spacecraft so that the Earth and Moon would pass before each of the five color and two ultraviolet filters of the Mars Color Imager. The distance to Earth was about 1,170,000 kilometers (about 727,000 miles).

    This image shows a color composite view of Mars Color Imager's image of Earth. As expected, it covers only five pixels. This color view has been enlarged five times. The Sun was illuminating our planet from the left, thus only one quarter of Earth is seen from this perspective. North America was in daylight and facing toward the camera at the time the picture was taken; the data

  7. A New Look at Jupiter: Results at the Now Frontier. [Pioneer 10, interplanetary space, and Jupiter atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Pioneer 10's encounter with Jupiter is discussed along with the interplanetary space beyond the orbit of Mars. Other topics discussed include the size of Jupiter, the Galilean satellites, the magnetic field of Jupiter, radiation belts, Jupiter's weather and interior, and future exploration possibilities. Educational projects are also included.

  8. General Education Engagement in Earth and Planetary Science through an Earth-Mars Analog Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, M. A.; Kahmann-Robinson, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    The successes of NASA rovers on Mars and new remote sensing imagery at unprecedented resolution can awaken students to the valuable application of Earth analogs to understand Mars processes and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. Mars For Earthlings (MFE) modules and curriculum are designed as general science content introducing a pedagogical approach of integrating Earth science principles and Mars imagery. The content can be easily imported into existing or new general education courses. MFE learning modules introduce students to Google Mars and JMARS software packages and encourage Mars imagery analysis to predict habitable environments on Mars drawing on our knowledge of extreme environments on Earth. "Mars Mission" projects help students develop teamwork and presentation skills. Topic-oriented module examples include: Remote Sensing Mars, Olympus Mons and Igneous Rocks, Surface Sculpting Forces, and Extremophiles. The learning modules package imagery, video, lab, and in-class activities for each topic and are available online for faculty to adapt or adopt in courses either individually or collectively. A piloted MFE course attracted a wide range of non-majors to non-degree seeking senior citizens. Measurable outcomes of the piloted MFE curriculum were: heightened enthusiasm for science, awareness of NASA programs, application of Earth science principles, and increased science literacy to help students develop opinions of current issues (e.g., astrobiology or related government-funded research). Earth and Mars analog examples can attract and engage future STEM students as the next generation of earth, planetary, and astrobiology scientists.

  9. Jupiter - Friend or Foe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, J.; Jones, B. W.

    2008-09-01

    It has long been believed that the planet Jupiter has played a beneficial role in the development of life on the Earth, acting as a shield from objects which would otherwise go on to significantly raise the impact flux experienced by our planet. Without Jupiter, the story goes, the Earth would have experienced a far greater number of impacts, making it far less hospitable to burgeoning life. In an on-going series of separate studies[1,2], we have examined the effects of varying the mass of Jupiter on the impact flux that the Earth would experience from Near-Earth Objects sourced from the Asteroid belt, short-period comets sourced from the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, and long-period comets sourced from the Oort cloud. The results are remarkable - it seems that, far from being a shield, Jupiter actually acts to increase the impact flux experienced by the Earth over that which would be expected without the planet. Still more surprising, in the cases of the asteroids and Edgeworth-Kuiper belt objects, it seems that a Jupiter around 0.2 times the mass of "our Jupiter" would be even more threatening, sending a still greater number of objects our way. In order to simulate such disparate populations, different approaches to population construction were needed. The asteroidal and short-period comet populations each contained 100,000 test particles, moving on orbits typical of their class. The asteroids were initially distributed between 2 and 4 AU, with orbits of varying eccentricity and inclination, with number density varying as a function of semi-major axis. The short-period cometary flux was obtained through simulation of a population based on the subset of known Centaurs and Scattered Disk Objects which are Neptune-crossing, and have perihelia beyond the orbit of Uranus. These objects are the parents of the short-period comets, and were chosen since they are a population beyond the current influence of the planet Jupiter. Since our goal was to study the effect of Jupiter

  10. Earth-Mars transfers through Moon Distant Retrograde Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Ho, Koki; Spencer, David B.; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2018-02-01

    This paper focuses on the trajectory design which is relevant for missions that would exploit the use of asteroid mining in stable cis-lunar orbits to facilitate deep space missions, specifically human Mars exploration. Assuming that a refueling "gas station" is present at a given lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO), ways of departing from the Earth to Mars via that DRO are analyzed. Thus, the analysis and results presented in this paper add a new cis-lunar departure orbit for Earth-Mars missions. Porkchop plots depicting the required C3 at launch, v∞ at arrival, Time of Flight (TOF), and total Δ V for various DRO departure and Mars arrival dates are created and compared with results obtained for low Δ V Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Mars trajectories. The results show that propellant-optimal trajectories from LEO to Mars through a DRO have higher overall mission Δ V due to the additional stop at the DRO. However, they have lower Initial Mass in LEO (IMLEO) and thus lower gear ratio as well as lower TOF than direct LEO to Mars transfers. This results in a lower overall spacecraft dry mass that needs to be launched into space from Earth's surface.

  11. Calibration Image of Earth by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2005-08-22

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the NASA spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of color and ultraviolet images of Earth and the Moon.

  12. A bibliography of dunes: Earth, Mars, and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lancaster, N.

    1988-01-01

    Dunes are important depositional landforms and sedimentary environments on Earth and Mars, and may be important on Venus. The similarity of dune forms on Earth and Mars, together with the dynamic similarity of aeolian processes on the terrestrial planets indicates that it is appropriate to interpret dune forms and processes on Mars and Venus by using analog studies. However, the literature on dune studies is large and scattered. The aim of this bibliography is to assist investigators by providing a literature resource on techniques which have proved successful in elucidating dune characteristics and processes on Earth, Mars, and Venus. This bibliography documents the many investigations of dunes undertaken in the last century. It concentrates on studies of inland dunes in both hot and cold desert regions on Earth and includes investigations of coastal dunes only if they discuss matters of general significance for dune sediments, processes, or morphology.

  13. Effect of Earth and Mars departure delays on human missions to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Tartabini, Paul V.

    1993-01-01

    This study determines the impact on the initial mass in low-Earth orbit (IMLEO) for delaying departure from Mars and Earth by 5, 15, and 30 days, once a nominal mission to Mars has been selected. Additionally, the use of a deep space maneuver (DSM) is attempted to alleviate the IMLEO penalties. Three different classes of missions are analyzed using chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion systems in the 2000-2025 time-frame: opposition, conjunction, and fast-transfer conjunction. The results indicate that Mars and Earth delays can lead to large IMLEO penalties. Opposition and fast-transfer conjunction class missions have the highest IMLEO penalties, upwards of 432.4 mt and 1977.3 mt, respectively. Conjunction class missions, on the other hand, tend to be insensitive to Mars and Earth delays having IMLEO penalties under 103.5 mt. As expected, nuclear thermal propulsion had significantly lower IMLEO penalties as compared to chemical propulsion. The use of a DSM is found not to have a significant impact on reducing the IMLEO penalties. Through this investigation, the effect of off-nominal departure conditions on the overall mission (i.e., IMLEO) can be gained, enabling mission designers to incorporate the influence of off-nominal departure conditions of the interplanetary trajectory in the overall conceptual design process of a Mars transfer vehicle.

  14. Visualizing Mars data and imagery with Google Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, R. A.; Broxton, M.; Gorelick, N.; Hancher, M.; Lundy, M.; Kolb, E.; Moratto, Z.; Nefian, A.; Scharff, T.; Weiss-Malik, M.

    2009-12-01

    There is a vast store of planetary geospatial data that has been collected by NASA but is difficult to access and visualize. Virtual globes have revolutionized the way we visualize and understand the Earth, but other planetary bodies including Mars and the Moon can be visualized in similar ways. Extraterrestrial virtual globes are poised to revolutionize planetary science, bring an exciting new dimension to science education, and allow ordinary users to explore imagery being sent back to Earth by planetary science satellites. The original Google Mars Web site allowed users to view base maps of Mars via the Web, but it did not have the full features of the 3D Google Earth client. We have previously demonstrated the use of Google Earth to display Mars imagery, but now with the launch of Mars in Google Earth, there is a base set of Mars data available for anyone to work from and add to. There are a variety of global maps to choose from and display. The Terrain layer has the MOLA gridded data topography, and where available, HRSC terrain models are mosaicked into the topography. In some locations there is also meter-scale terrain derived from HiRISE stereo imagery. There is rich information in the form of the IAU nomenclature database, data for the rovers and landers on the surface, and a Spacecraft Imagery layer which contains the image outlines for all HiRISE, CTX, CRISM, HRSC, and MOC image data released to the PDS and links back to their science data. There are also features like the Traveler's Guide to Mars, Historic Maps, Guided Tours, as well as the 'Live from Mars' feature, which shows the orbital tracks of both the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for a few days in the recent past. It shows where they have acquired imagery, and also some preview image data. These capabilities have obvious public outreach and education benefits, but the potential benefits of allowing planetary scientists to rapidly explore these large and varied data collections

  15. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Innanen, Kimmo A.; Mikkola, Seppo; Bowell, Edward; Muinonen, Karri; Shoemaker, Eugene M.

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered by D. H. Levy and H. E. Holt during the course of the Mars and Earth Crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9 day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars' L5 (trailing Lagrangean) longitude led E. Boswell to speculate that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. Thus 1990 MB is the first known asteroid in 1:1 resonance with a planet other than Jupiter. The existence of 1990 MB (a small body most likely between 2 and 4 km in diameter) provides remarkable confirmation of computer simulations. These self consistent n-body simulations demonstrated this sort of stability for Trojans of all the terrestrial planets over at least a 2 million year time base. The discovery of 1990 MB suggests that others of similar or smaller diameter may be found. Using hypothetical populations of Mars Trojans, their possible sky plane distributions were modeled as a first step in undertaking a systematic observational search of Mars' L4 and L5 libration regions.

  16. Interplanetary Mission Design Handbook: Earth-to-Mars Mission Opportunities and Mars-to-Earth Return Opportunities 2009-2024

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, L. E.; Kos, L. D.

    1998-01-01

    This paper provides information for trajectory designers and mission planners to determine Earth-Mars and Mars-Earth mission opportunities for the years 2009-2024. These studies were performed in support of a human Mars mission scenario that will consist of two cargo launches followed by a piloted mission during the next opportunity approximately 2 years later. "Porkchop" plots defining all of these mission opportunities are provided which include departure energy, departure excess speed, departure declination arrival excess speed, and arrival declinations for the mission space surrounding each opportunity. These plots are intended to be directly applicable for the human Mars mission scenario described briefly herein. In addition, specific trajectories and several alternate trajectories are recommended for each cargo and piloted opportunity. Finally, additional studies were performed to evaluate the effect of various thrust-to-weight ratios on gravity losses and total time-of-flight tradeoff, and the resultant propellant savings and are briefly summarized.

  17. Size-Selective Modes of Aeolian Transport on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swann, C.; Ewing, R. C.; Sherman, D. J.; McLean, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Aeolian sand transport is a dominant driver of surface change and dust emission on Mars. Estimates of aeolian sand transport on Earth and Mars rely on terrestrial transport models that do not differentiate between transport modes (e.g., creep vs. saltation), which limits estimates of the critical threshold for transport and the total sand flux during a transport event. A gap remains in understanding how the different modes contribute to the total sand flux. Experiments conducted at the MARtian Surface WInd Tunnel separated modes of transport for uniform and mixed grain size surfaces at Earth and Martian atmospheric pressures. Crushed walnut shells with a density of 1.0 gm/cm3 were used. Experiments resolved grain size distributions for creeping and saltating grains over 3 uniform surfaces, U1, U2, and U3, with median grain sizes of 308 µm, 721 µm, and 1294 µm, and a mixed grain size surface, M1, with median grain sizes of 519 µm. A mesh trap located 5 cm above the test bed and a surface creep trap were deployed to capture particles moving as saltation and creep. Grains that entered the creep trap at angles ≥ 75° were categorized as moving in creep mode only. Only U1 and M1 surfaces captured enough surface creep at both Earth and Mars pressure for statistically significant grain size analysis. Our experiments show that size selective transport differs between Earth and Mars conditions. The median grain size of particles moving in creep for both uniform and mixed surfaces are larger under Earth conditions. (U1Earth = 385 µm vs. U1Mars = 355 µm; M1Earth = 762 vs. M1Mars = 697 µm ). However, particles moving in saltation were larger under Mars conditions (U1Earth = 282 µm; U1Mars = 309 µm; M1Earth = 347 µm; M1Mars = 454 µm ). Similar to terrestrial experiments, the median size of surface creep is larger than the median grain size of saltation. Median sizes of U1, U2, U3 at Mars conditions for creep was 355 µm, 774 µm and 1574 µm. Saltation at Mars

  18. Water inventories on Earth and Mars: Clues to atmosphere formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.

    1992-01-01

    Water is distributed differently on Earth and on Mars and the differences may have implications for the accretion of the two planets and the formation of their atmospheres. The Earth's mantle appears to contain at least several times the water content of the Martian mantle even accounting for differences in plate tectonics. One explanation is that the Earth's surface melted during accretion, as a result of development of a steam atmosphere, thereby allowing impact-devolitalized water at the surface to dissolve into the Earth's interior. In contrast, because of Mars' smaller size and greater distance from the Sun, the Martian surface may not have melted, so that the devolatilized water could not dissolve into the surface. A second possibility is suggested by the siderophile elements in the Earth's mantle, which indicates the Earth acquired a volatile-rich veneer after the core formed. Mars may have acquired a late volatile-rich veneer, but it did not get folded into the interior as with the Earth, but instead remained as a water rich veneer. This perception of Mars with a wet surface but dry interior is consistent with our knowledge of Mars' geologic history.

  19. Curiosity Mars Rover First Image of Earth and Earth Moon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-06

    The two bodies in this portion of an evening-sky view by NASA Mars rover Curiosity are Earth and Earth moon. The rover Mast Camera Mastcam imaged them in the twilight sky of Curiosity 529th Martian day, or sol Jan. 31, 2014.

  20. MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) - Mars/Earth Relief Comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Comparison of the cross-sectional relief of the deepest portion of the Grand Canyon (Arizona) on Earth versus a Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) view of a common type of chasm on Mars in the western Elysium region. The MOLA profile was collected during the Mars Global Surveyor Capture Orbit Calibration Pass on September 15, 1997. The Grand Canyon topography is shown as a trace with a measurement every 295 feet (90 meters) along track, while that from MOLA reflects measurements about every 970 feet (400 meters) along track. The slopes of the steep inner canyon wall of the Martian feature exceed the angle of repose, suggesting relative youth and the potential for landslides. The inner wall slopes of the Grand Canyon are less than those of the Martian chasm, reflecting the long period of erosion necessary to form its mile-deep character on Earth.

  1. Libration-point staging concepts for Earth-Mars transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farquhar, Robert; Dunham, David

    1986-01-01

    The use of libration points as transfer nodes for an Earth-Mars transportation system is briefly described. It is assumed that a reusable Interplanetary Shuttle Vehicle (ISV) operates between the libration point and Mars orbit. Propellant for the round-trip journey to Mars and other supplies would be carried from low Earth orbit (LEO) to the ISV by additional shuttle vehicles. Different types of trajectories between LEO and libration points are presented, and approximate delta-V estimates for these transfers are given. The possible use of lunar gravity-assist maneuvers is also discussed.

  2. Circulating transportation orbits between earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedlander, A. L.; Niehoff, J. C.; Byrnes, D. V.; Longuski, J. M.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes the basic characteristics of circulating (cyclical) orbit design as applied to round-trip transportation of crew and materials between earth and Mars in support of a sustained manned Mars Surface Base. The two main types of nonstopover circulating trajectories are the socalled VISIT orbits and the Up/Down Escalator orbits. Access to the large transportation facilities placed in these orbits is by way of taxi vehicles using hyperbolic rendezvous techniques during the successive encounters with earth and Mars. Specific examples of real trajectory data are presented in explanation of flight times, encounter frequency, hyperbolic velocities, closest approach distances, and Delta V maneuver requirements in both interplanetary and planetocentric space.

  3. Sedimentary Processes on Earth, Mars, Titan, and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Hayes, A. G.; Lamb, M. P.; McLennan, S. M.

    The production, transport and deposition of sediment occur to varying degrees on Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan. These sedimentary processes are significantly influenced by climate that affects production of sediment in source regions (weathering), and the mode by which that sediment is transported (wind vs. water). Other, more geological, factors determine where sediments are deposited (topography and tectonics). Fluvial and marine processes dominate Earth both today and in its geologic past, aeolian processes dominate modern Mars although in its past fluvial processes also were important, Venus knows only aeolian processes, and Titan shows evidence of both fluvial and aeolian processes. Earth and Mars also feature vast deposits of sedimentary rocks, spanning billions of years of planetary history. These ancient rocks preserve the long-term record of the evolution of surface environments, including variations in climate state. On Mars, sedimentary rocks record the transition from wetter, neutral-pH weathering, to brine-dominated low-pH weathering, to its dry current state.

  4. Boots on Mars: Earth Independent Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burnett, Josephine; Gill, Tracy R.; Ellis, Kim Gina

    2017-01-01

    This package is for the conduct of a workshop during the International Space University Space Studies Program in the summer of 2017 being held in Cork, Ireland. It gives publicly available information on NASA and international plans to move beyond low Earth orbit to Mars and discusses challenges and capabilities. This information will provide the participants a basic level of insight to develop a response on their perceived obstacles to a future vision of humans on Mars.

  5. Earth and Moon as viewed from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-22

    This is the first image of Earth ever taken from another planet that actually shows our home as a planetary disk. Because Earth and the Moon are closer to the Sun than Mars, they exhibit phases, just as the Moon, Venus, & Mercury do when viewed from Earth

  6. Jupiter: friend or foe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, Jonti; Jones, Barrie W.

    2008-02-01

    The idea that Jupiter has shielded the Earth from potentially catastrophic impacts has long permeated the public and scientific mind. But has it shielded us? We are carrying out the first detailed examination of the degree of shielding provided by Jupiter and have obtained some surprising results. Rather than Jupiter acting as a defensive presence, we found that it actually makes little difference - but if Jupiter were significantly smaller, the impact rate experienced by the Earth would be considerably enhanced. Indeed, it seems that a giant planet in the outer reaches of a planetary system can actually pose a threat to the habitability of terrestrial worlds closer to the system's parent star.

  7. The Coolest Landscape on Mars or Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-07

    Many Martian landscapes contain features that are familiar to ones we find on Earth, like river valleys, cliffs, glaciers and volcanos. However, Mars has an exotic side too, with landscapes that are alien to Earthlings. This image shows one of these exotic locales at the South Pole. The polar cap is made from carbon dioxide (dry ice), which does not occur naturally on the Earth. The circular pits are holes in this dry ice layer that expand by a few meters each Martian year. New dry ice is constantly being added to this landscape by freezing directly out of the carbon dioxide atmosphere or falling as snow. Freezing out the atmosphere like this limits how cold the surface can get to the frost point at -130 degrees Celsius (-200 F). Nowhere on Mars can ever get any colder this, making this this coolest landscape on Earth and Mars combined. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21216

  8. 21st century early mission concepts for Mars delivery and earth return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

    In the 21st century, the early missions to Mars will entail unmanned Rover and Sample Return reconnaissance missions to be followed by manned exploration missions. High performance leverage technologies will be required to reach Mars and return to earth. This paper describes the mission concepts currently identified for these early Mars missions. These concepts include requirements and capabilities for Mars and earth aerocapture, Mars surface operations and ascent, and Mars and earth rendezvous. Although the focus is on the unmanned missions, synergism with the manned missions is also discussed.

  9. Jupiter's first 100 miles

    PubMed

    Reichhardt, T

    1996-04-01

    In December, 1995, after a journey of six years, the Galileo probe plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere, becoming the first artificial object to make direct contact with an outer planet. New data supplied by the probe indicated: 1) A new radiation belt around Jupiter ten times stronger than the Van Allen belt around Earth; 2) Jupiter may be much drier than predicted. Its atmosphere contains about as much water as the Sun, but this is subject to instrument calibration uncertainties, and the location of the landing in one of the driest spots on the planet; 3) Jupiter's atmosphere appears to have about three to ten times less lightning than Earth's, while the events are about 10 times stronger, both in terms of size and amount of electrical discharge; and, 4) Jupiter's winds were stronger than expected, increasing with depth, at 330 mph.

  10. Mars Earth Return Vehicle (MERV) Propulsion Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Burke, Laura; Fincannon, James; Warner, Joe; Williams, Glenn; Parkey, Thomas; Colozza, Tony; Fittje, Jim; Martini, Mike; hide

    2010-01-01

    The COMPASS Team was tasked with the design of a Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The current Mars sample return mission is a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) mission, with ESA contributing the launch vehicle for the Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The COMPASS Team ran a series of design trades for this Mars sample return vehicle. Four design options were investigated: Chemical Return /solar electric propulsion (SEP) stage outbound, all-SEP, all chemical and chemical with aerobraking. The all-SEP and Chemical with aerobraking were deemed the best choices for comparison. SEP can eliminate both the Earth flyby and the aerobraking maneuver (both considered high risk by the Mars Sample Return Project) required by the chemical propulsion option but also require long low thrust spiral times. However this is offset somewhat by the chemical/aerobrake missions use of an Earth flyby and aerobraking which also take many months. Cost and risk analyses are used to further differentiate the all-SEP and Chemical/Aerobrake options.

  11. FROM HOT JUPITERS TO SUPER-EARTHS VIA ROCHE LOBE OVERFLOW

    SciTech Connect

    Valsecchi, Francesca; Rasio, Frederic A.; Steffen, Jason H.

    2014-09-20

    Through tidal dissipation in a slowly spinning host star, the orbits of many hot Jupiters may decay down to the Roche limit. We expect that the ensuing mass transfer will be stable in most cases. Using detailed numerical calculations, we find that this evolution is quite rapid, potentially leading to the complete removal of the gaseous envelope in a few gigayears, and leaving behind an exposed rocky core (a {sup h}ot super-Earth{sup )}. Final orbital periods are quite sensitive to the details of the planet's mass-radius relation and to the effects of irradiation and photo-evaporation, but could be as shortmore » as a few hours or as long as several days. Our scenario predicts the existence of planets with intermediate masses ({sup h}ot Neptunes{sup )} that should be found precisely at their Roche limit and in the process of losing mass through Roche lobe overflow. The observed excess of small single-planet candidate systems observed by Kepler may also be the result of this process. If so, the properties of their host stars should track those of the hot Jupiters. Moreover, the number of systems that produced hot Jupiters could be two to three times larger than one would infer from contemporary observations.« less

  12. Earth and Moon as Seen from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-03-03

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment HiRISE camera would make a great backyard telescope for viewing Mars, and we can also use it at Mars to view other planets. This is an image of Earth and the moon, acquired on October 3, 2007.

  13. Radiation Measurements During Trip From Earth to Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-30

    This graphic shows the level of natural radiation detected by the Radiation Assessment Detector shielded inside NASA Mars Science Laboratory on the trip from Earth to Mars from December 2011 to July 2012.

  14. Earth and Moon as viewed from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-368, 22 May 2003

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Globe diagram illustrates the Earth's orientation as viewed from Mars (North and South America were in view).

    Earth/Moon: This is the first image of Earth ever taken from another planet that actually shows our home as a planetary disk. Because Earth and the Moon are closer to the Sun than Mars, they exhibit phases, just as the Moon, Venus, and Mercury do when viewed from Earth. As seen from Mars by MGS on 8 May 2003 at 13:00 GMT (6:00 AM PDT), Earth and the Moon appeared in the evening sky. The MOC Earth/Moon image has been specially processed to allow both Earth (with an apparent magnitude of -2.5) and the much darker Moon (with an apparent magnitude of +0.9) to be visible together. The bright area at the top of the image of Earth is cloud cover over central and eastern North America. Below that, a darker area includes Central America and the Gulf of Mexico. The bright feature near the center-right of the crescent Earth consists of clouds over northern South America. The image also shows the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Moon, since the Moon was on the far side of Earth as viewed from Mars. The slightly lighter tone of the lower portion of the image of the Moon results from the large and conspicuous ray system associated with the crater Tycho.

    A note about the coloring process: The MGS MOC high resolution camera only takes grayscale (black-and-white) images. To 'colorize' the image, a Mariner 10 Earth/Moon image taken in 1973 was used to color the MOC Earth and Moon picture. The procedure used was as follows: the Mariner 10 image was converted from 24-bit color to 8-bit color using a JPEG to GIF conversion program. The 8-bit color image was converted to 8-bit grayscale and an associated lookup table mapping each gray value of the image to a red-green-blue color triplet (RGB). Each color triplet was root-sum-squared (RSS), and sorted in increasing RSS

  15. Calibration View of Earth and the Moon by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of images of Earth and the Moon. When it gets to Mars, the Mars Color Imager's main objective will be to obtain daily global color and ultraviolet images of the planet to observe martian meteorology by documenting the occurrence of dust storms, clouds, and ozone. This camera will also observe how the martian surface changes over time, including changes in frost patterns and surface brightness caused by dust storms and dust devils.

    The purpose of acquiring an image of Earth and the Moon just three days after launch was to help the Mars Color Imager science team obtain a measure, in space, of the instrument's sensitivity, as well as to check that no contamination occurred on the camera during launch. Prior to launch, the team determined that, three days out from Earth, the planet would only be about 4.77 pixels across, and the Moon would be less than one pixel in size, as seen from the Mars Color Imager's wide-angle perspective. If the team waited any longer than three days to test the camera's performance in space, Earth would be too small to obtain meaningful results.

    The Earth and Moon images were acquired by turning Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter toward Earth, then slewing the spacecraft so that the Earth and Moon would pass before each of the five color and two ultraviolet filters of the Mars Color Imager. The distance to the Moon was about 1,440,000 kilometers (about 895,000 miles); the range to Earth was about 1,170,000 kilometers (about 727,000 miles).

    This view combines a sequence of frames showing the passage of Earth and the Moon across the field of view of a single color band of the Mars Color Imager. As the spacecraft slewed to view the two objects, they passed through the camera's field of view. Earth has been saturated white in this image so that both Earth

  16. Jupiter Wave

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-10-13

    Scientists spotted a rare wave in Jupiter North Equatorial Belt that had been seen there only once before in this false-color close-up from NASA Hubble Telescope. In Jupiter's North Equatorial Belt, scientists spotted a rare wave that had been seen there only once before. It is similar to a wave that sometimes occurs in Earth's atmosphere when cyclones are forming. This false-color close-up of Jupiter shows cyclones (arrows) and the wave (vertical lines). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19659

  17. Observations from earth orbit and variability of the polar aurora on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clarke, J. T.; Moos, H. W.; Atreya, S. K.; Lane, A. L.

    1980-01-01

    Spatially resolved spectra of Jupiter taken with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite show enhanced emissions from the polar regions at H L-alpha (1216 A) and in the Lyman and Werner bands of H2 (1175-1650 A). Two types of variability in emission brightness have been observed in these aurorae: an increase in the observed emission as the auroral oval rotates with Jupiter's magnetic pole to face toward the earth and a general variation in brightness of more than an order of magnitude under nearly identical observing conditions. In addition, the spectral character of these aurorae (determined by the ratio of H L-alpha to H2 brightnesses) appears variable, indicating that the depth of penetration of the auroral particles is not constant.

  18. Earth rocks on Mars: Must planetary quarantine be rethought

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1988-01-01

    Recent geochemical, isotopic, and rare gas studies suggest that eight SNC meteorites originated on the planet Mars. Since Martian rocks are found on Earth, consideration is being given to finding Earth rocks on Mars. Detailed consideration of the mechanism by which these meteorites were lofted into space strongly suggest that the process of stress-wave spallation near a large impact with, perhaps, an assist from vapor plume expansion, is the fundamental process by which lightly-shocked rock debris is ejected into interplanetary space. The theory of spall ejection was used to examine the mass and velocity of material ejected from the near vicinity of an impact. It seems likely that the half-dozen largest impact events on Earth would have ejected considerable masses of near surface rocks into interplanetary space. No computations were performed to indicate how long Earth ejecta would take to reach Mars.

  19. Bright Evening Star Seen from Mars is Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-06

    This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth.

  20. Ground Ice on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martineau, N.; Pollard, W.

    2003-12-01

    On Mars, just like on Earth, water exists in various phases and participates in a broad range of key processes. Even though present surface conditions on Mars, as defined by climate and atmospheric pressure, prevents the occurrence of liquid water on the surface, there is strong evidence suggesting that water was an important land-forming agent in the past (Carr 1996). This naturally raises the question, "where has the water gone?" Surficial water reservoirs that are directly observable on Mars include seasonal water ice deposits and permanent water ice deposits at the polar caps (Kieffer and Zent 1992, Clifford et al. 2000). Due to the existence of permafrost landform systems, such as polygonal ground, rootless cones, and frost mounts, it also has been speculated that much more water may be preserved as ground ice (Lucchitta 1981, Squyres and Carr 1986, Lanagan et al. 2001). Nevertheless, comparison of the likely patterns of ground ice on Mars with terrestrial equivalents has been limited. Fortunately, NASA's 2001 Odyssey data lends support to this hypothesis by identifying significant shallow ice-rich sediments by means of flux characteristics of neutrons, and gamma radiation, and spatial correlations to regions where it has been predicted that subsurface ice is stable (Bell 2002). The ice contents and stratigraphic distribution of the subsurface sediments on Mars, derived by the Odyssey Science Team, is not unlike the upper layers of terrestrial permafrost. Terrestrial polar environments, in particular the more stable permafrost and ground ice features like ice wedges and massive ground ice, may thus provide valuable clues in the search for water and ice on Mars. Of importance is the fact that these features of the earth's surface do not owe their origin to the seasonal freezing and thawing of the active layer. Under the cold, dry polar climates of the Arctic and Antarctic, periglacial and permafrost landforms have evolved, giving rise to distinctive landscapes

  1. TPS design for aerobraking at Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, S. D.; Gietzel, M. M.; Rochelle, W. C.; Curry, D. M.

    1991-08-01

    An investigation was made to determine the feasibility of using an aerobrake system for manned and unmanned missions to Mars, and to Earth from Mars and lunar orbits. A preliminary thermal protection system (TPS) was examined for five unmanned small nose radius, straight bi-conic vehicles and a scaled up Aeroassist Flight Experiment (AFE) vehicle aerocapturing at Mars. Analyses were also conducted for the scaled up AFE and an unmanned Sample Return Cannister (SRC) returning from Mars and aerocapturing into Earth orbit. Also analyzed were three different classes of lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's): an expendable scaled up modified Apollo Command Module (CM), a raked cone (modified AFT), and three large nose radius domed cylinders. The LTV's would be used to transport personnel and supplies between Earth and the moon in order to establish a manned base on the lunar surface. The TPS for all vehicles analyzed is shown to have an advantage over an all-propulsive velocity reduction for orbit insertion. Results indicate that TPS weight penalties of less than 28 percent can be achieved using current material technology, and slightly less than the most favorable LTV using advanced material technology.

  2. Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth.

    PubMed

    Laskar, J; Gastineau, M

    2009-06-11

    It has been established that, owing to the proximity of a resonance with Jupiter, Mercury's eccentricity can be pumped to values large enough to allow collision with Venus within 5 Gyr (refs 1-3). This conclusion, however, was established either with averaged equations that are not appropriate near the collisions or with non-relativistic models in which the resonance effect is greatly enhanced by a decrease of the perihelion velocity of Mercury. In these previous studies, the Earth's orbit was essentially unaffected. Here we report numerical simulations of the evolution of the Solar System over 5 Gyr, including contributions from the Moon and general relativity. In a set of 2,501 orbits with initial conditions that are in agreement with our present knowledge of the parameters of the Solar System, we found, as in previous studies, that one per cent of the solutions lead to a large increase in Mercury's eccentricity-an increase large enough to allow collisions with Venus or the Sun. More surprisingly, in one of these high-eccentricity solutions, a subsequent decrease in Mercury's eccentricity induces a transfer of angular momentum from the giant planets that destabilizes all the terrestrial planets approximately 3.34 Gyr from now, with possible collisions of Mercury, Mars or Venus with the Earth.

  3. Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-01-06

    This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image from four sets of images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Each was separately processed prior to combining them so that the moon is bright enough to see. The moon is much darker than Earth and would barely be visible at the same brightness scale as Earth. The combined view retains the correct sizes and positions of the two bodies relative to each other. HiRISE takes images in three wavelength bands: infrared, red, and blue-green. These are displayed here as red, green, and blue, respectively. This is similar to Landsat images in which vegetation appears red. The reddish feature in the middle of the Earth image is Australia. Southeast Asia appears as the reddish area (due to vegetation) near the top; Antarctica is the bright blob at bottom-left. Other bright areas are clouds. These images were acquired for calibration of HiRISE data, since the spectral reflectance of the Moon's near side is very well known. When the component images were taken, Mars was about 127 million miles (205 million kilometers) from Earth. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21260

  4. Parabolic flights as Earth analogue for surface processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2017-04-01

    The interpretation of landforms and environmental archives on Mars with regards to habitability and preservation of traces of life requires a quantitative understanding of the processes that shaped them. Commonly, qualitative similarities in sedimentary rocks between Earth and Mars are used as an analogue to reconstruct the environments in which they formed on Mars. However, flow hydraulics and sedimentation differ between Earth and Mars, requiring a recalibration of models describing runoff, erosion, transport and deposition. Simulation of these processes on Earth is limited because gravity cannot be changed and the trade-off between adjusting e.g. fluid or particle density generates other mismatches, such as fluid viscosity. Computational Fluid Dynamics offer an alternative, but would also require a certain degree of calibration or testing. Parabolic flights offer a possibility to amend the shortcomings of these approaches. Parabolas with reduced gravity last up to 30 seconds, which allows the simulation of sedimentation processes and the measurement of flow hydraulics. This study summarizes the experience gathered during four campaigns of parabolic flights, aimed at identifying potential and limitations of their use as an Earth analogue for surface processes on Mars.

  5. Are There Many Inactive Jupiter-Family Comets among the Near-Earth Asteroid Population?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Brunini, Adrián

    2002-10-01

    We analyze the dynamical evolution of Jupiter-family (JF) comets and near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) with aphelion distances Q>3.5 AU, paying special attention to the problem of mixing of both populations, such that inactive comets may be disguised as NEAs. From numerical integrations for 2×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime (where the lifetime is defined against hyperbolic ejection or collision with the Sun or the planets) of near-Earth JF comets (perihelion distances q<1.3 AU) is about 1.5×10 5 years but that they spend only a small fraction of this time (˜ a few 10 3 years) with q<1.3 AU. From numerical integrations for 5×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime of NEAs in "cometary" orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q>4.5 AU, i.e., that approach or cross Jupiter's orbit) is 4.2×10 5 years, i.e., about three times longer than that for near-Earth JF comets. We also analyze the problem of decoupling JF comets from Jupiter to produce Encke-type comets. To this end we simulate the dynamical evolution of the sample of observed JF comets with the inclusion of nongravitational forces. While decoupling occurs very seldom when a purely gravitational motion is considered, the action of nongravitational forces (as strong as or greater than those acting on Encke) can produce a few Enckes. Furthermore, a few JF comets are transferred to low-eccentricity orbits entirely within the main asteroid belt ( Q<4 AU and q>2 AU). The population of NEAs in cometary orbits is found to be adequately replenished with NEAs of smaller Q's diffusing outward, from which we can set an upper limit of ˜20% for the putative component of deactivated JF comets needed to maintain such a population in steady state. From this analysis, the upper limit for the average time that a JF comet in near-Earth orbit can spend as a dormant, asteroid-looking body can be estimated to be about 40% of the time spent as an active comet. More likely, JF comets in near-Earth orbits will

  6. Cold Saline Springs in Permafrost on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldann, Jennifer; Toon, Owen B.

    2003-01-01

    This report summarizes the research results which have emanated from work conducted on Cold Saline Springs in Permafrost on Earth and Mars. Three separate avenues of research including 1) terrestrial field work, 2) analysis of spacecraft data, and 3) numerical modeling were explored to provide a comprehensive investigation of water in the polar desert environments of both Earth and Mars. These investigations and their results are summarized.

  7. Large Ripples on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, S. H.; Zimbelman, J. R.; Ward, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    Aeolian ripples on Earth with wavelengths greater than 50 cm have distinctive attributes, that should be helpful in interpreting ripple-like features on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Magnetotactic bacteria on Earth and on Mars.

    PubMed

    McKay, Christopher P; Friedmann, E Imre; Frankel, Richard B; Bazylinski, Dennis A

    2003-01-01

    Continued interest in the possibility of evidence for life in the ALH84001 Martian meteorite has focused on the magnetite crystals. This review is structured around three related questions: is the magnetite in ALH84001 of biological or non-biological origin, or a mixture of both? does magnetite on Earth provide insight to the plausibility of biogenic magnetite on Mars? could magnetotaxis have developed on Mars? There are credible arguments for both the biological and non-biological origin of the magnetite in ALH84001, and we suggest that more studies of ALH84001, extensive laboratory simulations of non-biological magnetite formation, as well as further studies of magnetotactic bacteria on Earth will be required to further address this question. Magnetite grains produced by bacteria could provide one of the few inorganic traces of past bacterial life on Mars that could be recovered from surface soils and sediments. If there was biogenic magnetite on Mars in sufficient abundance to leave fossil remains in the volcanic rocks of ALH84001, then it is likely that better-preserved magnetite will be found in sedimentary deposits on Mars. Deposits in ancient lakebeds could contain well-preserved chains of magnetite clearly indicating a biogenic origin.

  9. Magnetotactic bacteria on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Friedmann, E. Imre; Frankel, Richard B.; Bazylinski, Dennis A.

    2003-01-01

    Continued interest in the possibility of evidence for life in the ALH84001 Martian meteorite has focused on the magnetite crystals. This review is structured around three related questions: is the magnetite in ALH84001 of biological or non-biological origin, or a mixture of both? does magnetite on Earth provide insight to the plausibility of biogenic magnetite on Mars? could magnetotaxis have developed on Mars? There are credible arguments for both the biological and non-biological origin of the magnetite in ALH84001, and we suggest that more studies of ALH84001, extensive laboratory simulations of non-biological magnetite formation, as well as further studies of magnetotactic bacteria on Earth will be required to further address this question. Magnetite grains produced by bacteria could provide one of the few inorganic traces of past bacterial life on Mars that could be recovered from surface soils and sediments. If there was biogenic magnetite on Mars in sufficient abundance to leave fossil remains in the volcanic rocks of ALH84001, then it is likely that better-preserved magnetite will be found in sedimentary deposits on Mars. Deposits in ancient lakebeds could contain well-preserved chains of magnetite clearly indicating a biogenic origin.

  10. Calibration View of Earth and the Moon by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2005-08-22

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of images of Earth and the Moon.

  11. Permanent Habitats in Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol Orbit Positions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenspon, J.

    Project Outpost is a manned Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol platform that enables permanent occupation in deep space. In order to develop the program elements for this complex mission, Project Outpost will rely primarily on existing/nearterm technology and hardware for the construction of its components. For the purposes of this study, four mission requirements are considered: 1. Outpost - Man's 1st purpose-produced effort of space engineering, in which astructure is developed/constructed in an environment completely alien to currentpractices for EVA guidelines. 2. Newton - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development ofa modified Hohmann personnel orbital transport operating between Earth andMars. Newton would serve as the primary crew delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization. 3. Cruis - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development of amodified Hohmann cargo orbital transport operating between Earth and Mars.Cruis would serve as the primary equipment delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization, and 4. Ares/Diana - a more conventional space platform configuration for Lunar andMars orbit is included as a construction baseline. The operations of these assetsare supported, and used for the support, of the outpost. Outpost would be constructed over a 27-year period of launch opportunities into Earth-Sol or Mars-Sol Lagrange orbit (E-S/M-S L1, 4 or 5). The outpost consists of an operations core with a self-contained power generation ability, a docking and maintenance structure, a Scientific Research complex and a Habitation Section. After achieving initial activation, the core will provide the support and energy required to operate the outpost in a 365

  12. Better Preserved on Mars than on Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-13

    In many ways, Mars bears remarkable similarities to Earth, but in some ways it is drastically different. Scientists often use Earth as an example, or analog, to help us to understand the geologic history of the Red Planet. As we continue to study Mars, it is vitally important to remember in what ways it differs from Earth. One very apparent way, readily observed from orbit, has to do with its preservation of numerous craters of all sizes, which are densest in its Southern hemisphere. Earth has comparatively little preserved craters -- about 1,000 to 1,500 times fewer -- due to very active geologic processes, especially involving water. When it comes to impact craters, there are some things that can no longer be observed on Earth, but can be observed on Mars. This color composite shows one such example. It covers a portion of the northern central peak of an unnamed, 20-kilometer crater that contains abundant fragmental bedrock called "breccia." The geological relationships here suggest that these breccias include ones formed by the host crater, and others formed from numerous impacts in the distant past. Because there are fewer craters preserved on Earth, terrestrial central uplifts do not expose bedrock formed by previous craters. It may have been the case in the past, but such craters were destroyed over geologic time. The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.9 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 28 centimeters (11 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 82 centimeters (32 inches) across are resolved.] North is up. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21455

  13. Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thordarson, T.; Rampino, M.; Keszthelyi, L.P.; Self, S.

    2009-01-01

    Volcanic features are common on geologically active earthlike planets. Megascale or "super" eruptions involving >1000 Gt of magma have occurred on both Earth and Mars in the geologically recent past, introducing prodigious volumes of ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Here we discuss felsic (explosive) and mafi c (flood lava) supereruptions and their potential atmospheric and environmental effects on both planets. On Earth, felsic supereruptions recur on average about every 100-200,000 years and our present knowledge of the 73.5 ka Toba eruption implies that such events can have the potential to be catastrophic to human civilization. A future eruption of this type may require an unprecedented response from humankind to assure the continuation of civilization as we know it. Mafi c supereruptions have resulted in atmospheric injection of volcanic gases (especially SO2) and may have played a part in punctuating the history of life on Earth. The contrast between the more sustained effects of flood basalt eruptions (decades to centuries) and the near-instantaneous effects of large impacts (months to years) is worthy of more detailed study than has been completed to date. Products of mafi c supereruptions, signifi cantly larger than known from the geologic record on Earth, are well preserved on Mars. The volatile emissions from these eruptions most likely had global dispersal, but the effects may not have been outside what Mars endures even in the absence of volcanic eruptions. This is testament to the extreme variability of the current Martian atmosphere: situations that would be considered catastrophic on Earth are the norm on Mars. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  14. Solar rotation effects on the thermospheres of Mars and Earth.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Jeffrey M; Bruinsma, Sean; Lemoine, Frank G

    2006-06-02

    The responses of Earth's and Mars' thermospheres to the quasi-periodic (27-day) variation of solar flux due to solar rotation were measured contemporaneously, revealing that this response is twice as large for Earth as for Mars. Per typical 20-unit change in 10.7-centimeter radio flux (used as a proxy for extreme ultraviolet flux) reaching each planet, we found temperature changes of 42.0 +/- 8.0 kelvin and 19.2 +/- 3.6 kelvin for Earth and Mars, respectively. Existing data for Venus indicate values of 3.6 +/- 0.6 kelvin. Our observational result constrains comparative planetary thermosphere simulations and may help resolve existing uncertainties in thermal balance processes, particularly CO2 cooling.

  15. Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Mars a Comparison and Discussion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Patrick T.

    2004-01-01

    In several aspects the magnetic fields of the Earth and Mars are similar but also different. In the past both bodies had planetary magnetic fields but while they Earth's field remains today the Martian ceased to operate, at some unknown time in the past, leaving this planet without a main or core field. This fact resulted in the interaction between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields with the surfaces of these planets being very different. In addition, Mars has large crustal magnetic anomalies, nearly ten times larger than those on the Earth. Since crustal magnetic anomalies are the product of the thickness of the layer of magnetization, both the magnetizing material and the thickness of the layer of this material must be very different on Mars than Earth. Furthermore, the martian anomalies can only be produced by remanent or fossil magnetization, in contrast with the Earth where both induced and remanent magnetization are producing these anomalies. Crustal magnetic anomalies on the Earth are mainly produced by single-domain, irontitanium oxides, in the form of magnetite being the most common on Mars the main magnetic mineral(s) are unknown. The thickness of the martian magnetized layer in comparison with the Earth remains a major area for research. Determining the paleopole position for the Earth has been done by some of the earliest paleomagnetic researchers. Since we do not have oriented martian rock samples determining the paleopoles for Mars has been done by fitting a magnetization vector to individual magnetic anomalies. Several groups have worked on this problem with somewhat differing results.

  16. Solar Electric Propulsion Triple-Satellite-Aided Capture With Mars Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, Sean

    Triple-Satellite-aided-capture sequences use gravity-assists at three of Jupiter's four massive Galilean moons to reduce the DeltaV required to enter into Jupiter orbit. A triple-satellite-aided capture at Callisto, Ganymede, and Io is proposed to capture a SEP spacecraft into Jupiter orbit from an interplanetary Earth-Jupiter trajectory that employs low-thrust maneuvers. The principal advantage of this method is that it combines the ISP efficiency of ion propulsion with nearly impulsive but propellant-free gravity assists. For this thesis, two main chapters are devoted to the exploration of low-thrust triple-flyby capture trajectories. Specifically, the design and optimization of these trajectories are explored heavily. The first chapter explores the design of two solar electric propulsion (SEP), low-thrust trajectories developed using the JPL's MALTO software. The two trajectories combined represent a full Earth to Jupiter capture split into a heliocentric Earth to Jupiter Sphere of Influence (SOI) trajectory and a Joviocentric capture trajectory. The Joviocentric trajectory makes use of gravity assist flybys of Callisto, Ganymede, and Io to capture into Jupiter orbit with a period of 106.3 days. Following this, in chapter two, three more SEP low-thrust trajectories were developed based upon those in chapter one. These trajectories, devised using the high-fidelity Mystic software, also developed by JPL, improve upon the original trajectories developed in chapter one. Here, the developed trajectories are each three separate, full Earth to Jupiter capture orbits. As in chapter one, a Mars gravity assist is used to augment the heliocentric trajectories. Gravity-assist flybys of Callisto, Ganymede, and Io or Europa are used to capture into Jupiter Orbit. With between 89.8 and 137.2-day periods, the orbits developed in chapters one and two are shorter than most Jupiter capture orbits achieved using low-thrust propulsion techniques. Finally, chapter 3 presents an

  17. Terraforming - Making an earth of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, C. P.

    1987-12-01

    The possibility of creating a habitable environment on Mars via terraforming is discussed. The first step is to determine the amount, distribution, and chemical state of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The process of warming Mars and altering its atmosphere naturally divides into two steps: in the first step, the planet would be heated by a warm thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, while the second step would be to convert the atmospheric carbon dioxide and soil nitrates to the desired oxygen and nitrogen mixture. It is concluded that life will play a major role in any terraforming of Mars, and that terraforming will be a gradual evolutionary process duplicating the early evolution of life on earth.

  18. Radiation analysis for manned missions to the Jupiter system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Angelis, G.; Clowdsley, M. S.; Nealy, J. E.; Tripathi, R. K.; Wilson, J. W.

    2004-01-01

    An analysis for manned missions targeted to the Jovian system has been performed in the framework of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program on Human Exploration beyond Mars. The missions were targeted to the Jupiter satellite Callisto. The mission analysis has been divided into three main phases, namely the interplanetary cruise, the Jupiter orbital insertion, and the surface landing and exploration phases. The interplanetary phase is based on departure from the Earth-Moon L1 point. Interplanetary trajectories based on the use of different propulsion systems have been considered, with resulting overall cruise phase duration varying between two and five years. The Jupiter-approach and the orbital insertion trajectories are considered in detail, with the spacecraft crossing the Jupiter radiation belts and staying around the landing target. In the surface exploration phase the stay on the Callisto surface is considered. The satellite surface composition has been modeled based on the most recent results from the GALILEO spacecraft. In the transport computations the surface backscattering has been duly taken into account. Particle transport has been performed with the HZETRN heavy ion code for hadrons and with an in-house developed transport code for electrons and bremsstrahlung photons. The obtained doses have been compared to dose exposure limits. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Radiation analysis for manned missions to the Jupiter system.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, G; Clowdsley, M S; Nealy, J E; Tripathi, R K; Wilson, J W

    2004-01-01

    An analysis for manned missions targeted to the Jovian system has been performed in the framework of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program on Human Exploration beyond Mars. The missions were targeted to the Jupiter satellite Callisto. The mission analysis has been divided into three main phases, namely the interplanetary cruise, the Jupiter orbital insertion, and the surface landing and exploration phases. The interplanetary phase is based on departure from the Earth-Moon L1 point. Interplanetary trajectories based on the use of different propulsion systems have been considered, with resulting overall cruise phase duration varying between two and five years. The Jupiter-approach and the orbital insertion trajectories are considered in detail, with the spacecraft crossing the Jupiter radiation belts and staying around the landing target. In the surface exploration phase the stay on the Callisto surface is considered. The satellite surface composition has been modeled based on the most recent results from the GALILEO spacecraft. In the transport computations the surface backscattering has been duly taken into account. Particle transport has been performed with the HZETRN heavy ion code for hadrons and with an in-house developed transport code for electrons and bremsstrahlung photons. The obtained doses have been compared to dose exposure limits. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Venus, Earth, Xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Xenon has been regarded as an important goal of many proposed missions to Venus. This talk is intended to explain why. Despite its being the heaviest gas found in natural planetary atmospheres, there is more evidence that Xe escaped from Earth than for any element apart from helium: (i) Atmospheric Xe is very strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) from any known solar system source. This suggests fractionating escape that preferentially left the heavy Xe isotopes behind. (ii) Xe is underabundant compared to Kr, a lighter noble gas that is not strongly mass fractionated in air. (iii) Radiogenic Xe is strongly depleted by factors of several to ~100 compared to the quantities expected from radioactive decay of primordial solar system materials. In these respects Xe on Mars is similar to Xe on Earth, but with one key difference: Xe on Mars is readily explained by a simple process like hydrodynamic escape that acts on an initially solar or meteoritic Xe. This is not so for Earth. Earth's Xe cannot be derived by an uncontrived mass fractionating process acting on any known type of Solar System Xe. Earth is a stranger, made from different stuff than any known meteorite or Mars or even the Sun. Who else is in Earth's family? Comets? We know nothing. Father Zeus? Data from Jupiter are good enough to show that jovian Xe is not strongly mass-fractionated but not good enough to determine whether Jupiter resembles the Earth or the Sun. Sister Venus? Noble gas data from Venus are incomplete, with Kr uncertain and Xe unmeasured. Krypton was measured by several instruments on several spacecraft. The reported Kr abundances are discrepant and were once highly controversial. These discrepancies appear to have been not so much resolved as forgotten. Xenon was not detected on Venus. Upper limits were reported for the two most abundant xenon isotopes 129Xe and 132Xe. From the limited data it is not possible to tell whether Venus's affinities lie with the solar wind, or with

  1. Rock Outcrops on Mars and Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-09-27

    This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars left with similar rocks seen on Earth right. The Link outcrop shows rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches few centimeters, within the rock outcrop.

  2. Properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    Environments and surface properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids are discussed. Topics include gravity, atmospheres, surface properties, surface compositions, seismicity, radiation environment, degradation, use of robotics, and environmental impacts. Gravity fields vary from large fractions of the earth's field such as 1/3 on Mars and 1/6 on the moon to smaller fractions of 0.0004 g on an asteroid 1 km in diameter. Spectral data and the analogy with meteor compositions suggest that near-earth asteroids may contain many resources such as water-rich carbonaceous materials and iron-rich metallic bodies. It is concluded that future mining and materials processing operations from extraterrestrial bodies require an investment now in both (1) missions to the moon, Mars, Phobos, Deimos, and near-earth asteroids and (2) earth-based laboratory research in materials and processing.

  3. Elliptical Chandler pole motions of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkin, Yury; Ferrandiz, Jose

    2010-05-01

    In the work the values of the period and eccentricity of Chandler motion of poles of axes of rotation of the Earth and Mars have been determined. The research has been carried out on the basis of developed earlier by authors an intermediate rotary Chandler-Euler motion of the weakly deformable celestial bodies (Barkin, Ferrandiz and Getino, 1996; Barkin, 1998). An influence of a liquid core on Chandler motion of a pole in the given work has not considered. The periods of the specified pole motions make 447.1 d for the Earth and 218.1 d for Mars. In comparison with Euler motions of poles because of elastic properties of planets the Chandler periods are increased accordingly on 142.8 d (about 46.9 %) for the Earth and on 26.2 d (on 13.7 %) for Mars. Values of eccentricities of specified Chandler motions of pole e = √b2 --a2- b (here a both b are smaller and big semi-axes of Chandler ellipse) make 0.09884 for the Earth and 0.3688 for Mars (accordingly, on 21.1 % and 6.2 % more than the appropriate values of eccentricities for models of planets as rigid non-spherical bodies). Axes of an ellipse a also b correspond to the principal equatorial axes of inertia of a planet Ox and Oyfor which the moments of inertia have the smallest valueA and middle value B. The pole of the principal axis of inertia Ox for the Earth is displaced to the west on the angle 14°9285, and the pole of the principal axis of inertia Ox for Mars is displaced to the west on the angle 105°0178 (in the appropriate basic geographical systems of coordinates of the given planets). For ellipticties of Chandler trajectories ɛ = (b- a)-b the values 0.004897 (for the Earth) and 0.07048 (for Mars) have been obtained. The specified values surpass by Euler values of appropriate ellipticties on 46.8 % (in case of the Earth) and on 13.3 % (in the case of Mars). Love number k2describing the elastic properties of planets, were accepted equal 0.30 for the Earth and 0.153 for Mars. Estimations of Chandler periods

  4. Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-like World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems that are very different from the one that we inhabit. It has long been known that Jupiter plays a major role in the orbital parameters of Mars and its climate, but there is also a long-standing belief that Jupiter would play a similar role for Earth if not for the Moon. Using a three-dimensional general circulation model (3D GCM) with a fully coupled ocean, we simulate what would happen to the climate of an Earth-like world if Mars did not exist, but a Jupiter-like planet was much closer to Earth’s orbit. We investigate two scenarios that involve the evolution of the Earth-like planet’s orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years, and from 0 to 0.066 on a timescale of 4500 years. In both cases we discover that they would maintain relatively temperate climates over the timescales simulated. More Earth-like planets in multi-planet systems will be discovered as we continue to survey the skies and the results herein show that the proximity of large gas giant planets may play an important role in the habitability of these worlds. These are the first such 3D GCM simulations using a fully coupled ocean with a planetary orbit that evolves over time due to the presence of a giant planet.

  5. Earth as Seen from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    On its 449th martian day, or sol (April 29, 2005), NASA's Mars rover Opportunity woke up approximately an hour after sunset and took this picture of the fading twilight as the stars began to come out. Set against the fading red glow of the sky, the pale dot near the center of the picture is not a star, but a planet -- Earth.

    Earth appears elongated because it moved slightly during the 15-second exposures. The faintly blue light from the Earth combines with the reddish sky glow to give the pale white appearance.

    The images were taken with Opportunity's panoramic camera, using 440-nanometer, 530-nanometer, and 750-nanometer color filters. In processing on the ground, the images were shifted slightly to compensate for Earth's motion between one image and the next.

  6. Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-Like World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Way, M. J.; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the Astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems very different from the one which we inhabit. It has long been known that Jupiter plays a major role in the orbital parameters of Mars and its climate, but there is also a long-standing belief that Jupiter would play a similar role for Earth if not for its large moon. Using a three dimensional general circulation model (3-D GCM) with a fully-coupled ocean we simulate what would happen to the climate of an Earth-like world if Mars did not exist, but a Jupiter-like planet was much closer to Earths orbit. We investigate two scenarios that involve evolution of the Earth-like planets orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.066 on a time scale of 4500 years, and from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years. We discover that during most of the 6500 year scenario the planet would experience a moist greenhouse effect when near periastron. This could have implications for the ability of such a world to retain an ocean on time scales of 109 years. More Earth-like planets in multi-planet systems will be discovered as we continue to survey the skies and the results herein show that the proximity of large gas giant planets may play an important role in the habitabilty of these worlds. These are the first such 3-D GCM simulations using a fully-coupled ocean with a planetary orbit that evolves over time due to the presence of a giant planet.

  7. The internal structure of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter according to the Savic-Kasanin theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savic, P.

    The internal structure of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter is considered in the framework of the Savic-Kasanin theory of the behavior of materials under high pressure. The main hypothesis underlying the theory is based on the deformation of the electron shells by the dislocation and ejection of electrons from atoms in a given material. This theory is discussed in relation to the spontaneous effect of gravitation and cooling on atoms in the material of a celestial body.

  8. Moons around Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) took this photo of Jupiter at 20:42:01 UTC on January 9, 2007, when the spacecraft was 80 million kilometers (49.6 million miles) from the giant planet. The volcanic moon Io is to the left of the planet; the shadow of the icy moon Ganymede moves across Jupiter's northern hemisphere.

    Ganymede's average orbit distance from Jupiter is about 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles); Io's is 422,000 kilometers (262,000 miles). Both Io and Ganymede are larger than Earth's moon; Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury.

  9. The Now Frontier. Pioneer to Jupiter. Man Links Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1973

    This packet of space science instructional materials includes five issues related to the planet Jupiter. Each issue presents factual material about the planet, diagramatic representations of its movements and positions relative to bright stars or the earth, actual photographs and/or tables of data collected relevant to Pioneer 10, the spacecraft…

  10. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  11. Jupiter icy moons orbiteer mission design overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Jon A.

    2006-01-01

    An overview of the design of a mission to three large moons of Jupiter is presented. the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission uses ion thrusters powered by a nuclear reactor to transfer from Earth to Jupiter and enter a low-altitude science orbit around each of the moons.

  12. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Remarkable rock erosion structures on the planetary surface, tafoni represent an important instrument for investigating the specific environmental conditions causing such rock formations. From simple cavities to refined honeycomb or other intricate patterns, tafoni are a reflection of the complex interaction between the rock structure and the environmental factors. On the genesis of tafoni, there is no unique breakdown mechanism at work, but a multitude of physical and chemical processes developing over time. However, some of these formation mechanisms are typically predominant. Tafoni can be found on a variety of rock substrates, from sandstone and vesicular lava rocks to granite and basalt, and in a variety of environments, from wet coastal areas to the extreme dry zones of hot deserts, high plateaus or frozen lands of Antarctica. During various NASA missions, tafoni were also identified on rock formations on Mars. Comparative study of the environmental conditions leading to the formation of tafoni on Earth and Mars can help explain past and present surface erosion mechanisms on the Red Planet. The mechanisms responsible for tafoni formation on Earth include wind erosion, exfoliation, frost shattering, and, in the majority of cases, salt weathering. Microclimate variations of temperature, evaporation of salt water, disaggregation of mineral grains, as well as sandblasting, are among most common contributors that initiate the pitting of the rock surface, giving way to further development of tafoni alveoli, cavities and other erosion patterns. Dissolution of calcium carbonates and siliceous cements, or hydration of feldspars, are representative examples of tafoni erosion involving rain water, sea water or air moisture. Live organisms and biochemical processes are significant contributors to the formation and evolution of tafoni, especially in humid or water reach environments. In many instances, tafoni reflect erosion mechanism specific to environmental conditions

  13. A Comparative Examination of Plasmoid Structure and Dynamics at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.

    2010-01-01

    The circulation of plasma and magnetic flux within planetary magnetospheres is governed by the solar wind-driven Dungey and planetary rotation-driven cycles. The Dungey cycle is responsible for all circulation at Mercury and Earth. Jupiter and Saturn's magnetospheres are dominated by the Vasyliunas cycle, but there is evidence for a small Dungey cycle contribution driven by the solar wind. Despite these fundamental differences, all well-observed magnetospheres eject relatively large parcels of the hot plasma, termed plasmoids, down their tails at high speeds. Plasmoids escape from the restraining force of the planetary magnetic field through reconnection in the equatorial current sheet separating the northern and southern hemispheres of the magnetosphere. The reconnection process gives the magnetic field threading plasmoids a helical or flux rope-type topology. In the Dungey cycle reconnection also provides the primary tailward force that accelerates plasmoids to high speeds as they move down the tail. We compare the available observations of plasmoids at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for the purpose of determining the relative role of plasmoids and the reconnection process in the dynamics these planetary magnetic tails.

  14. Three 2012 Transits of Venus: From Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, G.; Babcock, B. A.; Lu, M.; Edelman, E.; Reardon, K.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.; Dantowitz, R.; Silverstone, M. D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Nicholson, P. D.; Willson, R. C.; Kopp, G. A.; Yurchyshyn, V. B.; Sterling, A. C.; Scherrer, P. H.; Schou, J.; Golub, L.; McCauley, P.; Reeves, K.

    2013-01-01

    We observed the 2012 June 6/5 transit seen from Earth (E/ToV), simultaneously with Venus Express and several other spacecraft not only to study the Cytherean atmosphere but also to provide an exoplanet-transit analog. From Haleakala, the whole transit was visible in coronal skies; among our instruments was one of the world-wide Venus Twilight Experiment's nine coronagraphs. Venus's atmosphere became visible before first contact. SacPeak/IBIS provided high-resolution images at Hα/carbon-dioxide. Big Bear's NST also provided high-resolution observations of the Cytherean atmosphere and black-drop evolution. Our liaison with UH's Mees Solar Observatory scientists provided magneto-optical imaging at calcium and potassium. Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA and HMI, and the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) and X-ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode, and total-solar-irradiance measurements with ACRIMSAT and SORCE/TIM, were used to observe the event as an exoplanet-transit analog. On September 20, we imaged Jupiter for 14 Hubble Space Telescope orbits, centered on a 10-hour ToV visible from Jupiter (J/ToV), as an exoplanet-transit analog in our own solar system, using Jupiter as an integrating sphere. Imaging was good, although much work remains to determine if we can detect the expected 0.01% solar irradiance decrease at Jupiter and the even slighter differential effect between our violet and near-infrared filters caused by Venus's atmosphere. We also give a first report on our currently planned December 21 Cassini UVIS observations of a transit of Venus from Saturn (S/ToV). Our E/ToV expedition was sponsored by the Committee for Research and Exploration/National Geographic Society; supplemented: NASA/AAS's Small Research Grant Program. We thank Rob Ratkowski, Stan Truitt, Rob Lucas, Aram Friedman, and Eric Pilger '82 at Haleakala, and Joseph Gangestad '06 at Big Bear for assistance, and Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab and Hinode science and operations teams for support

  15. Jupiter Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for high resolution image of Nature Cover

    Detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter's atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter's internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances. Understanding these outbreaks could be the key to unlock the mysteries buried in the deep Jovian atmosphere, say astronomers.

    This visible-light image is from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope taken on May 11, 2007. It shows the turbulent pattern generated by the two plumes on the upper left part of Jupiter.

    Understanding these phenomena is important for Earth's meteorology where storms are present everywhere and jet streams dominate the atmospheric circulation. Jupiter is a natural laboratory where atmospheric scientists study the nature and interplay of the intense jets and severe atmospheric phenomena.

    According to the analysis, the bright plumes were storm systems triggered in Jupiter's deep water clouds that moved upward in the atmosphere vi gorously and injected a fresh mixture of ammonia ice and water about 20 miles (30 kilometers) above the visible clouds. The storms moved in the peak of a jet stream in Jupiter's atmosphere at 375 miles per hour (600 kilometers per hour). Models of the disturbance indicate that the jet stream extends deep in the buried atmosphere of Jupiter, more than 60 miles (approximately100 kilometers) below the cloud tops where most sunlight is absorbed.

  16. Quasi-periodic climatic changes on Mars and earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Pollack, J. B.; Toon, O. B.; Howard, A. D.

    1981-01-01

    Evidence of climatic changes on Mars and the earth due to geologic and astronomical variations is discussed. Finely striped ice-free bands in the Martian polar caps have been taken to indicate that long term variations in the orbit and axial tilt of Mars have precipitated these features at the rate of a mm/yr. Photogrammetric and photometric methods have contributed to measurements of the composition and depth of the Martian caps (14-46 m), and observations of higher solar energy absorption in the northern ice cap implies greater dust deposition in that region than on the south cap; however, the transport mechanisms are not well understood. Comparisons of earth and Martian climatic variations data are made, noting a lack of information on the age intervals of marine and nonmarine sediments on the earth. The possibilities of using quantitative data other than layer thickness to constrain climate models are discussed, and the slope or albedo of layers, or the spacing of polar undulations are suggested.

  17. Artist concept of Galileo with inertial upper stage (IUS) in low Earth orbit

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1989-08-25

    S89-42940 (April 1989) --- In this artist's rendition, the Galileo spacecraft is being boosted into its inter-planetary trajectory by the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) rocket. The Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is scheduled to take Galileo and the IUS from Earth's surface into space, is depicted against the curve of Earth. Galileo will be placed on a trajectory to Venus, from which it will return to Earth at higher velocity and then gain still more energy in two gravity-assist passes, until it has enough velocity to reach Jupiter. Passing Venus, it will take scientific data using instruments designed for observing Jupiter; later, it will make measurements at Earth and the moon, crossing above the moon's north pole in the second pass. Between the two Earth passes, it will edge into the asteroid belt, beyond Mars' orbit; there, the first close-up observation of an asteroid is planned. Crossing the belt later, another asteroid flyby is possible.

  18. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  19. Life and Death on Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Sleep, N. H.

    1999-01-01

    Failure to discover life on Mars has led a great many experts to conclude that it must be hiding. Where? The likeliest hiding places are deep beneath the surface, where geothermal heat could permit liquid water. In this the search for life on Mars parallels the search for water on Mars. Liquid water has been, at least on occasion, a geologically significant presence on the surface. Channels were cut and plains dissected. This water is now hidden, in all likelihood having drained to the base of the porous regolith, where it fills possibly frozen aquifers. Presumably any surviving biota has followed the water from the surface to its hiding places in the deep. Accordingly, we have extended our environmental impact assessment of the environmental hazards posed by large asteroid and comet impacts to Mars, and compare its case to Earth's. In particular, we address the continuous habitability of surface and subsurface environments.

  20. Biological Contamination of Mars: Issues and Recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The ad hoc Task Group on Planetary Protection formed by the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Research Council focused on making recommendations concerning the protection of Mars from forward contamination (i.e., Earth to Mars) during upcoming missions by both the United States and the former Soviet Union. In so doing, it distinguished between missions whose goals include reconnaissance and measurement and those that specifically include experiments to detect life. The task group also discussed what additional knowledge will be needed in order to assure that future recommendations regarding contamination of Earth from Mars might be made with a higher degree of certainty than is now possible. Following a short introduction to the rationale underlying planetary exploration (Chapter 1) is a brief summary of approved and contemplated missions to Mars (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 briefly reviews the state of knowledge in several areas pertinent to the problem of planetary protection, in the limits of life on Earth and the abilities of known terrestrial organisms to withstand extreme environment conditions, as well as new approaches to detecting life forms. Chapter 5 includes a review and comments (made in light of current knowledge)- on the recommendations made in 'Recommendations on Quarantine Policy for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Titan'. Updates to the recommendations made in 1978 are also given in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 gives additional recommendations concerning collection of essential data, spacecraft sterilization and bioburden assessment, and future research, as well as legal and social issues and NASA's overall planetary protection program.

  1. The New Jupiter: Results from the Juno Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, Scott

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Juno's scientific objectives include the study of Jupiter's interior, atmosphere and magnetosphere with the goal of understanding Jupiter's origin, formation and evolution. An extensive campaign of Earth based observations of Jupiter and the solar wind were orchestrated to complement Juno measurements during Juno's approach to Jupiter and during its orbital mission around Jupiter. This presentation provides an overview of results from the Juno measurements during the early phases of Juno's prime mission. Scientific results include Jupiter's interior structure, magnetic field, deep atmospheric dynamics and composition, and the first in-situ exploration of Jupiter's polar magnetosphere and aurorae.

  2. Flux enhancement of slow-moving particles by Sun or Jupiter: Can they be detected on Earth?

    SciTech Connect

    Patla, Bijunath R.; Nemiroff, Robert J.; Hoffmann, Dieter H. H.

    Slow-moving particles capable of interacting solely with gravity might be detected on Earth as a result of the gravitational lensing induced focusing action of the Sun. The deflection experienced by these particles is inversely proportional to the square of their velocities, and as a result their focal lengths will be shorter. We investigate the velocity dispersion of these slow-moving particles, originating from distant point-like sources, for imposing upper and lower bounds on the velocities of such particles in order for them to be focused onto Earth. Stars, distant galaxies, and cluster of galaxies, etc., may all be considered as point-likemore » sources. We find that fluxes of such slow-moving and non-interacting particles must have speeds between ∼0.01 and .14 times the speed of light, c. Particles with speeds less than ∼0.01c will undergo way too much deflection to be focused, although such individual particles could be detected. At the caustics, the magnification factor could be as high as ∼10{sup 6}. We impose lensing constraints on the mass of these particles in order for them to be detected with large flux enhancements that are greater than 10{sup –9} eV. An approximate mass density profile for Jupiter is used to constrain particle velocities for lensing by Jupiter. We show that Jupiter could potentially focus particles with speeds as low as ∼0.001c, which the Sun cannot.« less

  3. Global drainage patterns and the origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

    PubMed

    Black, Benjamin A; Perron, J Taylor; Hemingway, Douglas; Bailey, Elizabeth; Nimmo, Francis; Zebker, Howard

    2017-05-19

    Rivers have eroded the topography of Mars, Titan, and Earth, creating diverse landscapes. However, the dominant processes that generated topography on Titan (and to some extent on early Mars) are not well known. We analyzed drainage patterns on all three bodies and found that large drainages, which record interactions between deformation and erosional modification, conform much better to long-wavelength topography on Titan and Mars than on Earth. We use a numerical landscape evolution model to demonstrate that short-wavelength deformation causes drainage directions to diverge from long-wavelength topography, as observed on Earth. We attribute the observed differences to ancient long-wavelength topography on Mars, recent or ongoing generation of long-wavelength relief on Titan, and the creation of short-wavelength relief by plate tectonics on Earth. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Modeling dilute pyroclastic density currents on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, A. B.; Brand, B. D.; De'Michieli Vitturi, M.

    2013-12-01

    The surface of Mars has been shaped extensively by volcanic activity, including explosive eruptions that may have been heavily influenced by water- or ice-magma interaction. However, the dynamics of associated pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) under Martian atmospheric conditions and controls on deposition and runout from such currents are poorly understood. This work combines numerical modeling with terrestrial field measurements to explore the dynamics of dilute PDC dynamics on Earth and Mars, especially as they relate to deposit characteristics. We employ two numerical approaches. Model (1) consists of simulation of axi-symmetric flow and sedimentation from a steady-state, depth-averaged density current. Equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy are solved simultaneously, and the effects of atmospheric entrainment, particle sedimentation, basal friction, temperature changes, and variations in current thickness and density are explored. The Rouse number and Brunt-Väisälä frequency are used to estimate the wavelength of internal gravity waves in a density-stratified current, which allows us to predict deposit dune wavelengths. The model predicts realistic runout distances and bedform wavelengths for several well-documented field cases on Earth. The model results also suggest that dilute PDCs on Mars would have runout distances up to three times that of equivalent currents on Earth and would produce longer-wavelength bedforms. In both cases results are heavily dependent on source conditions, grain-size characteristics, and entrainment and friction parameters. Model (2) relaxes several key simplifications, resulting in a fully 3D, multiphase, unsteady model that captures more details of propagation, including density stratification, and depositional processes. Using this more complex approach, we focus on the role of unsteady or pulsatory vent conditions typically associated with phreatomagmatic eruptions. Runout distances from Model (2) agree

  5. Chandra Probes High-Voltage Auroras on Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-03-01

    Scientists have obtained new insight into the unique power source for many of Jupiter's auroras, the most spectacular and active auroras in the Solar System. Extended monitoring of the giant planet with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory detected the presence of highly charged particles crashing into the atmosphere above its poles. X-ray spectra measured by Chandra showed that the auroral activity was produced by ions of oxygen and other elements that were stripped of most of their electrons. This implies that these particles were accelerated to high energies in a multimillion-volt environment above the planet's poles. The presence of these energetic ions indicates that the cause of many of Jupiter's auroras is different from auroras produced on Earth or Saturn. Chandra X-ray Image of Jupiter Chandra X-ray Image of Jupiter "Spacecraft have not explored the region above the poles of Jupiter, so X-ray observations provide one of the few ways to probe that environment," said Ron Elsner of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and lead author on a recently published paper describing these results in the Journal for Geophysical Research. "These results will help scientists to understand the mechanism for the power output from Jupiter's auroras, which are a thousand times more powerful than those on Earth." Electric voltages of about 10 million volts, and currents of 10 million amps - a hundred times greater than the most powerful lightning bolts - are required to explain the X-ray observations. These voltages would also explain the radio emission from energetic electrons observed near Jupiter by the Ulysses spacecraft. Schematic of Jupiter's Auroral Activity Production Schematic of Jupiter's Auroral Activity Production On Earth, auroras are triggered by solar storms of energetic particles, which disturb Earth's magnetic field. Gusts of particles from the Sun can also produce auroras on Jupiter, but unlike Earth, Jupiter has another way of producing

  6. Mars and Earth: origin and abundance of volatiles.

    PubMed

    Anders, E; Owen, T

    1977-11-04

    Mars, like Earth, may have received its volatiles in the final stages of accretion, as a veneer of volatile-rich material similar to C3V carbonaceous chondrites. The high (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio and low (36)Ar abundance on Mars, compared to data for other differentiated planets, suggest that Mars is depleted in volatiles relative to Earth-by a factor of 1.7 for K and 14 other moderately volatile elements and by a factor of 35 for (36)Ar and 15 other highly volatile elements. Using these two scaling factors, we have predicted martian abundances of 31 elements from terrestrial abundances. Comparison with the observed (36)Ar abundance suggests that outgassing on Mars has been about four times less complete than on Earth. Various predictions of the model can be checked against observation. The initial abundance of N, prior to escape, was about ten times the present value of 0.62 ppb, in good agreement with an independent estimate based on the observed enhancement in the martian (15)N/(14)N ratio (78,79). The initial water content corresponds to a 9-m layer, close to the value of >/=13 m inferred from the lack of an (18)O/(16)O fractionation (75). The predicted crustal Cl/S ratio of 0.23 agrees exactly with the value measured for martian dust (67); we estimate the thickness of this dust layer to be about 70 m. The predicted surface abundance of carbon, 290 g/cm(2), is 70 times greater than the atmospheric CO(2) value, but the CaCO(3) content inferred for martian dust (67) could account for at least one-quarter of the predicted value. The past atmospheric pressure, prior to formation of carbonates, could have been as high as 140 mbar, and possibly even 500 mbar. Finally, the predicted (129)Xe/(132)Xe ratio of 2.96 agrees fairly well with the observed value of 2.5(+2)(-1) (85). From the limited data available thus far, a curious dichotomy seems to be emerging among differentiated planets in the inner solar system. Two large planets (Earth and Venus) are fairly rich in

  7. Thunderheads on Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-09-08

    Scientists have spotted what appear to be thunderheads on Jupiter bright white cumulus clouds similar to those that bring thunderstorms on Earth - at the outer edges of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Images from NASA's Galileo spacecraft now in orbit around Jupiter are providing new evidence that thunderstorms may be an important source of energy for Jupiter's winds that blow at more than 500 kilometers per hour (about 300 miles per hour). The photos were taken by Galileo's solid state imager camera on June 26, 1996 at a range of about 1.4 million kilometers (about 860,000 miles). The image at top is a mosaic of multiple images taken through near-infrared filters. False coloring in the image reveals cloud-top heights. High, thick clouds are white and high, thin clouds are pink. Low-altitude clouds are blue. The two black-and-white images at bottom are enlargements of the boxed area; the one on the right was taken 70 minutes after the image on the left. The arrows show where clouds have formed or dissipated in the short time between the images. The smallest clouds are tens of kilometers across. On Earth, moist convection in thunderstorms is a pathway through which solar energy, deposited at the surface, is transported and delivered to the atmosphere. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology analyzing data from Galileo believe that water, the most likely candidate for what composes these clouds on Jupiter, may be more abundant at the site seen here than at the Galileo Probe entry site, which was found to be unexpectedly dry. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00506

  8. Broken-Plane Maneuver Applications for Earth to Mars Trajectories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abilleira, Fernando

    2007-01-01

    Optimization techniques are critical when investigating Earth to Mars trajectories since they have the potential of reducing the total (delta)V of a mission. A deep space maneuver (DSM) executed during the cruise may improve a trajectory by reducing the total mission V. Nonetheless, DSMs not only may improve trajectory performance (from an energetic point of view) but also open up new families of trajectories that would satisfy very specific mission requirements not achievable with ballistic trajectories. In the following pages, various specific examples showing the potential advantages of the usage of broken plane maneuvers will be introduced. These examples correspond to possible scenarios for Earth to Mars trajectories during the next decade (2010-2020).

  9. Volcano-ice interaction as a microbial habitat on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Cousins, Claire R; Crawford, Ian A

    2011-09-01

    Volcano-ice interaction has been a widespread geological process on Earth that continues to occur to the present day. The interaction between volcanic activity and ice can generate substantial quantities of liquid water, together with steep thermal and geochemical gradients typical of hydrothermal systems. Environments available for microbial colonization within glaciovolcanic systems are wide-ranging and include the basaltic lava edifice, subglacial caldera meltwater lakes, glacier caves, and subsurface hydrothermal systems. There is widespread evidence of putative volcano-ice interaction on Mars throughout its history and at a range of latitudes. Therefore, it is possible that life on Mars may have exploited these habitats, much in the same way as has been observed on Earth. The sedimentary and mineralogical deposits resulting from volcano-ice interaction have the potential to preserve evidence of any indigenous microbial populations. These include jökulhlaup (subglacial outflow) sedimentary deposits, hydrothermal mineral deposits, basaltic lava flows, and subglacial lacustrine deposits. Here, we briefly review the evidence for volcano-ice interactions on Mars and discuss the geomicrobiology of volcano-ice habitats on Earth. In addition, we explore the potential for the detection of these environments on Mars and any biosignatures these deposits may contain.

  10. Mars extant-life campaign using an approach based on Earth-analog habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Robotic Outpost group at JPL has identified sixteen potential momentous discoveries that if found on Mars would alter planning for the future Mars exploration program. This paper details one possible approach to the discovery of and response to the 'momentous discovery'' of extant life on Mars. The approach detailed in this paper, the Mars Extant-Life (MEL) campaign, is a comprehensive and flexible program to find living organisms on Mars by studying Earth-analog habitats of extremophile communities.

  11. The Earth and Moon As Seen by 2001 Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2001-05-01

    NASA Mars Odyssey spacecraft took this portrait of the Earth and its companion Moon. It was taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers more than 2 million miles on April 19, 2001 as the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft left the Earth.

  12. You are here: Earth as seen from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-03-11

    This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission. The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover's navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera's color filters. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05547

  13. Interplanetary dust profile observed on Juno's cruise from Earth to Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joergensen, J. L.; Benn, M.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Denver, T.; Jørgensen, F. E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Andersen, A. C.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S.

    2017-12-01

    Juno was launched August 5th, 2011, and entered the highly-elliptical polar orbit about Jupiter on July 4th, 2016, some 5 years later. Juno's science objectives include the mapping of Jupiter's gravity and magnetic fields and observation of the planet's deep atmosphere, aurora and polar regions. The Juno spacecraft is a large spin-stabilized platform powered by three long solar panel structures, 11 m in length, extending radially outward from the body of the spacecraft with panel normal parallel to the spacecraft spin axis. During almost 5 years in cruise, Juno traversed the inner part of the solar system, from Earth, to a deep space maneuver at 2.2AU, back to 0.8AU for a subsequent rendezvous with Earth for gravity assist, and then out to Jupiter (at 5.4AU at the time of arrival). The solar panels were nearly sun-pointing during the entire cruise phase, with the 60 m2 of solar panel area facing the ram direction (panel normal parallel to the spacecraft velocity vector). Interplanetary Dust Particles (IPDs) impacting Juno's solar panels with typical relative velocities of 20 km/s excavate target mass, some of which will leave the spacecraft at moderate speeds (few m/s) in the form of a few large spallation products. Many of these impact ejecta have been recorded and tracked by one of the autonomous star trackers flown as part of the Juno magnetometer investigation (MAG). Juno MAG instrumentation is accommodated on a boom at the end of one of the solar arrays, and consists of two magnetometer sensor suites each instrumented with two star trackers for accurate attitude determination at the MAG sensors. One of the four star trackers was configured to report such fast moving objects, effectively turning Juno's large solar array area into the largest-aperture IPD detector ever flown - by far. This "detector", by virtue of its prodigious collecting area, is sensitive to the relatively infrequent impacts of particles much larger (at 10's of microns) than those collected

  14. Gravity effects on sediment sorting: limitations of models developed on Earth for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Kuhn, Brigitte; Gartmann, Andres

    2015-04-01

    Most studies on surface processes on planetary bodies assume that the use of empirical models developed for Earth is possible if the mathematical equations include all the relevant factors, such as gravity, viscosity and the density of water and sediment. However, most models for sediment transport on Earth are at least semi-empirical, using coefficients to link observed sediment movement to controlling factors such as flow velocity, slope and channel dimensions. However, using roughness and drag coefficients, as well as parameters describing incipient motion of particles, observed on Earth on another planet, violates, strictly speaking, the boundary conditions set for their application by fluid dynamics because the coefficienst describe a flow condition, not a particle property. Reduced gravity affects the flow around a settling partcile or over the bed of a watercourse, therefore data and models from Earth do not apply to another planet. Comparing observations from reduced gravity experiments and model results obtained on Earth confirm the significance of this error, e.g. by underestimating settling velocities of sandy particles by 10 to 50% for Mars when using models from Earth. In this study, the relevance of this error is examined by simulating the sorting of sediment deposited from water flowing on Mars. The results indicate that sorting on Mars is less pronounced than models calibrated on Earth suggest. This has implications for the selection of landing sites and, more importantly, the identification of strata potentially bearing traces of past life during rover missions on Mars.

  15. Migrating Jupiter up to the habitable zone: Earth-like planet formation and water delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darriba, L. A.; de Elía, G. C.; Guilera, O. M.; Brunini, A.

    2017-11-01

    Context. Several observational works have shown the existence of Jupiter-mass planets covering a wide range of semi-major axes around Sun-like stars. Aims: We aim to analyse the planetary formation processes around Sun-like stars that host a Jupiter-mass planet at intermediate distances ranging from 1 au to 2 au. Our study focusses on the formation and evolution of terrestrial-like planets and water delivery in the habitable zone (HZ) of the system. Our goal is also to analyse the long-term dynamical stability of the resulting systems. Methods: A semi-analytic model was used to define the properties of a protoplanetary disk that produces a Jupiter-mass planet around the snow line, which is located at 2.7 au for a solar-mass star. Then, it was used to describe the evolution of embryos and planetesimals during the gaseous phase up to the formation of the Jupiter-mass planet, and we used the results as the initial conditions to carry out N-body simulations of planetary accretion. We developed sixty N-body simulations to describe the dynamical processes involved during and after the migration of the gas giant. Results: Our simulations produce three different classes of planets in the HZ: "water worlds", with masses between 2.75 M⊕ and 3.57 M⊕ and water contents of 58% and 75% by mass, terrestrial-like planets, with masses ranging from 0.58 M⊕ to 3.8 M⊕ and water contents less than 1.2% by mass, and "dry worlds", simulations of which show no water. A relevant result suggests the efficient coexistence in the HZ of a Jupiter-mass planet and a terrestrial-like planet with a percentage of water by mass comparable to the Earth. Moreover, our study indicates that these planetary systems are dynamically stable for at least 1 Gyr. Conclusions: Systems with a Jupiter-mass planet located at 1.5-2 au around solar-type stars are of astrobiological interest. These systems are likely to harbour terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with a wide diversity of water contents.

  16. Jupiter: Cosmic Jekyll and Hyde.

    PubMed

    Grazier, Kevin R

    2016-01-01

    It has been widely reported that Jupiter has a profound role in shielding the terrestrial planets from comet impacts in the Solar System, and that a jovian planet is a requirement for the evolution of life on Earth. To evaluate whether jovians, in fact, shield habitable planets from impacts (a phenomenon often referred to as the "Jupiter as shield" concept), this study simulated the evolution of 10,000 particles in each of the jovian inter-planet gaps for the cases of full-mass and embryo planets for up to 100 My. The results of these simulations predict a number of phenomena that not only discount the "Jupiter as shield" concept, they also predict that in a Solar System like ours, large gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter had a different, and potentially even more important, role in the evolution of life on our planet by delivering the volatile-laden material required for the formation of life. The simulations illustrate that, although all particles occupied "non-life threatening" orbits at their onset of the simulations, a significant fraction of the 30,000 particles evolved into Earth-crossing orbits. A comparison of multiple runs with different planetary configurations revealed that Jupiter was responsible for the vast majority of the encounters that "kicked" outer planet material into the terrestrial planet region, and that Saturn assisted in the process far more than has previously been acknowledged. Jupiter also tends to "fix" the aphelion of planetesimals at its orbit irrespective of their initial starting zones, which has the effect of slowing their passages through the inner Solar System, and thus potentially improving the odds of accretion of cometary material by terrestrial planets. As expected, the simulations indicate that the full-mass planets perturb many objects into the deep outer Solar System, or eject them entirely; however, planetary embryos also did this with surprising efficiency. Finally, the simulations predict that Jupiter's capacity to

  17. Spacecraft navigation at Mars using earth-based and in situ radio tracking techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurman, S. W.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahn, R. D.; Vijayaraghavan, A.; Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.

    1992-08-01

    A survey of earth-based and in situ radiometric data types and results from a number of studies investigating potential radio navigation performance for spacecraft approaching/orbiting Mars and for landed spacecraft and rovers on the surface of Mars are presented. The performance of Doppler, ranging and interferometry earth-based data types involving single or multiple spacecraft is addressed. This evaluation is conducted with that of in situ data types, such as Doppler and ranging measurements between two spacecraft near Mars, or between a spacecraft and one or more surface radio beacons.

  18. Spacecraft navigation at Mars using earth-based and in situ radio tracking techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thurman, S. W.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahn, R. D.; Vijayaraghavan, A.; Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    A survey of earth-based and in situ radiometric data types and results from a number of studies investigating potential radio navigation performance for spacecraft approaching/orbiting Mars and for landed spacecraft and rovers on the surface of Mars are presented. The performance of Doppler, ranging and interferometry earth-based data types involving single or multiple spacecraft is addressed. This evaluation is conducted with that of in situ data types, such as Doppler and ranging measurements between two spacecraft near Mars, or between a spacecraft and one or more surface radio beacons.

  19. Earth-like sand fluxes on Mars.

    PubMed

    Bridges, N T; Ayoub, F; Avouac, J-P; Leprince, S; Lucas, A; Mattson, S

    2012-05-09

    Strong and sustained winds on Mars have been considered rare, on the basis of surface meteorology measurements and global circulation models, raising the question of whether the abundant dunes and evidence for wind erosion seen on the planet are a current process. Recent studies showed sand activity, but could not determine whether entire dunes were moving--implying large sand fluxes--or whether more localized and surficial changes had occurred. Here we present measurements of the migration rate of sand ripples and dune lee fronts at the Nili Patera dune field. We show that the dunes are near steady state, with their entire volumes composed of mobile sand. The dunes have unexpectedly high sand fluxes, similar, for example, to those in Victoria Valley, Antarctica, implying that rates of landscape modification on Mars and Earth are similar.

  20. Better Than Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, René

    2015-01-01

    Do we inhabit the best of all possible worlds? German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz thought so, writing in 1710 that our planet, warts and all, must be the most optimal one imaginable. Leibniz's idea was roundly scorned as unscientific wishful thinking, most notably by French author Voltaire in his magnum opus, Candide. Yet Leibniz might find sympathy from at least one group of scientists - the astronomers who have for decades treated Earth as a golden standard as they search for worlds beyond our own solar system. Because earthlings still know of just one living world - our own - it makes some sense to use Earth as a template in the search for life elsewhere, such as in the most Earth-like regions of Mars or Jupiter's watery moon Europa. Now, however, discoveries of potentially habitable planets orbiting stars other than our sun - exoplanets, that is - are challenging that geocentric approach.

  1. Mert Davies: Pioneer in the Use of Spacecraft to Map Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, B.; Augenstein, B.

    2002-12-01

    -based television teams invented the world?s first digital television cameras using primitive slow-scan vidicon sensors in order to overcome the 200-fold greater distance to Mars. Spacecraft mapping and geodesy was initiated by the dual flybys Mariner 6 and 7 of 1969, each carrying a moderately high resolution optical system, but one plagued by the geometric limitations of a vidicon sensor necessarily using imprecise electro-optical imaging internally. He understood clearly that the number of resolution elements on the Mariner 6/7 cameras were too small for good photogrammetric solutions. Each picture contained only 70,000 resolution elements compared to a standard aerial photograph with about a third of a billion of comparable elements. Despite such limitations, Mert was able to exploit especially the far encounter imaging from Mariners 6/7 to create the first Mars surface control net based on topographic features, and to solve for the position of the rotational pole. Under his leadership, the Mariner 9 orbiter mission greatly expanded that coverage, providing the evolving basis of USGS Mars mapping practically until the present. Furthermore, Mert, in conjunction with Harold Masursky and Gerard de Vaucoleurs, established the topocentric reference point for the prime meridian on Mars as the small crater Airy-O, which thus occupies a role analogous to that of Greenwich, England for the Earth. He was to play that historic prime meridian role for nearly all the solid bodies in the Solar System over the ensuing decades as well as a continuing role on the IAU committee that named officially the surface features of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus.

  2. The carbon cycle on early Earth--and on Mars?

    PubMed

    Grady, Monica M; Wright, Ian

    2006-10-29

    One of the goals of the present Martian exploration is to search for evidence of extinct (or even extant) life. This could be redefined as a search for carbon. The carbon cycle (or, more properly, cycles) on Earth is a complex interaction among three reservoirs: the atmosphere; the hydrosphere; and the lithosphere. Superimposed on this is the biosphere, and its presence influences the fixing and release of carbon in these reservoirs over different time-scales. The overall carbon balance is kept at equilibrium on the surface by a combination of tectonic processes (which bury carbon), volcanism (which releases it) and biology (which mediates it). In contrast to Earth, Mars presently has no active tectonic system; neither does it possess a significant biosphere. However, these observations might not necessarily have held in the past. By looking at how Earth's carbon cycles have changed with time, as both the Earth's tectonic structure and a more sophisticated biology have evolved, and also by constructing a carbon cycle for Mars based on the carbon chemistry of Martian meteorites, we investigate whether or not there is evidence for a Martian biosphere.

  3. Small Friends of Hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunez, Luis Ernesto; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    Hot Jupiters are Jupiter-sized gas giant exoplanets that closely orbit their host star in periods of about 10 days or less. Early models hypothesized that these exoplanets formed away from the star, then over time drifted to their characteristically closer locations. However, new theories predict that Hot Jupiters form at their close proximity during the process of core accretion (Batygin et al. 2015). In fact, a super-Earth and a Neptune-sized exoplanet have already been detected in the Hot Jupiter-hosting star WASP-47 (Becker et al. 2015). We will present our analysis of radial velocity time series plots to determine whether low-mass, short-period planets have been previously overlooked in systems of stars which host Hot Jupiters.The SAO REU program is funded in part by the National Science Foundation REU and Department of Defense ASSURE programs under NSF Grant no. 1262851.

  4. Feasibility study of a single, elliptical heliocentric Earth-Mars trajectory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, M.; Fulgham, K.; Westrup, S.

    1989-01-01

    The initial intent of this design project was to evaluate the existence and feasibility of a single elliptical heliocentric Earth/Mars trajectory. This trajectory was constrained to encounter Mars twice in its orbit, within a time interval of 15 to 180 Earth days between encounters. The single ellipse restriction was soon found to be prohibitive for reasons shown later. Therefore, the approach taken in the design of the round-trip mission to Mars was to construct single-leg trajectories which connected two planets on two prescribed dates. Three methods of trajectory design were developed. Method 1 is an eclectic approach and employs Gaussian Orbit Determination (Method 1A) and Lambert-Euler Preliminary Orbit Determination (Method 1B) in conjunction with each other. Method 2 is an additional version of Lambert's Solution to orbit determination, and both a coplanar and a noncoplanar solution were developed within Method 2. In each of these methods, the fundamental variables are two position vectors and the time between the position vectors. In all methods, the motion was considered Keplerian motion and the reference frame origin was located at the sun. Perturbative effects were not considered in Method 1. The feasibility study of round-trip Earth/Mars trajectories maintains generality by considering only heliocentric trajectory parameters and planetary approach conditions. The coordinates and velocity components of the planets, for the standard epoch J2000, were computed from an approximate set of osculating elements by the procedure outlined in an ephemeris of coordinates.

  5. Discrete and broadband electron acceleration in Jupiter's powerful aurora.

    PubMed

    Mauk, B H; Haggerty, D K; Paranicas, C; Clark, G; Kollmann, P; Rymer, A M; Bolton, S J; Levin, S M; Adriani, A; Allegrini, F; Bagenal, F; Bonfond, B; Connerney, J E P; Gladstone, G R; Kurth, W S; McComas, D J; Valek, P

    2017-09-06

    The most intense auroral emissions from Earth's polar regions, called discrete for their sharply defined spatial configurations, are generated by a process involving coherent acceleration of electrons by slowly evolving, powerful electric fields directed along the magnetic field lines that connect Earth's space environment to its polar regions. In contrast, Earth's less intense auroras are generally caused by wave scattering of magnetically trapped populations of hot electrons (in the case of diffuse aurora) or by the turbulent or stochastic downward acceleration of electrons along magnetic field lines by waves during transitory periods (in the case of broadband or Alfvénic aurora). Jupiter's relatively steady main aurora has a power density that is so much larger than Earth's that it has been taken for granted that it must be generated primarily by the discrete auroral process. However, preliminary in situ measurements of Jupiter's auroral regions yielded no evidence of such a process. Here we report observations of distinct, high-energy, downward, discrete electron acceleration in Jupiter's auroral polar regions. We also infer upward magnetic-field-aligned electric potentials of up to 400 kiloelectronvolts, an order of magnitude larger than the largest potentials observed at Earth. Despite the magnitude of these upward electric potentials and the expectations from observations at Earth, the downward energy flux from discrete acceleration is less at Jupiter than that caused by broadband or stochastic processes, with broadband and stochastic characteristics that are substantially different from those at Earth.

  6. Interplanetary Mission Design Handbook: Earth-to-Mars Mission Opportunities 2026 to 2045

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Laura M.; Falck, Robert D.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this Mission Design Handbook is to provide trajectory designers and mission planners with graphical information about Earth to Mars ballistic trajectory opportunities for the years of 2026 through 2045. The plots, displayed on a departure date/arrival date mission space, show departure energy, right ascension and declination of the launch asymptote, and target planet hyperbolic arrival excess speed, V(sub infinity), for each launch opportunity. Provided in this study are two sets of contour plots for each launch opportunity. The first set of plots shows Earth to Mars ballistic trajectories without the addition of any deep space maneuvers. The second set of plots shows Earth to Mars transfer trajectories with the addition of deep space maneuvers, which further optimize the determined trajectories. The accompanying texts explains the trajectory characteristics, transfers using deep space maneuvers, mission assumptions and a summary of the minimum departure energy for each opportunity.

  7. Comparative Examination of Plasmoid Ejection at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Jackman, Caitriona M.; Vogt, Marissa F.

    2011-01-01

    The onset of magnetic reconnection in the near-tail of Earth, long known to herald the fast magnetospheric convection that leads to geomagnetic storms and substorms, is very closely associated with the formation and down-tail ejection of magnetic loops or flux ropes called plasmoids. Plasmoids form as a result of the fragmentation of preexisting cross-tail current sheet as a result of magnetic reconnection. Depending upon the number, location, and intensity of the individual reconnection X-lines and how they evolve, some of these loop-like or helical magnetic structures may also be carried sunward. At the inner edge of the tail they are expected to "re-reconnect' with the planetary magnetic field and dissipate. Plasmoid ejection has now been observed in the magnetotails of Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. These magnetic field and charged particle measurements have been taken by the MESSENGER, Voyager, Galileo, Cassini, and numerous Earth missions. Here we present a comparative examination of the structure and dynamics of plasmoids observed in the magnetotails of these 5 planets. The results are used to learn more about how these magnetic structures form and to assess similarities and differences in the nature of magnetotail reconnection at these planets.

  8. Gravity effects on sediment sorting: limitations of models developed on Earth for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2015-10-01

    Most studies on surface processes on planetary bodies assume that the use of empirical models developed for Earth is possible if the mathematical equations include all the relevant factors, such as gravity, viscosity and the density of water and sediment. However, most models for sediment transport on Earth are at least semi-empirical, using coefficients to link observed sediment movement to controlling factors such as flow velocity, slope and channel dimensions. However, using roughness and drag coefficients, as well as parameters describing incipient motion of particles, observed on Earth on another planet, violates, strictly speaking, the boundary conditions set for their application by fluid dynamics because the coefficienst describe a flow condition, not a particle property. Reduced gravity affects the flow around a settling partcile or over the bed of a watercourse, therefore data and models from Earth do not apply to another planet. Comparing observations from reduced gravity experiments and model results obtained on Earth confirm the significance of this error, e.g. by underestimating settling velocities of sandy particles by 10 to 50% for Mars when using models from Earth. In this study, the relevance of this error is examined by simulating the sorting of sediment deposited from water flowing on Mars. The results indicate that sorting on Mars is less pronounced than models calibrated on Earth suggest. This has implications for the selection of landing sites and,more importantly, the identification of strata potentially bearing traces of past life during rover missions on Mars. try, 2001

  9. High Above Jupiter's Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-01-04

    NASA's Juno spacecraft was a little more than one Earth diameter from Jupiter when it captured this mind-bending, color-enhanced view of the planet's tumultuous atmosphere. Jupiter completely fills the image, with only a hint of the terminator (where daylight fades to night) in the upper right corner, and no visible limb (the curved edge of the planet). Juno took this image of colorful, turbulent clouds in Jupiter's northern hemisphere on Dec. 16, 2017 at 9:43 a.m. PST (12:43 p.m. EST) from 8,292 miles (13,345 kilometers) above the tops of Jupiter's clouds, at a latitude of 48.9 degrees. The spatial scale in this image is 5.8 miles/pixel (9.3 kilometers/pixel).. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21973

  10. Comparisons of the North Polar Cap of Mars and the Earth's Northern Hemisphere snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1985-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the Earth the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960's when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as Earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. In this study data on the year to year variations in the extent of the polar caps of Mars and Earth were assembled and analyzed together with data on annual variations in solar activity to determine if associations exist between these data. It was found that virtually no correlation exists between measurements of Mars north polar cap and solar variability. An inverse relationship was found between variations in the size of the north polar caps of Mars and Earth, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  11. On the paleo-magnetospheres of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherf, Manuel; Khodachenko, Maxim; Alexeev, Igor; Belenkaya, Elena; Blokhina, Marina; Johnstone, Colin; Tarduno, John; Lammer, Helmut; Tu, Lin; Guedel, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    The intrinsic magnetic field of a terrestrial planet is considered to be an important factor for the evolution of terrestrial atmospheres. This is in particular relevant for early stages of the solar system, in which the solar wind as well as the EUV flux from the young Sun were significantly stronger than at present-day. We therefore will present simulations of the paleo-magnetospheres of ancient Earth and Mars, which were performed for ˜4.1 billion years ago, i.e. the Earth's late Hadean eon and Mars' early Noachian. These simulations were performed with specifically adapted versions of the Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model (PMM) of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Moscow State University, which serves as ISO-standard for the Earth's magnetic field (see e.g. Alexeev et al., 2003). One of the input parameters into our model is the ancient solar wind pressure. This is derived from a newly developed solar/stellar wind evolution model, which is strongly dependent on the initial rotation rate of the early Sun (Johnstone et al., 2015). Another input parameter is the ancient magnetic dipole field. In case of Earth this is derived from measurements of the paleomagnetic field strength by Tarduno et al., 2015. These data from zircons are varying between 0.12 and 1.0 of today's magnetic field strength. For Mars the ancient magnetic field is derived from the remanent magnetization in the Martian crust as measured by the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER experiment. These data together with dynamo theory are indicating an ancient Martian dipole field strength in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 of the present-day terrestrial dipole field. For the Earth our simulations show that the paleo-magnetosphere during the late Hadean eon was significantly smaller than today, with a standoff-distance rs ranging from ˜3.4 to 8 Re, depending on the input parameters. These results also have implications for the early terrestrial atmosphere. Due to the significantly higher EUV flux, the

  12. Science in Exploration: From the Moon to Mars and Back Home to Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

    NASA is embarking on a grand journey of exploration that naturally integrates the past successes of the Apollo missions to the Moon, as well as robotic science missions to Mars, to Planet Earth, and to the broader Universe. The US Vision for Space Exporation (VSE) boldly lays out a plan for human and robotic reconnaissance of the accessible Universe, starting with the surface of the Moon, and later embracing the surface of Mars. Sustained human and robotic access to the Moon and Mars will enable a new era of scientific investigation of our planetary neighbors, tied to driving scientific questions that pertain to the evolution and destiny of our home planet, but which also can be related to the search habitable worlds across the nearby Universe. The Apollo missions provide a vital legacy for what can be learned from the Moon, and NASA is now poised to recapture the lunar frontier starting with the flight of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in late 2008. LRO will provide a new scientific context from which joint human and robotic exploration will ensue, guided by objectives some of which are focused on the grandest scientific challenges imaginable : Where did we come from? Are we alone? and Where are we going? The Moon will serve as an essential stepping stone for sustained human access and exploration of deep space and as a training ground while robotic missions with ever increasing complexity probe the wonders of Mars. As we speak, an armada of spacecraft are actively investigating the red planet both from orbit (NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey Orbiter, plus ESA's Mars Express) and from the surface (NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, and in 2008 NASA's Phoenix polar lander). The dramatically changing views of Mars as a potentially habitable world, with its own flavor of global climate change and unique climate records, provides a new vantage point from which to observe and question the workings of our own planet Earth. By 2010 NASA will

  13. Magnetobraking: Use of tether electrodynamic drag for Earth return from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1994-01-01

    It has often been proposed that a vehicle returning from Mars will use aerobraking in the Earth's atmosphere to dissipate hyperbolic excess velocity to capture into Earth orbit. Here a different system for dissipating excess velocity without expenditure of reaction mass, magnetobraking, is proposed. Magnetobraking uses the force on an electrodynamic tether in the Earth's magnetic field to produce thrust. An electrodynamic tether is deployed from the spacecraft as it approaches the Earth. The Earth's magnetic field produces a force on electrical current in the tether. If the tether is oriented perpendicularly to the Earth's magnetic field and to the direction of motion of the spacecraft, force produced by the Earth's magnetic field can be used to either brake or accelerate the spacecraft without expenditure of reaction mass. The peak acceleration on the Mars return is 0.007 m/sq sec, and the amount of braking possible is dependent on the density and current-carrying capacity of the tether, but is independent of length. A superconducting tether is required. The required critical current is shown to be within the range of superconducting technology now available in the laboratory.

  14. Discovery of rapid whistlers close to Jupiter implying lightning rates similar to those on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolmašová, Ivana; Imai, Masafumi; Santolík, Ondřej; Kurth, William S.; Hospodarsky, George B.; Gurnett, Donald A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Bolton, Scott J.

    2018-06-01

    Electrical currents in atmospheric lightning strokes generate impulsive radio waves in a broad range of frequencies, called atmospherics. These waves can be modified by their passage through the plasma environment of a planet into the form of dispersed whistlers1. In the Io plasma torus around Jupiter, Voyager 1 detected whistlers as several-seconds-long slowly falling tones at audible frequencies2. These measurements were the first evidence of lightning at Jupiter. Subsequently, Jovian lightning was observed by optical cameras on board several spacecraft in the form of localized flashes of light3-7. Here, we show measurements by the Waves instrument8 on board the Juno spacecraft9-11 that indicate observations of Jovian rapid whistlers: a form of dispersed atmospherics at extremely short timescales of several milliseconds to several tens of milliseconds. On the basis of these measurements, we report over 1,600 lightning detections, the largest set obtained to date. The data were acquired during close approaches to Jupiter between August 2016 and September 2017, at radial distances below 5 Jovian radii. We detected up to four lightning strokes per second, similar to rates in thunderstorms on Earth12 and six times the peak rates from the Voyager 1 observations13.

  15. Physical conditions on the early Earth.

    PubMed

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2006-10-29

    The formation of the Earth as a planet was a large stochastic process in which the rapid assembly of asteroidal-to-Mars-sized bodies was followed by a more extended period of growth through collisions of these objects, facilitated by the gravitational perturbations associated with Jupiter. The Earth's inventory of water and organic molecules may have come from diverse sources, not more than 10% roughly from comets, the rest from asteroidal precursors to chondritic bodies and possibly objects near Earth's orbit for which no representative class of meteorites exists today in laboratory collections. The final assembly of the Earth included a catastrophic impact with a Mars-sized body, ejecting mantle and crustal material to form the Moon, and also devolatilizing part of the Earth. A magma ocean and steam atmosphere (possibly with silica vapour) existed briefly in this period, but terrestrial surface waters were below the critical point within 100 million years after Earth's formation, and liquid water existed continuously on the surface within a few hundred million years. Organic material delivered by comets and asteroids would have survived, in part, this violent early period, but frequent impacts of remaining debris probably prevented the continuous habitability of the Earth for one to several hundred million years. Planetary analogues to or records of this early time when life began include Io (heat flow), Titan (organic chemistry) and Venus (remnant early granites).

  16. Two planets: Earth and Mars - One salt model: The Hydrothermal SCRIW-Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovland, M. T.; Rueslaatten, H.; Johnsen, H. K.; Indreiten, T.

    2011-12-01

    One of the common characteristics of planets Earth and Mars is that both host water (H2O) and large accumulations of salt. Whereas Earth's surface-environment can be regarded as 'water-friendly' and 'salt hostile', the reverse can be said for the surface of Mars. This is because liquid water is stable on Earth, and the atmosphere transports humidity around the globe, whereas on planet Mars, liquid water is unstable, rendering the atmosphere dry and, therefore, 'salt-friendly'. The riddle as to how the salt accumulated in various locations on those two planets is one of long-lasting and great debate. The salt accumulations on Earth are traditionally termed 'evaporites', meaning that they formed by the evaporation of large masses of seawater. How the accumulations on Mars formed is much harder to explain, with a similar model, as surface water, representing a large ocean only existed briefly. Although water molecules and OH-groups may exist in abundance in bound form (crystal water, adsorbed water, etc.), the only place where free water is expected to be stable on Mars is within underground faults, fractures, and crevices. Here it likely occurs as brine or in the form of ice. Based on these conditions, a key to understanding the accumulation of large deposits of salt on both planets is linked to how brines behave in the subsurface when pressurized and heated beyond their supercritical point. At depths greater than about 3 km (i.e., a pressure, P>300 bars) water will no longer boil in a steam phase. Rather, it becomes supercritical and will form a supercritical water 'vapor' (SCRIW) with a specific gravity of typically 0.3 g/cm3. An important characteristic of SCRIW is its inability to dissolve the common sea salts. The salt dissolved in the brines will therefore precipitate as solid particles when brines (seawater on the Earth) move into the supercritical P&T-domain (above 400 C and 300 bars). Numerical modeling of a hydrothermal system in the Atlantis II Deep of the

  17. Simultaneous Modeling of Gradual SEP Events at the Earth and the Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, J.; Li, G.

    2017-12-01

    Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) event is the number one space hazard for spacecraft instruments and astronauts' safety. Recent studies have shown that both longitudinal and radial extent of SEP events can be very significant. In this work, we use the improved Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere (iPATH) model to simulate gradual SEP events that have impacts upon both the Earth and the Mars. We follow the propagation of a 2D CME-driven shock. Particles are accelerated at the shock via the diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) mechanism. Transport of the escaped particles to the Earth and the Mars is then followed using a backward stochastic differential equation method. Perpendicular diffusion is considered in both the DSA and the transport process. Model results such as time intensity profile and energetic particle spectrum at the two locations are compared to understand the spatial extent of an SEP event. Observational data at the Earth and the Mars are also studied to validate the model.

  18. Jupiter and the Voyager mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soderblom, L.; Spall, Henry

    1980-01-01

    In 1977, the United States launched two unmanned Voyager spacecraft that were to take part in an extensive reconnaissance of the outer planets over a 12-year period visiting the environs of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Their first encounter was with the complex Jupiter planetary system 400 million miles away. Sweeping by Jupiter and its five moons in 1979, the two spacecraft have sent back to Earth an enormous amount of data that will prove to be vital in understanding our solar system. Voyager 1 is scheduled to fly past Saturn on November 13 of this year; Voyager 2, in August of the following year. 

  19. MAKE SUPER-EARTHS, NOT JUPITERS: ACCRETING NEBULAR GAS ONTO SOLID CORES AT 0.1 AU AND BEYOND

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene; Ormel, Chris W., E-mail: evelee@berkeley.edu, E-mail: echiang@astro.berkeley.edu, E-mail: ormel@berkeley.edu

    Close-in super-Earths having radii 1-4 R {sub ⊕} may possess hydrogen atmospheres comprising a few percent by mass of their rocky cores. We determine the conditions under which such atmospheres can be accreted by cores from their parent circumstellar disks. Accretion from the nebula is problematic because it is too efficient: we find that 10 M {sub ⊕} cores embedded in solar metallicity disks tend to undergo runaway gas accretion and explode into Jupiters, irrespective of orbital location. The threat of runaway is especially dire at ∼0.1 AU, where solids may coagulate on timescales orders of magnitude shorter than gas clearingmore » times; thus nascent atmospheres on close-in orbits are unlikely to be supported against collapse by planetesimal accretion. The time to runaway accretion is well approximated by the cooling time of the atmosphere's innermost convective zone, whose extent is controlled by where H{sub 2} dissociates. Insofar as the temperatures characterizing H{sub 2} dissociation are universal, timescales for core instability tend not to vary with orbital distance—and to be alarmingly short for 10 M {sub ⊕} cores. Nevertheless, in the thicket of parameter space, we identify two scenarios, not mutually exclusive, that can reproduce the preponderance of percent-by-mass atmospheres for super-Earths at ∼0.1 AU, while still ensuring the formation of Jupiters at ≳ 1 AU. Scenario (a): planets form in disks with dust-to-gas ratios that range from ∼20× solar at 0.1 AU to ∼2× solar at 5 AU. Scenario (b): the final assembly of super-Earth cores from mergers of proto-cores—a process that completes quickly at ∼0.1 AU once begun—is delayed by gas dynamical friction until just before disk gas dissipates completely. Both scenarios predict that the occurrence rate for super-Earths versus orbital distance, and the corresponding rate for Jupiters, should trend in opposite directions, as the former population is transformed into the latter

  20. Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan UV Laboratory Aeronomy by Electron Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, C. P.; Ajello, J. M.; McClintock, W. E.; Eastes, R.; Evans, J. S.; Holsclaw, G.; Schneider, N. M.; Jain, S.; Gerard, J. C. M. C.; Hoskins, A.

    2017-12-01

    The UV response of the Mars, Earth, Titan and Venus upper atmospheres to the solar radiation fields [solar wind and solar EUV] is the focus of the present generation of Mars, Earth, Titan and Venus missions. These missions are Mars Express (MEX), the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), Cassini at Titan, Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission for Earth and Venus Express (VEX). Each spacecraft is equipped with a UV spectrometer that senses far ultraviolet (FUV) emissions from 110-190 nm, whose dayglow intensities are proportional to three quantities:1) particle (electron, ion) fluxes, 2) the altitude distribution of species in the ionosphere: CO, CO2, O, N2 at Venus and Mars and N2, O and O2 at Titan and Earth and 3) the emission cross section for the interaction process. UV spectroscopy provides a benchmark to the present space environment and indicates pathways for removing upper atmosphere gas (e.g., water escape from Mars and Earth) or N2 escape at Titan over eons. We present a UV laboratory program that utilizes an instrument, unique in the world, at the University of Colorado that can measure excitation mechanisms by particle (electron, ion) impact and the resulting emission cross sections that include processes occurring in a planetary atmosphere, particularly the optically forbidden emissions presented by the Cameron bands, the Lyman Birge Hopfield bands and the OI 135.6 nm multiplet. There are presently uncertainties by a factor of two in the existing measurements of the emission cross section, affecting modeling of electron transport. We have utilized the MAVEN Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) engineering model which operates at moderate spectral resolution ( 0.5-1.0nm FWHM) to obtain the full vibrational spectra of the Cameron band system CO(a 3Π → X 1Σ+) from both CO direct excitation and CO2 dissociative excitation, and for the dipole-allowed Fourth Positive band system of CO, while for N2 we have

  1. Jupiter's Swirling South Pole

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-01-18

    This image of Jupiter's swirling south polar region was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet. The "empty" space above and below Jupiter in this color-enhanced image can trick the mind, causing the viewer to perceive our solar system's largest planet as less colossal than it is. In reality, Jupiter is wide enough to fit 11 Earths across its clouded disk. The spacecraft captured this image on Dec. 16, 2017, at 11:07 PST (2:07 p.m. EST) when the spacecraft was about 64,899 miles (104,446 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 83.9 degrees south -- almost directly over Jupiter's south pole. The spatial scale in this image is 43.6 miles/pixel (70.2 kilometers/pixel). Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21975

  2. Simulation of Earth-Moon-Mars Environments for the Assessment of Organ Doses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. Y.; Schwadron, N. A.; Townsend, L.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    Space radiation environments for historically large solar particle events (SPE) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR) at solar minimum and solar maximum are simulated in order to characterize exposures to radio-sensitive organs for missions to low-Earth orbit (LEO), moon, and Mars. Primary and secondary particles for SPE and GCR are transported through the respective atmosphere of Earth or Mars, space vehicle, and astronaut’s body tissues using the HZETRN/QMSFRG computer code. In LEO, exposures are reduced compared to deep space because particles are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field and absorbed by the solid body of the Earth. Geomagnetic transmission function as a function of altitude was applied for the particle flux of charged particles, and the shift of the organ exposures to higher velocity or lower stopping powers compared to those in deep space was analyzed. In the transport through Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of atmospheric thickness was calculated from the temperature and pressure data of Mars Global Surveyor, and the directional cosine distribution was implemented to describe the spherically distributed atmospheric distance along the slant path at each altitude. The resultant directional shielding by Mars atmosphere at solar minimum and solar maximum was used for the particle flux simulation at various altitudes on the Martian surface. Finally, atmospheric shielding was coupled with vehicle and body shielding for organ dose estimates. We made predictions of radiation dose equivalents and evaluated acute symptoms at LEO, moon, and Mars at solar minimum and solar maximum.

  3. Automated design of gravity-assist trajectories to Mars and the outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longuski, James M.; Williams, Steve N.

    1991-01-01

    In this paper, a new approach to planetary mission design is described which automates the search for gravity-assist trajectories. This method finds all conic solutions given a range of launch dates, a range of launch energies and a set of target planets. The new design tool is applied to the problems of finding multiple encounter trajectories to the outer planets and Venus gravity-assist trajectories to Mars. The last four-planet grand tour opportunity (until the year 2153) is identified. It requires an earth launch in 1996 and encounters Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Venus gravity-assist trajectories to Mars for the 30 year period 1995-2024 are examined. It is shown that in many cases these trajectories require less launch energy to reach Mars than direct ballistic trajectories.

  4. Overview of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dillman, Robert; Corliss, James

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) project will bring Mars surface and atmosphere samples back to Earth for detailed examination. Langley Research Center's MSR Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) is a core part of the mission, protecting the sample container during atmospheric entry, descent, and landing. Planetary protection requirements demand a higher reliability from the EEV than for any previous planetary entry vehicle. An overview of the EEV design and preliminary analysis is presented, with a follow-on discussion of recommended future design trade studies to be performed over the next several years in support of an MSR launch in 2018 or 2020. Planned topics include vehicle size for impact protection of a range of sample container sizes, outer mold line changes to achieve surface sterilization during re-entry, micrometeoroid protection, aerodynamic stability, thermal protection, and structural materials selection.

  5. Terrestrial planet formation in a protoplanetary disk with a local mass depletion: A successful scenario for the formation of Mars

    SciTech Connect

    Izidoro, A.; Winter, O. C.; Haghighipour, N.

    Models of terrestrial planet formation for our solar system have been successful in producing planets with masses and orbits similar to those of Venus and Earth. However, these models have generally failed to produce Mars-sized objects around 1.5 AU. The body that is usually formed around Mars' semimajor axis is, in general, much more massive than Mars. Only when Jupiter and Saturn are assumed to have initially very eccentric orbits (e ∼ 0.1), which seems fairly unlikely for the solar system, or alternately, if the protoplanetary disk is truncated at 1.0 AU, simulations have been able to produce Mars-like bodiesmore » in the correct location. In this paper, we examine an alternative scenario for the formation of Mars in which a local depletion in the density of the protosolar nebula results in a non-uniform formation of planetary embryos and ultimately the formation of Mars-sized planets around 1.5 AU. We have carried out extensive numerical simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets in such a disk for different scales of the local density depletion, and for different orbital configurations of the giant planets. Our simulations point to the possibility of the formation of Mars-sized bodies around 1.5 AU, specifically when the scale of the disk local mass-depletion is moderately high (50%-75%) and Jupiter and Saturn are initially in their current orbits. In these systems, Mars-analogs are formed from the protoplanetary materials that originate in the regions of disk interior or exterior to the local mass-depletion. Results also indicate that Earth-sized planets can form around 1 AU with a substantial amount of water accreted via primitive water-rich planetesimals and planetary embryos. We present the results of our study and discuss their implications for the formation of terrestrial planets in our solar system.« less

  6. Jupiter Polar Winds Movie Blowup

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Persistent polar storms and zonal winds on Jupiter can be seen in this magnified quadrant from a movie projecting images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft as if the viewer were looking down at Jupiter's north pole and the planet were flattened.

    The sequence covers 70 days, from October 1 to December 9, 2000. Cassini's narrow-angle camera captured the images of Jupiter's atmosphere in the near-infrared region of the spectrum.

    Like the accompanying full-circle movie of polar winds, this zoomed-inversion shows that the polar region has coherent flows, despite its chaotic, mottled appearance. There are thousands of spots, each an active storm similar in size to the largest storms on Earth. The spots occasionally change latitude or merge with each other, but usually they last for the entire 70 days. Until now, the lifetime of those storms was unknown.

    The mystery of Jupiter's weather is why the storms last so long. Storms on Earth last for a week before they break up and are replaced by other storms. This movie heightens the mystery because it shows long-lived storms at the highest latitudes, where the weather patterns are more disorganized than at low latitudes.

    Cassini collected images of Jupiter for months before and after it passed the planet on December 30, 2000. Six images or more of the planet in each of several spectral filters were taken at evenly spaced intervals over the course of Jupiter's 10-hour rotation period. The entire sequence was repeated generally every other Jupiter rotation, yielding views of every sector of the planet at least once every 20 hours.

    The images used for the movie shown here were taken every 20 hours through a filter centered at a wavelength of 756 nanometers, where there are almost no absorptions in the planet's atmosphere. Images from each rotation were assembled first into a cylindrical map. The 84 resulting cylindrical maps, spanning 70 Earth days or 168 Jupiter rotations, were transformed to polar stereographic

  7. Morphologic and Dynamic Similarities Between Polygonal Dunes on Mars and Interference Ripples on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, D. M.; Newman, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    Some dunes in craters on Mars are similar in morphology to ripples formed in complicated multidirectional flows on Earth. Similarities in morphology of these ripples on Earth and dunes on Mars include (1) relatively symmetrical cross-sections, and (2) crests with planform polygonal patterns, "tile" patterns, or "ladderback" structure. On Earth, bedforms with these morphologies are produced by complicated directionally-varying flows such as those generated by interfering waves (Figure 1), recirculating flows in the lee of large dunes, and recirculating flows in lateral separation eddies in rivers. Here we hypothesize that dunes with these morphologies on Mars (Figure 2) are also formed by multidirectional flows. Processes that might produce multidirectional winds on Mars include: heating and cooling that cause daily changes in wind direction; winds that vary in direction seasonally or with the passage of storms; and recirculating flows within steep-walled craters or within the troughs of larger dunes. This work was funded by NASA Mars Data Analysis Program.igure 1. Polygonal ripples formed by waves in shallow water; boot print is 30 cm long. igure 2. Polygonal dunes in Victoria Crater, Mars; crater is approximately 700 m in diameter and 70 m deep; image from NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

  8. Solar forcing, and ionospheric ion outflow from Venus, Earth and Mars - A comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, R. N.

    2012-12-01

    Solar forcing by e.g. EUV radiation and the solar wind leads to outflow and escape of ionospheric ions from Earth, Venus and Mars. In-situ measurements in the Earth's space environment have demonstrated that the ion escape rate correlates with the magnitude of solar forcing, i.e. high solar EUV and solar wind forcing leads to enhanced escape rates. The Terrestrial outflow is dominated by H+ and O+ suggesting that the ultimate origin of outflowing ions is water. Recent measurements from the two arid planets Mars and Venus, their atmospheres dominated by CO2, display characteristics similar to that of the Earth - an outflow dominated by hydrogen (H+) and oxygen (O+, O2+) ions. Despite major differences in atmospheric composition, the composition of the ion outflow from Earth and Venus is very similar, i.e. H+ and O+ dominates and the outflow has a stoichiometric H/O ratio of close to 2. The latter implies escape of water. The ion outflow from Mars is dominated by O+, O2+, and H+. Here the stoichiometric ratio between hydrogen and oxygen ion is ≈1, implying that if the ion outflow originates from water, about half of the hydrogen mass disappears by other means. The primary origin of the ion outflow from Earth, Venus and Mars is a complex issue. Nevertheless, a predominant hydrogen and oxygen loss implies that water can easily escape planets orbiting close to the Sun, while Carbon-based molecules (e.g. CO2) resides more easily. Observations shows that the outflow of e.g. CO+ and CO2+ from Mars and Venus is minute compared to the outflow of hydrogen and oxygen ions. Magnetic shielding is an issue affecting the net ion outflow and escape from a planet, because acceleration processes are also the characteristics of magnetized plasmas. Recent findings suggests that, despite magnetic field pile-up at Mars and Venus, the stand-off distance is insufficient to prohibit a direct interaction between the solar wind and the magnetized ionospheric plasma in the induced

  9. Jupiter's ring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  10. Ocean Fertilization from Giant Icebergs on Earth and Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uceda, E. R.; Fairen, A. G.; Rodriguez, J. A. P.; Woodworth-Lynas, C.

    2016-05-01

    Assuming that life existed on Mars coeval to glacial activity, enhanced concentrations of organic carbon could be anticipated near iceberg trails, analogous to what is observed in polar oceans on Earth.

  11. Cold Hole Over Jupiter's Pole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Observations with two NASA telescopes show that Jupiter has an arctic polar vortex similar to a vortex over Earth's Antarctica that enables depletion of Earth's stratospheric ozone.

    These composite images of Jupiter's north polar region from the Hubble Space Telescope (right) and the Infrared Telescope Facility (left) show a quasi-hexagonal shape that extends vertically from the stratosphere down into the top of the troposphere. A sharp temperature drop, compared to surrounding air masses, creates an eastward wind that tends to keep the polar atmosphere, including the stratospheric haze, isolated from the rest of the atmosphere.

    The linear striations in the composite projections are artifacts of the image processing. The area closest to the pole has been omitted because it was too close to the edge of the planet in the original images to represent the planet reliably.

    The composite on the right combines images from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 of the Hubble Space Telescope taken at a wavelength of 890 nanometers, which shows stratospheric haze particles.

    The sharp boundary and wave-like structure of the haze layer suggest a polar vortex and a similarity to Earth's stratospheric polar clouds. Images of Jupiter's thermal radiation clinch that identification. The composite on the left, for example, is made from images taken with Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mid-Infrared Large-Well Imager at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at a wavelength of 17 microns. It shows polar air mass that is 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (9 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit) colder than its surroundings, with the same border as the stratospheric haze. Similar observations at other infrared wavelengths show the cold air mass extends at least as high as the middle stratosphere down to the top of the troposphere.

    These images were taken Aug. 11 through Aug. 13, 1999, near a time when Jupiter's north pole was most visible from Earth. Other Infrared Telescope Facility images at

  12. Polarimetric Study of Jupiter's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.; McLean, W.; Wesley, A.; Miles, P.; Masding, P.

    2017-12-01

    Jupiter's atmosphere displays polarization, attributed to changes in the clouds/thermal filed that can be brought about by endogenic dynamical processes such merger of vortices; global, planetary scale upheavals, and external factors such as celestial collisions (such as D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with Jupiter in 1994, etc.). Although the range of phase angles available from Earth for Jupiter is restricted to a narrow range, limb polarization measurements provide constraints on the polarimetric properties. Jupiter is known to exhibit a strong polar limb polarization and a low equatorial limb polarization due to the presence of haze particles and Rayleigh scattering at the poles. In contrast, at the equator, the concentration of particulates in the high atmosphere might change, changing the polarimetric signature and aurorae at both poles. The polarimetric maps, in conjunction with thermal maps and albedo maps, can provide constraints on modeling efforts to understand the nature of the aerosols/hazes in Jovian atmosphere. With Jupiter experiencing morphological changes at many latitudes, we have initiated a polarimetric observing campaign of Jupiter, in conjunction with The PACA Project and preliminary results will be discussed. Some of our observations are acquired by a team of professional/amateur planetary imagers astronomers.

  13. Galileo Jupiter approach orbit determination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. K.; Nicholson, F. T.

    1984-01-01

    Orbit determination characteristics of the Jupiter approach phase of the Galileo mission are described. Predicted orbit determination performance is given for the various mission events that occur during Jupiter approach. These mission events include delivery of an atmospheric entry probe, acquisition of probe science data by the Galileo orbiter for relay to earth, delivery of an orbiter to a close encounter of the Galilean satellite Io, and insertion of the orbiter into orbit about Jupiter. The orbit determination strategy and resulting accuracies are discussed for the data types which include Doppler, range, optical imaging of Io, and a new Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) data type called Differential One-Way Range (DOR).

  14. Full Jupiter Mosaic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This image of Jupiter is produced from a 2x2 mosaic of photos taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), and assembled by the LORRI team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The telescopic camera snapped the images during a 3-minute, 35-second span on February 10, when the spacecraft was 29 million kilometers (18 million miles) from Jupiter. At this distance, Jupiter's diameter was 1,015 LORRI pixels -- nearly filling the imager's entire (1,024-by-1,024 pixel) field of view. Features as small as 290 kilometers (180 miles) are visible.

    Both the Great Red Spot and Little Red Spot are visible in the image, on the left and lower right, respectively. The apparent 'storm' on the planet's right limb is a section of the south tropical zone that has been detached from the region to its west (or left) by a 'disturbance' that scientists and amateur astronomers are watching closely.

    At the time LORRI took these images, New Horizons was 820 million kilometers (510 million miles) from home -- nearly 51/2 times the distance between the Sun and Earth. This is the last full-disk image of Jupiter LORRI will produce, since Jupiter is appearing larger as New Horizons draws closer, and the imager will start to focus on specific areas of the planet for higher-resolution studies.

  15. Studies of satellite and planetary surfaces and atmospheres. [Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars and their satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    Completed or published research supported by NASA is summarized. Topics cover limb darkening and the structure of the Jovian atmosphere; the application of generalized inverse theory to the recovery of temperature profiles; models for the reflection spectrum of Jupiter's North Equatorial Belt; isotropic scattering layer models for the red chromosphore on Titan; radiative-convective equilibrium models of the Titan atmosphere; temperature structure and emergent flux of the Jovian planets; occultation of epsilon Geminorum by Mars and the structure and extinction of the Martian upper atmosphere; lunar occultation of Saturn; astrometric results and the normal reflectances of Rhea, Titan, and Iapetus; near limb darkening of solids of planetary interest; scattering light scattering from particulate surfaces; comparing the surface of 10 to laboratory samples; and matching the spectrum of 10: variations in the photometric properties of sulfur-containing mixtures.

  16. Jupiter's Decameter Radiation as Viewed from Juno, Cassini, WIND, STEREO A, and Earth-Based Radio Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imai, Masafumi; Kurth, William S.; Hospodarsky, George B.; Bolton, Scott J.; Connerney, John E. P.; Levin, Steven M.; Clarke, Tracy E.; Higgins, Charles A.

    2017-04-01

    Jupiter is the dominant auroral radio source in our solar system, producing decameter (DAM) radiation (from a few to 40 MHz) with a flux density of up to 10-19 W/(m2Hz). Jovian DAM non-thermal radiation above 10 MHz is readily observed by Earth-based radio telescopes that are limited at lower frequencies by terrestrial ionospheric conditions and radio frequency interference. In contrast, frequencies observed by spacecraft depend upon receiver capability and the ambient solar wind plasma frequency. Observations of DAM from widely separated observers can be used to investigate the geometrical properties of the beam and learn about the generation mechanism. The first multi-observer observations of Jovian DAM emission were made using the Voyager spacecraft and ground-based radio telescopes in early 1979, but, due to geometrical constraints and limited flyby duration, a full understanding of the latitudinal beaming of Jovian DAM radiation remains elusive. This understanding is sorely needed to confirm DAM generation by the electron cyclotron maser instability, the widely assumed generation mechanism. Juno first detected Jovian DAM emissions on May 5, 2016, on approach to the Jovian system, initiating a new opportunity to perform observations of Jovian DAM radiation with Juno, Cassini, WIND, STEREO A, and Earth-based radio observatories (Long Wavelength Array Station One (LWA1) in New Mexico, USA, and Nançay Decameter Array (NDA) in France). These observers are widely distributed throughout our solar system and span a broad frequency range of 3.5 to 40.5 MHz. Juno resides in orbit at Jupiter, Cassini at Saturn, WIND around Earth, STEREO A in 1 AU orbit, and LWA1 and NDA at Earth. Juno's unique polar trajectory is expected to facilitate extraordinary stereoscopic observations of Jovian DAM, leading to a much improved understanding of the latitudinal beaming of Jovian DAM.

  17. Jupiter's Big Bang.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Kim A.

    1994-01-01

    Collision of a comet with Jupiter beginning July 16, 1994 will be observed by astronomers worldwide, with computerized information relayed to a center at the University of Maryland, financed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation. Geologists and paleontologists also hope to learn more about earth's…

  18. Jupiter - Io In Front of Jupiter Turbulent Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-11-13

    This photograph of the southern hemisphere of Jupiter was obtained by Voyager 2 on June 25, 1979, at a distance of 12 million kilometers (8 million miles). The Voyager spacecraft is rapidly nearing the giant planet, with closest approach to occur at 4:23 pm PDT on July 9. Seen in front of the turbulent clouds of the planet is Io, the innermost of the large Galilean satellites of Jupiter. Io is the size of our moon. Voyager discovered in early March that Io is the most volcanically active planetary body known in the solar system, with continuous eruptions much larger than any that take place on the Earth. The red, orange, and yellow colors of Io are thought to be deposits of sulfur and sulfur compounds produced in these eruptions. The smallest features in either Jupiter or Io that can be distinguished in this picture are about 200 kilometers (125 miles) across; this resolution, it is not yet possible to identify individual volcanic eruptions. Monitoring of the erupture activity of Io by Voyager 2 will begin about July 5 and will extend past the encounter July 9. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00371

  19. Partitioning of Oxygen During Core Formation on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubie, D. C.; Gessmann, C. K.; Frost, D. J.

    2003-12-01

    Core formation on Earth and Mars involved the physical separation of Fe-Ni metal alloy from silicate, most likely in deep magma oceans. Although core-formation models explain many aspects of mantle geochemistry, they do not account for large differences between the compositions of the mantles of Earth ( ˜8 wt% FeO) and Mars ( ˜18 wt% FeO) or the much smaller mass fraction of the Martian core. Here we explain these differences using new experimental results on the solubility of oxygen in liquid Fe-Ni alloy, which we have determined at 5-23 GPa, 2100-2700 K and variable oxygen fugacities using a multianvil apparatus. Oxygen solubility increases with increasing temperature and oxygen fugacity and decreases with increasing pressure. Thus, along a high temperature adiabat (e.g. after formation of a deep magma ocean on Earth), oxygen solubility is high at depths up to about 2000 km but decreases strongly at greater depths where the effect of high pressure dominates. For modeling oxygen partitioning during core formation, we assume that Earth and Mars both accreted from oxidized chondritic material with a silicate fraction initially containing around 18 wt% FeO. In a terrestrial magma ocean, 1200-2000 km deep, high temperatures resulted in the extraction of FeO from the silicate magma ocean, due to the high solubility of oxygen in the segregating metal, leaving the mantle with its present FeO content of ˜8 wt%. Lower temperatures of a Martian magma ocean resulted in little or no extraction of FeO from the mantle, which thus remained unchanged at about 18 wt%. The mass fractions of segregated metal are consistent with the mass fraction of the Martian core being small relative to that of the Earth. FeO extracted from the Earth's magma ocean by segregating core-forming liquid may have contributed to chemical heterogeneities in the lowermost mantle, a FeO-rich D'' layer and the light element budget of the core.

  20. Physical conditions on the early Earth

    PubMed Central

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2006-01-01

    The formation of the Earth as a planet was a large stochastic process in which the rapid assembly of asteroidal-to-Mars-sized bodies was followed by a more extended period of growth through collisions of these objects, facilitated by the gravitational perturbations associated with Jupiter. The Earth's inventory of water and organic molecules may have come from diverse sources, not more than 10% roughly from comets, the rest from asteroidal precursors to chondritic bodies and possibly objects near Earth's orbit for which no representative class of meteorites exists today in laboratory collections. The final assembly of the Earth included a catastrophic impact with a Mars-sized body, ejecting mantle and crustal material to form the Moon, and also devolatilizing part of the Earth. A magma ocean and steam atmosphere (possibly with silica vapour) existed briefly in this period, but terrestrial surface waters were below the critical point within 100 million years after Earth's formation, and liquid water existed continuously on the surface within a few hundred million years. Organic material delivered by comets and asteroids would have survived, in part, this violent early period, but frequent impacts of remaining debris probably prevented the continuous habitability of the Earth for one to several hundred million years. Planetary analogues to or records of this early time when life began include Io (heat flow), Titan (organic chemistry) and Venus (remnant early granites). PMID:17008213

  1. Life Beneath Glacial Ice - Earth(!) Mars(?) Europa(?)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Grasby, Stephen E.; Longazo, Teresa G.; Lisle, John T.; Beauchamp, Benoit

    2002-01-01

    We are investigating a set of cold springs that deposit sulfur and carbonate minerals on the surface of a Canadian arctic glacier. The spring waters and mineral deposits contain microorganisms, as well as clear evidence that biological processes mediate subglacial chemistry, mineralogy, and isotope fractionation . The formation of native sulphur and associated deposits are related to bacterially mediated reduction and oxidation of sulphur below the glacier. A non-volcanic, topography driven geothermal system, harboring a microbiological community, operates in an extremely cold environment and discharges through solid ice. Microbial life can thus exist in isolated geothermal refuges despite long-term subfreezing surface conditions. Earth history includes several periods of essentially total glaciation. lee in the near subsurface of Mars may have discharged liquid water in the recent past Cracks in the ice crust of Europa have apparently allowed the release of water to the surface. Chemolithotrophic bacteria, such as those in the Canadian springs, could have survived beneath the ice of "Snowball Earth", and life forms with similar characteristics might exist beneath the ice of Mars or Europa. Discharges of water from such refuges may have brought to the surface living microbes, as well as longlasting chemical, mineralogical, and isotopic indications of subsurface life.

  2. Time Series of Jupiter Aurora

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-06-10

    These mosaics of Jupiter's night side show the Jovian aurora at approximately 45 minute intervals as the auroral ring rotated with the planet below the spacecraft. The images were obtained by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft. during its eleventh orbit of Jupiter. The auroral ring is offset from Jupiter's pole of rotation and reaches the lowest latitude near 165 degrees west longitude. The aurora is hundreds of kilometers wide, and when it crosses the edge of Jupiter, it is about 250 kilometers above the planet. As on Earth, the auroral emission is caused by electrically charged particles striking atoms in the upper atmosphere from above. The particles travel along Jupiter's magnetic field lines, but their origin is not fully understood. The field lines where the aurora is most intense cross the Jovian equator at large distances (many Jovian radii) from the planet. The faint background throughout the image is scattered light in the camera. This stray light comes from the sunlit portion of Jupiter, which is out of the image. In multispectral observations the aurora appears red, consistent with how atomic hydrogen in Jupiter's atmosphere would glow. Galileo's unique perspective allows it to view the night side of the planet at short range, revealing details that cannot be seen from Earth. These detailed features are time dependent, and can be followed in this sequence of Galileo images. In the first mosaic, the auroral ring is directly over Jupiter's limb and is seen "edge on." In the fifth mosaic, the auroral emission is coming from several distinct bands. This mosaic also shows the footprint of the Io flux tube. Volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon, Io, spew forth particles that become ionized and are pulled into Jupiter's magnetic field to form an invisible tube, the Io flux tube, between Jupiter and Io. The bright circular feature towards the lower right may mark the location where these energetic particles impact Jupiter. Stars

  3. NASA's Hubble Takes Close-up Portrait of Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    On April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in a year, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope viewed the solar system’s largest planet in all of its up-close glory. At a distance of 415 million miles (668 million kilometers) from Earth, Jupiter offered spectacular views of its colorful, roiling atmosphere, the legendary Great Red Spot, and it smaller companion at farther southern latitudes dubbed “Red Spot Jr.” Read more: go.nasa.gov/2o7tOhH Photo details: This dazzling Hubble Space Telescope photo of #Jupiter was taken when it was comparatively close to Earth, at a distance of 415 million miles. Hubble reveals the intricate, detailed beauty of Jupiter's clouds as arranged into bands of different latitudes, known as tropical regions. These bands are produced by air flowing in different directions at various latitudes. Lighter colored areas, called zones, are high-pressure where the atmosphere rises. Darker low-pressure regions where air falls are called belts. The planet's trademark, the Great Red Spot, is a long-lived storm roughly the diameter of Earth. Much smaller storms appear as white or brown-colored ovals. Such storms can last as little as a few hours or stretch on for centuries. Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (NASA Goddard) NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  4. Jupiter Observation Campaign - Citizen Science At The Outer Planets: A Progress Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houston Jones, J.; Dyches, P.

    2012-12-01

    Amateur astronomers and astrophotographers diligently image Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in amazing detail. They often capture first views of storms on Saturn, impacts on Jupiter and changes in the planet's atmospheres. Many of the worldwide cadre of imagers share their images with each other and with planetary scientists. This new Jupiter focused citizen science program seeks to collect images and sort them into categories useful to scientists. In doing so, it provides a larger population of amateur astronomers with the opportunity to contribute their observations to NASA's JUNO Mission.

  5. A Search for Viable Venus and Jupiter Sample Return Mission Trajectories for the Next Decade

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leong, Jason N.; Papadopoulos, Periklis

    2005-01-01

    Planetary exploration using unmanned spacecraft capable of returning geologic or atmospheric samples have been discussed as a means of gathering scientific data for several years. Both NASA and ESA performed initial studies for Sample Return Missions (SRMs) in the late 1990 s, but most suggested a launch before the year 2010. The GENESIS and STARDUST spacecraft are the only current examples of the SRM concept with the Mars SRM expected around 2015. A feasibility study looking at SRM trajectories to Venus and Jupiter, for a spacecraft departing the Earth between the years 2011 through 2020 was conducted for a university project. The objective of the study was to evaluate SRMs to planets other than Mars, which has already gained significant attention in the scientific community. This paper is a synopsis of the study s mission trajectory concept and the conclusions to the viability of such a mission with today s technology.

  6. Atmospheric heat engines on earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip, J. R.

    1987-06-01

    The character of the earth's atmospheric heat engine depends, inter alia, on the relatively tight linkage between surface fluxes of energy and of H2O. On Mars, on the other hand, H2O-based latent heat fluxes are only a trivial fraction of total surface energy fluxes, and the dominant component of the working fluid is CO2. These considerations are made quantitative through evaluation of Lambda, the equivalent temperature excess at the surface for a particular component of the working fluid. The very different values (and latitudinal distribution) of Lambda on the two planets signalize vividly their different meteorology. Preliminary study of the climatology of Lambda on earth brings out, in particular, the tightness of the H2O-energy linkage in the tropics.

  7. Jupiter Ring

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-03-23

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02251

  8. Is Mars a habitable environment for extremophilic microorganisms from Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, Petra; Reitz, Guenther; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Bauermeister, Anja

    In the last decades several sucessful space missions to our neighboring planet Mars have deepened our knowledge about its environmental conditions substantially. Orbiters with intruments for remote sensing and landers with sophisticated intruments for in situ investigations resulted in a better understanding of Mars’ radiation climate, atmospheric composition, geology, and mineralogy. Extensive regions of the surface of Mars are covered with sulfate- and ferric oxide-rich layered deposits. These sediments indicate the possible existence of aqueous, acidic environments on early Mars. Similar environments on Earth harbour a specialised community of microorganisms which are adapted to the local stress factors, e.g. low pH, high concentrations of heavy metal ions, oligotrophic conditions. Acidophilic iron-sulfur bacteria isolated from such habitats on Earth could be considered as model organisms for an important part of a potential extinct Martian ecosystem or an ecosystem which might even exist today in protected subsurface niches. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was chosen as a model organism to study the ability of these bacteria to survive or grow under conditions resembling those on Mars. Stress conditions tested included desiccation, radiation, low temperatures, and high salinity. It was found that resistance to desiccation strongly depends on the mode of drying. Biofilms grown on membrane filters can tolerate longer periods of desiccation than planktonic cells dried without any added protectants, and drying under anaerobic conditions is more favourable to survival than drying in the presence of oxygen. Organic compounds such as trehalose and glycine betaine had a positive influence on survival after drying and freezing. A. ferrooxidans was shown to be sensitive to high salt concentrations, ionizing radiation, and UV radiation. However, the bacteria were able to utilize the iron minerals in Mars regolith mixtures as sole energy source. The survival and growth of

  9. Biota and Biomolecules in Extreme Environments on Earth: Implications for Life Detection on Mars

    PubMed Central

    Aerts, Joost W.; Röling, Wilfred F.M.; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-01-01

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces), particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions “what to look for”, “where to look”, and “how to look for it

  10. Biota and biomolecules in extreme environments on Earth: implications for life detection on Mars.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Joost W; Röling, Wilfred F M; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-10-13

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces), particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions "what to look for", "where to look", and "how to look for it" require more of

  11. Geomorphic Mapping of Lava Flows on Mars, Earth, and Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golder, K. B.; Burr, D. M.

    2018-06-01

    To advance understanding of flood basalts, we have mapped lava flows on three planets, Mars, Earth, and Mercury, as part of three projects. The common purpose of each project is to investigate potential magma sources and/or emplacement conditions.

  12. Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Mission design overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Jon A.

    2006-01-01

    An overview of the design of a possible mission to three large moons of Jupiter (Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa) is presented. The potential Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission uses ion thrusters powered by a nuclear reactor to transfer from Earth to Jupiter and enter a low-altitude science orbit around each of the moons. The combination of very limited control authority and significant multibody dynamics resulted in some aspects of the trajectory design being different than for any previous mission. The results of several key trades, innovative trajectory types and design processes, and remaining issues are presented.

  13. Photographer : JPL Callisto , The outermost Galilean Satellite , or Moon , of Jupiter, as taken by

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer : JPL Callisto , The outermost Galilean Satellite , or Moon , of Jupiter, as taken by Voyager I . Range : About 7 Million km (5 Million miles) . Callisto, the darkest of the Galilean Satellites, still nearly twice as bright as the Earth's Moon, is seen here from the face that always faces Jupiter. All of the Galilean Satellites always show the same face to Jupiter, as the Earth's moon does to Earth. The Surface shows a mottled appearance of bright and dark patches. The former reminds scientists of rayed or bright haloed craters, similiar to those seen on earth's Moon. This color photo is assembled from 3 black and wite images taken though violet, orange, & green filters

  14. Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1977-01-01

    It has been suggested that NH3 and other reducing gases were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere, enhancing the global greenhouse effect; data obtained through isotopic archeothermometry support this hypothesis. Computations have been applied to the evolution of surface temperatures on Mars, considering various bolometric albedos and compositions. The results are of interest in the study of Martian sinuous channels which may have been created by aqueous fluvial errosion, and imply that clement conditions may have previously occurred on Mars, and may occur in the future.

  15. A Passive Earth-Entry Capsule for Mars Sample Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Kellas, Sotiris

    1999-01-01

    A combination of aerodynamic analysis and testing, aerothermodynamic analysis, structural analysis and testing, impact analysis and testing, thermal analysis, ground characterization tests, configuration packaging, and trajectory simulation are employed to determine the feasibility of an entirely passive Earth entry capsule for the Mars Sample Return mission. The design circumvents the potential failure modes of a parachute terminal descent system by replacing that system with passive energy absorbing material to cushion the Mars samples during ground impact. The suggested design utilizes a spherically blunted 45-degree half-angle cone forebody with an ablative heat shield. The primary structure is a hemispherical, composite sandwich enclosing carbon foam energy absorbing material. Though no demonstration test of the entire system is included, results of the tests and analysis presented indicate that the design is a viable option for the Mars Sample Return Mission.

  16. Ion Acceleration at Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and its Global Impact on Magnetospheric Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus

    2016-07-01

    The ion plasma pressures at Earth, Saturn and Jupiter are significant players in the electrodynamic force-balance that governs the structure and dynamics of these magnetospheres. There are many similarities between the physical mechanisms that are thought to heat the ion plasma to temperatures that even exceed those of the solar corona. In this presentation we compare the ion acceleration mechanisms at the three planetary magnetospheres and discuss their global impacts on magnetopsheric structure. At Earth, bursty-bulk flows, or "bubbles", have been shown to accelerate protons and O+ to high energies by the earthward moving magnetic dipolarization fronts. O+ ions display a more non-adiabatic energization in response to these fronts than protons do as they are energized and transported in to the ring-current region where they reach energies of several 100's keV. We present both in-situ measurements from the NASA Van Allen Probes Mission and global Energetic Neutral (ENA) images from the High-Energy Neutral Atom (HENA) Camera on board the IMAGE Mission, that illustrate these processes. The global impact on the magnetospheric structure is explored by comparing the empirical magnetic field model TS07d for given driving conditions with global plasma pressure distributions derived from the HENA images. At Saturn, quasi-periodic energization events, or large-scale injections, occur beyond about 9 RS around the post-midnight sector, clearly shown by the Ion and Neutral Atom Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini mission. In contrast to Earth, the corotational drift dominates even the energetic ion distributions. The large-scale injections display similar dipolarization front features can be found and there are indications that like at Earth the O+ responds more non-adiabatically than protons do. However, at Saturn there are also differences in that there appears to be energization events deep in the inner magnetosphere (6-9 RS) preferentially occurring in the pre

  17. Jupiter's Bands of Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-22

    This enhanced-color image of Jupiter's bands of light and dark clouds was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft. Three of the white oval storms known as the "String of Pearls" are visible near the top of the image. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (kilometers) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. Juno acquired the image on May 19, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST) from an altitude of about 20,800 miles (33,400 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21393

  18. Access to Mars from Earth-Moon Libration Point Orbits:. [Manifold and Direct Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kakoi, Masaki; Howell, Kathleen C.; Folta, David

    2014-01-01

    This investigation is focused specifically on transfers from Earth-Moon L(sub 1)/L(sub 2) libration point orbits to Mars. Initially, the analysis is based in the circular restricted three-body problem to utilize the framework of the invariant manifolds. Various departure scenarios are compared, including arcs that leverage manifolds associated with the Sun-Earth L(sub 2) orbits as well as non-manifold trajectories. For the manifold options, ballistic transfers from Earth-Moon L(sub 2) libration point orbits to Sun-Earth L(sub 1)/L(sub 2) halo orbits are first computed. This autonomous procedure applies to both departure and arrival between the Earth-Moon and Sun-Earth systems. Departure times in the lunar cycle, amplitudes and types of libration point orbits, manifold selection, and the orientation/location of the surface of section all contribute to produce a variety of options. As the destination planet, the ephemeris position for Mars is employed throughout the analysis. The complete transfer is transitioned to the ephemeris model after the initial design phase. Results for multiple departure/arrival scenarios are compared.

  19. Galileo 1989 VEEGA trajectory design. [Venus-Earth-Earth-Gravity-Assist

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amario, Louis A.; Byrnes, Dennis V.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Nolan, Brian G.

    1989-01-01

    The new baseline for the Galileo Mission is a 1989 Venus-earth-earth gravity-assist (VEEGA) trajectory, which utilizes three gravity-assist planetary flybys in order to reduce launch energy requirements significantly compared to other earth-Jupiter transfer modes. The launch period occurs during October-November 1989. The total flight time is about 6 years, with November 1995 as the most likely choice for arrival at Jupiter. Optimal 1989 VEEGA trajectories have been generated for a wide range of earth launch dates and Jupiter arrival dates. Launch/arrival space contour plots are presented for various trajectory parameters, including propellant margin, which is used to measure mission performance. The accessible region of the launch/arrival space is defined by propellant margin and launch energy constraints; the available launch period is approximately 1.5 months long.

  20. Jupiter's Auroras Acceleration Processes

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-06

    This image, created with data from Juno's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (UVS), marks the path of Juno's readings of Jupiter's auroras, highlighting the electron measurements that show the discovery of the so-called discrete auroral acceleration processes indicated by the "inverted Vs" in the lower panel (Figure 1). This signature points to powerful magnetic-field-aligned electric potentials that accelerate electrons toward the atmosphere to energies that are far greater than what drive the most intense aurora at Earth. Scientists are looking into why the same processes are not the main factor in Jupiter's most powerful auroras. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21937

  1. Optimization of the transfer trajectory of a low-thrust spacecraft for research of Jupiter using an Earth gravity-assist maneuver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinov, M. S.; Orlov, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    The paper analyzes the possibility of the use of a gravity-assist maneuver for flight to Jupiter. The advantage of the Earth gravity-assist maneuver in comparison with the direct transfer in terms of reduction of amount of energy required per transfer is considered. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations of two transfer profiles are given.

  2. The Earth and Moon As Seen by 2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) took this portrait of the Earth and its companion Moon, using the infrared camera, one of two cameras in the instrument. It was taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers (more than 2 million miles) on April 19, 2001 as the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft left the Earth. From this distance and perspective the camera was able to acquire an image that directly shows the true distance from the Earth to the Moon. The Earth's diameter is about 12,750 km, and the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 385,000 km, corresponding to 30 Earth diameters. The dark region seen on Earth in the infrared temperature image is the cold south pole, with a temperature of minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit). The small bright region above it is warm Australia. This image was acquired using the 9.1 um infrared filter, one of nine filters that the instrument will use to map the mineral composition and temperature of the martian surface. From this great distance, each picture element (pixel) in the image corresponds to a region 900 by 900 kilometers or greater in size or about size of the state of Texas. Once Odyssey reaches Mars orbit each infrared pixel will cover a region only 100 by 100 meters on the surface, about the size of a major league baseball field.

  3. Launch Period Development for the Juno Mission to Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kowalkowski, Theresa D.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Lam, Try

    2008-01-01

    The Juno mission to Jupiter is targeted to launch in 2011 and would reach the giant planet about five years later. The interplanetary trajectory is planned to include two large deep space maneuvers and an Earth gravity assist a little more than two years after launch. In this paper, we describe the development of a 21-day launch period for Juno with the objective of keeping overall launch energy and delta-V low while meeting constraints imposed on Earth departure, the deep space maneuvers' timing and geometry, and Jupiter arrival.

  4. Jupiter Eruptions Captured in Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for high resolution image of Nature Cover

    Detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter's atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter's internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances. Understanding these outbreaks could be the key to unlock the mysteries buried in the deep Jovian atmosphere, say astronomers.

    This infrared image shows two bright plume eruptions obtained by the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on April 5, 2007.

    Understanding these phenomena is important for Earth's meteorology where storms are present everywhere and jet streams dominate the atmospheric circulation. Jupiter is a natural laboratory where atmospheric scientists study the nature and interplay of the intense jets and severe atmospheric phenomena.

    According to the analysis, the bright plumes were storm systems triggered in Jupiter's deep water clouds that moved upward in the atmosphere vigorously and injected a fresh mixture of ammonia ice and water about 20 miles (30 kilometers) above the visible clouds. The storms moved in the peak of a jet stream in Jupiter's atmosphere at 375 miles per hour (600 kilometers per hour). Models of the disturbance indicate that the jet stream extends deep in the buried atmosphere of Jupiter, more than 60 miles (approximately100 kilometers) below the cloud tops where most sunlight is absorbed.

  5. ScienceCast 115: The Strange Attraction of Hot Jupiters

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-08

    An exotic class of exoplanets called "hot Jupiters" are even weirder than astronomers imagined. While these worlds may have Earth-like blue skies, new data show that they are anything but Earth-like.

  6. Jupiter Formation, Life in the Slow Lane?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Kortenkamp, S. J.; Fleming, H. J.

    2000-10-01

    The growth of Jupiter, as predicted by the favored core-accretion model of planetary formation, is a two-stage process. First an ≈ 10 Earth mass core is formed by runaway growth of an icy protoplanet, after which the protoplanet gravitationally captures over 300 Earth masses of gas directly from the Solar Nebula. The process is thought to take ≈ 107 years. An alternate possibility, the mass-instability hypothesis, has recently experienced a resurgence of interest due to the increasingly rapid discoveries of unusual jovian-mass extrasolar planets. A sufficiently massive gas disk can become unstable and form an azimuthally asymmetric blob destined to become a giant planet in as short as 102 years. Which process actually formed Jupiter? Trojan asteroids, very numerous and with close dynamical links to Jupiter, are ideally suited to provide critical clues about Jupiter's formation. A number of processes could potentially capture objects into 1:1 resonance with Jupiter including radial migration, gas drag, mass accretion, collisional emplacement, disk tides, and gravitational scattering by massive protoplanetary embryos. We are currently undertaking a systematic study of each of these processes. The mass-instability scenario, in its simplest form, posits a fully-formed Jupiter with L4 and L5 points clear of gas and unpopulated with Trojans. By contrast, in the core-accretion model, precursor material is already trapped in 1:1 resonance with the jovian core. Furthermore, subsequent mass accretion and gas drag systematically concentrate matter toward the L4 and L5 points. The emerging theme is that a populous Trojan region is more easily achieved by the slower core-accretion model.

  7. Comparison of the distribution of large magmatic centers on Earth, Venus, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumpler, L. S.

    1993-01-01

    Volcanism is widely distributed over the surfaces of the major terrestrial planets: Venus, Earth, and Mars. Anomalous centers of magmatic activity occur on each planet and are characterized by evidence for unusual concentrations of volcanic centers, long-lived activity, unusual rates of effusion, extreme size of volcanic complexes, compositionally unusual magmatism, and evidence for complex geological development. The purpose of this study is to compare the characteristics and distribution of these magmatic anomalies on Earth, Venus, and Mars in order to assess these characteristics as they may relate to global characteristics and evolution of the terrestrial planets.

  8. Ablative Heat Shield Studies for NASA Mars/Earth Return Entry Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-09-01

    RETURN ENTRY VEHICLES by Michael K. Hamm September, 1990 NASA Thesis Advisor: William D. Henline Thesis Co-Advisor: Max F. Platzer Approved for public...STUDIES FOR NASA MARS/EARTH RETURN ENTRY VEHICLES (UNCLASSIFIED) 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Harm, Michael, K. 13a TYPE OF REPORT 13b TIME COVERED 14 DATE OF...theoretical values. The tests were performed to ascertain if RSI type materials could be used for entry vehicles proposed in NASA Mars missions. 20

  9. Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS): Antenna Visibility Determination, Network Simulation, and Management Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odubiyi, Jide; Kocur, David; Pino, Nino; Chu, Don

    1996-01-01

    This report presents the results of our research on Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS) network modeling and unattended network operations. The primary focus of our research is to investigate the feasibility of the TIMS architecture, which links the Earth-based Mars Operations Control Center, Science Data Processing Facility, Mars Network Management Center, and the Deep Space Network of antennae to the relay satellites and other communication network elements based in the Mars region. The investigation was enhanced by developing Build 3 of the TIMS network modeling and simulation model. The results of several 'what-if' scenarios are reported along with reports on upgraded antenna visibility determination software and unattended network management prototype.

  10. Autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, H. C.; Balmanno, W. F.; Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1991-01-01

    The details of tha assessment of autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions are presented. Analyses addressing navigation system assessments, trajectory planning, targeting approaches, flight control guidance strategies, and performance sensitivities are included. Tradeoffs in the analysis and design process are discussed.

  11. Line drawing of the Galileo spacecraft's encounters on its way to Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Line drawing charts the Galileo spacecraft's launch from low Earth orbit and its three planetary and two asteroid encounters in the course of its gravity-assisted flight to Jupiter. These encounters include Venus (February 1990), two Earth passes (December 1990 and December 1992), and the asteroids Gaspra and Ida in the asteroid belt. Galileo will release a probe and will arrive at Jupiter, 12-07-95.

  12. Line drawing of the Galileo spacecraft's encounters on its way to Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1989-09-11

    Line drawing charts the Galileo spacecraft's launch from low Earth orbit and its three planetary and two asteroid encounters in the course of its gravity-assisted flight to Jupiter. These encounters include Venus (February 1990), two Earth passes (December 1990 and December 1992), and the asteroids Gaspra and Ida in the asteroid belt. Galileo will release a probe and will arrive at Jupiter, 12-07-95.

  13. Comparative habitability of the Earth, Venus and Mars in the young solar system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, E. G.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract To be habitable, a planet must be suitable at all scales [1]. The setting in relation to the star must be right, so that surface temperatures can sustain liquid water. The planetary inventory must be suitable, providing surface water, rocks, and accessible thermodynamic disequilibrium. There must be physical habitat, especially mud and hydrothermal systems around volcanoes. Planets are not static: they evolve. Habitability must evolve with the planet. On accretion, the processes of impact and formation of volatile inventory must be suitable. Tectonics and volcanism must supply redox contrasts and biochemical substrates capable not only of starting life but of sustaining it. Mud or soft sediment may be essential: it is unlikely that early life can sustain itself in open water or air. This requirement for mud has tectonic implications. Once life starts, it immediately alters its own environment, by consuming nutrient. Until photosynthesis evolves, inorganic sources must supply sustained redox contrast to the local environment. But life changes its setting, both by risky alterations to the atmospheric greenhouse (drawing down CO2, emitting CH4), and by partitioning reductants (e.g. as dead bodies) and oxidants (waste). Somehow the planet must avoid both freezing and boiling. Early in the history of the solar system, a passing galactic tourist might have rated Venus as the likeliest habitat for life, Mars next, and Earth last of the three. Venus was warm and hospitable, Mars clement, and Earth had been though an impact episode powerful enough to make a silicate atmosphere. By comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. Perhaps Mars seeded earth? Yet today the reverse order of habitability is the case. Earth today is safeguarded by a reworked atmosphere that is 99% of biological construction, maintained in active disequilibrium with the surface. Mars, in

  14. A PRELIMINARY JUPITER MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, W. B.; Militzer, B.

    In anticipation of new observational results for Jupiter's axial moment of inertia and gravitational zonal harmonic coefficients from the forthcoming Juno orbiter, we present a number of preliminary Jupiter interior models. We combine results from ab initio computer simulations of hydrogen–helium mixtures, including immiscibility calculations, with a new nonperturbative calculation of Jupiter's zonal harmonic coefficients, to derive a self-consistent model for the planet's external gravity and moment of inertia. We assume helium rain modified the interior temperature and composition profiles. Our calculation predicts zonal harmonic values to which measurements can be compared. Although some models fit the observed (pre-Juno) second-more » and fourth-order zonal harmonics to within their error bars, our preferred reference model predicts a fourth-order zonal harmonic whose absolute value lies above the pre-Juno error bars. This model has a dense core of about 12 Earth masses and a hydrogen–helium-rich envelope with approximately three times solar metallicity.« less

  15. The population of faint Jupiter family comets near the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2006-11-01

    We study the population of faint Jupiter family comets (JFCs) that approach the Earth (perihelion distances q<1.3 AU) by applying a debiasing technique to the observed sample. We found for the debiased cumulative luminosity function (CLF) of absolute total magnitudes H a bimodal distribution in which brighter comets ( H≲9) follow a linear relation with a steep slope α=0.65±0.14, while fainter comets follow a much shallower slope α=0.25±0.06 down to H˜18. The slope can be pushed up to α=0.35±0.09 if a second break in the H distribution to a much shallower slope is introduced at H˜16. We estimate a population of about 10 3 faint JFCs with q<1.3 AU and 10Earth JFCs may be explained either as: (i) the source population (the scattered disk) has an equally very shallow distribution in the considered size range, or (ii) the distribution is flattened by the disintegration of small objects before that they have a chance of being observed. The fact that the slope of the magnitude distribution of the faint active JFCs is very similar to that found for a sample of dormant JFCs candidates suggests that for a surviving (i.e., not disintegrated) object, the probability of becoming dormant versus keeping some activity is roughly size independent.

  16. Mega-geomorphology: Mars vis a vis Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharp, R. P.

    1985-01-01

    The areas of chaotic terrain, the giant chasma of the Valles Marineris region, the complex linear and circular depressions of Labyrinthus Noctis on Mars all suggest the possibility of large scale collapse of parts of the martian crust within equatorial and sub equatorial latitudes. It seems generally accepted that the above features are fossil, being perhaps, more than a billion years old. It is possible that parts of Earth's crust experienced similar episodes of large scale collapse sometime early in the evolution of the planet.

  17. 2001 Mars Odyssey Images Earth (Visible and Infrared)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) acquired these images of the Earth using its visible and infrared cameras as it left the Earth. The visible image shows the thin crescent viewed from Odyssey's perspective. The infrared image was acquired at exactly the same time, but shows the entire Earth using the infrared's 'night-vision' capability. Invisible light the instrument sees only reflected sunlight and therefore sees nothing on the night side of the planet. In infrared light the camera observes the light emitted by all regions of the Earth. The coldest ground temperatures seen correspond to the nighttime regions of Antarctica; the warmest temperatures occur in Australia. The low temperature in Antarctica is minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit); the high temperature at night in Australia 9 degrees Celsius(48.2 degrees Fahrenheit). These temperatures agree remarkably well with observed temperatures of minus 63 degrees Celsius at Vostok Station in Antarctica, and 10 degrees Celsius in Australia. The images were taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers (more than 2 million miles) on April 19,2001 as the Odyssey spacecraft left Earth.

  18. VLA Will Receive Galileo Probe Signals To Measure Jupiter's Winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-11-01

    Socorro, NM -- When the Galileo Probe becomes the first spacecraft to enter the atmosphere of Jupiter on Dec. 7, a New Mexico radio telescope will be watching. In a technical feat thought impossible when Galileo was launched in 1989, the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) will record the faint radio signal from the probe to help scientists measure the giant planet's winds. The VLA observations will dramatically improve estimates of Jupiter's wind speeds and complement other measurements studying the climate of Jupiter. The Galileo probe will transmit information to the main spacecraft as it descends toward a searing death under tremendous heat in Jupiter's lower atmosphere. The main spacecraft will later relay the probe's data to Earth. No Earth-based reception of the probe's radio signals was planned originally. The probe's antenna will be pointed at the main spacecraft, not the Earth. However, in 1991, Robert Preston and William Folkner of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, were discussing Earth-based reception of data from a similar probe under design for a planned mission to Saturn. "I thought, why not do this for Galileo," Folkner said. "They were planning to build this capability into the spacecraft for Saturn," Folkner explained, "and they thought it couldn't be done with the Galileo spacecraft already enroute to Jupiter. I didn't know it couldn't be done, so I worked it out and found that we could do it." According to Preston and Folkner's calculations, the direct reception of the probe's signals by the VLA and a similar radio telescope in Australia will make the measurement of Jupiter's winds ten times more precise as long as the probe radio signal can be detected. In addition, the direct reception also greatly improves scientists' knowledge of the probe's position as it enters the Jovian atmosphere. This will allow more effective use of the measurements of the probe radio signal by the main spacecraft to determine

  19. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  20. Radiative signatures from impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; Takata, Toshiko; O'Keefe, John D.; Orton, Glenn S.

    1994-01-01

    The visible optical power emitted from the expansion plumes from 0.4 and 2 km diameter fragments of Shoemaker-Levy are expected to be, approximately 25% and comparable to, the visible solar flux reflected from Jupiter, respectively, for several minutes, and could be easily observed by sensors on the Galileo spacecraft. Earth-based observers can detect these plumes as these expand over the SW limb of Jupiter and come into earth view some minutes after impact!

  1. The planet Jupiter (1970)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Divine, N.

    1971-01-01

    Data obtained through 1970, some materials published during the first half of 1971, and conclusions of the Jupiter Radiation Belt Workshop held in July 1971 are presented. All the information on Jupiter was derived from data obtained at angular and spectral resolutions possible with Earth-based instrumentation or with sensors on aircraft, rockets, and balloons. The observations were made primarily in the visible, near visible, infrared, and radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The information was assessed for the potential effects of the Jovian environment on spacecraft performance. The assessment was done independently for the three types of missions under consideration and formulated for overall spacecraft as well as for subsystem design.

  2. Europa, taken from Voyager 1 to Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1979-03-01

    Range : 5.9 million kilometers (3.66 million miles) Europa is Jupiter's 2nd Galilean satellites from the planet and the brightest. Photo taken early morning through violet filter. Faint swirls and linear patterns show in the equatorial region (which shows darker than the poles). This hemisphere always faces Jupiter. North is up. Density and size comparable to Earth's Moon and seems to show water ice or ground water on its surface. JPL Reference # P-21163.

  3. Polygon Patterned Ground on Mars and on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Some high-latitude areas on Mars (left) and Earth (right) exhibit similarly patterned ground where shallow fracturing has drawn polygons on the surface.

    This patterning may result from cycles of contraction and expansion.

    The left image shows ground within the targeted landing area NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander before the winter frost had entirely disappeared from the surface.

    The bright ice in shallow crevices accentuates the area's polygonal fracturing pattern. The polygons are a few meters (several feet) across.

    The image is a small portion of an exposure taken in March 2008 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    The image on the right is an aerial view of similarly patterned ground in Antarctica.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

  4. No large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets.

    PubMed

    Mróz, Przemek; Udalski, Andrzej; Skowron, Jan; Poleski, Radosław; Kozłowski, Szymon; Szymański, Michał K; Soszyński, Igor; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Pietrukowicz, Paweł; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Skowron, Dorota; Pawlak, Michał

    2017-08-10

    Planet formation theories predict that some planets may be ejected from their parent systems as result of dynamical interactions and other processes. Unbound planets can also be formed through gravitational collapse, in a way similar to that in which stars form. A handful of free-floating planetary-mass objects have been discovered by infrared surveys of young stellar clusters and star-forming regions as well as wide-field surveys, but these studies are incomplete for objects below five Jupiter masses. Gravitational microlensing is the only method capable of exploring the entire population of free-floating planets down to Mars-mass objects, because the microlensing signal does not depend on the brightness of the lensing object. A characteristic timescale of microlensing events depends on the mass of the lens: the less massive the lens, the shorter the microlensing event. A previous analysis of 474 microlensing events found an excess of ten very short events (1-2 days)-more than known stellar populations would suggest-indicating the existence of a large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets (reported to be almost twice as common as main-sequence stars). These results, however, do not match predictions of planet-formation theories and surveys of young clusters. Here we analyse a sample of microlensing events six times larger than that of ref. 11 discovered during the years 2010-15. Although our survey has very high sensitivity (detection efficiency) to short-timescale (1-2 days) microlensing events, we found no excess of events with timescales in this range, with a 95 per cent upper limit on the frequency of Jupiter-mass free-floating or wide-orbit planets of 0.25 planets per main-sequence star. We detected a few possible ultrashort-timescale events (with timescales of less than half a day), which may indicate the existence of Earth-mass and super-Earth-mass free-floating planets, as predicted by planet-formation theories.

  5. Comparing the topographic long profiles of gullies on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, Susan; Balme, Matthew; Murray, John; Towner, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Liquid water is not stable under the present atmospheric conditions on the martian surface. Hence, the discovery of widespread recently active kilometre-scale gullies that resemble those carved by water on Earth [1,2], was extremely surprising. Some authors suggest that either carbon dioxide driven processes or dry mass wasting could explain these features [3-6]. However, recent work has shown that some aspects of gully-morphology, such as braiding and streamlined features, are hard to explain with these mechanisms [e.g., 7,8]. In this study we have used topographic long profiles to investigate the formation mechanism of martian gullies. On Earth it is recognised that certain forms of long-profiles can be linked to a particular process, for example, at equilibrium fluvial systems have a profile curve of exponential decay [9]. However, these shapes have not been generalised for kilometre-scale landforms, such as gullies. We used differential GPS data and airborne laser altimeter data on Earth (LiDAR) from NSA-funded NCALM and UK's NERC ARSF to generate profile-data for gullies with a fluvial and debris flow origin. On Mars we used stereo-images from the HiRISE camera (25 cm/pix) and generated the gully-profiles using the manual point-matching method of Kreslavsky [10]. We found that the shape of gully long profiles on Mars is similar to that of both fluvial and debris flow gullies on Earth. However, more of the martian gullies we have studied are similar to fluvial gullies than to debris flow gullies. The slopes of the gully long profiles on Mars tend to be shallower than fluvial gullies on Earth, but this can be accounted for by the difference in gravity between Earth and Mars. References cited: [1] M.C. Malin and K.S. Edgett, Science, (2000), 288,2330-2335.[2] M.C. Malin et al., Science, (2006), 314,1573-1577. [3] T. Shinbrot et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U A, (2004), 101,8542-8546. [4] S. Diniega et al., Icarus, (2013), 225,526-537. [5] T. Ishii and S. Sasaki, Lunar

  6. A Transiting Jupiter Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Henze, C.; Teachey, A.; Isaacson, H.; Petigura, E.; Marcy, G. W.; Buchhave, L. A.; Chen, J.; Bryson, S. T.; Sandford, E.

    2016-04-01

    Decadal-long radial velocity surveys have recently started to discover analogs to the most influential planet of our solar system, Jupiter. Detecting and characterizing these worlds is expected to shape our understanding of our uniqueness in the cosmos. Despite the great successes of recent transit surveys, Jupiter analogs represent a terra incognita, owing to the strong intrinsic bias of this method against long orbital periods. We here report on the first validated transiting Jupiter analog, Kepler-167e (KOI-490.02), discovered using Kepler archival photometry orbiting the K4-dwarf KIC-3239945. With a radius of (0.91+/- 0.02) {R}{{J}}, a low orbital eccentricity ({0.06}-0.04+0.10), and an equilibrium temperature of (131+/- 3) K, Kepler-167e bears many of the basic hallmarks of Jupiter. Kepler-167e is accompanied by three Super-Earths on compact orbits, which we also validate, leaving a large cavity of transiting worlds around the habitable-zone. With two transits and continuous photometric coverage, we are able to uniquely and precisely measure the orbital period of this post snow-line planet (1071.2323 ± 0.0006d), paving the way for follow-up of this K = 11.8 mag target.

  7. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION OF COMET P/SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9 and PLANET JUPITER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is a composite photo, assembled from separate images of Jupiter and comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, as imaged by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera-2 (WFPC-2), aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Jupiter was imaged on May 18, 1994, when the giant planet was at a distance of 420 million miles (670 million km) from Earth. This 'true-color' picture was assembled from separate HST exposures in red, blue, and green light. Jupiter's rotation between exposures creates the blue and red fringe on either side of the disk. HST can resolve details in Jupiter's magnificent cloud belts and zones as small as 200 miles (320 km) across (wide field mode). This detailed view is only surpassed by images from spacecraft that have traveled to Jupiter. The dark spot on the disk of Jupiter is the shadow of the inner moon Io. This volcanic moon appears as an orange and yellow disk just to the upper right of the shadow. Though Io is approximately the size of Earth's Moon (but 2,000 times farther away), HST can resolve surface details. When the comet was observed on May 17, its train of 21 icy fragments stretched across 710 thousand miles (1.1 million km) of space, or 3 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. This required six WFPC exposures along the comet train to include all the nuclei. The image was taken in red light. The apparent angular size of Jupiter relative to the comet, and its angular separation from the comet when the images were taken, have been modified for illustration purposes. Credit: H.A. Weaver, T.E. Smith (Space Telescope Science Institute) and J.T. Trauger, R.W. Evans (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and NASA

  8. Stochastic late accretion to Earth, the Moon, and Mars.

    PubMed

    Bottke, William F; Walker, Richard J; Day, James M D; Nesvorny, David; Elkins-Tanton, Linda

    2010-12-10

    Core formation should have stripped the terrestrial, lunar, and martian mantles of highly siderophile elements (HSEs). Instead, each world has disparate, yet elevated HSE abundances. Late accretion may offer a solution, provided that ≥0.5% Earth masses of broadly chondritic planetesimals reach Earth's mantle and that ~10 and ~1200 times less mass goes to Mars and the Moon, respectively. We show that leftover planetesimal populations dominated by massive projectiles can explain these additions, with our inferred size distribution matching those derived from the inner asteroid belt, ancient martian impact basins, and planetary accretion models. The largest late terrestrial impactors, at 2500 to 3000 kilometers in diameter, potentially modified Earth's obliquity by ~10°, whereas those for the Moon, at ~250 to 300 kilometers, may have delivered water to its mantle.

  9. Mineral remains of early life on Earth? On Mars?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iberall, Robbins E.; Iberall, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth, the 3.8-Ga Isua Iron-Formation in southwestern Greenland, are metamorphosed past the point where organic-walled fossils would remain. Acid residues and thin sections of these rocks reveal ferric microstructures that have filamentous, hollow rod, and spherical shapes not characteristic of crystalline minerals. Instead, they resemble ferric-coated remains of bacteria. Because there are no earlier sedimentary rocks to study on Earth, it may be necessary to expand the search elsewhere in the solar system for clues to any biotic precursors or other types of early life. A study of morphologies of iron oxide minerals collected in the southern highlands during a Mars sample return mission may therefore help to fill in important gaps in the history of Earth's earliest biosphere. -from Authors

  10. Measurements of the north polar cap of Mars and the earth's Northern Hemisphere ice and snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1986-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the earth, the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960s when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. Data on the year to year variations in the extent of the north polar caps of Mars and earth have been assembled and compared, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  11. Juno View of Jupiter Southern Lights

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-09-02

    This infrared image gives an unprecedented view of the southern aurora of Jupiter, as captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on August 27, 2016. The planet's southern aurora can hardly be seen from Earth due to our home planet's position in respect to Jupiter's south pole. Juno's unique polar orbit provides the first opportunity to observe this region of the gas-giant planet in detail. Juno's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) camera acquired the view at wavelengths ranging from 3.3 to 3.6 microns -- the wavelengths of light emitted by excited hydrogen ions in the polar regions. The view is a mosaic of three images taken just minutes apart from each other, about four hours after the perijove pass while the spacecraft was moving away from Jupiter. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21033

  12. Lessons from our Own Solar System: Generation Mechanisms of Radio Emissions from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and Atmospheric Loss from Magnetized versus non-magnetized planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus

    2017-05-01

    The understanding of the engines and mechanisms behind kilometric and decametric radio emissions from the planets in our own solar system have taken great leaps with missions such as the NASA/Cassini, IMAGE and Galileo missions. The periodic Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR), the Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR) at Earth and the periodic decametric radio emissions from Jupiter all point to the same generation mechanisms: very large-scale explosive plasma heating events in the magnetotail of each of the planets. The character and periodicity of the associated radio emissions not only tells us about the presence of a magnetic field but also about the plasma content and size of the planetary magnetosphere, and the nature of the interaction with the solar wind.The presence of a planetary magnetic field, as could be established for exoplanets by the positive detection of low-frequency exoplanetary radio emissions, has been thought to shield a planet from atmospheric loss to space. However, recent data from Mars Express, MAVEN, and Venus Express, together with the wealth of terrestrial measurements of atmospheric escape to space has brought a surprising question in to light: Does a planetary magnetic field suppress or enhance atmospheric loss? While at the non-magnetized planets such as Mars and Venus, the solar wind has a more direct access to the ionized upper atmosphere, these planets do set up self shielding currents that do limit escape. Furthermore, it is not clear if Mars have lost the majority of its atmosphere by condensation in to surface and sub-surface frost, or through atmospheric escape. At Earth, the geomagnetic field sets up a relatively large cross section to the solar wind, that allows the induced solar-wind electric field to transfer substantial energy to the upper ionosphere and atmosphere resulting in substantial loss. It is therefore not clear how a planetary magnetic field correlates to the atmospheric loss, or if it does at all.In this

  13. Voyager telecommunications - The broadcast from Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edelson, R. E.; Madsen, B. D.; Davis, E. K.; Garrison, G. W.

    1979-01-01

    The means by which the data collected by the Voyager 1 mission to Jupiter were returned to earth are presented. Radio links between the earth and the spacecraft are used for the transmission of both imaging and nonimaging telemetry from the spacecraft and commands from the earth and for radiometric observations of the spacecraft and its environment. Features which have lead to vast improvements in the capability of the Voyager telecommunications system over that of previous space probes include the use of X-band rather than S-band telemetry, a dual power X-band traveling wave tube amplifier, a 3.7 m spacecraft antenna and a single channel telemetry system with concatenated coding. Communications equipment at the three ground complexes of the Deep Space Network for telemetry reception includes 64 m steerable antennas, cryogenic maser preamplifiers and a phase-lock loop receiver. Voyager 1 has met or exceeded all of its telecommunications requirements, providing a 98% data return and a total of 2 x 10 to the 11th data bits during the Jupiter encounter.

  14. Jupiter Polar Winds Movie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Bands of eastward and westward winds on Jupiter appear as concentric rotating circles in this movie composed of Cassini spacecraft images that have been re-projected as if the viewer were looking down at Jupiter's north pole and the planet were flattened.

    The sequence covers 70 days, from October 1 to December 9, 2000. Cassini's narrow-angle camera captured the images of Jupiter's atmosphere in the near-infrared region of the spectrum.

    What is surprising in this view is the coherent nature of the high-latitude flows, despite the very chaotic, mottled and non-banded appearance of the planet's polar regions. This is the first extended movie sequence to show the coherence and longevity of winds near the pole and the features blown around the planet by them.

    There are thousands of spots, each an active storm similar to the size to the largest of storms on Earth. Large terrestrial storms usually last only a week before they dissolve and are replaced by other storms. But many of the Jovian storms seen here, while occasionally changing latitude or merging with each other, persist for the entire 70 days. Until now, the lifetime of the high-latitude features was unknown. Their longevity is a mystery of Jovian weather.

    Cassini collected images of Jupiter for months before and after it passed the planet on December 30, 2000. Six or more images of the planet in each of several spectral filters were taken at evenly spaced intervals over the course of Jupiter's 10-hour rotation period. The entire sequence was repeated generally every other Jupiter rotation, yielding views of every sector of the planet at least once every 20 hours.

    The images used for the movie shown here were taken every 20 hours through a filter centered at a wavelength of 756 nanometers, where there are almost no absorptions in the planet's atmosphere. The images covering each rotation were mosaiced together to form a cylindrical map extending from 75 degrees north to 75 degrees south in

  15. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters

    PubMed Central

    Steffen, Jason H.; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Holman, Matthew J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Welsh, William F.; Borucki, William J.; Boss, Alan P.; Ciardi, David R.; Quinn, Samuel N.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 2∶1 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history. PMID:22566651

  16. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Jason H; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Carter, Joshua A; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Rowe, Jason F; Welsh, William F; Borucki, William J; Boss, Alan P; Ciardi, David R; Quinn, Samuel N

    2012-05-22

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 21 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history.

  17. Relativistic transformation between τ and TCG for Mars missions under IAU Resolutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Jun-Yang; Xie, Yi

    2014-02-01

    Considering the fact that the general theory of relativity has become an inextricable part of deep space missions, we investigate the relativistic transformation between the proper time of an onboard clock τ and the Geocentric Coordinate Time (TCG) for Mars missions. By connecting τ with this local timescale associated with the Earth, we extend previous works which focus on the transformation between τ and the Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB). (TCB is the global coordinate time for the whole solar system.) For practical convenience, the relation between τ and TCG is recast to directly depend on quantities which can be read from ephemerides. We find that the difference between τ and TCG can reach the level of about 0.2 seconds in a year. To distinguish various sources in the transformation, we numerically calculate the contributions caused by the Sun, eight planets, three large asteroids and the spacecraft. It is found that if the threshold of 1 microsecond is adopted, this transformation must include effects due to the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the velocities of the spacecraft and Earth.

  18. Hubble Catches Jupiter's Largest Moon Going to the 'Dark Side'

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Hubble Catches Jupiter's Largest Moon Going to the 'Dark Side' HST/WFPC2 Image of Jupiter and Ganymede Taken April 9, 2007 NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has caught Jupiter's moon Ganymede playing a game of "peek-a-boo." In this crisp Hubble image, Ganymede is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet. Ganymede completes an orbit around Jupiter every seven days. Because Ganymede's orbit is tilted nearly edge-on to Earth, it routinely can be seen passing in front of and disappearing behind its giant host, only to reemerge later. Composed of rock and ice, Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system. It is even larger than the planet Mercury. But Ganymede looks like a dirty snowball next to Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter is so big that only part of its Southern Hemisphere can be seen in this image. Hubble's view is so sharp that astronomers can see features on Ganymede's surface, most notably the white impact crater, Tros, and its system of rays, bright streaks of material blasted from the crater. Tros and its ray system are roughly the width of Arizona. The image also shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the large eye-shaped feature at upper left. A storm the size of two Earths, the Great Red Spot has been raging for more than 300 years. Hubble's sharp view of the gas giant planet also reveals the texture of the clouds in the Jovian atmosphere as well as various other storms and vortices. Astronomers use these images to study Jupiter's upper atmosphere. As Ganymede passes behind the giant planet, it reflects sunlight, which then passes through Jupiter's atmosphere. Imprinted on that light is information about the gas giant's atmosphere, which yields clues about the properties of Jupiter's high-altitude haze above the cloud tops. This color image was made from three images taken on April 9, 2007, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in red, green, and blue filters. The image shows Jupiter and Ganymede in close to natural colors. For

  19. Results from Joint Observations of Jupiter's Atmosphere by Juno and a Network of Earth-Based Observing Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G. S.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S.; Hansen, C. J.; Janssen, M. A.; Adriani, A.; Gladstone, R.; Bagenal, F.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Momary, T.; Payne, A.

    2016-12-01

    The Juno mission has promoted and coordinated a network of Earth-based observations, including both space- and ground-based facilities, to extend and enhance observations made by the Juno mission. The spectral region and timeline of all of these observations are summarized in the web site: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/planned-observations. Among the earliest of these were observation of Jovian auroral phenomena at X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and measurements of Jovian synchrotron radiation from the Earth simultaneously with the measurement of properties of the upstream solar wind described elsewhere in this meeting. Other observations of significance to the magnetosphere measured the mass loading from Io by tracking its observed volcanic activity and the opacity of its torus. Observations of Jupiter's neutral atmosphere included observations of reflected sunlight from the near-ultraviolet through the near-infrared and thermal emission from 5 microns through the radio region. The point of these measurements is to relate properties of the deep atmosphere that are the focus of Juno's mission to the state of the "weather layer" at much higher atmospheric levels. These observations cover spectral regions not included in Juno's instrumentation, provide spatial context for Juno's often spatially limited coverage of Jupiter, and they describe the evolution of atmospheric features in time that are measured only once by Juno. We will summarize the results of measurements during the approach phase of the mission that characterized the state of the atmosphere, as well as observations made by Juno and the supporting campaign during Juno's perijoves 1 (August 27), 2 (October 19), 3 (November 2), 4 (November 15), and 5 (November 30). The Juno mission also benefited from the enlistment of a network of dedicated amateur astronomers who, besides providing input needed for public operation of the JunoCam visible camera, tracked the evolution of features in Jupiter

  20. Barchan asymmetry as a proxy for wind conditions on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwyer, Diarmuid; Bourke, Mary

    2014-05-01

    The absence of weather stations in many remote arid regions on Earth and Mars introduces a difficulty in testing atmospheric circulation models. While several proxies have been recommended for the reconstruction of wind regimes, they remain to be tested in a wide range of terrains. We examine the relationship between instrumented wind data and barchan asymmetric shape in order to ascertain if this dune attribute can be used to reliably infer aspects of a wind regime. The two study areas are located in La Joya, Peru and the Namib Desert, Namibia. Dune observations were made using high resolution satellite images available on Google Earth. The wind data was sourced from Wunderground and the National Peruvian Meteorological Service. Asymmetric barchans are reported to form in bimodal wind regimes (Tsoar, 1984). The barchan dune is oriented parallel to the strong wind regime and is modified by oblique gentler winds. Our analysis of wind data and dune form supports the Tsoar model for barchan asymmetry. Numerical simulations have shown that the duration of winds in bi-directional regimes also influences asymmetry (Parteli, 2014). Our analysis finds good agreement between the model simulations of Parteli et al (2014) and the instrument data for Namibia and Peru. We use our findings on Earth to infer formative wind direction and duration at five sites on Mars. These are the first maps of wind direction and relative duration for Mars. Our findings do not concur with previous estimates of wind direction derived either from the NASA Ames General Circulation Model or dune slipface orientation. We propose that the Parteli et al (2014) approach can be usefully applied to remote areas on Earth and Mars to extract data on relative wind duration and direction. Parteli, E.J.R., Duran, O., Bourke, M.C., Tsoar, H., Poschel, T., Herrmann, H.J., (in press). Origins of barchan dune asymmetry: Insights from numerical simulations. Aeolian Research. Tsoar, H., (1984). The formation of seif

  1. Controlling Factors of the Fate of Ionospheric Outflow at Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liemohn, M. W.; Welling, D. T.; Ilie, R.; Ganushkina, N. Y.; Johnson, B. C.; Xu, S.; Dong, C.

    2015-12-01

    Both Earth and Mars experience ionospheric outflow, but the radically different magnetic field configurations at the two planets yield significantly different patterns of outflow and processes governing outflow. This study examines a set of numerical simulations for Earth and Mars to explore the factors controlling ionospheric outflow and the fate of the escaping ions (immediate precipitation, magnetospheric recirculation, or loss to deep space). Specifically, simulation results from the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF), which is capable of handling both planetary space environments, are analyzed to assess the physical processes governing the fate of ionospheric ions. Velocity streamlines from the SWMF results are traced from the high-latitude inner boundary of the BATS-R-US MHD simulation domain and followed through geospace. Some of these streamlines return to the inner boundary of the simulation domain, others extend to the outer boundary of the domain, while most others eventually cross (or at least approach) the magnetospheric equatorial plane. At Earth, this plane is well defined, while at Mars there are multiple mini-magnetospheres in which ionospheric ions can become trapped. These streamlines are categorized according to their eventual destination. Multi-fluid MHD simulations are examined in this study, assessing the influence of species mass on trajectories through near-planet space. Steady-state numerical experiments with different levels of solar driving are examined to quantify the influence of each driver on outflow characteristics and the fate of outflowing ions. Real event intervals are considered to assess flows in a time-varying magnetospheric system. For Earth, as solar wind dynamic pressure increases, the dominant outflow region moves to lower latitudes and significantly more of the outflowing ions escape to deep space. As the interplanetary magnetic field increases in southward magnitude, the region of dominant outflow shifts to lower

  2. Venus-Earth-Mars: comparative climatology and the search for life in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-09-19

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans-all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  3. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    PubMed Central

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  4. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-09-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans - all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  5. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, Helmut; Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Gebauer, Stefanie; Tosi, Nicola; Noack, Lena; Scherf, Manuel; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Güdel, Manuel; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Nikolaou, Athanasia

    2018-05-01

    We review the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars from the time when their accreting bodies were released from the protoplanetary disk a few million years after the origin of the Sun. If the accreting planetary cores reached masses ≥ 0.5 M_Earth before the gas in the disk disappeared, primordial atmospheres consisting mainly of H_2 form around the young planetary body, contrary to late-stage planet formation, where terrestrial planets accrete material after the nebula phase of the disk. The differences between these two scenarios are explored by investigating non-radiogenic atmospheric noble gas isotope anomalies observed on the three terrestrial planets. The role of the young Sun's more efficient EUV radiation and of the plasma environment into the escape of early atmospheres is also addressed. We discuss the catastrophic outgassing of volatiles and the formation and cooling of steam atmospheres after the solidification of magma oceans and we describe the geochemical evidence for additional delivery of volatile-rich chondritic materials during the main stages of terrestrial planet formation. The evolution scenario of early Earth is then compared with the atmospheric evolution of planets where no active plate tectonics emerged like on Venus and Mars. We look at the diversity between early Earth, Venus and Mars, which is found to be related to their differing geochemical, geodynamical and geophysical conditions, including plate tectonics, crust and mantle oxidation processes and their involvement in degassing processes of secondary N_2 atmospheres. The buildup of atmospheric N_2, O_2, and the role of greenhouse gases such as CO_2 and CH_4 to counter the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP), when the earliest life forms on Earth originated until the Great Oxidation Event ≈ 2.3 Gyr ago, are addressed. This review concludes with a discussion on the implications of understanding Earth's geophysical and related atmospheric evolution in relation

  6. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  7. Results of Joint Observations of Jupiter's Atmosphere by Juno and a Network of Earth-Based Observing Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, Glenn; Momary, Thomas; Bolton, Scott; Levin, Steven; Hansen, Candice; Janssen, Michael; Adriani, Alberto; Gladstone, G. Randall; Bagenal, Fran; Ingersoll, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    The Juno mission has promoted and coordinated a network of Earth-based observations, including both Earth-proximal and ground-based facilities, to extend and enhance observations made by the Juno mission. The spectral region and timeline of all of these observations are summarized in the web site: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/planned-observations. Among the earliest of these were observation of Jovian auroral phenomena at X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and measurements of Jovian synchrotron radiation from the Earth simultaneously with the measurement of properties of the upstream solar wind. Other observations of significance to the magnetosphere measured the mass loading from Io by tracking its observed volcanic activity and the opacity of its torus. Observations of Jupiter's neutral atmosphere included observations of reflected sunlight from the near-ultraviolet through the near-infrared and thermal emission from 5 μm through the radio region. The point of these measurements is to relate properties of the deep atmosphere that are the focus of Juno's mission to the state of the "weather layer" at much higher atmospheric levels. These observations cover spectral regions not included in Juno's instrumentation, provide spatial context for Juno's often spatially limited coverage of Jupiter, and they describe the evolution of atmospheric features in time that are measured only once by Juno. We will summarize the results of measurements during the approach phase of the mission that characterized the state of the atmosphere, as well as observations made by Juno and the supporting campaign during Juno's perijoves 1 (2016 August 27), 3 (2016 December 11), 4 (2017 February 2) and possibly "early" results from 5 (2017 March 27). Besides a global network of professional astronomers, the Juno mission also benefited from the enlistment of a network of dedicated amateur astronomers who provided a quasi-continuous picture of the evolution of features observed by

  8. An Overview of Mars Vicinity Transportation Concepts for a Human Mars Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dexter, Carol E.; Kos, Larry

    1998-01-01

    To send a piloted mission to Mars, transportation systems must be developed for the Earth to Orbit, trans Mars injection (TMI), capture into Mars orbit, Mars descent, surface stay, Mars ascent, trans Earth injection (TEI), and Earth return phases. This paper presents a brief overview of the transportation systems for the Human Mars Mission (HMM) only in the vicinity of Mars. This includes: capture into Mars orbit, Mars descent, surface stay, and Mars ascent. Development of feasible mission scenarios now is important for identification of critical technology areas that must be developed to support future human missions. Although there is no funded human Mars mission today, architecture studies are focusing on missions traveling to Mars between 2011 and the early 2020's.

  9. Habitability Assessment on Earth in Preparation for Mars Science Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, Pamela; Mahaffy, Paul

    NASA's upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission is designed to explore and quantitatively assess a local region on the surface of Mars as a potential habitat for life, past or present. In advance of this complex mission, we are developing metrics from which to frame such an assess-ment. Evaluation of habitability potential is clearly different and more challenging than direct measurement of a discrete potential such as a voltage, which is a single parameter expressing the magnitude of a difference between a ground state and a measurable charge. Habitability potential is likely to require measurement of several parameters whose relationships determine the threshold value above which an environment may be deemed habitable in some regard. On Earth, in the continuum from uninhabitable to inhabited, one can measure environmental parameters that co-vary with biological parameters such as total biomass, functional diversity and/or ecotype along that binary join. Recognition of this statistical association facilitates development of predictive tools for assessment of habitability potential in environments that fall in between the end members of the habitability spectrum. The success of a habitabil-ity investigation on Mars depends upon development of criteria that can be agreed upon by the scientific community that will enable interpretation of the data from experiments on Mars within the context of a scalar notion of habitability, which we describe in this report. The scalar approach involves (1) measurement of physical, chemical and biological features of the candidate environment, (2) normalization of the scales over which they vary and (3) evaluation of their covariance. Inclusion of biological measurements, e.g., total biomass, diversity, ecotype, etc., serves as a benchmark in Earth environments, and the subsequent step in a campaign to develop a habitability scale involves measuring and analyzing only the chemical and physical environmental parameters, then

  10. Slices of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-11

    This figure shows data from the six channels of the microwave radiometer (MWR) instrument onboard NASA's Juno spacecraft. The data were collected in the mission's sixth science orbit (referred to as "perijove 7"), during which the spacecraft passed over Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The top layer in the figure is a visible light image from the mission's JunoCam instrument, provided for context. The MWR instrument enables Juno to see deeper into Jupiter than any previous spacecraft or Earth-based observations. Each MWR channel peers progressively deeper below the visible cloud tops. Channel 1 is sensitive to longer microwave wavelengths; each of the other channels is sensitive to progressively shorter wavelengths. The large-scale structure of the Great Red Spot is visible in the data as deep into Jupiter as MWR can observe. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22177

  11. Juno‐UVS approach observations of Jupiter's auroras

    PubMed Central

    Versteeg, M. H.; Greathouse, T. K.; Hue, V.; Davis, M. W.; Gérard, J.‐C.; Grodent, D. C.; Bonfond, B.; Nichols, J. D.; Wilson, R. J.; Hospodarsky, G. B.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S. M.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Adriani, A.; Kurth, W. S.; Mauk, B. H.; Valek, P.; McComas, D. J.; Orton, G. S.; Bagenal, F.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS) observations of Jupiter's aurora obtained during approach are presented. Prior to the bow shock crossing on 24 June 2016, the Juno approach provided a rare opportunity to correlate local solar wind conditions with Jovian auroral emissions. Some of Jupiter's auroral emissions are expected to be controlled or modified by local solar wind conditions. Here we compare synoptic Juno‐UVS observations of Jupiter's auroral emissions, acquired during 3–29 June 2016, with in situ solar wind observations, and related Jupiter observations from Earth. Four large auroral brightening events are evident in the synoptic data, in which the total emitted auroral power increases by a factor of 3–4 for a few hours. Only one of these brightening events correlates well with large transient increases in solar wind ram pressure. The brightening events which are not associated with the solar wind generally have a risetime of ~2 h and a decay time of ~5 h. PMID:28989207

  12. Juno-UVS approach observations of Jupiter's auroras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladstone, G. R.; Versteeg, M. H.; Greathouse, T. K.; Hue, V.; Davis, M. W.; Gérard, J.-C.; Grodent, D. C.; Bonfond, B.; Nichols, J. D.; Wilson, R. J.; Hospodarsky, G. B.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S. M.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Adriani, A.; Kurth, W. S.; Mauk, B. H.; Valek, P.; McComas, D. J.; Orton, G. S.; Bagenal, F.

    2017-08-01

    Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS) observations of Jupiter's aurora obtained during approach are presented. Prior to the bow shock crossing on 24 June 2016, the Juno approach provided a rare opportunity to correlate local solar wind conditions with Jovian auroral emissions. Some of Jupiter's auroral emissions are expected to be controlled or modified by local solar wind conditions. Here we compare synoptic Juno-UVS observations of Jupiter's auroral emissions, acquired during 3-29 June 2016, with in situ solar wind observations, and related Jupiter observations from Earth. Four large auroral brightening events are evident in the synoptic data, in which the total emitted auroral power increases by a factor of 3-4 for a few hours. Only one of these brightening events correlates well with large transient increases in solar wind ram pressure. The brightening events which are not associated with the solar wind generally have a risetime of 2 h and a decay time of 5 h.

  13. Juno-UVS approach observations of Jupiter's auroras.

    PubMed

    Gladstone, G R; Versteeg, M H; Greathouse, T K; Hue, V; Davis, M W; Gérard, J-C; Grodent, D C; Bonfond, B; Nichols, J D; Wilson, R J; Hospodarsky, G B; Bolton, S J; Levin, S M; Connerney, J E P; Adriani, A; Kurth, W S; Mauk, B H; Valek, P; McComas, D J; Orton, G S; Bagenal, F

    2017-08-16

    Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS) observations of Jupiter's aurora obtained during approach are presented. Prior to the bow shock crossing on 24 June 2016, the Juno approach provided a rare opportunity to correlate local solar wind conditions with Jovian auroral emissions. Some of Jupiter's auroral emissions are expected to be controlled or modified by local solar wind conditions. Here we compare synoptic Juno-UVS observations of Jupiter's auroral emissions, acquired during 3-29 June 2016, with in situ solar wind observations, and related Jupiter observations from Earth. Four large auroral brightening events are evident in the synoptic data, in which the total emitted auroral power increases by a factor of 3-4 for a few hours. Only one of these brightening events correlates well with large transient increases in solar wind ram pressure. The brightening events which are not associated with the solar wind generally have a risetime of ~2 h and a decay time of ~5 h.

  14. Venus, Earth, Mars: Comparative ion escape caused by the interaction with the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, Stas

    For the solar system planets the non-thermal atmospheric escape exceeds by far the Jean escape for particles heavier than helium. In this talk we consider only ion escape and compare the total ion escape rates for Venus, Earth, and Mars caused by the interaction with the solar wind. We review the most recent data on the escape rates based on measurements from Mars Express, Venus Express, and Cluster. The comparison of the available numbers show that despite large differences in the atmospheric masses between these three planets (a factor of 100 -200), different types of the interactions with the solar wind (magnetized and non-magnetized obstacles), the escape rates for Mars, Venus, and the Earth are within the range 1024 - 1025 s-1 . Surprisingly, the expected shielding of the Earth atmosphere by the intrinsic magnetic field is not as efficient as one may think. The reason for this is the non-thermal escape caused by the solar wind interaction is a energy -limited process. Indeed, normalizing the escape rates to the planet-dependent escape energy and power available in the solar wind results in the normalized escape rates deferring only on a factor between three planets. The larger Earth's magnetosphere intercepts and tunnels down to the ionosphere more energy from the solar wind than more compact interaction regions of non-magnetized planets.

  15. Accurate spin axes and solar system dynamics: Climatic variations for the Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edvardsson, S.; Karlsson, K. G.; Engholm, M.

    2002-03-01

    Celestial mechanical simulations from a purely classical point of view of the solar system, including our Moon and the Mars moons - Phobos and Deimos - are carried out for 2 millions of years before present. Within the classical approximation, the results are derived at a very high level of accuracy. Effects from general relativity for a number of variables are investigated and found to be small. For climatic studies of about 1 Myr, general relativity can safely be ignored. Three different and independent integration schemes are used in order to exclude numerical anomalies. The converged results from all methods are found to be in complete agreement. For verification, a number of properties such as spin axis precession, nutation, and orbit inclination for Earth and Mars have been calculated. Times and positions of equinoxes and solstices are continously monitored. As also observed earlier, the obliquity of the Earth is stabilized by the Moon. On the other hand, the obliquity of Mars shows dramatic variations. Climatic influences due to celestial variables for the Earth and Mars are studied. Instead of using mean insolation as in the usual applications of Milankovitch theory, the present approach focuses on the instantaneous solar radiation power (insolation) at each summer solstice. Solar radiation power is compared to the derivative of the icevolume and these quantities are found to be in excellent agreement. Orbital precessions for the inner planets are studied as well. In the case of Mercury, it is investigated in detail.

  16. Jupiter - Solid or Gaseous? Ask Juno

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, J. A., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Data from Cassini, Galileo, S-L 9 and Ulysses suggest Jupiter and Saturn are solid, frozen, Methane Gas Hydrate (MGH) planets. The bulk of these giants formed slow and cold by the natural accretion of snowflakes at their current orbital radii in the presence of methane, forming rigid incompressible bodies. MGH, (CH4)8(H2O)46 (d=0.9), is consistent with the abundances of the elements comprising the Earth (H>O>C). Their combined MGH comprises >250 earth-masses of H2O. Jupiter (d=1.33) incorporated most of the heavy elements in the nascent solar system, exemplified by an enormously enhanced D/H. The temperature excess of Jupiter's atmosphere is the result of an impact ~6,000 years BP, triggering an incredibly energetic fusion explosion which ejected the masses of the proto-Galilean moons. It also initiated a continuing fusion furnace in the crater producing a jet of hot gases extending >2x106 km, beyond Callisto. The jet has slowly diminished over 6,000 years, resulting in the differences in the four Galilean Moons. The mass ejection (ang. mom.) slowed Jupiter's rotation until ~1930, currently interpreted as a drift of the Great Red Spot. A diminishing fusion reaction (D + p → 3He + γ) continues to this day, producing Jupiter's atmospheric 'temperature excess'. Jupiter's rapid rotation deflects the rising vortex of hot gases from the fusion reaction horizontally, driving multiple zonal vortices, constrained by the frozen MGH surface <1000 km below the cloud tops. It appears as the tilted Great Red Spot (GRS), ~30,000 km to the west of the crater at 22 o S Lat., which has remained unchanged in the last 350 years - impossible due to the enormous Coliolis effect. Streams of 3He produced in the fusion reaction exiting Jupiter through the center of the GRS have been detected by the Galileo probe and orbiter, Ulysses, and Cassini. The fusion releases methane, also heavy elements which oxidize as they rise, producing the cloud-top colors. The MGH hypothesis explains the

  17. History and Progress of GCM Simulations on Recent Mars Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey spacecraft reveal evidence that Mars may have experienced significant climate change in the recent past (105-106 Myr ago). Examples include gullies [1], cold-based tropical glaciers [2], paleolakes [3], and youthful near-surface ice [4]. Except for the gullies, the evidence for recent climate change requires ice and/or liquid water at low latitudes. An obvious question, therefore, is how is it possible for ice and/or liquid water to exist at low latitudes which is not possible in the present climate system? There are several mechanisms to consider. An episode of intense volcanic activity could alter the mean composition of the atmosphere and, therefore, the climate system. Impacts, depending on the size, composition, and velocity of the impactor are another way to dramatically alter the climate system. Polar wander and solar variability are also possibilities. However, the most promising way to change the climate is through changes in orbital properties. Mars, because of its proximity to Jupiter and lack of a large stabilizing moon, experiences much greater changes in its orbit properties than the Earth.

  18. History and Progress of GCM Simulations on Recent Mars Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey spacecraft reveal evidence that Mars may have experienced significant climate change in the recent past (10(exp 5) - 10(exp 6) Myr ago). Examples include gullies, cold-based tropical glaciers, paleolakes, and youthful near-surface ice. Except for the gullies, the evidence for recent climate change requires ice and/or liquid water at low latitudes. An obvious question, therefore, is how is it possible for ice and/or liquid water to exist at low latitudes which is not possible in the present climate system? There are several mechanisms to consider. An episode of intense volcanic activity could alter the mean composition of the atmosphere and, therefore, the climate system. Impacts, depending on the size, composition, and velocity of the impactor are another way to dramatically alter the climate system. Polar wander and solar variability are also possibilities. However, the most promising way to change the climate is through changes in orbital properties. Mars, because of its proximity to Jupiter and lack of a large stabilizing moon, experiences much greater changes in its orbit properties than the Earth.

  19. Warm Jupiters Are Less Lonely than Hot Jupiters: Close Neighbors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chelsea; Wu, Yanqin; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2016-07-01

    Exploiting the Kepler transit data, we uncover a dramatic distinction in the prevalence of sub-Jovian companions between systems that contain hot Jupiters (HJs) (periods inward of 10 days) and those that host warm Jupiters (WJs) (periods between 10 and 200 days). HJs, with the singular exception of WASP-47b, do not have any detectable inner or outer planetary companions (with periods inward of 50 days and sizes down to 2 R Earth). Restricting ourselves to inner companions, our limits reach down to 1 R Earth. In stark contrast, half of the WJs are closely flanked by small companions. Statistically, the companion fractions for hot and WJs are mutually exclusive, particularly in regard to inner companions. The high companion fraction of WJs also yields clues to their formation. The WJs that have close-by siblings should have low orbital eccentricities and low mutual inclinations. The orbital configurations of these systems are reminiscent of those of the low-mass close-in planetary systems abundantly discovered by the Kepler mission. This, and other arguments, lead us to propose that these WJs are formed in situ. There are indications that there may be a second population of WJs with different characteristics. In this picture, WASP-47b could be regarded as the extending tail of the in situ WJs into the HJ region and does not represent the generic formation route for HJs.

  20. Heavy ions in Jupiter's environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    The extended atmosphere of the Jupiter system consists of atoms and ions of heavy elements. This material originates on the satellite Io. Energy is lost from the thermal plasma in collisionally excited optical and ultraviolet emission. The juxtaposition of Earth and spacecraft measurements provide insight concerning the underlying processes of particle transport and energy supply.

  1. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth.

  2. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth. PMID:26300564

  3. Hubble Images Reveal Jupiter's Auroras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    These images, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, reveal changes in Jupiter's auroral emissions and how small auroral spots just outside the emission rings are linked to the planet's volcanic moon, Io. The images represent the most sensitive and sharply-detailed views ever taken of Jovian auroras.

    The top panel pinpoints the effects of emissions from Io, which is about the size of Earth's moon. The black-and-white image on the left, taken in visible light, shows how Io and Jupiter are linked by an invisible electrical current of charged particles called a 'flux tube.' The particles - ejected from Io (the bright spot on Jupiter's right) by volcanic eruptions - flow along Jupiter's magnetic field lines, which thread through Io, to the planet's north and south magnetic poles. This image also shows the belts of clouds surrounding Jupiter as well as the Great Red Spot.

    The black-and-white image on the right, taken in ultraviolet light about 15 minutes later, shows Jupiter's auroral emissions at the north and south poles. Just outside these emissions are the auroral spots. Called 'footprints,' the spots are created when the particles in Io's 'flux tube' reach Jupiter's upper atmosphere and interact with hydrogen gas, making it fluoresce. In this image, Io is not observable because it is faint in the ultraviolet.

    The two ultraviolet images at the bottom of the picture show how the auroral emissions change in brightness and structure as Jupiter rotates. These false-color images also reveal how the magnetic field is offset from Jupiter's spin axis by 10 to 15 degrees. In the right image, the north auroral emission is rising over the left limb; the south auroral oval is beginning to set. The image on the left, obtained on a different date, shows a full view of the north aurora, with a strong emission inside the main auroral oval.

    The images were taken by the telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 between May 1994 and September 1995.

    This image and

  4. Sharpening Up Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-10-01

    New image-correction technique delivers sharpest whole-planet ground-based picture ever A record two-hour observation of Jupiter using a superior technique to remove atmospheric blur has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from the ground. The series of 265 snapshots obtained with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) reveal changes in Jupiter's smog-like haze, probably in response to a planet-wide upheaval more than a year ago. Sharpening Up Jupiter ESO PR Photo 33/08 Sharpening Up Jupiter Being able to correct wide field images for atmospheric distortions has been the dream of scientists and engineers for decades. The new images of Jupiter prove the value of the advanced technology used by MAD, which uses two or more guide stars instead of one as references to remove the blur caused by atmospheric turbulence over a field of view thirty times larger than existing techniques [1]. "This type of adaptive optics has a big advantage for looking at large objects, such as planets, star clusters or nebulae," says lead researcher Franck Marchis, from UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, USA. "While regular adaptive optics provides excellent correction in a small field of view, MAD provides good correction over a larger area of sky. And in fact, were it not for MAD, we would not have been able to perform these amazing observations." MAD allowed the researchers to observe Jupiter for almost two hours on 16 and 17 August 2008, a record duration, according to the observing team. Conventional adaptive optics systems using a single Jupiter moon as reference cannot monitor Jupiter for so long because the moon moves too far from the planet. The Hubble Space Telescope cannot observe Jupiter continuously for more than about 50 minutes, because its view is regularly blocked by the Earth during Hubble's 96-minute orbit. Using MAD, ESO astronomer Paola Amico

  5. Farewell to the Earth and the Moon -ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-07-01

    The routine check-outs of Mars Express's instruments and of the Beagle-2 lander, performed during the last weeks, have been very successful. "As in all space missions little problems have arisen, but they have been carefully evaluated and solved. Mars Express continues on its way to Mars performing beautifully", comments Chicarro. The views of the Earth/Moon system were taken on 3 July 2003 by Mars Express's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), when the spacecraft was 8 million kilometres from Earth. The image taken shows true colours; the Pacific Ocean appears in blue, and the clouds near the Equator and in mid to northern latitudes in white to light grey. The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin (Germany). It was built by combining a super resolution black and white HRSC snap-shot image of the Earth and the Moon with colour information obtained by the blue, green, and red sensors of the instrument. “The pictures and the information provided by the data prove the camera is working very well. They provide a good indication of what to expect once the spacecraft is in its orbit around Mars, at altitudes of only 250-300 kilometres: very high resolution images with brilliant true colour and in 3D,” says the Principal Investigator of the HRSC, Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universität of Berlin (Germany). This camera will be able to distinguish details of up to 2 metres on the Martian surface. Another striking demonstration of Mars Express's instruments high performance are the data taken by the OMEGA spectrometer. Once at Mars, this instrument will provide the best map of the molecular and mineralogical composition of the whole planet, with 5% of the planetary surface in high resolution. Minerals and other compounds such as water will be charted as never before. As the Red Planet is still too far away, the OMEGA team devised an ingenious test for their instrument: to detect the Earth’s surface

  6. On the Nature of Earth-Mars Porkchop Plots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Whetsel, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    Porkchop plots are a quick and convenient tool to help mission designers plan ballistic trajectories between two bodies. Parameter contours give rise to the familiar 'porkchop' shape. Each synodic period the pattern repeats, but not exactly, primarily due to differences in inclination and non-zero eccentricity. In this paper we examine the morphological features of Earth-to-Mars porkchop plots and the orbital characteristics that create them. These results are compared to idealistic and optimized transfers. Conclusions are drawn about 'good' opportunities versus 'bad' opportunities for different mission applications.

  7. A Cold Hole at the Pole of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G. S.; Fisher, B. M.; Baines, K. H.; Momary, T. W.; Fox, O. D.

    2002-09-01

    The temperature field of Jupiter's arctic region reveals a prominent cold airmass in both the stratosphere ( ~30 mbar) and the troposphere (100-400 mbar), as seen in thermal images taken at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility between July and October, 1999. This discrete airmass is some 3 - 5 Kelvins colder than the lower-latitude regions in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. At both vertical levels, the latitude boundaries of this cold airmass oscillate as a function of longitude with principal wavenumber 5 - 6, with stratospheric oscillations often ostensibly larger than those in the troposhere. This longitudinal oscillation is similar to the oscillation of the boundary of the thick (inner) ``polar hood'' that is detectable in reflected sunlight that is sensitive to particles around Jupiter's tropopause ( 100 mbar pressure), using IRTF 2.3-micron and HST WFPC2 890-nm images. These boundaries slowly rotate prograde with a speed of 5 degrees of longitude per day with respect to System III. The proximity and similarity of the thermal and particle boundaries suggests that the phenomenon is a classical polar vortex of the same type as seen in the polar regions of the Earth, Venus, Mars and possibly Titan. Analysis of ground-based thermal images from a telescope larger then the 3-m IRTF would improve the positional uncertainties arising from the diffraction-limited angular resolution. Further, the testing of possible gaseous entrainment within the vortex area would verify or refute similarities with other polar vortices. Such studies would be relevant to studies of terrestrial meteorology by showing the extent to which stratospheric phenomena can drive tropospheric properties. Detailed studies of Jupiter's polar regions might be most easily accomplished from appropriate remote sensing instrumentation on a polar orbiter mission as a result of optimized spatial resolution. The work reported here was supported by funds from NASA to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  8. Resource Exploration Approaches on Mars Using Multidisciplinary Earth-based Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrick, D. Y.; Ferrill, D. A.; Morris, A. P.; Smart, K. J.

    2005-12-01

    Water is the most important Martian exploration target - key to finding evidence of past life and providing a crucial resource for future exploration. Water is thought to be present in vapor, liquid, and ice phases on Mars. Except for ice in polar regions, little direct evidence of current surface accumulation of water has been found. Existing research has addressed potential source areas, including meteoric water, glacial ice, and volcanic centers and areas of discharge such as large paleo-outflow channels. Missing from these analyses is characterization of migration pathways of water in the subsurface from sources to discharge areas, and the present distribution of water. It has been estimated that ~90% of the global inventory of water on Mars resides in the subsurface. Targeting potential subsurface accumulations has relied primarily on theoretical modeling and geomorphic analysis. While global scale thermal modeling and analysis of the stability of ground ice provide important constraints on potential locations of large deposits of ice or liquid water, these studies have not accounted for variations in stratigraphy and structure that may strongly influence local distribution. Depth to water or ice on Mars is thought to be controlled primarily by latitude and elevation. However, the distribution of outflow channels clearly indicates that structural, stratigraphic, and geomorphic features all play important roles in determining past and present distribution of water and ice on Mars as they do on Earth. Resource exploration and extraction is a multi-billion dollar industry on Earth that has developed into a highly sophisticated enterprise with constantly improving exploration technologies. Common to all successful exploration programs, whether for hydrocarbons or water, is detailed analysis and integration of all available geologic, geophysical and remotely sensed data. The primary issues for identification and characterization of water or hydrocarbon resource

  9. Correlations Between Variations in Solar EUV and Soft X-Ray Irradiance and Photoelectron Energy Spectra Observed on Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-01-01

    Solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F(10.7) index currently used.

  10. Correlations between variations in solar EUV and soft X-ray irradiance and photoelectron energy spectra observed on Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-11-01

    extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F10.7 index currently used.

  11. The direct simulation of acoustics on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

    PubMed

    Hanford, Amanda D; Long, Lyle N

    2009-02-01

    With the recent success of the Huygens lander on Titan, a moon of Saturn, there has been renewed interest in further exploring the acoustic environments of the other planets in the solar system. The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is used here for modeling sound propagation in the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and Titan at a variety of altitudes above the surface. DSMC is a particle method that describes gas dynamics through direct physical modeling of particle motions and collisions. The validity of DSMC for the entire range of Knudsen numbers (Kn), where Kn is defined as the mean free path divided by the wavelength, allows for the exploration of sound propagation in planetary environments for all values of Kn. DSMC results at a variety of altitudes on Earth, Mars, and Titan including the details of nonlinearity, absorption, dispersion, and molecular relaxation in gas mixtures are given for a wide range of Kn showing agreement with various continuum theories at low Kn and deviation from continuum theory at high Kn. Despite large computation time and memory requirements, DSMC is the method best suited to study high altitude effects or where continuum theory is not valid.

  12. Particle motion in atmospheric boundary layers of Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, B. R.; Iversen, J. D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1975-01-01

    To study the eolian mechanics of saltating particles, both an experimental investigation of the flow field around a model crater in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel and numerical solutions of the two- and three-dimensional equations of motion of a single particle under the influence of a turbulent boundary layer were conducted. Two-dimensional particle motion was calculated for flow near the surfaces of both Earth and Mars. For the case of Earth both a turbulent boundary layer with a viscous sublayer and one without were calculated. For the case of Mars it was only necessary to calculate turbulent boundary layer flow with a laminar sublayer because of the low values of friction Reynolds number; however, it was necessary to include the effects of slip flow on a particle caused by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the equations of motion the lift force functions were developed to act on a single particle only in the laminar sublayer or a corresponding small region of high shear near the surface for a fully turbulent boundary layer. The lift force functions were developed from the analytical work by Saffman concerning the lift force acting on a particle in simple shear flow.

  13. Voyager picture of Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up investigation of the largest planet. The spacecraft, flying toward a March 5 closest approach, was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Jupiter and 371.7 million miles (598.2 million kilometers) from Earth when the picture was taken. As the Voyager cameras begin their meteorological surveillance of Jupiter, they reveal a dynamic atmosphere with more convective structure than had previously been thought. While the smallest atmospheric features seen in this picture are still as large as 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) across, Voyager will be able to detect individual storm systems as small as 3 miles (5 kilometers) at closest approach. The Great Red Spot can be seen near the limb at the far right. Most of the other features are too small to be seen in terrestrial telescopes. This picture was transmitted to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Deep Space Network's tracking station at Madrid, Spain. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  14. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Philip R.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Townsend, Larry W.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Case, Anthony W.; Spence, Harlan E.; Wilson, Jody K.; Joyce, Colin J.

    2017-08-01

    Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs) presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth's protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements) is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm-2 and 5.0 g cm-2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

  15. The Search for Life on Mars - Current Knowledge, Earth Analogues, and Principal Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been imagined as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for life's signatures began in the 19th century via ground-based visual astronomy that stimulated a vibrant fantasy literature but little lasting scientific knowledge. Modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and via biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Today, investigations are based on high-resolution spectroscopy at Earth's largest telescopes along with planet orbiting and landed space missions. Methane has assumed central importance in these searches. Living systems produce more than 900/0 of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. Abundant methane is not expected in an oxidizing atmosphere such as Mars', and its presence would imply recent release - whether biological or geochemical. F or that reason, the quest for methane on Mars has been a continuing thread in the fabric of searches conducted since 1969. I will review aspects of the discovery and distribution of methane on Mars, and will mention ongoing extended searches for clues to its origin and destruction. On Earth, hydrogen (generated via serpentinization or radiolysis of water) provides an important 'fuel' for carbonate-reducing and sulphate-reducing biota (CH4 and H2S producers, respectively). Several such communities are known to reside at depth in continental domains (e.g., Lidy Hot Springs, Idaho; Witwatersrand Basin, S. Africa). If similar conditions exist in favourable locations on Mars, organisms similar to these could likely prosper there. Geologic (abiotic) production will also be mentioned, especially abiotic methane production associated with low-temperature serpentinization (e.g., terrestrial ophiolites). It is vitally important to pursue evidence for geochemical and biological production with equal vigour and intellectual weight lest unwanted and unintended bias contaminate the

  16. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Some Correlations Between Andean Paleosols, Geothermal Pipes in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D. I.; Dohm, J. M.; Sodhi, R. N. S.; Aufreiter, S.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Bezada, M.; Kalm, V.; Malloch, D.

    2006-03-01

    The origin of "blueberries" on Mars and their relationship to similar concretionary forms on Earth invokes a process of variable redox conditions in underground fluids. The possible role of microorganisms in the origin of bluberries opens an avenue for biological investigations.

  17. Equatorial Oscillations in Jupiter's and Saturn's Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flasar, F. Michael; Guerlet, S.; Fouchet, T.; Schinder, P. J.

    2011-01-01

    Equatorial oscillations in the zonal-mean temperatures and zonal winds have been well documented in Earth's middle atmosphere. A growing body of evidence from ground-based and Cassini spacecraft observations indicates that such phenomena also occur in the stratospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Earth-based midinfrared measurements spanning several decades have established that the equatorial stratospheric temperatures on Jupiter vary with a cycle of 4-5 years and on Saturn with a cycle of approximately 15 years. Spectra obtained by the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) during the Cassini swingby at the end of 2000, with much better vertical resolution than the ground-based data, indicated a series of vertically stacked warm and cold anomalics at Jupiter's equator; a similar structurc was seen at Saturn's equator in CIRS limb measurements made in 2005, in the early phase of Cassini's orbital tour. The thermal wind equation implied similar patterns of mean zonal winds increasing and decreasing with altitude. On Saturn the peak-to-pcak amplitude of this variation was nearly 200 meters per second. The alternating vertical pattern of wanner and colder cquatorial tcmperatures and easterly and westerly tendencies of the zonal winds is seen in Earth's equatorial oscillations, where the pattern descends with time, The Cassini Jupiter and early Saturn observations were snapshots within a limited time interval, and they did not show the temporal evolution of the spatial patterns. However, more recent Saturn observations by CIRS (2010) and Cassini radio-occultation soundings (2009-2010) have provided an opportunity to follow the change of the temperature-zonal wind pattern, and they suggest there is descent, at a rate of roughly one scale height over four years. On Earth, the observed descent in the zonal-mean structure is associated with the absorption of a combination of vertically propagating waves with easlerly and westerly phase velocities. The peak-to-peak zonal wind

  18. Fluidized-sediment pipes in Gale crater, Mars, and possible Earth analogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubin, David M.; Fairen, A.G.; Frydenvang, J.; Gasnault, O.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Goetz, W.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Le Mouélic, S.; Mangold, N.; Newsom, H.; Oehler, D. Z.; Rapin, W.; Schieber, J.; Wiens, R.C.

    2017-01-01

    Since landing in Gale crater, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has traversed fluvial, lacustrine, and eolian sedimentary rocks that were deposited within the crater ∼3.6 to 3.2 b.y. ago. Here we describe structures interpreted to be pipes formed by vertical movement of fluidized sediment. Like many pipes on Earth, those in Gale crater are more resistant to erosion than the host rock; they form near other pipes, dikes, or deformed sediment; and some contain internal concentric or eccentric layering. These structures provide new evidence of the importance of subsurface aqueous processes in shaping the near-surface geology of Mars.

  19. A Study of Short-Term Variations in Jupiter's Synchrotron Emission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M.J.; Gulkis, S.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S. M.

    1999-01-01

    Earth-based observations of the flux density and polarization of Jupiter's microwave emission provide useful data to test and constrain computational models of synchrotron radio emission from the inner regions of the Jovian magnetosphere. Stimulated by the sudden brightening of the synchrotron emission caused by the impacts of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994, the observational techniques of the NASA-JPL Jupiter Patrol were modified to search for other short-term variations unrelated to the SL-9 event. The characteristics of the improved data base are described and the results of the search for variability on timescales of 5 to 100 days are reported. The first results of Jupiter observations from the Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) project are reported and included in the data base. GAVRT is a new project in science education that engages middle- and high school students in science research. The paper also includes new observations of Jupiter's rotational beamed emission, commonly known as the "beaming curve", that describes the observed flux density as a function of System III longitude. The shape of the "beaming curve" is known to change with the parameter D(sub E), the declination of the earth relative to Jupiter's rotational equator. While the history of Jupiter's beaming curve exhibits remarkable stability and repeatability as a function of D(sub E), there may be evidence for short term departures from the nominal curves. Data supporting this tentative conclusion are presented. Preliminary results of a study comparing the observations and computer simulations of the synchrotron beaming curve will also be presented and discussed (see companion paper, "Modeling Jupiter's Synchrotron Emission", by Bolton et. al.). The research reported in this paper was performed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  20. The effects of solar Reimers η on the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jianpo; Lin, Ling; Bai, Chunyan; Liu, Jinzhong

    2016-04-01

    Our Sun will lose sizable mass and expand enormously when it evolves to the red giant branch phase and the asymptotic giant branch phase. The loss of solar mass will push a planet outward. On the contrary, solar expansion will enhance tidal effects, and tidal force will drive a planet inward. Will our Sun finally engulf Venus, the Earth, and Mars? In the literature, one can find a large number of studies with different points of view. A key factor is that we do not know how much mass the Sun will lose at the late stages. The Reimers η can describe the efficiency of stellar mass-loss and greatly affect solar mass and solar radius at the late stages. In this work, we study how the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars can be depending on Reimers η chosen. In our calculation, the Reimers η varies from 0.00 to 0.75, with the minimum interval 0.0025. Our results show that Venus will be engulfed by the Sun and Mars will most probably survive finally. The fate of the Earth is uncertain. The Earth will finally be engulfed by the Sun while η <0.4600, and it will finally survive while η ≥ 0.4600. New observations indicate that the average Reimers η for solar-like stars is 0.477. This implies that Earth may survive finally.

  1. First Evidence of Jupiter Ring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  2. Detection of an oxygen atmosphere on Jupiter's moon Europa.

    PubMed

    Hall, D T; Strobel, D F; Feldman, P D; McGrath, M A; Weaver, H A

    1995-02-23

    Europa, the second large satellite out from Jupiter, is roughly the size of Earth's Moon, but unlike the Moon, it has water ice on its surface. There have been suggestions that an oxygen atmosphere should accumulate around such a body, through reactions which break up the water molecules and form molecular hydrogen and oxygen. The lighter H2 molecules would escape from Europa relatively easily, leaving behind an atmosphere rich in oxygen. Here we report the detection of atomic oxygen emission from Europa, which we interpret as being produced by the simultaneous dissociation and excitation of atmospheric O2 by electrons from Jupiter's magnetosphere. Europa's molecular oxygen atmosphere is very tenuous, with a surface pressure about 10(-11) that of the Earth's atmosphere at sea level.

  3. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  4. Jupiter in blue, ultraviolet and near infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    These three images of Jupiter, taken through the narrow angle camera of NASA's Cassini spacecraft from a distance of 77.6 million kilometers (48.2 million miles) on October 8, reveal more than is apparent to the naked eye through a telescope.

    The image on the left was taken through the blue filter. The one in the middle was taken in the ultraviolet. The one on the right was taken in the near infrared.

    The blue-light filter is within the part of the electromagnetic spectrum detectable by the human eye. The appearance of Jupiter in this image is, consequently, very familiar. The Great Red Spot (below and to the right of center) and the planet's well-known banded cloud lanes are obvious. The brighter bands of clouds are called zones and are probably composed of ammonia ice particles. The darker bands are called belts and are made dark by particles of unknown composition intermixed with the ammonia ice.

    Jupiter's appearance changes dramatically in the ultraviolet and near infrared images. These images are near negatives of each other and illustrate the way in which observations in different wavelength regions can reveal different physical regimes on the planet.

    All gases scatter sunlight efficiently at short wavelengths; this is why the sky appears blue on Earth. The effect is even more pronounced in the ultraviolet. The gases in Jupiter's atmosphere, above the clouds, are no different. They scatter strongly in the ultraviolet, making the deep banded cloud layers invisible in the middle image. Only the very high altitude haze appears dark against the bright background. The contrast is reversed in the near infrared, where methane gas, abundant on Jupiter but not on Earth, is strongly absorbing and therefore appears dark. Again the deep clouds are invisible, but now the high altitude haze appears relatively bright against the dark background. High altitude haze is seen over the poles and the equator.

    The Great Red Spot, prominent in all images, is

  5. Family Portrait of Jupiter Great Red Spot and the Galilean Satellites

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-11-18

    This "family portrait," a composite of the Jovian system, includes the edge of Jupiter with its Great Red Spot, and Jupiter's four largest moons, known as the Galilean satellites. From top to bottom, the moons shown are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The Great Red Spot, a storm in Jupiter's atmosphere, is at least 300 years old. Winds blow counterclockwise around the Great Red Spot at about 400 kilometers per hour (250 miles per hour). The storm is larger than one Earth diameter from north to south, and more than two Earth diameters from east to west. In this oblique view, the Great Red Spot appears longer in the north-south direction. Europa, the smallest of the four moons, is about the size of Earth's moon, while Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. North is at the top of this composite picture in which the massive planet and its largest satellites have all been scaled to a common factor of 15 kilometers (9 miles) per picture element. The Solid State Imaging (CCD) system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft obtained the Jupiter, Io and Ganymede images in June 1996, while the Europa images were obtained in September 1996. Because Galileo focuses on high resolution imaging of regional areas on Callisto rather than global coverage, the portrait of Callisto is from the 1979 flyby of NASA's Voyager spacecraft. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00600

  6. Climate of an Earth-Like World with Changing Eccentricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-02-01

    Having a giant planet like Jupiter next door can really wreak havoc on your orbit! A new study examines what such a bad neighbor might mean for the long-term climate of an Earth-like planet.Influence of a Bad NeighborThe presence of a Jupiter-like giant planet in a nearby orbit can significantly affect how terrestrial planets evolve dynamically, causing elements like the planets orbital eccentricities and axial tilts to change over time. Earth is saved this inconvenience Jupiter isnt close enough to significantly influence us, and our large moon stabilizes our orbit against Jupiters tugs.Top panels: Authors simulationoutcomes for Case1, in which the planets eccentricity varies from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years. Bottom panels: Outcomes for Case 2, in which the planets eccentricity varies from 0 to 0.066 over 4500 years. The highereccentricities reached in Case 1 causes the climate parameters to vary more widely. Click for a better look! [Way Georgakarakos 2017]Mars, on the other hand, isnt as lucky: its possible that Jupiters gravitational pull causes Marss axial tilt, for instance, to evolve through a range as large as 0 to 60 degrees on timescales of millions of years! Marss orbital eccentricity is similarly thought to vary due to Jupiters influence, and both of these factors play a major role in determining Marss climate.As exoplanet missions discover more planets many of which are Earth-like we must carefully consider which among these are most likely to be capable of sustaining life. If having a nearby neighbor like a Jupiter can tug an Earth-like world into an orbit with varying eccentricity, how does this affect the planets climate? Will the planet remain temperate? Or will it develop a runaway heating or cooling effect as it orbits, rendering it uninhabitable?Oceans and OrbitsTo examine these questions, two scientists have built the first ever 3D global climate model simulations of an Earth-like world using a fully coupled ocean (necessary for understanding

  7. ScienceCast 210: Close Encounters with Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-03-04

    On March 8th, 2016 Earth and Jupiter will have a close encounter. The giant planet will be "up all night," soaring almost overhead at midnight and not setting until sunrise on March 9th. In July, the Juno mission will give us an even closer look.

  8. Bedrock Canyons Carved by the Largest Known Floods on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, M. P.; Lapôtre, M. G. A.; Larsen, I. J.; Williams, R. M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of Earth is a dynamic and permeable interface where the rocky crust is sculpted by ice, wind and water resulting in spectacular mountain ranges, vast depositional basins and environments that support life. These landforms and deposits contain a rich, yet incomplete, record of Earth history that we are just beginning to understand. Some of the most dramatic landforms are the huge bedrock canyons carved by catastrophic floods. On Mars, similar bedrock canyons, known as Outflow Channels, are the most important indicators of large volumes of surface water in the past. Despite their importance and now decades of observations of canyon morphology, we lack a basic understanding of how the canyons formed, which limits our ability to reconstruct flood discharge, duration and water volume. In this presentation I will summarize recent work - using mechanistic numerical models and field observations - that suggests that bedrock canyons carved by megafloods rapidly evolve to a size and shape such that boundary shear stresses just exceed that required to entrain fractured blocks of rock. The threshold shear stress constraint allows for quantitative reconstruction of the largest known floods on Earth and Mars, and implies far smaller discharges than previous methods that assume flood waters fully filled the canyons to high water marks.

  9. Rotation of the Earth, Mars and asteroids: components, techniques and data quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souchay, Jean

    2004-12-01

    We explain in some detail the analytical formulations which enable to modelize both the free and the forced motion of any celestial body taken as rigid or deformable, and we show how they have been applied (with the corresponding level of precision) for the Earth, Mars and the asteroids in general

  10. Low energy trajectories to Mars via gravity assist from Venus to earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, S. N.; Longuski, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    The analytical determination of launch dates and proposed trajectories is reviewed with respect to the search for a low-energy trajectory to Mars with gravitational assist from Venus for the years 1995-2024. Both Ballistic and Venus-Earth gravity assist (VEGA) trajectories are calculated with an automated design tool by the authors (1990). The trajectories are modeled as conic sections from one gravitating body to the next, and gravity assist is considered to act impulsively. VEGA trajectories to Mars require similar launch energies for 6 years listed and have moderate arrival C3s, with the lowest C3 requirement in 2015. The flight time and arrival energies of the trajectories are found to be larger than those of ballistic trajectories, but the low-energy launch window makes them desirable for unmanned Mars missions, in particular.

  11. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Correlations Between Concretions in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D.; Dohm, J.; Kalm, V.; Krinsley, D.; Sodhi, R. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Boccia, S.; Malloch, D.; Kapran, B.; Havics, A.

    2008-12-01

    Concretionary Fe-Mn-rich nodular authigenic constituents of Jurassic Navajo sandstone (moki marbles) bear a certain relationship to similar concretionary forms ('blueberries') observed on Mars. Their origin on Earth is considered to invoke variable redox conditions with underground fluids penetrating porous quartz-rich sandstone leading to precipitation of hematite and goethite-rich material from solution, generally forming around a central nucleus of fine particles of quartz and orthoclase, recently verified by XRD and SEM-EDS analyses. At the outer rim/inner nucleus boundary, bulbous lobes of fine-grained quartz often invade and fracture the outer rim armored matrix. The bulbous forms are interpreted to result from fluid explusion from the inner concretionary mass, a response to pressure changes accompanying overburden loading. Moki marbles, harder than enclosing rock, often weather out of in situ sandstone outcrops that form a surface lag deposit of varnished marbles that locally resemble desert pavement. The marbles appear morphologically similar to 'blueberries' identified on the martian surface in Terra Meridiani through the MER-1 Opportunity rover. On Earth, redox fluids responsible for the genesis of marbles may have emanated from deep in the crust (often influenced by magmatic processes). These fluids, cooling to ambient temperatures, may have played a role in the genesis of the cemented outer rim of the concretions. The low frequency of fungi filaments in the marbles, contrasts with a high occurrence in Fe-encrusted sands of the Navajo formation [1], indicating that microbial content is of secondary importance in marble genesis relative to the fluctuating influx of ambient groundwater. Nevertheless, the presence of filaments in terrestrial concretions hints at the possibility of discovering fossil/extant life on Mars, and thus should be considered as prime targets for future reconnaissance missions to Mars. 1] Mahaney, W.C., et al. (2004), Icarus, 171, 39-53.

  12. Mars Exploration: Is There Water on Mars? An Educator's Guide with Activities for Physical and Earth and Space Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    TERC, Cambridge, MA.

    This educator's guide discusses whether there is water on the planet Mars. The activities, written for grades 9-12, concern physical, earth, and space sciences. By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can also deduce the water…

  13. Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally.

  14. Juno Captures Jupiter Cloudscape in High Resolution

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-01

    This close-up view of Jupiter captures the turbulent region just west of the Great Red Spot in the South Equatorial Belt, with resolution better than any previous pictures from Earth or other spacecraft. NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this image with its JunoCam citizen science instrument when the spacecraft was a mere 5,400 miles (8,700 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloudtops on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:14 a.m. PT (12:14 p.m. ET). Citizen scientist Sergey Dushkin produced the sublime color processing and cropped the image to draw viewers' eyes to the dynamic clouds. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21384

  15. Simulating "Mars on Earth"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancey, William J.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    By now, everyone who's heard of the Haughton-Mars Project knows that we travel to Devon Island to learn how people will live and work on Mars. But how do we learn about Mars operations from what happens in the Arctic? We must document our experience--traverses, life in the hab, instrument deployment, communications, and so on. Then we must analyze and formally model what happens. In short, while most scientists are studying the crater, other scientists must be studying the expedition itself. That's what I have done in the past four field seasons. I study field science, both as it naturally occurs at Haughton (unconstrained by a "Mars Sam") and as a constrained experiment using the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station. During the second week of July 2001, I lived and worked in the hab as part of the Phase 2 crew of six. Besides participating in all activities, I took many photographs and time lapse video. The result of my work will be a computer simulation of how we lived and worked in the hab. It won't be a model of particular people or even my own phase per se, but a pastiche that demonstrates (a proof of concept) that we have appropriate tools for simulating the layout of the hab and daily routines followed by the group and individual scientists. Activities-how people spend their time-are the focus of my observations for building such a simulation model.

  16. Mars Exploration Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jordan, James F.; Miller, Sylvia L.

    2000-01-01

    The architecture of NASA's program of robotic Mars exploration missions received an intense scrutiny during the summer months of 1998. We present here the results of that scrutiny, and describe a list of Mars exploration missions which are now being proposed by the nation's space agency. The heart of the new program architecture consists of missions which will return samples of Martian rocks and soil back to Earth for analysis. A primary scientific goal for these missions is to understand Mars as a possible abode of past or present life. The current level of sophistication for detecting markers of biological processes and fossil or extant life forms is much higher in Earth-based laboratories than possible with remotely deployed instrumentation, and will remain so for at least the next decade. Hence, bringing Martian samples back to Earth is considered the best way to search for the desired evidence. A Mars sample return mission takes approximately three years to complete. Transit from Earth to Mars requires almost a single year. After a lapse of time of almost a year at Mars, during which orbital and surface operations can take place, and the correct return launch energy constraints are met, a Mars-to-Earth return flight can be initiated. This return leg also takes approximately one year. Opportunities to launch these 3-year sample return missions occur about every 2 years. The figure depicts schedules for flights to and from Mars for Earth launches in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Transits for less than 180 deg flight angle, measured from the sun, and more than 180 deg are both shown.

  17. Mars for Earthlings: an analog approach to Mars in undergraduate education.

    PubMed

    Chan, Marjorie; Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html.

  18. JUPITER AS A GIANT COSMIC RAY DETECTOR

    SciTech Connect

    Rimmer, P. B.; Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch., E-mail: pr33@st-andrews.ac.uk

    We explore the feasibility of using the atmosphere of Jupiter to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). The large surface area of Jupiter allows us to probe cosmic rays of higher energies than previously accessible. Cosmic ray extensive air showers in Jupiter's atmosphere could in principle be detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi observatory. In order to be observed, these air showers would need to be oriented toward the Earth, and would need to occur sufficiently high in the atmosphere that the gamma rays can penetrate. We demonstrate that, under these assumptions, Jupiter provides an effective cosmicmore » ray ''detector'' area of 3.3 × 10{sup 7} km{sup 2}. We predict that Fermi-LAT should be able to detect events of energy >10{sup 21} eV with fluence 10{sup –7} erg cm{sup –2} at a rate of about one per month. The observed number of air showers may provide an indirect measure of the flux of cosmic rays ≳ 10{sup 20} eV. Extensive air showers also produce a synchrotron signature that may be measurable by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Simultaneous observations of Jupiter with ALMA and Fermi-LAT could be used to provide broad constraints on the energies of the initiating cosmic rays.« less

  19. Application of shock wave data to earth and planetary science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, T. J.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that shock wave data for: (1) low temperature condensable gases H2 and He, (2) H2O, CH4, NH3, CO, CO2, and N2 ices, and (3) silicates, metals, oxides and sulfides have many applications in geophysics and planetary science. The present paper is concerned with such applications. The composition of planetary interiors is discussed, taking into account the division of the major constituent of the planets in three groups on the basis of 'cosmic abundance' arguments, the H-He mixtures in the case of Jupiter and Saturn, shock wave data for hydrogen, and constraints on the internal structure of Uranus and Neptune. Attention is also given to the earth's mantle, shock wave data for mantle materials, the earth's core, impacts on planetary surfaces, elastic wave velocities as a function of pressure along the Hugoniot of iron, and reactions which yield the CO2 bearing atmospheres for Venus, earth, and Mars.

  20. Ammonia Ice Clouds on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The top cloud layer on Jupiter is thought to consist of ammonia ice, but most of that ammonia 'hides' from spectrometers. It does not absorb light in the same way ammonia does. To many scientists, this implies that ammonia churned up from lower layers of the atmosphere 'ages' in some way after it condenses, possibly by being covered with a photochemically generated hydrocarbon mixture. The New Horizons Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), the half of the Ralph instrument that is able to 'see' in infrared wavelengths that are absorbed by ammonia ice, spotted these clouds and watched them evolve over five Jupiter days (about 40 Earth hours). In these images, spectroscopically identified fresh ammonia clouds are shown in bright blue. The largest cloud appeared as a localized source on day 1, intensified and broadened on day 2, became more diffuse on days 3 and 4, and disappeared on day 5. The diffusion seemed to follow the movement of a dark spot along the boundary of the oval region. Because the source of this ammonia lies deeper than the cloud, images like these can tell scientists much about the dynamics and heat conduction in Jupiter's lower atmosphere.

  1. Searching for Life: Early Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    We might be entering a golden age for exploring life throughout time and space. Rapid gene sequencing will better define our most distant ancestors. The earliest geologic evidence of life is now 3.8 billion years old. Organic matter and submicron-sized morphologies have been preserved in the martian crust for billions of years. Several new missions to Mars are planned, with a high priority on the search for life, past or present. The recent discovery of large extrasolar planets has heightened interest in spacecraft to detect small, earth-like planets. A recent workshop discussed strategies for life detection on such planets. There is much to anticipate in the near future.

  2. Notes on Earth Atmospheric Entry for Mars Sample Return Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivell, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    The entry of sample return vehicles (SRVs) into the Earth's atmosphere is the subject of this document. The Earth entry environment for vehicles, or capsules, returning from the planet Mars is discussed along with the subjects of dynamics, aerodynamics, and heat transfer. The material presented is intended for engineers and scientists who do not have strong backgrounds in aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and flight mechanics. The document is not intended to be comprehensive and some important topics are omitted. The topics considered in this document include basic principles of physics (fluid mechanics, dynamics and heat transfer), chemistry and engineering mechanics. These subjects include: a) fluid mechanics (aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, compressible fluids, shock waves, boundary layers, and flow regimes from subsonic to hypervelocity; b) the Earth s atmosphere and gravity; c) thermal protection system design considerations; d) heat and mass transfer (convection, radiation, and ablation); e) flight mechanics (basic rigid body dynamics and stability); and f) flight- and ground-test requirements; and g) trajectory and flow simulation methods.

  3. Ion engine propelled Earth-Mars cycler with nuclear thermal propelled transfer vehicle, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Rudolf X.; Baker, Myles; Melko, Joseph

    1994-01-01

    The goal of this project was to perform a preliminary design of a long term, reusable transportation system between earth and Mars which would be capable of providing both artificial gravity and shelter from solar flare radiation. The heart of this system was assumed to be a Cycler spacecraft propelled by an ion propulsion system. The crew transfer vehicle was designed to be propelled by a nuclear-thermal propulsion system. Several Mars transportation system architectures and their associated space vehicles were designed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  5. RAPID FORMATION OF SATURN AFTER JUPITER COMPLETION

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Ormel, Chris W.; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: hkobayas@nagoya-u.jp, E-mail: ormel@astro.berkeley.edu, E-mail: ida@geo.titech.ac.jp

    We have investigated Saturn's core formation at a radial pressure maximum in a protoplanetary disk, which is created by gap opening by Jupiter. A core formed via planetesimal accretion induces the fragmentation of surrounding planetesimals, which generally inhibits further growth of the core by removal of the resulting fragments due to radial drift caused by gas drag. However, the emergence of the pressure maximum halts the drift of the fragments, while their orbital eccentricities and inclinations are efficiently damped by gas drag. As a result, the core of Saturn rapidly grows via accretion of the fragments near the pressure maximum.more » We have found that in the minimum-mass solar nebula, kilometer-sized planetesimals can produce a core exceeding 10 Earth masses within two million years. Since Jupiter may not have undergone significant type II inward migration, it is likely that Jupiter's formation was completed when the local disk mass has already decayed to a value comparable to or less than Jovian mass. The expected rapid growth of Saturn's core on a timescale comparable to or shorter than the observationally inferred disk lifetime enables Saturn to acquire the current amount of envelope gas before the disk gas is completely depleted. The high heat energy release rate onto the core surface due to the rapid accretion of the fragments delays onset of runaway gas accretion until the core mass becomes somewhat larger than that of Jupiter, which is consistent with the estimate based on interior modeling. Therefore, the rapid formation of Saturn induced by gap opening of Jupiter can account for the formation of multiple gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) without significant inward migration and larger core mass of Saturn than that of Jupiter.« less

  6. Aqueous Alteration of Basalts: Earth, Moon, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.

    2007-01-01

    The geologic processes responsible for aqueous alteration of basaltic materials on Mars are modeled beginning with our knowledge of analog processes on Earth, i.e., characterization of elemental and mineralogical compositions of terrestrial environments where the alteration and weathering pathways related to aqueous activity are better understood. A key ingredient to successful modeling of aqueous processes on Mars is identification of phases that have formed by those processes. The purpose of this paper is to describe what is known about the elemental and mineralogical composition of aqueous alteration products of basaltic materials on Mars and their implications for specific aqueous environments based upon our knowledge of terrestrial systems. Although aqueous alteration has not occurred on the Moon, it is crucial to understand the behaviors of basaltic materials exposed to aqueous environments in support of human exploration to the Moon over the next two decades. Several methods or indices have been used to evaluate the extent of basalt alteration/weathering based upon measurements made at Mars by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Moessbauer and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometers. The Mineralogical Alteration Index (MAI) is based upon the percentage of total Fe (Fe(sub T)) present as Fe(3+) in alteration products (Morris et al., 2006). A second method is the evaluation of compositional trends to determine the extent to which elements have been removed from the host rock and the likely formation of secondary phases (Nesbitt and Young, 1992; Ming et al., 2007). Most of the basalts that have been altered by aqueous processes at the two MER landing sites in Gusev crater and on Meridiani Planum have not undergone extensive leaching in an open hydrolytic system with the exception of an outcrop in the Columbia Hills. The extent of aqueous alteration however ranges from relatively unaltered to pervasively altered materials. Several experimental studies have focused upon

  7. Illumination Invariant Change Detection (iicd): from Earth to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, X.; Liu, J.; Qin, M.; Li, S. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Multi-temporal Earth Observation and Mars orbital imagery data with frequent repeat coverage provide great capability for planetary surface change detection. When comparing two images taken at different times of day or in different seasons for change detection, the variation of topographic shades and shadows caused by the change of sunlight angle can be so significant that it overwhelms the real object and environmental changes, making automatic detection unreliable. An effective change detection algorithm therefore has to be robust to the illumination variation. This paper presents our research on developing and testing an Illumination Invariant Change Detection (IICD) method based on the robustness of phase correlation (PC) to the variation of solar illumination for image matching. The IICD is based on two key functions: i) initial change detection based on a saliency map derived from pixel-wise dense PC matching and ii) change quantization which combines change type identification, motion estimation and precise appearance change identification. Experiment using multi-temporal Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images, Rapid eye satellite images and Mars HiRiSE images demonstrate that our frequency based image matching method can reach sub-pixel accuracy and thus the proposed IICD method can effectively detect and precisely segment large scale change such as landslide as well as small object change such as Mars rover, under daily and seasonal sunlight changes.

  8. The harmonic development of the Earth tide generating potential due to the direct effect of the planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, Torsten; Wenzel, Hans-Georg

    1994-09-01

    The time-harmonic development of the Earth tide generating potential due to the direct effect of the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn has been computed. The catalog of the fully normalized potential coefficients contains 1483 waves. It is based on the DE102 numerical ephemeris of the planets between years 1900 and 2200. Gravity tides due to the planets computed from the catalog at the surface of the Earth have an accuracy of about 0.027 pm/sq s (1 pm/sq s = 10(exp -12) m/sq s = 0.1 ngal) rms and 0.160 / 0.008 pm/sq s at maximum in time / frequency domain using the new benchmark tidal gravity series (Wenzel 1994).

  9. Mars for Earthlings: An Analog Approach to Mars in Undergraduate Education

    PubMed Central

    Kahmann-Robinson, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Mars for Earthlings (MFE) is a terrestrial Earth analog pedagogical approach to teaching undergraduate geology, planetary science, and astrobiology. MFE utilizes Earth analogs to teach Mars planetary concepts, with a foundational backbone in Earth science principles. The field of planetary science is rapidly changing with new technologies and higher-resolution data sets. Thus, it is increasingly important to understand geological concepts and processes for interpreting Mars data. MFE curriculum is topically driven to facilitate easy integration of content into new or existing courses. The Earth-Mars systems approach explores planetary origins, Mars missions, rocks and minerals, active driving forces/tectonics, surface sculpting processes, astrobiology, future explorations, and hot topics in an inquiry-driven environment. Curriculum leverages heavily upon multimedia resources, software programs such as Google Mars and JMARS, as well as NASA mission data such as THEMIS, HiRISE, CRISM, and rover images. Two years of MFE class evaluation data suggest that science literacy and general interest in Mars geology and astrobiology topics increased after participation in the MFE curriculum. Students also used newly developed skills to create a Mars mission team presentation. The MFE curriculum, learning modules, and resources are available online at http://serc.carleton.edu/marsforearthlings/index.html. Key Words: Mars—Geology—Planetary science—Astrobiology—NASA education. Astrobiology 14, 42–49. PMID:24359289

  10. An Alternative Humans to Mars Approach: Reducing Mission Mass with Multiple Mars Flyby Trajectories and Minimal Capability Investments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitley, Ryan J.; Jedrey, Richard; Landau, Damon; Ocampo, Cesar

    2015-01-01

    Mars flyby trajectories and Earth return trajectories have the potential to enable lower- cost and sustainable human exploration of Mars. Flyby and return trajectories are true minimum energy paths with low to zero post-Earth departure maneuvers. By emplacing the large crew vehicles required for human transit on these paths, the total fuel cost can be reduced. The traditional full-up repeating Earth-Mars-Earth cycler concept requires significant infrastructure, but a Mars only flyby approach minimizes mission mass and maximizes opportunities to build-up missions in a stepwise manner. In this paper multiple strategies for sending a crew of 4 to Mars orbit and back are examined. With pre-emplaced assets in Mars orbit, a transit habitat and a minimally functional Mars taxi, a complete Mars mission can be accomplished in 3 SLS launches and 2 Mars Flyby's, including Orion. While some years are better than others, ample opportunities exist within a given 15-year Earth-Mars alignment cycle. Building up a mission cadence over time, this approach can translate to Mars surface access. Risk reduction, which is always a concern for human missions, is mitigated by the use of flybys with Earth return (some of which are true free returns) capability.

  11. Mars is the Earth's Only Nearby Early Life Analog, but the Moon is on the Path to Get There

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, H. H.

    2017-02-01

    Mars provides a geological integration of the early solar system impacts recorded by the Moon and the contemporaneous water-rich pre-biotic period on Earth. Consideration of human missions to Mars needs to include a return to the Moon to stay.

  12. Polarization of Hazes and Aurorae on Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma A.; McLean, Will; PACA_Jupiter

    2017-10-01

    Our solar system planets show a large variety of atmospheric polarization properties, from the thick, highly polarizing haze on Titan and the poles of Jupiter, Rayleigh scattering by molecules on Uranus and Neptune, to clouds in the equatorial region of Jupiter or on Venus. Changes in the clouds/thermal filed can be brought about by endogenic dynamical processes such merger of vortices; global, planetary scale upheavals, and external factors such as celestial collisions (such as D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with Jupiter in 1994, etc.). Although the range of phase angles available from Earth for outer planets is restricted to a narrow range, limb polarization measurements provide constraints on the polarimetric properties. For example, at the equator, much of the observed reflected radiation is due to the presence of clouds and therefore, low polarization. Polar asymmetry exists between the two poles, while the planetary disk is unpolarized. Jupiter is known to exhibit a strong polar limb polarization and a low equatorial limb polarization due to the presence of haze particles and Rayleigh scattering at the poles. In contrast, at the equator, the concentration of particulates in the high atmosphere might change, changing the polarimetric signature and aurorae at both poles. The polarimetric maps, in conjunction with thermal maps and albedo maps, can provide constraints on modeling efforts to understand the nature of the aerosols/hazes in Jovian atmosphere. With Jupiter experiencing morphological changes at many latitudes, we have initiated a polarimetric observing campaign of Jupiter, in conjunction with The PACA Project. With NASA/Juno mission in a 53-day orbit around Jupiter, and recent outbreaks in the atmosphere, changes in the polarimetric signature will provide insight to the changes occurring in the atmosphere. Some of our observations are acquired by a team of professional/amateur planetary imagers astronomers based in the U.K., Australia and Europe. France

  13. Mars at Opposition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    On January 29, Mars will reach opposition, a point along its orbit around the Sun where Mars will be directly opposite from the Sun in a two-planet and Sun line-up with the Earth in between. At this opposition, the Earth and Mars will be separated by nearly 100 million km. An opposition is similar to a full Moon in that the planet at opposition…

  14. A 'Moving' Jupiter Global Map (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons has acquired six global maps of Jupiter as the spacecraft approaches the giant planet for a close encounter at the end of February. The high-resolution camera acquired each of six observation 'sets' as a series of individual pictures taken one hour apart, covering a full 10-hour rotation of Jupiter. The LORRI team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) reduced the sets to form six individual maps in a simple rectangular projection. These six maps were then combined to make the movie.

    The table below shows the dates and the ranges from Jupiter at which these six sets of observations were acquired. Even for the latest set of images taken January 21-22, from 60.5 million kilometers (37.6 million miles), New Horizons was still farther from Jupiter than the average distance of Mercury from the Sun. At that distance from Jupiter, a single LORRI picture resolution element amounts to 300 kilometers (186 miles) on Jupiter.

    Many features seen in Jupiter's atmosphere are giant storm clouds. The Little Red Spot, which LORRI will image close-up on February 27, is the target-like feature located near 30 degrees South and 230 degrees West; this storm is larger than the Earth. The even larger Great Red Spot is seen near 20 degrees South and 320 degrees West. The counterclockwise rotation of the clouds within the Great Red Spot can be seen. The westward drift of the Great Red Spot is easily seen in the movie, as is the slower drift, in the opposite direction, of the Little Red Spot. The storms of Jupiter are not fixed in location relative to each other or relative to any solid surface below, because Jupiter is a fluid planet without a solid surface.

    Also, dramatic changes are seen in the series of bright plume-like clouds encircling the planet between 0 and 10 degrees North. Scientists believe these result from an enormous atmospheric wave with rising air, rich in ammonia that

  15. Equilibrium Conditions of Sediment Suspending Flows on Earth, Mars and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amy, L. A.; Dorrell, R. M.

    2016-12-01

    Sediment entrainment, erosion and deposition by liquid water on Earth is one of the key processes controlling planetary surface evolution. Similar modification of planetary surfaces by liquids associated with a volatile cycle are also inferred to have occurred on other planets (e.g., water on Mars and methane-ethane on Titan). Here we explore conditions for equilibrium flow - the threshold between net sediment erosion and deposition - on different planets. We use a new theoretical model for particle erosion-suspension-deposition: this model shows a better fit to empirical data than comparative suspension criterions (e.g., Rouse Number) since it takes into account both flow competence and capacity, and particle size distribution effects. Shear stresses required to initially entrain sediment and maintain equilibrium flow vary significantly, being several times lower on Mars and more than ten times lower on Titan resulting principally from lower gravities. On all planets it is harder to maintain equilibrium flow as sediment mixtures become poorer sorted (higher shear stresses are needed as standard deviation increases). In comparison to large differences in critical shear stresses, critical slopes for equilibrium flow are similar for planets. Compared to Earth, equilibrium slopes on Mars should be slightly lower whilst those on Titan will be higher or lower for organic and ice particle systems, respectively. Particle size distribution has a similar, order of magnitude effect, on equilibrium slope on each planet. The results highlight that whilst reduced gravity on Titan and Mars significantly decreases the bed shear stress required for particle transport, it also proportionally effects the bed shear stress of moving fluid, such that similar slope gradients are required for equilibrium flow; minor variations in equilibrium slopes are related to differences in the particle-fluid density contrasts as well as fluid viscosities. These results help explain why planetary

  16. Evolving earth-based and in-situ satellite network architectures for Mars communications and navigation support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Weinberg, Aaron; McOmber, Robert

    1991-09-01

    Results of on-going studies to develop navigation/telecommunications network concepts to support future robotic and human missions to Mars are presented. The performance and connectivity improvements provided by the relay network will permit use of simpler, lower performance, and less costly telecom subsystems for the in-situ mission exploration elements. Orbiting relay satellites can serve as effective navigation aids by supporting earth-based tracking as well as providing Mars-centered radiometric data for mission elements approaching, in orbit, or on the surface of Mars. The relay satellite orbits may be selected to optimize navigation aid support and communication coverage for specific mission sets.

  17. Evolving earth-based and in-situ satellite network architectures for Mars communications and navigation support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Weinberg, Aaron; Mcomber, Robert

    1991-01-01

    Results of on-going studies to develop navigation/telecommunications network concepts to support future robotic and human missions to Mars are presented. The performance and connectivity improvements provided by the relay network will permit use of simpler, lower performance, and less costly telecom subsystems for the in-situ mission exploration elements. Orbiting relay satellites can serve as effective navigation aids by supporting earth-based tracking as well as providing Mars-centered radiometric data for mission elements approaching, in orbit, or on the surface of Mars. The relay satellite orbits may be selected to optimize navigation aid support and communication coverage for specific mission sets.

  18. Seismic generated infrasounds on Telluric Planets: Modeling and comparisons between Earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognonne, P. H.; Rolland, L.; Karakostas, F. G.; Garcia, R.; Mimoun, D.; Banerdt, W. B.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Earth, Venus and Mars are all planets in which infrasounds can propagate and interact with the solid surface. This leads to infrasound generation for internal sources (e.g. quakes) and to seismic waves generations for atmospheric sources (e.g. meteor, impactor explosions, boundary layer turbulences). Both the atmospheric profile, surface density, atmospheric wind and viscous/attenuation processes are however greatly different, including major differences between Mars/Venus and Earth due to the CO2 molecular relaxation. We present modeling results and compare the seismic/acoustic coupling strength for Earth, Mars and Venus. This modeling is made through normal modes modelling for models integrating the interior, atmosphere, both with realistic attenuation (intrinsic Q for solid part, viscosity and molecular relaxation for the atmosphere). We complete these modeling, made for spherical structure, by integration of wind, assuming the later to be homogeneous at the scale of the infrasound wavelength. This allows us to compute either the Seismic normal modes (e.g. Rayleigh surface waves), or the acoustic or the atmospheric gravity modes. Comparisons are done, for either a seismic source or an atmospheric source, on the amplitude of expected signals as a function of distance and frequency. Effects of local time are integrated in the modeling. We illustrate the Rayleigh waves modelling by Earth data (for large quakes and volcanoes eruptions). For Venus, very large coupling can occur at resonance frequencies between the solid part and atmospheric part of the planet through infrasounds/Rayleigh waves coupling. If the atmosphere reduced the Q (quality coefficient) of Rayleigh waves in general, the atmosphere at these resonance soffers better propagation than Venus crust and increases their Q. For Mars, Rayleigh waves excitations by atmospheric burst is shown and discussed for the typical yield of impacts. The new data of the Nasa INSIGHT mission which carry both seismic and

  19. Jupiter's non-auroral Ionosphere and Thermosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stallard, T.; Melin, H.; Burrell, A. G.; Hsu, V.; Johnson, R.; Moore, L.; O'Donoghue, J.; Thayer, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Until recently, our understanding of the non-auroral ionosphere of Jupiter was very limited. However, with the arrival of the Juno spacecraft at Jupiter, we have begun to revise past observations of this region, as well as utilizing modern telescope facilities, in order to reveal a complex array of ionospheric features that show strong coupling with both the local magnetic field and dynamics within the underlying thermosphere. The first feature that was identified was an apparent `Great Dark Spot' in the sub-auroral ionosphere, almost as large as the Great Red Spot. This was observed well away from the northern magnetic pole, mapping to only 2.4 jovian radii. Spectra of the feature showed that it was produced by a 150K cooling in the thermosphere. However, images taken between 1995-2000 showed this feature was consistently observed over two decades at similar magnetic longitudes, but appeared to vary in size, morphology and exact location on a timescale of only days. This suggests that the Great Dark Spot is a large thermospheric vortex driven by auroral heating, similar to transitory features observed at Earth, forming in sub-auroral regions during periods of active aurora. Careful analysis of the Jupiter images then allowed us to measure ionospheric emission down to the equator. This revealed the location of Jupiter's magnetic equator for the first time, appearing as a dark sinusoidal ribbon. This feature appears to be produced as photo-electrons are pushed poleward of the equator when magnetic fields are parallel with the planet's surface, a different process than the dominant plasma fountain that drives Earth's equatorial anomaly. Also revealed were a series of dark spots. Recent Juno magnetometer measurements show that two of these spots appear in regions of high radial magnetic field, suggesting that these regions of the ionosphere are shielded, an inversion of the same process that drives higher ionization in the South Atlantic Anomaly.

  20. Risk analysis of earth return options for the Mars rover/sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Four options for return of a Mars surface sample to Earth were studied to estimate the risk of mission failure and the risk of a sample container breach that might result in the release of Martian life forms, should such exist, in the Earth's biosphere. The probabilities calculated refer only to the time period from the last midcourse correction burn to possession of the sample on Earth. Two extreme views characterize this subject. In one view, there is no life on Mars, therefore there is no significant risk and no serious effort is required to deal with back contamination. In the other view, public safety overrides any desire to return Martian samples, and any risk of damaging contamination greater than zero is unacceptable. Zero risk requires great expense to achieve and may prevent the mission as currently envisioned from taking place. The major conclusion is that risk of sample container breach can be reduced to a very low number within the framework of the mission as now envisioned, but significant expense and effort, above that currently planned is needed. There are benefits to the public that warrant some risk. Martian life, if it exists, will be a major discovery. If it does not, there is no risk.

  1. Life on Jupiter. [terrestrial type life possibilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Libby, W. F.

    1974-01-01

    The possibilities of life on Jupiter are discussed from the point view of life as known on earth. That is, it is assumed that any life on Jupiter would not involve new principles foreign to us. Proteins would be a constituent as would fats and the other building blocks of living organisms on earth. This leads to a set of limiting parameters, such as pressure. Studies in the laboratory have shown that proteins and other essential molecules are denatured by pressures of 4000 atm and higher. Thus, life cannot be expected to exist in the great depths of the Jovian atmosphere. It could exist only at depths of several hundred kilometers in the atmosphere. Since no solid surface could possibly exist at such altitudes, any organisms present must be small enough to be buoyed up by the turbulent atmospheric currents or must fly or both. Such possibilities, however, seem to be real. The necessary nutrients to preserve life and foster growth could be furnished by the Miller-Urey type reactions of ionizing radiation on the reducing atmosphere undoubtedly present.

  2. An assessment of crater erosional histories on the Earth and Mars using digital terrain models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, R. L.; Muller, J.-P.; Murray, J. B.

    The research will examine quantitatively the geomorphology of both Terrestrial and Martian craters. The erosional and sub-surface processes will be investigated to understand how these affect a crater's morphology. For example, the Barringer crater in Arizona has an unusual shape. The Earth has a very high percentage of water both in the atmosphere as clouds or rain and under the surface. The presence of water will therefore affect a crater's formation and its subsequent erosional modification. On Mars there is little or no water present currently, though recent observations suggest there may be near-surface ice in some areas. How do craters formed in the Martian environment therefore differ from Terrestrial ones? How has the structure of Martian craters changed in areas of possible fluvial activity? How does the surface material affect crater formation? How does the Earth's fluvial activity affect a crater's evolution? At present, four measurements of circularity have been used to describe a crater (Murray & Guest, 1972). These parameters will be re-examined to see how effectively they describe Terrestrial and Martian craters using high resolution DTMs which were not available at the time of the original study. The model described by Forsberg-Taylor et al. 2004, and others will also be applied to results obtained from the chosen craters to assess how effectively these craters are described. Both hypsometric curves and hydrological analysis will be used to assess crater evolution. A suitable criterion for the selection of Terrestrial and Martian craters is essential for this type of research. Terrestrial craters have been selected in arid or semi-arid terrain with crater diameters larger than one kilometre. Craters less than five million years old would be ideal. However, this was too restrictive and so a variety of crater ages have had to be used. Eight terrestrial craters have been selected in arid or semi-arid areas for study, using the Earth Impact Database and

  3. Small impacts on the Giant Planet Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Delcroix, Marc; Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin M.; Rojas, Jose Felix; María Gómez-Forrellad, Josep; Juaristi-Campillo, Jon

    2017-10-01

    Amateur video observations of Jupiter have shown five events of 1-s long flashes, each one observed by 2-3 observers geographically separated. The first three of these events occurred on June 3 2010, August 20 2010 and September 10 2012. Analysis of the light-curves of each flash shows that they most probably were caused by the impact of objects of 5-20 m depending on their density (Hueso et al., 2010, 2013) with a released energy comparable to superbolides on Earth similar to the Chelyabinsk airburst. The last two flashes on Jupiter were detected on 17 March 2016 and 26 May 2017 after a long pause in impacts detections of more than 3 years. In all of these cases no impact debri at the impact location was found in later observations.We present detailed light-curves of the five flashes. Photometric calibration of the images allows to constrain the size of the impacting objects. We estimate the flash observable characteristics of a Jupiter impact event that could leave an observable debri field on Jupiter’s atmosphere over a few days triggering fast observations. We also present results from a systematic search of impacts on >65,000 video amateur observations with a software specifically designed towards impact detection and based on differential photometry of frames over videos of Jupiter. From the observations of impacts and a statistical analysis of amateur observations the flux of small objects (5-20 m size) impacting Jupiter is predicted to be small (from 1 every 70 days to 1 every 12 days). A larger telescope than those used by amateurs could detect smaller impacts happening much more frequently. In spite of the uncertainties, these numbers imply that a dense number of observers are required to efficiently discover Jupiter impacts. The first three events were detected with Jupiter oppositions on September and December in 2010 and 2012 respectively and the last two events were detected with Jupiter oppositions in March and April 2017. We predict that more

  4. Mars to earth optical communication link for the proposed Mars Sample Return mission roving vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipes, Donald L., Jr.

    The Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission planed for 1989 will deploy a rover from its landing craft to survey the Martian surface. During traversals of the rover from one site to the next in search of samples, three-dimensional images from a pair of video cameras will be transmitted to earth; the terrestrial operators will then send back high level direction commands to the rover. Attention is presently given to the effects of wind and dust on communications, the architecture of the optical communications package, and the identification of technological areas requiring further development for MSR incorporation.

  5. Planetary Protection Technologies: Technical Challenges for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buxbaum, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    The search for life in the solar system, using either in situ analysis or sample return, brings with it special technical challenges in the area of planetary protection. Planetary protection (PP) requires planetary explorers to preserve biological and organic conditions for future exploration and to protect the Earth from potential extraterrestrial contamination that could occur as a result of sample return to the Earth-Moon system. In view of the exploration plans before us, the NASA Solar System Exploration Program Roadmap published in May 2003 identified planetary protection as one of 13 technologies for "high priority technology investments." Recent discoveries at Mars and Jupiter, coupled with new policies, have made this planning for planetary protection technology particularly challenging and relevant.New missions to Mars have been formulated, which present significantly greater forward contamination potential. New policies, including the introduction by COSPAR of a Category IVc for planetary protection, have been adopted by COSPAR in response. Some missions may not be feasible without the introduction of new planetary protection technologies. Other missions may be technically possible but planetary protection requirements may be so costly to implement with current technology that they are not affordable. A strategic investment strategy will be needed to focus on technology investments designed to enable future missions and reduce the costs of future missions. This presentation will describe some of the potential technological pathways that may be most protective.

  6. A Martian Telecommunications Network: UHF Relay Support of the Mars Exploration Rovers by the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Express Orbiters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Charles D., Jr.; Barbieri, A.; Brower, E.; Estabrook, P.; Gibbs, R.; Horttor, R.; Ludwinski, J.; Mase, R.; McCarthy, C.; Schmidt, R.; hide

    2004-01-01

    NASA and ESA have established an international network of Mars orbiters, outfitted with relay communications payloads, to support robotic exploration of the red planet. Starting in January, 2004, this network has provided the Mars Exploration Rovers with telecommunications relay services, significantly increasing rover engineering and science data return while enhancing mission robustness and operability. Augmenting the data return capabilities of their X-band direct-to-Earth links, the rovers are equipped with UHF transceivers allowing data to be relayed at high rate to the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey, and Mars Express orbiters. As of 21 July, 2004, over 50 Gbits of MER data have been obtained, with nearly 95% of that data returned via the MGS and Odyssey UHF relay paths, allowing a large increase in science return from the Martian surface relative to the X-band direct-to-Earth link. The MGS spacecraft also supported high-rate UHF communications of MER engineering telemetry during the critical period of entry, descent, and landing (EDL), augmenting the very low-rate EDL data collected on the X-band direct-to-Earth link. Through adoption of the new CCSDS Proximity-1 Link Protocol, NASA and ESA have achieved interoperability among these Mars assets, as validated by a successful relay demonstration between Spirit and Mars Express, enabling future interagency cross-support and establishing a truly international relay network at Mars.

  7. LIDAR technology for measuring trace gases on Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riris, H.; Abshire, J. B.; Graham, Allan; Hasselbrack, William; Rodriguez, Mike; Sun, Xiaoli; Weaver, Clark; Mao, Jianping; Kawa, Randy; Li, Steve; Numata, Kenji; Wu, Stewart

    2017-11-01

    greenhouse gas and called for a mission to measure CO2, CO and CH4. Methane has absorptions in the mid-infrared (3.3 um) and the near infrared (1.65 um). The 3.3 um spectral region is ideal for planetary (Mars) Methane monitoring, but unfortunately is not suitable for earth monitoring since the Methane absorption lines are severely interfered with by water. The near infra-red overtones of Methane at 1.65 um are relatively free of interference from other atmospheric species and are suitable for Earth observations. The methane instrument uses Optical Parametric Generation (OPG) along with sensitive detectors to achieve the necessary sensitivity. Our instrument generates and detects tunable laser signals in the 3.3 or 1.65 um spectral regions with different detectors in order to measure methane on Earth or Mars. For Mars, the main interest in methane is its importance as a biogenic marker.

  8. Hubble Tracks Jupiter Storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    series of images taken by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, in planetary camera mode, when Jupiter was at a distance of 519 million miles (961 million kilometers) from Earth. These images are part of a set of data obtained by a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) team headed by Reta Beebe of New Mexico State University.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/

  9. Water and Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils.

  10. Near-Earth Phase Risk Comparison of Human Mars Campaign Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Ted A.; Nejad, Hamed S.; Mattenberger, Chris

    2013-01-01

    A risk analysis of the launch, orbital assembly, and Earth-departure phases of human Mars exploration campaign architectures was completed as an extension of a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) originally carried out under the NASA Constellation Program Ares V Project. The objective of the updated analysis was to study the sensitivity of loss-of-campaign risk to such architectural factors as composition of the propellant delivery portion of the launch vehicle fleet (Ares V heavy-lift launch vehicle vs. smaller/cheaper commercial launchers) and the degree of launcher or Mars-bound spacecraft element sparing. Both a static PRA analysis and a dynamic, event-based Monte Carlo simulation were developed and used to evaluate the probability of loss of campaign under different sparing options. Results showed that with no sparing, loss-of-campaign risk is strongly driven by launcher count and on-orbit loiter duration, favoring an all-Ares V launch approach. Further, the reliability of the all-Ares V architecture showed significant improvement with the addition of a single spare launcher/payload. Among architectures utilizing a mix of Ares V and commercial launchers, those that minimized the on-orbit loiter duration of Mars-bound elements were found to exceed the reliability of no spare all-Ares V campaign if unlimited commercial vehicle sparing was assumed

  11. Lightning on jupiter: rate, energetics, and effects.

    PubMed

    Lewis, J S

    1980-12-19

    Voyager data on the optical and radio-frequency detection of lightning discharges in the atmosphere of Jupiter suggest a stroke rate significantly lower than on the earth. The efficiency of conversion of atmospheric convective energy flux into lightning is almost certainly less than on the earth, probably near 10(-7) rather than the terrestrial value of 10(-4). At this level the rate of production of complex organic molecules by lightning and by thunder shock waves is negligible compared to the rates of known photochemical processes for forming colored inorganic solids.

  12. The Leonard Award Address: On the Difficulties of Making Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart Ross

    1999-05-01

    Here I discuss the series of events that led to the formation and evolution of our planet to examine why the Earth is unique in the solar system. A multitude of factors are involved. These begin with the initial size and angular momentum of the fragment that separated from a molecular cloud. These are crucial in determining whether a planetary system or a double star develops from the resulting nebula. Another requirement is that there must be an adequate concentration of heavy elements to provide the two percent 'rock' and 'ice' components of the original nebula. An essential step in forming rocky planets in the inner nebula is loss of gas and depletion of volatile elements due to early solar activity, that is linked to the mass of the central star. The lifetime of the gaseous nebula controls the formation of gas giants. In our system, fine timing was needed to form the gas giant, Jupiter before the gas in the nebula was depleted. Although Uranus and Neptune eventually formed cores large enough to capture gas, they missed out and ended as ice giants The early formation of Jupiter is responsible for the existence of the asteroid belt (and our supply of meteorites) and the small size of Mars while the gas giant now acts as a gravitational shield for the terrestrial planets. The Earth and the other inner planets accreted long after the giant planets in a gas-free inner nebula from volatile-depleted planetesimals that were probably already differentiated into metallic cores and silicate mantles. The accumulation of the Earth from such planetesimals was essentially a stochastic process, accounting for the differences among the four rocky inner planets including the startling contrast between those two apparent twins, Earth and Venus. Impact history and accretion of a few more or less planetesimals were apparently crucial. The origin of the Moon by a single massive impact with a body larger than Mars accounts for the obliquity (and its stability) and spin of the Earth

  13. Synthetic biology meets bioprinting: enabling technologies for humans on Mars (and Earth).

    PubMed

    Rothschild, Lynn J

    2016-08-15

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Synthetic biology meets bioprinting: enabling technologies for humans on Mars (and Earth)

    PubMed Central

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth. PMID:27528764

  15. Analysis and Design of a Human Spaceflight to Mars, Europa, and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lali, Mehdi

    2010-01-01

    Like Mars, Europa and Titan are worlds for which we have a special fascination. In the past two centuries, our curiosity has been stimulated by the possibility of the existence of life on Mars, and that it would be the first planet to be visited by humans. Nevertheless, there are several driving motivations that impel humans to survey Europa for astrobiological purposes and colonize Titan in order to utilize its resources. The biggest constraint for this manned spaceflight will however be the very long distances between Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. In consequence, this will lead to a very long mission duration which will be the main concern from the standpoint of human factors, especially based on our current technological capability in such fields. It is also important to note that all our eggs are currently in one basket like the dinosaurs before the extinction. If we do not make a push into space and all things go environmentally wrong, we will be just as extinct. This environmental exploration for such missions will help us save the planet and humans. In order to cut down on the mission duration, a fast transit method known as ``one-tangent-burn'' trajectory is recommended to be used instead of Hohmann transfer. But this will cost an increase in the required total ΔV. Most importantly, a rare launch-window opportunity is conceived to occur in 2078, in which these sites i.e. Mars, Europa and Titan will be aligned in such a way that they can be visited in one mission taking advantage of the gravity assists from Mars and Jupiter. This specific launch window will not recur for decades. The trajectories, orbits and planetary configurations both at the time of this launch window and arrival to these sites as well as the return missions are calculated and depicted by the computer programs designed in MATLAB for this purpose. Finally, it is shown that the gravity assist that the spacecraft receives at each swingby maneuver will drastically decrease the mission duration.

  16. Gravity fields. [Jovian, Martian, Cytherean, Mercurian and lunar mass distributions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sjogren, W. L.; Anderson, J. D.; Phillips, R. J.; Trask, D. W.

    1976-01-01

    Detailed results on internal mass distribution have been obtained via earth-based Doppler radio tracking of deep space probes in the case of Mars, the earth's moon, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter. Global gravity fields show close correlation with topography in the case of the moon and Mars, as data from orbiting spacecraft indicate. Some data are available on Jovian satellites. The gravity measuring instrumentation and data reduction techniques are described. Gravity profiles referable to lunar frontside mascons, craters, and mountain chains have been acquired from low-altitude (15-20 km) orbit surveys. Theoretically based cross sections through the moon and Jupiter are presented.

  17. Dark and Stormy Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-06-14

    This image captures the intensity of the jets and vortices in Jupiter's North North Temperate Belt. NASA's Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image at 10:31 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2018 (1:31 a.m. EDT on May 24), as Juno performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, the spacecraft was about 4,900 miles (7,900 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the gas giant planet at a northern latitude of about 41 degrees. The view is oriented with south on Jupiter toward upper left and north toward lower right. The North North Temperate Belt is the prominent reddish-orange band left of center. It rotates in the same direction as the planet and is predominantly cyclonic, which in the northern hemisphere means its features spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Within the belt are two gray-colored anticyclones. To the left of the belt is a brighter band (the North North Temperate Zone) with high clouds whose vertical relief is accentuated by the low angle of sunlight near the terminator. These clouds are likely made of ammonia-ice crystals, or possibly a combination of ammonia ice and water. Although the region as a whole appears chaotic, there is an alternating pattern of rotating, lighter-colored features on the zone's north and south sides. Scientists think the large-scale dark regions are places where the clouds are deeper, based on infrared observations made at the same time by Juno's JIRAM experiment and Earth-based supporting observations. Those observations show warmer, and thus deeper, thermal emission from these regions. To the right of the bright zone, and farther north on the planet, Jupiter's striking banded structure becomes less evident and a region of individual cyclones can be seen, interspersed with smaller, darker anticyclones. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22423

  18. Interplanetary mission design handbook. Volume 1, part 3: Earth to Jupiter ballistic mission opportunities, 1985-2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Snyder, G. C.

    1982-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the preliminary design of ballistic missions to Jupiter are provided. Contours of launch energy requirements, as well as many other launch and Jupiter arrival parameters, are presented in launch date/arrival date space for all launch opportunities from 1985 through 2005. In addition, an extensive text is included which explains mission design methods, from launch window development to Jupiter probe and orbiter arrival design, utilizing the graphical data in this volume as well as numerous equations relating various parameters.

  19. Model of Mars-Bound MarCO CubeSat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-06-12

    Engineers for NASA's MarCO technology demonstration display a full-scale mechanical mock-up of the small craft in development as part of NASA's next mission to Mars. Mechanical engineer Joel Steinkraus and systems engineer Farah Alibay are on the team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, preparing twin MarCO (Mars Cube One) CubeSats for a March 2016 launch. MarCO is the first interplanetary mission using CubeSat technologies for small spacecraft. The briefcase-size MarCO twins will ride along on an Atlas V launch vehicle lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, with NASA's next Mars lander, InSight. The mock-up in the photo is in a configuration to show the deployed position of components that correspond to MarCO's two solar panels and two antennas. During launch, those components will be stowed for a total vehicle size of about 14.4 inches (36.6 centimeters) by 9.5 inches (24.3 centimeters) by 4.6 inches (11.8 centimeters). After launch, the two MarCO CubeSats and InSight will be navigated separately to Mars. The MarCO twins will fly past the planet in September 2016 just as InSight is descending through the atmosphere and landing on the surface. MarCO is a technology demonstration mission to relay communications from InSight to Earth during InSight's descent and landing. InSight communications during that critical period will also be recorded by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for delayed transmission to Earth. InSight -- an acronym for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport -- will study the interior of Mars to improve understanding of the processes that formed and shaped rocky planets, including Earth. After launch, the MarCO twins and InSight will be navigated separately to Mars. Note: After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission

  20. Orbital Drivers of Climate Change on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zent, A. P.

    Oscillations of orbital elements and spin axis orientation affect the climate of both Earth and Mars by redistributing solar power both latitudinally and seasonally, often resulting in secondary changes in reflected and emitted radiation (radiative forcing). Multiple feedback loops between different climatic elements operate on both planets, with the result that climate response is generally nonlinear with simple changes in solar energy. Both insolation history and geochemical climate proxies can be treated as time series data, and analyzed in terms of component frequencies. The correspondence between frequencies measured in climate proxies and orbital oscillations is the key to relating orbital cause and climatic effect. Discussions of both Earth and Mars focus on the last 5-10 m.y., because this is the period in which the orbital history and geologic record are best understood. The terrestrial climate is an extraordinarily complex system, and a vast amount of data is available for analysis. While the geologic record strongly supports the role of Milankovitch cycles as the underlying cause of glacial cycles, orbitally driven insolation changes alone cannot explain the observations in detail. Early Pleistocene glacial cycles responded linearly to the 41-k.y. oscillations in obliquity. However, over the last 1 m.y., glacial/interglacial oscillations have become more extreme as the climate has cooled. Long cooling intervals marked by an oscillating buildup of ice sheets are now followed by brief, intense periods of warming. At the same time, glacial/interglacial cycles have shifted from 41 k.y. to ~100 k.y. No such changes occurred in the solar forcing due to orbital oscillations. While orbital oscillations still appear to pace glacial cycles, their subtle interplay with ice-sheet dynamics and shifts in ocean circulation have come to dominate the late Pleistocene climate system. In contrast to Earth, the martian climate is ostensibly a much simpler system about which

  1. Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-geometry and neural maps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stepinski, T. F.; Coradetti, S.

    2004-01-01

    We compare morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth in order to confine the formation process of Martian valley networks. Basins on both planets are computationally extracted from digital topography. Integral-geometry methods are used to represent each basin by a circularity function that encapsulates its internal structure. The shape of such a function is an indicator of the style of fluvial erosion. We use the self-organizing map technique to construct a similarity graph for all basins. The graph reveals systematic differences between morphologies of basins on the two planets. This dichotomy indicates that terrestrial and Martian surfaces were eroded differently. We argue that morphologies of Martian basins are incompatible with runoff from sustained, homogeneous rainfall. Fluvial environments compatible with observed morphologies are discussed. We also construct a similarity graph based on the comparison of basins hypsometric curves to demonstrate that hypsometry is incapable of discriminating between terrestrial and Martian basins. INDEX TERMS: 1824 Hydrology: Geomorphology (1625); 1886 Hydrology: Weathering (1625); 5415 Planetology: Solid Surface Planets: Erosion and weathering; 6225 Planetology: Solar System Objects Mars. Citation: Stepinski, T. F., and S. Coradetti (2004), Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-ge

  2. Effect of gravity on terminal particle settling velocity on Moon, Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2013-04-01

    Gravity has a non-linear effect on the settling velocity of sediment particles in liquids and gases due to the interdependence of settling velocity, drag and friction. However, StokeśLaw, the common way of estimating the terminal velocity of a particle moving in a gas of liquid assumes a linear relationship between terminal velocity and gravity. For terrestrial applications, this "error" is not relevant, but it may strongly influence the terminal velocity achieved by settling particles on Mars. False estimates of these settling velocities will, in turn, affect the interpretation of particle sizes observed in sedimentary rocks on Mars. Wrong interpretations may occur, for example, when the texture of sedimentary rocks is linked to the amount and hydraulics of runoff and thus ultimately the environmental conditions on Mars at the time of their formation. A good understanding of particle behaviour in liquids on Mars is therefore essential. In principle, the effect of lower gravity on settling velocity can also be achieved by reducing the difference in density between particle and gas or liquid. However, the use of such analogues simulating the lower gravity on Mars on Earth is creates other problems because the properties (i.e. viscosity) and interaction of the liquids and sediment (i.e. flow around the boundary layer between liquid and particle) differ from those of water and mineral particles. An alternative for measuring the actual settling velocities of particles under Martian gravity, on Earth, is offered by placing a settling tube on a reduced gravity flight and conduct settling tests within the 20 to 25 seconds of Martian gravity that can be simulated during such a flight. In this presentation we report the results of such a test conducted during a reduced gravity flight in November 2012. The results explore the strength of the non-linearity in the gravity-settling velocity relationship for terrestrial, lunar and Martian gravity.

  3. The Long-Wave Infrared Earth Image as a Pointing Reference for Deep-Space Optical Communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, A.; Piazzolla, S.; Peterson, G.; Ortiz, G. G.; Hemmati, H.

    2006-11-01

    Optical communications from space require an absolute pointing reference. Whereas at near-Earth and even planetary distances out to Mars and Jupiter a laser beacon transmitted from Earth can serve as such a pointing reference, for farther distances extending to the outer reaches of the solar system, the means for meeting this requirement remains an open issue. We discuss in this article the prospects and consequences of utilizing the Earth image sensed in the long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectral band as a beacon to satisfy the absolute pointing requirements. We have used data from satellite-based thermal measurements of Earth to synthesize images at various ranges and have shown the centroiding accuracies that can be achieved with prospective LWIR image sensing arrays. The nonuniform emissivity of Earth causes a mispointing bias error term that exceeds a provisional pointing budget allocation when using simple centroiding algorithms. Other issues related to implementing thermal imaging of Earth from deep space for the purposes of providing a pointing reference are also reported.

  4. Best Color Image of Jupiter's Little Red Spot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This amazing color portrait of Jupiter's 'Little Red Spot' (LRS) combines high-resolution images from the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken at 03:12 UT on February 27, 2007, with color images taken nearly simultaneously by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on the Hubble Space Telescope. The LORRI images provide details as fine as 9 miles across (15 kilometers), which is approximately 10 times better than Hubble can provide on its own. The improved resolution is possible because New Horizons was only 1.9 million miles (3 million kilometers) away from Jupiter when LORRI snapped its pictures, while Hubble was more than 500 million miles (800 million kilometers) away from the Gas Giant planet.

    The Little Red Spot is the second largest storm on Jupiter, roughly 70% the size of the Earth, and it started turning red in late-2005. The clouds in the Little Red Spot rotate counterclockwise, or in the anticyclonic direction, because it is a high-pressure region. In that sense, the Little Red Spot is the opposite of a hurricane on Earth, which is a low-pressure region - and, of course, the Little Red Spot is far larger than any hurricane on Earth.

    Scientists don't know exactly how or why the Little Red Spot turned red, though they speculate that the change could stem from a surge of exotic compounds from deep within Jupiter, caused by an intensification of the storm system. In particular, sulfur-bearing cloud droplets might have been propelled about 50 kilometers into the upper level of ammonia clouds, where brighter sunlight bathing the cloud tops released the red-hued sulfur embedded in the droplets, causing the storm to turn red. A similar mechanism has been proposed for the Little Red Spot's 'older brother,' the Great Red Spot, a massive energetic storm system that has persisted for over a century.

    New Horizons is providing an opportunity to examine an 'infant' red storm system in detail, which may help scientists

  5. The PROCESS experiment: amino and carboxylic acids under Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions in low-earth orbit.

    PubMed

    Noblet, Audrey; Stalport, Fabien; Guan, Yuan Yong; Poch, Olivier; Coll, Patrice; Szopa, Cyril; Cloix, Mégane; Macari, Frédérique; Raulin, Francois; Chaput, Didier; Cottin, Hervé

    2012-05-01

    The search for organic molecules at the surface of Mars is a top priority of the next Mars exploration space missions: Mars Science Laboratory (NASA) and ExoMars (ESA). The detection of organic matter could provide information about the presence of a prebiotic chemistry or even biological activity on this planet. Therefore, a key step in interpretation of future data collected by these missions is to understand the preservation of organic matter in the martian environment. Several laboratory experiments have been devoted to quantifying and qualifying the evolution of organic molecules under simulated environmental conditions of Mars. However, these laboratory simulations are limited, and one major constraint is the reproduction of the UV spectrum that reaches the surface of Mars. As part of the PROCESS experiment of the European EXPOSE-E mission on board the International Space Station, a study was performed on the photodegradation of organics under filtered extraterrestrial solar electromagnetic radiation that mimics Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions. Glycine, serine, phthalic acid, phthalic acid in the presence of a mineral phase, and mellitic acid were exposed to these conditions for 1.5 years, and their evolution was determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy after their retrieval. The results were compared with data from laboratory experiments. A 1.5-year exposure to Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions in space resulted in complete degradation of the organic compounds. Half-lives between 50 and 150 h for martian surface conditions were calculated from both laboratory and low-Earth orbit experiments. The results highlight that none of those organics are stable under low-Earth orbit solar UV radiation conditions.

  6. Ultramafic Terranes and Associated Springs as Analogs for Mars and Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, David; Schulte, Mitch; Cullings, Ken; DeVincezi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Putative extinct or extant Martian organisms, like their terrestrial counterparts, must adopt metabolic strategies based on the environments in which they live. In order for organisms to derive metabolic energy from the natural environment (Martian or terrestrial), a state of thermodynamic disequilibrium must exist. The most widespread environment of chemical disequilibrium on present-day Earth results from the interaction of mafic rocks of the ocean crust with liquid water. Such environments were even more pervasive and important on the Archean Earth due to increased geothermal heat flow and the absence of widespread continental crust formation. The composition of the lower crust and upper mantle of the Earth is essentially the-same as that of Mars, and the early histories of these two planets are similar. It follows that a knowledge of the mineralogy, water-rock chemistry and microbial ecology of Earth's oceanic crust could be of great value in devising a search strategy for evidence of past or present life on Mars. In some tectonic regimes, cross-sections of lower oceanic crust and upper mantle are exposed on land as so-called "ophiolite suites." Such is the case in the state of California (USA) as a result of its location adjacent to active plate margins. These mafic and ultramafic rocks contain numerous springs that offer an easily accessible field laboratory for studying water/rock interactions and the microbial communities that are supported by the resulting geochemical energy. A preliminary screen of Archaean biodiversity was conducted in a cold spring located in a presently serpentinizing ultramafic terrane. PCR and phylogenetic analysis of partial 16s rRNA, sequences were performed on water and sediment samples. Archaea of recent phylogenetic origin were detected with sequences nearly identical to those of organisms living in ultra-high pH lakes of Africa.

  7. Hints of Habitable Environments on Mars Challenge Our Studies of Mars-Analog Sites on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    desMarais, David J

    2009-01-01

    Life as we know it requires water with a chemical activity (alpha) >or approx.0.6 and sources of nutrients and useful energy. Some biota can survive even if favorable conditions occur only intermittently, but the minimum required frequency of occurrences is poorly understood. Recent discoveries have vindicated the Mars exploration strategy to follow the water. Mars Global Surveyor s Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) found coarse-grained hematite at Meridiani Planum. Opportunity rover confirmed this and also found evidence of ancient sulfate-rich playa lakes and near-surface groundwater. Elsewhere, TES found evidence of evaporitic halides in topographic depressions. But alpha might not have approached 0.6 in these evaporitic sulfate- and halide-bearing waters. Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found extensive sulfate evaporites in Meridiani and Valles Marineris. MEX found phyllosilicates at several sites, most notably Mawrth Valles and Nili Fossae. MRO's CRISM near-IR mapper extended the known diversity and geographic distribution of phyllosilicates to include numerous Noachian craters. Phyllosilicates typically occur at the base of exposed ancient rock sections or in sediments in early Hesperian craters. It is uncertain whether the phyllosilicates developed in surface or subsurface aqueous environments and how long aqueous conditions persisted. Spirit rover found remarkably pure ferric sulfate, indicating oxidation and transport of Fe and S, perhaps in fumaroles or hot springs. Spirit also found opaline silica, consistent with hydrothermal activity. CRISM mapped extensive silica deposits in the Valles Marineris region, consistent with aqueous weathering and deposition. CRISM also found ultramafic rocks and magnesite at Nili Fossae, consistent with serpentinization, a process that can sustain habitable environments on Earth. The report of atmospheric methane implies subsurface aqueous conditions. A working hypothesis is that aqueous

  8. Direct Communication to Earth from Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bolton, Scott J.; Folkner, William M.; Abraham, Douglas S.

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on outer planetary probe communications to Earth is shown. The topics include: 1) Science Rational for Atmospheric Probes to the Outer Planets; 2) Controlling the Scientific Appetite; 3) Learning more about Jupiter before we send more probes; 4) Sample Microwave Scan From Juno; 5) Jupiter s Deep Interior; 6) The Square Kilometer Array (SKA): A Breakthrough for Radio Astronomy; 7) Deep Space Array-based Network (DSAN); 8) Probe Direct-to-Earth Data Rate Calculations; 9) Summary; and 10) Enabling Ideas.

  9. Galileo: Earth avoidance study report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, R. T.

    1988-01-01

    The 1989 Galileo mission to Jupiter is based on a VEEGA (Venus Earth Earth-Gravity Assist) trajectory which uses two flybys of Earth and one of Venus to achieve the necessary energy and shaping to reach Jupiter. These encounters are needed because the Centaur upper stage is not now being used on this mission. Since the Galileo spacecraft uses radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for electrical power, the question arises as to whether there is any chance of an inadvertent atmospheric entry of the spacecraft during either of the two Earth flybys. A study was performed which determined the necessary actions, in both spacecraft and trajectory design as well as in operations, to insure that the probability of such reentry is made very small, and to provide a quantitative assessment of the probability of reentry.

  10. Lightning on Jupiter - Rate, energetics, and effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, J. S.

    1980-01-01

    Voyager data on the optical and radio-frequency detection of lightning discharges in the atmosphere of Jupiter suggest a stroke rate significantly lower than on the earth. The efficiency of conversion of atmospheric convective energy flux into lightning is almost certainly less than on the earth, probably near 10 to the -7th rather than the terrestrial value of 10 to the -4th. At this level the rate of production of complex organic molecules by lightning and by thunder shock waves is negligible compared to the rates of known photochemical processes for forming colored inorganic solids.

  11. Aerothermodynamic environments for Mars entry, Mars return, and lunar return aerobraking missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochelle, W. C.; Bouslog, S. A.; Ting, P. C.; Curry, D. M.

    1990-06-01

    The aeroheating environments to vehicles undergoing Mars aerocapture, earth aerocapture from Mars, and earth aerocapture from the moon are presented. An engineering approach for the analysis of various types of vehicles and trajectories was taken, rather than performing a benchmark computation for a specific point at a selected time point in a trajectory. The radiation into Mars using the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) 2-ft nose radius bionic remains a small contributor of heating for 6 to 10 km/sec; however, at 12 km/sec it becomes comparable with the convection. For earth aerocapture, returning from Mars, peak radiation for the MRSR SRC is only 25 percent of the peak convection for the 12-km/sec trajectory. However, when large vehicles are considered with this trajectory, peak radiation can become 2 to 4 times higher than the peak convection. For both Mars entry and return, a partially ablative Thermal Protection System (TPS) would be required, but for Lunar Transfer Vehicle return an all-reusable TPS can be used.

  12. Clouds on Hot Jupiters Illustration

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-18

    Hot Jupiters are exoplanets that orbit their stars so tightly that their temperatures are extremely high, reaching over 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (1600 Kelvin). They are also tidally locked, so one side of the planet always faces the sun and the other is in permanent darkness. Research suggests that the "dayside" is largely free of clouds, while the "nightside" is heavily clouded. This illustration represents how hot Jupiters of different temperatures and different cloud compositions might appear to a person flying over the dayside of these planets on a spaceship, based on computer modeling. Cooler planets are entirely cloudy, whereas hotter planets have morning clouds only. Clouds of different composition have different colors, whereas the clear sky is bluer than on Earth. For the hottest planets, the atmosphere is hot enough on the evening side to glow like a charcoal. Figure 1 shows an approximation of what various hot Jupiters might look like based on a combination of computer modeling and data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. From left to right it shows: sodium sulfide clouds (1000 to 1200 Kelvin), manganese sulfide clouds (1200 to 1600 Kelvin), magnesium silicate clouds (1600 to 1800 Kelvin), magnesium silicate and aluminum oxide clouds (1800 Kelvin) and clouds composed of magnesium silicate, aluminum oxide, iron and calcium titanate (1900 to 2200 Kelvin). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21074

  13. Fluvial geomorphology on Earth-like planetary surfaces: A review.

    PubMed

    Baker, Victor R; Hamilton, Christopher W; Burr, Devon M; Gulick, Virginia C; Komatsu, Goro; Luo, Wei; Rice, James W; Rodriguez, J A P

    2015-09-15

    Morphological evidence for ancient channelized flows (fluvial and fluvial-like landforms) exists on the surfaces of all of the inner planets and on some of the satellites of the Solar System. In some cases, the relevant fluid flows are related to a planetary evolution that involves the global cycling of a volatile component (water for Earth and Mars; methane for Saturn's moon Titan). In other cases, as on Mercury, Venus, Earth's moon, and Jupiter's moon Io, the flows were of highly fluid lava. The discovery, in 1972, of what are now known to be fluvial channels and valleys on Mars sparked a major controversy over the role of water in shaping the surface of that planet. The recognition of the fluvial character of these features has opened unresolved fundamental questions about the geological history of water on Mars, including the presence of an ancient ocean and the operation of a hydrological cycle during the earliest phases of planetary history. Other fundamental questions posed by fluvial and fluvial-like features on planetary bodies include the possible erosive action of large-scale outpourings of very fluid lavas, such as those that may have produced the remarkable canali forms on Venus; the ability of exotic fluids, such as methane, to create fluvial-like landforms, as observed on Saturn's moon, Titan; and the nature of sedimentation and erosion under different conditions of planetary surface gravity. Planetary fluvial geomorphology also illustrates fundamental epistemological and methodological issues, including the role of analogy in geomorphological/geological inquiry.

  14. Mass-loss evolution of close-in exoplanets: Evaporation of hot Jupiters and the effect on population

    SciTech Connect

    Kurokawa, H.; Nakamoto, T., E-mail: kurokawa@nagoya-u.jp

    2014-03-01

    During their evolution, short-period exoplanets may lose envelope mass through atmospheric escape owing to intense X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation from their host stars. Roche-lobe overflow induced by orbital evolution or intense atmospheric escape can also contribute to mass loss. To study the effects of mass loss on inner planet populations, we calculate the evolution of hot Jupiters considering mass loss of their envelopes and thermal contraction. Mass loss is assumed to occur through XUV-driven atmospheric escape and the following Roche-lobe overflow. The runaway effect of mass loss results in a dichotomy of populations: hot Jupiters that retain theirmore » envelopes and super Earths whose envelopes are completely lost. Evolution primarily depends on the core masses of planets and only slightly on migration history. In hot Jupiters with small cores (≅ 10 Earth masses), runaway atmospheric escape followed by Roche-lobe overflow may create sub-Jupiter deserts, as observed in both mass and radius distributions of planetary populations. Comparing our results with formation scenarios and observed exoplanets populations, we propose that populations of closely orbiting exoplanets are formed by capturing planets at/inside the inner edges of protoplanetary disks and subsequent evaporation of sub-Jupiters.« less

  15. The Orbital Evolution of Near-Earth Asteroid 3753

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiegert, Paul A.; Innanen, Kimmo A.; Mikkola, Seppo

    1998-06-01

    Asteroid 3753 (1986 TO) is in a 1:1 mean motion resonance with Earth, on a complex horseshoe-type orbit. Numerical experiments are performed to determine its medium-term stability and the means by which it may have entered its current orbit. Though 3753 moves primarily under the influence of the Sun and Earth, the giant planets (and Jupiter especially) play an important role by influencing, through torque-induced precession, the position of the asteroid's nodes. Variations in the nodal distance strongly affect the interaction of 3753 with Earth and may change or destroy the horseshoe-like behavior currently seen. This precession of the nodes provides a mechanism for placing minor planets into, or removing them from, a variety of horseshoe-type orbits. The chaotic nature of this asteroid's orbit makes predictions difficult on timescales longer than its Lyapunov time (~150 yr); therefore, ensembles of particles on orbits near that of 3753 are considered. The asteroid has a high probability of passing close to Venus and/or Mars on 10^4 yr timescales, pointing to a dynamical age much shorter than that of the solar system.

  16. Near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids: Prognosis of pyroxene types

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shestopalov, D. I.; Golubeva, L. F.

    1991-01-01

    The diagnostic signs of ferrous absorption band at 505nm and color index (u-x) found at main-belt asteroids and 6-parametric classification of light stone meteorites have been the basis of the work. The colorimetric data of light near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids from TRIAD and ECAS were analyzed. Composition fields of pyroxenes were obtained for these asteroids by the value of (u-x) and 505-nm ferrous absorption band position within the pyroxenes quadrilateral. Pyroxenes of the S-asteroids from Apollo-Amor which have spectral parameters similar to achondrites may be presented by the diopside series.

  17. Launch window analysis in a new perspective with examples of departures from Earth to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thibodeau, J. R., III; Bond, V. R.

    1972-01-01

    Earth-departure windows are investigated for two round trip stopover missions to Mars. These are the 1981 inbound Venus swingby mission and the 1986 direct minimum-energy mission. The secular effects of planetary oblateness are used to predict the motion of the parking orbit. A procedure is developed for matching the motion of the parking orbit and the escape asymptote. Earth-departure velocity penalties, caused by orbital plane misalinement, are reduced by synchronizing the motion of the parking orbit and the escape trajectory.

  18. Determining Possible Building Blocks of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burbine, T. H.; OBrien, K. M.

    2004-01-01

    One of the fundamental questions concerning planetary formation is exactly what material did the planets form from? All the planets in our solar system are believed to have formed out of material from the solar nebula. Chondritic meteorites appear to sample this primitive material. Chondritic meteorites are generally classified into 13 major groups, which have a variety of compositions. Detailed studies of possible building blocks of the terrestrial planets require samples that can be used to estimate the bulk chemistry of these bodies. This study will focus on trying to determine possible building blocks of Earth and Mars since samples of these two planets can be studied in detail in the laboratory.

  19. Volcanism on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W.

    1981-11-01

    Characterization of volcanic activity on Mars is reviewed and comparisons are made with knowledge of terrestrial volcanic history. The high frequency of calderas on earth and low abundance on Mars is taken to indicate a lack of plate tectonic subduction zones and silicic volcanism on Mars. Further characterization is noted to depend on remote sensing from Viking orbital and earth-based spectral and albedo data. Theoretical models of causative mechanisms of terrestrial morphology will be used to establish models of similar processes on Mars, including deposits identification, eruptive conditions, and theories of magma ascent, as well as the role of volatiles from both deep and shallow sources. The importance of returning to Mars with appropriately instrumented spacecraft to test the new theories is stressed. The topics were discussed in papers presented at the Mars colloquium at the California Institute of Technology in August, 1981.

  20. Roles of Clathrate Hydrates in Crustal Heating and Volatile Storage/Release on Earth, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.; Beget, J.; Furfaro, R.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Palmero-Rodriguez, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    Clathrate hydrates are stable through much of the Solar System. These materials and hydrate-like amorphous associations of water with N2, CO, CH4, CO2, O2 and other molecules could, in fact, constitute the bulk of the non-rock components of some icy satellites, comets, and Kuiper Belt Objects. CO2 clathrate is thermodynamically stable at the Martian South Pole surface and could form a significant fraction of both Martian polar caps and icy permafrost distributed across one-third of the Martian surface. CH4 clathrate is the largest clathrate material in Earth's permafrost and cold seafloor regions, and it may be a major volatile reservoir on Mars, too. CO2 clathrate is less abundant on Earth but it might store most of Mars' CO2 inventory and thus may be one of the critical components in the climate system of that planet, just as CH4 clathrate is for Earth. These ice-like phases not only store biologically, geologically, and climatologically important gases, but they also are natural thermal insulators. Thus, they retard the conductive flow of geothermal heat, and thick accumulations of them can modify geotherms, cause brines to exist where otherwise they would not, and induce low-grade metamorphism of upper crustal rocks underlying the insulating bodies. This mechanism of crustal heating may be especially important in assisting hydrogeologic activity on Mars, gas-rich carbonaceous asteroids, icy satellites, and Kuiper Belt Objects. These worlds, compared to Earth, are comparatively energy starved and frozen but may partly make up for their deficit of joules by having large accumulations of joule-conserving hydrates. Thick, continuous layers of clathrate may seal in gases and produce high gas fugacities in aquifers underlying the clathrates, thus producing gas-rich reservoirs capable of erupting violently. This may have happened repeatedly in Earth history, with global climatic consequences for abrupt climate change. We have hypothesized that such eruptions may have

  1. Study of the Jupiter X-ray imaging spectrometer on JMO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, T.; Ezoe, Y.; Kasahara, S.; Miyoshi, Y.; Yamazaki, A.; Fujimoto, M.; JMO X-ray Experiment Team

    2011-12-01

    In 2000's, the new generation X-ray observatories (Chandra, XMM-Newton and Suzaku) have revealed various new X-ray phenomena in the Jupiter system. The detected objects include Jupiter's aurorae, disk (middle and low-latitude emission), Io, Europa, the Io Plasma Torus, and radiation belts. For example, Jupiter's aurorae emit time variable X-rays via bremsstrahlung by keV electrons and charge exchange by MeV ions (Gladstone et al. 2002 Nature). A diffuse X-ray emission associated with the Jupiter's radiation belts suggests an inverse Compton scattering of tens MeV electrons (Ezoe et al. 2010 ApJ). Hence, the X-ray emission can be a unique diagnostic tool to investigate key fundamental problems on the Jupiter system such as the relativistic particle acceleration and the Jupiter-satellite reaction. However, since these observations have been done with the X-ray astronomy satellites orbiting the Earth, the photon statistics of X-ray spectra and light curves, and the angular resolution of X-ray images were severely limited. In this context, we have started to study design of an X-ray imaging spectrometer for JMO (Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter) which is expected to collaborate with international Jupiter exploration mission JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer). JUICE is originally EJSM (Europa Jupiter System Mission) but recently renamed JUICE as ESA-lead mission, which is proposed to be launched in 2020's. It consists of one main flight element developed by ESA to explore icy moons of Jupiter, and JMO by JAXA is expected to perform high-latitude (10-30 deg inclination) measurements of the Jupiter system and overview the magnetospheric activities. The in-situ measurements by EJSM JMO provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to observe Jupiter with extremely high photon statistics, high time and angular resolution. To realize the in-situ X-ray instrument for EJSM JMO, stringent mass and power limitations must be fulfilled. Furthermore, the radiation and the contamination

  2. Terrestrial analogs to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M.; Blankenship, D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; hide

    2002-01-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing.

  3. A probabilistic framework for single-station location of seismicity on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böse, M.; Clinton, J. F.; Ceylan, S.; Euchner, F.; van Driel, M.; Khan, A.; Giardini, D.; Lognonné, P.; Banerdt, W. B.

    2017-01-01

    Locating the source of seismic energy from a single three-component seismic station is associated with large uncertainties, originating from challenges in identifying seismic phases, as well as inevitable pick and model uncertainties. The challenge is even higher for planets such as Mars, where interior structure is a priori largely unknown. In this study, we address the single-station location problem by developing a probabilistic framework that combines location estimates from multiple algorithms to estimate the probability density function (PDF) for epicentral distance, back azimuth, and origin time. Each algorithm uses independent and complementary information in the seismic signals. Together, the algorithms allow locating seismicity ranging from local to teleseismic quakes. Distances and origin times of large regional and teleseismic events (M > 5.5) are estimated from observed and theoretical body- and multi-orbit surface-wave travel times. The latter are picked from the maxima in the waveform envelopes in various frequency bands. For smaller events at local and regional distances, only first arrival picks of body waves are used, possibly in combination with fundamental Rayleigh R1 waveform maxima where detectable; depth phases, such as pP or PmP, help constrain source depth and improve distance estimates. Back azimuth is determined from the polarization of the Rayleigh- and/or P-wave phases. When seismic signals are good enough for multiple approaches to be used, estimates from the various methods are combined through the product of their PDFs, resulting in an improved event location and reduced uncertainty range estimate compared to the results obtained from each algorithm independently. To verify our approach, we use both earthquake recordings from existing Earth stations and synthetic Martian seismograms. The Mars synthetics are generated with a full-waveform scheme (AxiSEM) using spherically-symmetric seismic velocity, density and attenuation models of

  4. Radiative Transfer Simulations of Earth Spectra as Registered by ROSETTA/VIRTIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurley, Jane; Irwin, P.; Adriani, A.; Moriconi, M.; Oliva, F.; Coradini, A.

    2010-10-01

    Rosetta, part of ESA's Horizon 2000 programme, will orbit and land on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in May 2014. However, launched in March 2004, its trajectory has thus far muchly consisted of a series of planetary fly-bys and gravitational assists using Mars (2007) and Earth (March 2005, 2007 and 2009). During these close fly-bys Rosetta captured measurements of these planets - and of particular interest are those registed by the Visual Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer VIRTIS of Earth, which were taken to help calibrate VIRTIS. Rosetta/VIRTIS measures at high spectral resolution from 0.25 - 5.0 microns, a spectral range which has been well studied by Earth observing instruments such as Meteosat Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (MSG/SEVIRI) and the Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR). Earth observing instruments, whilst having superior spatio-temporal coverage to the data provided during the Rosetta/VIRTIS fly-bys, are typically constrained to measuring in only a few spectral channels. Hence, Rosetta/VIRTIS should yield more detailed spectral information than these instruments - and is a good candidate for intercomparison studies. To this end, the radiative transfer software NEMESIS (Irwin et al., 2009) is employed for the first time on Earth simulations, having been used extensively for other bodies such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Titan. This work compares Rosetta/VIRTIS measurements with NEMESIS-simulated spectra, concentrating on quantifying the ability of NEMESIS to reproduce spectral features associated with different surface topographies (such as ocean, desert and vegetation) in combination with clear and cloudy atmospheric states. Preliminary estimations of temperature and trace-species concentrations and distributions are presented as sample products.

  5. Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, Fran; Dowling, Timothy E.; McKinnon, William B.

    2007-03-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction F. Bagenal, T. E. Dowling and W. B. McKinnon; 2. The origin of Jupiter J. I. Lunine, A. Corandini, D. Gautier, T. C. Owen and G. Wuchterl; 3. The interior of Jupiter T. Guillot, D. J. Stevenson, W. B. Hubbard and D. Saumon; 4. The composition of the atmosphere of Jupiter F. W. Taylor, S. K. Atreya, Th. Encrenaz, D. M. Hunten, P. G. J. Irwin and T. C. Owen; 5. Jovian clouds and haze R. A. West, K. H. Baines, A. J. Friedson, D. Banfield, B. Ragent and F. W. Taylor; 6. Dynamics of Jupiter's atmosphere A. P. Ingersoll, T. E. Dowling, P. J. Gierasch, G. S. Orton, P. L. Read, A. Sánchez-Lavega, A. P. Showman, A. A. Simon-Miller and A. R. Vasavada; 7. The stratosphere of Jupiter J. I. Moses, T. Fouchet, R. V. Yelle, A. J. Friedson, G. S. Orton, B. Bézard, P. Drossart, G. R. Gladstone, T. Kostiuk and T. A. Livengood; 8. Lessons from Shoemaker-Levy 9 about Jupiter and planetary impacts J. Harrington, I. de Pater, S. H. Brecht, D. Deming, V. Meadows, K. Zahnle and P. D. Nicholson; 9. Jupiter's thermosphere and ionosphere R. V. Yelle and S. Miller; 10. Jovian dust: streams, clouds and rings H. Krüger, M. Horányi, A. V. Krivov and A. L. Graps; 11. Jupiter's ring-moon system J. A. Burns, D. P. Simonelli, M. R. Showalter, D. P. Hamilton, C. C. Porco, H. Throop and L. W. Esposito; 12. Jupiter's outer satellites and trojans D. C. Jewitt, S. Sheppard and C. Porco; 13. Interior composition, structure and dynamics of the Galilean satellites G. Schubert, J. D. Anderson, T. Spohn and W. B. McKinnon; 14. The lithosphere and surface of Io A. S. McEwen, L. P. Keszthelyi, R. Lopes, P. M. Schenk and J. R. Spencer; 15. Geology of Europa R. Greeley, C. F. Chyba, J. W. Head III, T. B. McCord, W. B. McKinnon, R. T. Pappalardo and P. Figueredo; 16. Geology of Ganymede R. T. Pappalardo, G. C. Collins, J. W. Head III, P. Helfenstein, T. B. McCord, J. M. Moore, L. M. Procktor, P. M. Shenk and J. R. Spencer; 17. Callisto J. M. Moore, C. R. Chapman. E. B. Bierhaus, R

  6. HUBBLE VIEWS THE GALILEO PROBE ENTRY SITE ON JUPITER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [left] - This Hubble Space Telescope image of Jupiter was taken on Oct. 5, 1995, when the giant planet was at a distance of 534 million miles (854 million kilometers) from Earth. The arrow points to the predicted site at which the Galileo Probe will enter Jupiter's atmosphere on December 7, 1995. At this latitude, the eastward winds have speeds of about 250 miles per hour (110 meters per second). The white oval to the north of the probe site drifts westward at 13 miles per hour (6 meters per second), rolling in the winds which increase sharply toward the equator. The Jupiter image was obtained with the high resolution mode of Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Because the disk of the planet is larger than the field of view of the camera, image processing was used to combine overlapping images from three consecutive orbits to produce this full disk view of the planet. [right] - These four enlarged Hubble images of Jupiter's equatorial region show clouds sweeping across the predicted Galileo probe entry site, which is at the exact center of each frame (a small white dot has been inserted at the centered at the predicted entry site). The first image (upper left quadrant) was obtained with the WFPC2 on Oct. 4, 1995 at (18 hours UT). The second, third and fourth images (from upper right to lower right) were obtained 10, 20 and 60 hours later, respectively. The maps extend +/- 15 degrees in latitude and longitude. The distance across one of the images is about three Earth diameters (37,433 kilometers). During the intervening time between the first and fourth maps, the winds have swept the clouds 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) eastward. Credit: Reta Beebe (New Mexico State University), and NASA

  7. Weathering profiles in soils and rocks on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hausrath, E.; Adcock, C. T.; Bamisile, T.; Baumeister, J. L.; Gainey, S.; Ralston, S. J.; Steiner, M.; Tu, V.

    2017-12-01

    Interactions of liquid water with rock, soil, or sediments can result in significant chemical and mineralogical changes with depth. These changes can include transformation from one phase to another as well as translocation, addition, and loss of material. The resulting chemical and mineralogical depth profiles can record characteristics of the interacting liquid water such as pH, temperature, duration, and abundance. We use a combined field, laboratory, and modeling approach to interpret the environmental conditions preserved in soils and rocks. We study depth profiles in terrestrial field environments; perform dissolution experiments of primary and secondary phases important in soil environments; and perform numerical modeling to quantitatively interpret weathering environments. In our field studies we have measured time-integrated basaltic mineral dissolution rates, and interpreted the impact of pH and temperature on weathering in basaltic and serpentine-containing rocks and soils. These results help us interpret fundamental processes occurring in soils on Earth and on Mars, and can also be used to inform numerical modeling and laboratory experiments. Our laboratory experiments provide fundamental kinetic data to interpret processes occurring in soils. We have measured dissolution rates of Mars-relevant phosphate minerals, clay minerals, and amorphous phases, as well as dissolution rates under specific Mars-relevant conditions such as in concentrated brines. Finally, reactive transport modeling allows a quantitative interpretation of the kinetic, thermodynamic, and transport processes occurring in soil environments. Such modeling allows the testing of conditions under longer time frames and under different conditions than might be possible under either terrestrial field or laboratory conditions. We have used modeling to examine the weathering of basalt, olivine, carbonate, phosphate, and clay minerals, and placed constraints on the duration, pH, and solution

  8. ISO celebrates its prolonged life with a video of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-07-01

    to safeguard ISO during this tricky period, while giving the astronomical teams as much observing time as possible. Nevertheless, without the further extension of the spacecraft's life into 1998, the glimpses in the Orion sector might have been more tantalizing than satisfying for the astronomers. By February 1998, ISO will again be able to scan Orion, this time without any difficulties from the Earth's shadow. Then sustained observations will build on lessons learned from the results of 1997. Hopes are high for spectacular discoveries in ISO's swansong, just before its helium supply finally runs out. "Astronomers stand to gain hugely from ISO's extended life," says Martin Kessler, the project scientist. "We have learned by now how to get the best results from our completely novel space observatory, so we can promise to use the extra observing time very effectively. What we can look at is important too. The biggest star factories in our vicinity sprawl across the Orion and Taurus constellations. The famous Orion Nebula is only their brightest spot. In August - September 1997 and February-March 1998, ISO will spend part of its extra life hunting for newly forming stars hidden in the Orion and Taurus clouds. It's a big bonus, and the results may well turn out to rank among ISO's finest achievements." Jupiter's atmosphere and ISO's video Impressions by visible light of Jupiter's weather, like the Earth's weather, are dominated by clouds which are abundant wherever the gases of the atmosphere are rising. The bright clouds of Jupiter are concentrated in permanent zones. Between the cloud zones are bands in various hues created by the chemistry of the atmosphere. The Great Red Spot is a long-lived hurricane, wider than the Earth, that has raged for several centuries in Jupiter's southern hemisphere. If you had infrared eyes, you would see the Earth's own clouds radiating in different colours, or wavelengths, according to their temperatures. You could also recognize various

  9. The limits of life on Earth and searching for life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, K. H.

    1997-01-01

    Considerations of basic properties of bacteria such as size, structure, and metabolic versatility allow one to understand how these remarkable life-forms are so adaptable to environments previously thought to be uninhabitable. It is now appreciated that bacteria on Earth can utilize almost any redox couple that yields energy, taking advantage of this energy, while transforming the elements during metabolism. The ability to grow at the expense of inorganic redox couples allows the microbes to occupy niches not available to the more metabolically constrained eukaryotes. Furthermore, the simplicity of the bacterial structure allows them considerably more resistance to environmental variables (pH, salinity, temperature) that are toxic or lethal to more complex organisms. This information can be used to explain the predominance of prokaryotes in extreme environments on Earth, and to speculate as to simple types of metabolism and biogeochemical cycles that may exist on this planet, Mars, and perhaps other non-Earth environments.

  10. The limits of life on Earth and searching for life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Nealson, K H

    1997-10-25

    Considerations of basic properties of bacteria such as size, structure, and metabolic versatility allow one to understand how these remarkable life-forms are so adaptable to environments previously thought to be uninhabitable. It is now appreciated that bacteria on Earth can utilize almost any redox couple that yields energy, taking advantage of this energy, while transforming the elements during metabolism. The ability to grow at the expense of inorganic redox couples allows the microbes to occupy niches not available to the more metabolically constrained eukaryotes. Furthermore, the simplicity of the bacterial structure allows them considerably more resistance to environmental variables (pH, salinity, temperature) that are toxic or lethal to more complex organisms. This information can be used to explain the predominance of prokaryotes in extreme environments on Earth, and to speculate as to simple types of metabolism and biogeochemical cycles that may exist on this planet, Mars, and perhaps other non-Earth environments.

  11. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites.

    PubMed

    Kruijer, Thomas S; Burkhardt, Christoph; Budde, Gerrit; Kleine, Thorsten

    2017-06-27

    The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ∼1 My and ∼3-4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter's core grew to ∼20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ∼50 Earth masses until at least ∼3-4 My after Solar System formation. Thus, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation.

  12. On developing thermal cave detection techniques for earth, the moon and mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynne, J. Judson; Titus, Timothy N.; Chong Diaz, Guillermo

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to (1) demonstrate the viability of detecting terrestrial caves at thermal-infrared wavelengths, (2) improve our understanding of terrestrial cave thermal behavior, (3) identify times of day when cave openings have the maximum thermal contrast with the surrounding surface regolith, and (4) further our understanding of how to detect caves on Earth, the Moon and Mars. We monitored the thermal behavior of two caves in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Through this work, we identified times when temperature contrasts between entrance and surface were greatest, thus enabling us to suggest optimal overflight times. The largest thermal contrast for both caves occurred during mid-day. One cave demonstrated thermal behavior at the entrance suggestive of cold-trapping, while the second cave demonstrated temperature shifts suggestive of airflow. We also collected thermograms without knowing optimal detection times; these images suggest both caves may also be detectable during off-peak times. We suggest cave detection using thermal remote sensing on Earth and other planetary objects will be limited by (1) capturing imagery in the appropriate thermal wavelength, (2) the size of cave entrance vs. the sensor's spatial resolution, (3) the viewing angle of the platform in relation to the slope trajectory of the cave entrance, (4) the strength of the thermal signal associated with the cave entrance, and (5) the time of day and season of thermal image capture. Through this and other studies, we will begin to identify the range of conditions under which caves are detectable in the thermal infrared and thus improve our detection capabilities of these features on Earth, the Moon and Mars. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  13. Evidence for Seismogenic Hydrogen Gas, a Potential Microbial Energy Source on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Sean; Parnell, John; Blamey, Nigel J F

    2016-09-01

    The oxidation of molecular hydrogen (H2) is thought to be a major source of metabolic energy for life in the deep subsurface on Earth, and it could likewise support any extant biosphere on Mars, where stable habitable environments are probably limited to the subsurface. Faulting and fracturing may stimulate the supply of H2 from several sources. We report the H2 content of fluids present in terrestrial rocks formed by brittle fracturing on fault planes (pseudotachylites and cataclasites), along with protolith control samples. The fluids are dominated by water and include H2 at abundances sufficient to support hydrogenotrophic microorganisms, with strong H2 enrichments in the pseudotachylites compared to the controls. Weaker and less consistent H2 enrichments are observed in the cataclasites, which represent less intense seismic friction than the pseudotachylites. The enrichments agree quantitatively with previous experimental measurements of frictionally driven H2 formation during rock fracturing. We find that conservative estimates of current martian global seismicity predict episodic H2 generation by Marsquakes in quantities useful to hydrogenotrophs over a range of scales and recurrence times. On both Earth and Mars, secondary release of H2 may also accompany the breakdown of ancient fault rocks, which are particularly abundant in the pervasively fractured martian crust. This study strengthens the case for the astrobiological investigation of ancient martian fracture systems. Deep biosphere-Faults-Fault rocks-Seismic activity-Hydrogen-Mars. Astrobiology 16, 690-702.

  14. Proposal to Simultaneously Profile Wind and CO2 on Earth and Mars With 2-micron Pulsed Lidar Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Koch, Grady J.; Kavaya, Michael J.; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Ismail, Syed; Emmitt, David

    2005-01-01

    2-micron lidar technology has been in use and under continued improvement for many years toward wind measurements. But the 2-micron wavelength region is also rich in absorption lines of CO2 (and H2O to a lesser extent) that can be exploited with the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) technique to make species concentration measurements. A coherent detection receiver offers the possibility of making combined wind and DIAL measurements with wind derived from frequency shift of the backscatter spectrum and species concentration derived from power of the backscatter spectrum. A combined wind and CO2 measurement capability is of interest for applications on both Earth and Mars. CO2 measurements in the Earth atmosphere are of importance to studies of the global carbon cycle. Data on vertically-resolved CO2 profiles over large geographical observations areas are of particular interest that could potentially be made by deploying a lidar on an aircraft or satellite. By combining CO2 concentration with wind measurements an even more useful data product could be obtained in the calculation of CO2 flux. A challenge to lidar in this application is that CO2 concentration measurements must be made with a high level of precision and accuracy to better than 1%. The Martian atmosphere also presents wind and CO2 measurement problems that could be met with a combined DIAL/Doppler lidar. CO2 concentration in this scenario would be used to calculate atmospheric density since the Martian atmosphere is composed of 95% CO2. The lack of measurements of Mars atmospheric density in the 30-60 km range, dust storm formation and movements, and horizontal wind patterns in the 0-20 km range pose significant risks to aerocapture, and entry, descent, and landing of future robotic and human Mars missions. Systematic measurement of the Mars atmospheric density and winds will be required over several Mars years, supplemented with day-of-entry operational measurements. To date, there have been 5

  15. Magnetic field of jupiter and its interaction with the solar wind.

    PubMed

    Smith, E J; Davis, L; Jones, D E; Colburn, D S; Coleman, P J; Dyal, P; Sonett, C P

    1974-01-25

    Jupiter's magnetic field and its interaction with the magnetized solar wind were observed with the Pioneer 10 vector helium magnetometer. The magnetic dipole is directed opposite to that of the earth with a moment of 4.0 gauss R(J)(3) (R(J), Jupiter radius), and an inclination of 15 degrees lying in a system III meridian of 230 degrees . The dipole is offset about 0.1 R(J) north of the equatorial plane and about 0.2 R(J) toward longitude 170 degrees . There is severe stretching of the planetary field parallel to the equator throughout the outer magnetosphere, accompanied by a systematic departure from meridian planes. The field configuration implies substantial plasma effects inside the magnetosphere, such as thermal pressure, centrifugal forces, and differential rotation. As at the earth, the outer boundary is thin, nor diffuse, and there is a detached bow shock.

  16. The Nitrate/(Per)Chlorate Relationship on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Jackson, W. Andrew; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Archer, P. Douglas; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrate was recently detected in Gale Crater sediments on Mars at abundances up to approximately 600 mg/kg, confirming predictions of its presence at abundances consistent with models based on impact-generated nitrate and other sources of fixed nitrogen. Terrestrial Mars analogs, Mars meteorites, and other solar system materials help establish a context for interpreting in situ nitrate measurements on Mars, particularly in relation to other cooccuring salts. We compare the relative abundance of nitrates to oxychlorine (chlorate and/or perchlorate, hereafter (per)chlorate) salts on Mars and Earth. The nitrate/(per)chlorate ratio on Mars is greater than 1, significantly lower than on Earth (nitrate/(per)chlorate greater than 10(exp.3)), suggesting not only the absence of biological activity but also different (per)chlorate formation mechanisms on Mars than on Earth.

  17. Jupiter Eruptions

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-01-25

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope shows detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances .

  18. The prospect of life on Jupiter.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponnamperuma, C.; Molton, P.

    1973-01-01

    We have simulated electrical discharges in the Jovian atmosphere, using anhydrous methane-ammonia mixtures, and shown the formation of simple aliphatic nitriles, amino-nitriles, and their oligomers. Including hydrogen sulfide in the gas mixture, it appears that sulfur-containing amino-nitriles are not formed, since the hydrolysate of the products did not contain the corresponding amino-acids. There is a strong analogy between these reactions and the classical spark reactions simulating the primitive earth's atmosphere. We are attempting a closer simulation of Jupiter's atmosphere by using appropriate temperature and pressure conditions. It seems that prebiotic synthesis on Jupiter may have reached an advanced state. As an alternative approach we have tested the survival ability of common terrestrial microorganisms in aqueous media at 102 atmospheres pressure and at 20 C in a simulated Jovian atmosphere. E. coli, S. marcescens, A. aerogenes, and B. subtilis will all tolerate 24 hr under these conditions with little death.

  19. Explosive Volcanic Eruptions from Linear Vents on Earth, Venus and Mars: Comparisons with Circular Vent Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Stephen M.; Wimert, Jesse

    2010-01-01

    Conditions required to support buoyant convective plumes are investigated for explosive volcanic eruptions from circular and linear vents on Earth, Venus, and Mars. Vent geometry (linear versus circular) plays a significant role in the ability of an explosive eruption to sustain a buoyant plume. On Earth, linear and circular vent eruptions are both capable of driving buoyant plumes to equivalent maximum rise heights, however, linear vent plumes are more sensitive to vent size. For analogous mass eruption rates, linear vent plumes surpass circular vent plumes in entrainment efficiency approximately when L(sub o) > 3r(sub o) owing to the larger entrainment area relative to the control volume. Relative to circular vents, linear vents on Venus favor column collapse and the formation of pyroclastic flows because the range of conditions required to establish and sustain buoyancy is narrow. When buoyancy can be sustained, however, maximum plume heights exceed those from circular vents. For current atmospheric conditions on Mars, linear vent eruptions are capable of injecting volcanic material slightly higher than analogous circular vent eruptions. However, both geometries are more likely to produce pyroclastic fountains, as opposed to convective plumes, owing to the low density atmosphere. Due to the atmospheric density profile and water content on Earth, explosive eruptions enjoy favorable conditions for producing sustained buoyant columns, while pyroclastic flows would be relatively more prevalent on Venus and Mars. These results have implications for the injection and dispersal of particulates into the planetary atmosphere and the ability to interpret the geologic record of planetary volcanism.

  20. Orbit determination strategy and results for the Pioneer 10 Jupiter mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, S. K.; Lubeley, A. J.

    1974-01-01

    Pioneer 10 is the first earth-based vehicle to encounter Jupiter and occult its moon, Io. In contributing to the success of the mission, the Orbit Determination Group evaluated the effects of the dominant error sources on the spacecraft's computed orbit and devised an encounter strategy minimizing the effects of these error sources. The encounter results indicated that: (1) errors in the satellite model played a very important role in the accuracy of the computed orbit, (2) encounter strategy was sound, (3) all mission objectives were met, and (4) Jupiter-Saturn mission for Pioneer 11 is within the navigation capability.

  1. From Earth to Mars, Radiation Intensities in Interplanetary Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Keran

    2007-10-01

    The radiation field in interplanetary space between Earth and Mars is rather intense. Using a modified version of the ATROPOS Monte Carlo code combined with a modified version of the deterministic code, PLOTINUS, the effective dose rate to crew members in space craft hull shielded with a shell of 2 g/cm^2 of aluminum and 20 g/cm^2 of polyethylene was calculated to be 51 rem/y. The total dose during the solar-particle event of September 29, 1989, GLE 42, was calculated to be 50 rem. The dose in a ``storm cellar'' of 100 g/cm^2 of polyethylene equivalent during this time was calculated to be 5 rem. The calculations were for conditions corresponding to a recent solar minimum.

  2. Coupling of the Matched Gravity and Electromagnetic Fields of the Sun with Jupiter and its Moons Together in Nearest Portion of Jupiter's Orbit to the Sun as the Main Cause of the Peak of Approximately 11 Yearly Solar Cycles and Hazards from Solar Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholibeigian, Kazem; Gholibeigian, Hassan

    2016-04-01

    On March 13, 1989 the entire province of Quebec Blackout by solar storm during solar cycle 22. The solar storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington event, was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm during solar cycle 10. The solar storm of 2012 during solar cycle 24 was of similar magnitude, but it passed Earth's orbit without striking the plane. All of these solar storms occurred in the peak of 11 yearly solar cycles. In this way, the White House in its project which is focusing on hazards from solar system, in a new strategy and action plan to increase protection from damaging solar emissions, should focus on coupling of the matched Gravity and Electromagnetic Fields)GEFs) of the Sun with Jupiter and its moons together. On the other hand, in solar system, the Jupiter's gravity has largest effect to the Sun's core and its dislocation, because the gravity force between the Jupiter and the Sun is 11.834 times, In addition overlapping of the solar cycles with the Jupiter's orbit period is 11.856 years. These observable factors lead us to the effect of the Jupiter and Sun gravity fields coupling as the main cause of the approximately 11 years duration for solar cycles. Its peak in each cycle is when the Jupiter is in nearest portion to the Sun in its orbit. In this way, the other planets in their coupling with Sun help to the variations and strengthening solar cycles. [Gholibeigian, 7/24/2015http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014EGU]. In other words, the both matched GEFs are generating by the large scale forced convection system inside the stars and planets [Gholibeigian et. al, AGU Fall Meeting 2015]. These two fields are couple and strengthening each other. The Jupiter with its 67 moons generate the largest coupled and matched GEFs in its core and consequently strongest effect on the Sun's core. Generation and coupling of the Jupiter's GEFs with its moons like Europa, Io and Ganymede make this planet of thousands of times brighter and many times bigger than Earth as the

  3. On the asymmetric evolution of the perihelion distances of near-Earth Jupiter family comets around the discovery time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa, A.; Fernández, J. A.; Pais, P.

    2012-12-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth Jupiter family comets (NEJFCs) that came close to or crossed the Earth's orbit at the epoch of their discovery (perihelion distances qdisc < 1.3 AU). We found a minimum in the time evolution of the mean perihelion distance bar{q} of the NEJFCs at the discovery time of each comet (taken as t = 0) and a past-future asymmetry of bar{q} in an interval -1000 yr, +1000 yr centred on t = 0, confirming previous results. The asymmetry indicates that there are more comets with greater q in the past than in the future. For comparison purposes, we also analysed the population of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q > 4.5 AU) and with absolute magnitudes H < 18. We found some remarkable differences in the dynamical evolution of both populations that argue against a common origin. To further analyse the dynamical evolution of NEJFCs, we integrated in time a large sample of fictitious comets, cloned from the observed NEJFCs, over a 20 000 yr time interval and started the integration before the comet's discovery time, when it had a perihelion distance q > 2 AU. By assuming that NEJFCs are mostly discovered when they decrease their perihelion distances below a certain threshold qthre = 1.05 AU for the first time during their evolution, we were able to reproduce the main features of the observed bar{q} evolution in the interval [-1000, 1000] yr with respect to the discovery time. Our best fits indicate that 40% of the population of NEJFCs would be composed of young, fresh comets that entered the region q < 2 AU a few hundred years before decreasing their perihelion distances below qthre, while 60% would be composed of older, more evolved comets, discovered after spending at least 3000 yr in the q < 2 AU region before their perihelion distances drop below qthre. As a byproduct, we put some constraints on the physical lifetime τphys of NEJFCs in the q < 2 AU region. We found a lower

  4. Clusters of cyclones encircling Jupiter's poles.

    PubMed

    Adriani, A; Mura, A; Orton, G; Hansen, C; Altieri, F; Moriconi, M L; Rogers, J; Eichstädt, G; Momary, T; Ingersoll, A P; Filacchione, G; Sindoni, G; Tabataba-Vakili, F; Dinelli, B M; Fabiano, F; Bolton, S J; Connerney, J E P; Atreya, S K; Lunine, J I; Tosi, F; Migliorini, A; Grassi, D; Piccioni, G; Noschese, R; Cicchetti, A; Plainaki, C; Olivieri, A; O'Neill, M E; Turrini, D; Stefani, S; Sordini, R; Amoroso, M

    2018-03-07

    The familiar axisymmetric zones and belts that characterize Jupiter's weather system at lower latitudes give way to pervasive cyclonic activity at higher latitudes. Two-dimensional turbulence in combination with the Coriolis β-effect (that is, the large meridionally varying Coriolis force on the giant planets of the Solar System) produces alternating zonal flows. The zonal flows weaken with rising latitude so that a transition between equatorial jets and polar turbulence on Jupiter can occur. Simulations with shallow-water models of giant planets support this transition by producing both alternating flows near the equator and circumpolar cyclones near the poles. Jovian polar regions are not visible from Earth owing to Jupiter's low axial tilt, and were poorly characterized by previous missions because the trajectories of these missions did not venture far from Jupiter's equatorial plane. Here we report that visible and infrared images obtained from above each pole by the Juno spacecraft during its first five orbits reveal persistent polygonal patterns of large cyclones. In the north, eight circumpolar cyclones are observed about a single polar cyclone; in the south, one polar cyclone is encircled by five circumpolar cyclones. Cyclonic circulation is established via time-lapse imagery obtained over intervals ranging from 20 minutes to 4 hours. Although migration of cyclones towards the pole might be expected as a consequence of the Coriolis β-effect, by which cyclonic vortices naturally drift towards the rotational pole, the configuration of the cyclones is without precedent on other planets (including Saturn's polar hexagonal features). The manner in which the cyclones persist without merging and the process by which they evolve to their current configuration are unknown.

  5. Choosing Mars-Time: Analysis of the Mars Exploration Rover Experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bass, Deborah S.; Wales,Roxana C.; Shalin, Valerie L.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission decision to work on Mars Time and the implications of that decision on the tactical surface operations process as personnel planned activities and created a new command load for work on each Martian sol. The paper also looks at tools that supported the complexities of Mars Time work, and makes some comparisons between Earth and Mars time scheduling.

  6. Tectonics and volcanism on Mars: a compared remote sensing analysis with earthly geostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggio, Paolo; Ancona, M. A.; Callegari, I.; Pinori, S.; Vercellone, S.

    1999-12-01

    The recent knowledge on Mars' lithosphere evolution does not find yet sufficient analogies with the Earth's tectonic models. The Viking image analysis seems to be even now frequently, rather fragmentary, and do not permits to express any coherent relationships among the different detected phenomena. Therefore, today it is impossible to support any reliable kinematic hypothesis. The Remote-Sensing interpretation is addressed to a Viking image mosaic of the known Tharsis Montes region and particularly focused on the Arsia Mons volcano. Several previously unknown lineaments, not directly linked to volcano-tectonics, were detected. Their mutual relationships recall transcurrent kinematics that could be related to similar geostructural models known in the Earth plate tectonic dynamics. Several concordant relationships between the Arsia Mons volcano and the brittle extensive tectonic features of earthly Etnean district (Sicily, South Italy), interpreted on Landsat TM images, were pointed out. These analogies coupled with the recently confirmed strato- volcano topology of Tharsis Montes (Head and Wilson), the layout distribution of the effusive centers (Arsia, Pavonis and Ascraeus Montes), the new tectonic lineaments and the morphological features, suggest the hypothesis of a plate tectonic volcanic region. The frame could be an example in agreement with the most recent interpretation of Mars (Sleep). A buried circular body, previously incorrectly interpreted as a great landslide event from the western slope of Arsia Mons volcano, seems really to be a more ancient volcanic structure (Arsia Mons Senilis), which location is in evident relation with the interpreted new transcurrent tectonic system.

  7. Optical properties of solid and liquid sulfur at visible and infrared wavelengths. [important for composition of Venus, Jupiter, Io, Amalthea and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sasson, R.; Wright, R.; Arakawa, E. T.; Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1985-01-01

    The real part of the refractive index of liquid sulfur and solid orthorhombic sulfur was measured in the 0.4-2.0 micron range, with reference to applications to Venus, Jupiter, Amalthea, Io, and the earth. The imaginary part of the refractive index of liquid sulfur was also measured, and the reflectance of semiinfinite slabs of solid and liquid sulfur was calculated on the basis of the measured values of the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index. The conclusion that liquid sulfur melts on Io would be classified as 'black' by the Voyager spectrophotometric analysis is confirmed.

  8. Family Portrait of Jupiter's Great Red Spot and the Galilean Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This 'family portrait,' a composite of the Jovian system, includes the edge of Jupiter with its Great Red Spot, and Jupiter's four largest moons, known as the Galilean satellites. From top to bottom, the moons shown are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

    The Great Red Spot, a storm in Jupiter's atmosphere, is at least 300 years old. Winds blow counterclockwise around the Great Red Spot at about 400 kilometers per hour (250 miles per hour). The storm is larger than one Earth diameter from north to south, and more than two Earth diameters from east to west. In this oblique view, the Great Red Spot appears longer in the north-south direction.

    Europa, the smallest of the four moons, is about the size of Earth's moon, while Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. North is at the top of this composite picture in which the massive planet and its largest satellites have all been scaled to a common factor of 15 kilometers (9 miles) per picture element.

    The Solid State Imaging (CCD) system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft obtained the Jupiter, Io and Ganymede images in June 1996, while the Europa images were obtained in September 1996. Because Galileo focuses on high resolution imaging of regional areas on Callisto rather than global coverage, the portrait of Callisto is from the 1979 flyby of NASA's Voyager spacecraft.

    Launched in October 1989, the spacecraft's mission is to conduct detailed studies of the giant planet, its largest moons and the Jovian magnetic environment. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at: http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at: http:/ /www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo.

  9. ESAS-Derived Earth Departure Stage Design for Human Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flaherty, Kevin; Grant, Michael; Korzun, Ashley; Malo-Molina, Faure; Steinfeldt, Bradley; Stahl, Benjamin; Wilhite, Alan

    2007-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration has set the nation on a course to have humans on Mars as early as 2030. To reduce the cost and risk associated with human Mars exploration, NASA is planning for the Mars architecture to leverage the lunar architecture as fully as possible. This study takes the defined launch vehicles and system capabilities from ESAS and extends their application to DRM 3.0 to design an Earth Departure Stage suitable for the cargo and crew missions to Mars. The impact of a propellant depot in LEO was assessed and sLzed for use with the EDS. To quantitatively assess and compare the effectiveness of alternative designs, an initial baseline architecture was defined using the ESAS launch vehicles and DRM 3.0. The baseline architecture uses three NTR engines, LH2 propellant, no propellant depot in LEO, and launches on the Ares I and Ares V. The Mars transfer and surface elements from DRM 3.0 were considered to be fixed payloads in the design of the EDS. Feasible architecture alternatives were identified from previous architecture studies and anticipated capabilities and compiled in a morphological matrix. ESAS FOMs were used to determine the most critical design attributes for the effectiveness of the EDS. The ESAS-derived FOMs used in this study to assess alternative designs are effectiveness and performance, affordability, reliability, and risk. The individual FOMs were prioritized using the AHP, a method for pairwise comparison. All trades performed were evaluated with respect to the weighted FOMs, creating a Pareto frontier of equivalently ideal solutions. Additionally, each design on the frontier was evaluated based on its fulfillment of the weighted FOMs using TOPSIS, a quantitative method for ordinal ranking of the alternatives. The designs were assessed in an integrated environment using physics-based models for subsystem analysis where possible. However, for certain attributes such as engine type, historical, performance-based mass estimating

  10. Development of the Non-Hydrostatic Jupiter Global Ionosphere Thermosphere Model (J-GITM): Status and Current Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, Stephen; Ridley, Aaron; Majeed, Tariq; Waite, J. Hunter; Gladstone, Randy; Bell, Jared

    2016-07-01

    The primary objectives for development and validation of a new 3-D non-hydrostatic model of Jupiter's upper atmosphere is to improve our understanding of Jupiter's thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system and to provide a global context within which to analyze the data retrieved from the new JUNO mission. The new J-GITM model presently incorporates the progress made on the previous Jupiter-TGCM code (i.e. key parameterizations, ion-neutral chemistry, IR cooling) while also employing the non-hydrostatic numerical core of the Earth Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (GITM). The GITM numerical framework has been successfully applied to Earth, Mars, and Titan (see Ridley et al. [2006], Bougher et al. [2015], Bell [2008, 2010]). Moreover, it has been shown to simulate the effects of strong, localized heat sources (such as joule heating and auroral heating) more accurately than strictly hydrostatic GCMs (Deng et al. [2007, 2008]). Thus far, in the J-GITM model development and testing, model capability has been progressively augmented to capture the neutral composition (e.g. H, H2, He major species), 3-component neutral winds, and thermal structure, as well as the ion composition (H3+, H2+, and H+ among others) above 250 km. Presently, J-GITM: (a) provides an interactive calculation for auroral particle precipitation (i.e. heating, ionization), an improvement over the static formulation used previously in the J-TGCM (Bougher et al., 2005; Majeed et al., 2005, 2009, 2015); (b) self-consistently calculates an ionosphere using updated ion-neutral chemistry, ion dynamics, and electron transport; (c) simulates the chemistry that forms key hydrocarbons at the base of the thermosphere, focusing on CH4, C2H2, and C2H6; (d) allows the production of H3+, CH4, C2H2, and C2H6 to modify the global thermal balance of Jupiter through their non-LTE radiative cooling; (e) provides a calculation of H2 vibrational chemistry to regulate H+ densities; and (f) uses the improved

  11. The Mars Sample Return Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Neil, W. J.; Cazaux, C.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Sample Return (MSR) Project is underway. A 2003 mission to be launched on a Delta III Class vehicle and a 2005 mission launched on an Ariane 5 will culminate in carefully selected Mars samples arriving on Earth in 2008. NASA is the lead agency and will provide the Mars landed elements, namely, landers, rovers, and Mars ascent vehicles (MAVs). The French Space Agency CNES is the largest international partner and will provide for the joint NASA/CNES 2005 Mission the Ariane 5 launch and the Earth Return Mars Orbiter that will capture the sample canisters from the Mars parking orbits the MAVs place them in. The sample canisters will be returned to Earth aboard the CNES Orbiter in the Earth Entry Vehicles provided by NASA. Other national space agencies are also expected to participate in substantial roles. Italy is planning to provide a drill that will operate from the Landers to provide subsurface samples. Other experiments in addition to the MSR payload will also be carried on the Landers. This paper will present the current status of the design of the MSR missions and flight articles. c 2000 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  12. Solubility of oxygen in liquid Fe at high pressure and consequences for the early differentiation of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubie, D. C.; Gessmann, C. K.; Frost, D. J.

    2003-04-01

    Knowledge of the solubility of oxygen in liquid iron enables the partitioning of oxygen between metal and silicates and the oxidation state of residual silicates to be constrained during core formation in planetary bodies. We have determined oxygen solubility experimentally at 5--23 GPa, 2100--2700 K and oxygen fugacities 1--4 log units below the iron-wüstite buffer in samples of liquid Ni-Fe alloy contained in magnesiowüstite capsules using a multianvil apparatus. Results show that oxygen solubility increases with increasing temperature but decreases slightly with increasing pressure over the range of experimental conditions, at constant oxygen fugacity. Using an extrapolation of the results to higher pressures and temperatures, we have modeled the geochemical consequences of metal-silicate separation in magma oceans in order to explain the contrasting FeO contents of the mantles of Earth and Mars. We assume that both Earth and Mars accreted originally from material with a chondritic composition; because the initial oxidation state is uncertain, we vary this parameter by defining the initial oxygen content. Two metal-silicate fractionation models are considered: (1) Metal and silicate are allowed to equilibrate at fictive conditions that approximate the pressure and temperature at the base of a magma ocean. (2) The effect of settling Fe droplets in a magma ocean is determined using a simple polybaric metal-silicate fractionation model. We assume that the temperature at the base of a magma ocean is close to the peridotite liquidus. In the case of Earth, high temperatures in a magma ocean with a depth >1200 km would have resulted in significant quantities of oxygen dissolving in the liquid metal with the consequent extraction of FeO from the residual silicate. In contrast, on Mars, even if the magma ocean extended to the depth of the current core-mantle boundary, temperatures would not have been sufficiently high for oxygen solubility in liquid metal to be

  13. Meteorite Source Regions as Revealed by the Near-Earth Object Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binzel, Richard P.; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Burt, Brian J.; Polishook, David; Burbine, Thomas H.; Bus, Schelte J.; Tokunaga, Alan; Birlan, Mirel

    2014-11-01

    Spectroscopic and taxonomic information is now available for 1000 near-Earth objects, having been obtained through both targeted surveys (e.g. [1], [2], [3]) or resulting from all-sky surveys (e.g. [4]). We determine their taxonomic types in the Bus-DeMeo system [5] [6] and subsequently examine meteorite correlations based on spectral analysis (e.g. [7],[8]). We correlate our spectral findings with the source region probabilities calculated using the methods of Bottke et al. [9]. In terms of taxonomy, very clear sources are indicated: Q-, Sq-, and S-types most strongly associated with ordinary chondrite meteorites show clear source signatures through the inner main-belt. V-types are relatively equally balanced between nu6 and 3:1 resonance sources, consistent with the orbital dispersion of the Vesta family. B- and C-types show distinct source region preferences for the outer belt and for Jupiter family comets. A Jupiter family comet source predominates for the D-type near-Earth objects, implying these "asteroidal" bodies may be extinct or dormant comets [10]. Similarly, near-Earth objects falling in the spectrally featureless "X-type" category also show a strong outer belt and Jupiter family comet source region preference. Finally the Xe-class near-Earth objects, which most closely match the spectral properties of enstatite achondrite (aubrite) meteorites seen in the Hungaria region[11], show a source region preference consistent with a Hungaria origin by entering near-Earth space through the Mars crossing and nu6 resonance pathways. This work supported by the National Science Foundation Grant 0907766 and NASA Grant NNX10AG27G.[1] Lazzarin, M. et al. (2004), Mem. S. A. It. Suppl. 5, 21. [2] Thomas, C. A. et al. (2014), Icarus 228, 217. [3] Tokunaga, A. et al. (2006) BAAS 38, 59.07. [4] Hasselmann, P. H., Carvano, J. M., Lazzaro, D. (2011) NASA PDS, EAR-A-I0035-5-SDSSTAX-V1.0. [5] Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. (2002). Icarus 158, 146. [6] DeMeo, F.E. et al. (2009), Icarus

  14. LiDAR observations of an Earth magmatic plumbing system as an analog for Venus and Mars distributed volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Jacob; Connor, Charles; Malservisi, Rocco; Bleacher, Jacob; Connor, Laura

    2014-05-01

    Clusters of tens to thousands of small volcanoes (diameters generally <30 km) are common features on the surface of Mars, Venus, and the Earth. These clusters may be described as distributed-style volcanism. Better characterizing the magmatic plumbing system of these clusters can constrain magma ascent processes as well as the regional magma production budget and heat flux beneath each cluster. Unfortunately, directly observing the plumbing systems of volcano clusters on Mars and Venus eludes our current geologic abilities. Because erosion exposes such systems at the Earth's surface, a better understanding of magmatic processes and migration can be achieved via field analysis. The terrestrial plumbing system of an eroded volcanic field may be a valuable planetary analog for Venus and Mars clusters. The magmatic plumbing system of a Pliocene-aged monogenetic volcanic field, emplaced at 0.8 km depth, is currently exposed as a sill and dike swarm in the San Rafael Desert of Central Utah, USA. The mafic bodies in this region intruded into Mesozoic sedimentary units and now make up the most erosion resistant units as sills, dikes, and plug-like conduits. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) can identify volcanic units (sills, dikes, and conduits) at high resolution, both geomorphologically and with near infrared return intensity values. Two Terrestrial LiDAR Surveys and an Airborne LiDAR Survey have been carried out over the San Rafael volcanic swarm, producing a three dimensional point cloud over approximately 36 sq. km. From the point clouds of these surveys, 1-meter DEMs are produced and volcanic intrusions have been mapped. Here we present reconstructions of the volcanic instrusions of the San Rafael Swarm. We create this reconstruction by extrapolating mapped intrustions from the LiDAR surveys into a 3D space around the current surface. We compare the estimated intrusive volume to the estimated conduit density and estimates of extrusive volume at volcano clusters of

  15. Earth - Departing Image by Galileo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-02-08

    This color image of the Earth was taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on December 11 as it departed on its 3-year flight to Jupiter, about 2 1/2 days after the second Earth flyby. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00232

  16. 'Mars-shine'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] 'Mars-shine' Composite

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to take advantage of favorable solar power conditions to conduct occasional nighttime astronomical observations from the summit region of 'Husband Hill.'

    Spirit has been observing the martian moons Phobos and Deimos to learn more about their orbits and surface properties. This has included observing eclipses. On Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's orbit takes it exactly between the Sun and Earth, casting parts of Earth into shadow. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the Moon, casting the Moon into shadow and often giving it a ghostly orange-reddish color. This color is created by sunlight reflected through Earth's atmosphere into the shadowed region. The primary difference between terrestrial and martian eclipses is that Mars' moons are too small to completely block the Sun from view during solar eclipses.

    Recently, Spirit observed a 'lunar' eclipse on Mars. Phobos, the larger of the two martian moons, was photographed while slipping into the shadow of Mars. Jim Bell, the astronomer in charge of the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam), suggested calling it a 'Phobal' eclipse rather than a lunar eclipse as a way of identifying which of the dozens of moons in our solar system was being cast into shadow.

    With the help of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's navigation team, the Pancam team planned instructions to Spirit for acquiring the views shown here of Phobos as it entered into a lunar eclipse on the evening of the rover's 639th martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2005) on Mars. This image is a time-lapse composite of eight Pancam images of Phobos moving across the martian sky. The entire eclipse lasted more than 26 minutes, but Spirit was able to observe only in the first 15 minutes. During the time closest to the shadow crossing, Spirit's cameras were programmed to take images every 10

  17. Jupiter Wallpaper

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-08

    When team members from NASA's Juno mission invited the public to process JunoCam images, they did not anticipate that they would receive back such beautiful, creative expressions of art. The oranges and grayed-out regions of blue-green in this tiled and color-enhanced image resemble a color scheme much like Romantic era paintings, but more abstract. The lack of discreet objects to focus on allows the mind to seek familiar Earthly shapes, and the brightest spots seem to draw the eye. Citizen scientist Eric Jorgensen created this Jovian artwork with a JunoCam image taken when the spacecraft was at an altitude of 11,100 miles (17,800 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloudtops on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:22 a.m. PT (12:22 p.m. ET). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21385

  18. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  19. High-dispersion spectroscopy of extrasolar planets: from CO in hot Jupiters to O2 in exo-Earths.

    PubMed

    Snellen, Ignas

    2014-04-28

    Ground-based high-dispersion spectroscopy could reveal molecular oxygen as a biomarker gas in the atmospheres of twin-Earths transiting red dwarf stars within the next 25 years. The required contrasts are only a factor of 3 lower than that already achieved for carbon monoxide in hot Jupiter atmospheres today but will need much larger telescopes because the target stars will be orders of magnitude fainter. If extraterrestrial life is very common and can therefore be found on planets around the most nearby red dwarf stars, it may be detectable via transmission spectroscopy with the next-generation extremely large telescopes. However, it is likely that significantly more collecting area is required for this. This can be achieved through the development of low-cost flux collector technology, which combines a large collecting area with a low but sufficient image quality for high-dispersion spectroscopy of bright stars.

  20. Mars Human Exploration Objectives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Geoff

    1998-01-01

    This paper reviews the objectives and other considerations of Human exploration of Mars. The objectives of human exploration of Mars are: (1) to learn how Mars is similar to, and different from, Earth; (2) to explore possible life, past and present; (3) to discover what Mars is like now from the perspective of Geoscience and geologic history; and (4) how did Mars form and how did its formation differ from Earth. Considerations of human Martian exploration involve: (1) having a capable base laboratory; (2) having long range transportation; (3) having operational autonomy of the crew, and the requirement of the crew to possess a range of new cognitive processes along with easy communications with terrestrial colleagues; and finally (4) creating the human habitat along with human factors which involve more than just survivability.

  1. Planetary Perspective on Life on Early Mars and the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, Norman H.; Zahnle, Kevin

    1996-01-01

    Impacts of asteroids and comets posed a major hazard to the continuous existence of early life on Mars as on the Earth. The chief danger was presented by globally distributed ejecta, which for very large impacts takes the form of transient thick rock vapor atmospheres; both planets suffered such impacts repeatedly. The exposed surface on both planets was sterilized when it was quickly heated to the temperature of condensed rock vapor by radiation and rock rain. Shallow water bodies were quickly evaporated and sterilized. Any surviving life must have been either in deep water or well below the surface.

  2. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Wade, Jon; Dyck, Brendan; Palin, Richard M; Moore, James D P; Smye, Andrew J

    2017-12-20

    Despite active transport into Earth's mantle, water has been present on our planet's surface for most of geological time. Yet water disappeared from the Martian surface soon after its formation. Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet's magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust. Here we quantify the relative volumes of water that could be removed from each planet's surface via the burial and metamorphism of hydrated mafic crusts, and calculate mineral transition-induced bulk-density changes at conditions of elevated pressure and temperature for each. The metamorphic mineral assemblages in relatively FeO-rich Martian lavas can hold about 25 per cent more structurally bound water than those in metamorphosed terrestrial basalts, and can retain it at greater depths within Mars. Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 per cent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 per cent by volume of Earth's mantle. Furthermore, neither primitive nor evolved hydrated Martian crust show noticeably different bulk densities compared to their anhydrous equivalents, in contrast to hydrous mafic terrestrial crust, which transforms to denser eclogite upon dehydration. This would have allowed efficient overplating and burial of early Martian crust in a stagnant-lid tectonic regime, in which the lithosphere comprised a single tectonic plate, with only the warmer, lower crust involved in mantle convection. This provided an important sink for hydrospheric water and a mechanism for oxidizing the Martian mantle. Conversely, relatively buoyant mafic crust and hotter geothermal gradients on Earth reduced the potential for upper-mantle hydration early in its geological history, leading to water being retained close to

  3. Investigation of the Cooling Capacity of Plate Tectonics and Flood Volcanism in the Evolution of Earth, Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Thienen, P.; Vlaar, N. J.; van den Berg, A. P.

    2003-12-01

    The cooling of the terrestrial planets from their presumed hot initial states to the present situation has required the operation of one or more efficient cooling mechanisms. In the recent history of the Earth, plate tectonics has been responsible for most of the planetary cooling. The high internal temperature of the early Earth, however, prevented the operation of plate tectonics because of the greater inherent buoyancy of thicker oceanic lithosphere (basaltic crust and depleted mantle) produced from a hotter mantle. A similar argument is valid for Venus, and also for Mars. An alternative cooling mechanism may therefore have been required during a part of the planetary histories. Starting from the notion that all heat output of planets is through their surfaces, we have constructed two parametric models to evaluate the cooling characteristics of two cooling mechanisms: plate tectonics and basalt extrusion / flood volcanism. We have applied these models to the Earth, Mars and Venus for present-day and presumed early thermal conditions. Our model results show that for a steadily (exponentially) cooling Earth, plate tectonics is capable of removing all the required heat at a rate comparable to or even lower than its current rate of operation during its entire history, contrary to earlier speculations. The extrusion mechanism may have been an important cooling agent in the early Earth, but requires global eruption rates two orders of magnitude greater than those of known Phanerozoic flood basalt provinces. This may not be a problem, since geological observations indicate that flood volcanism was both stronger and more ubiquitous in the early Earth. Because of its smaller size, Mars is capable of cooling conductively through its lithosphere at significant rates. As a result may have cooled without an additional cooling mechanism during its entire history. Venus, on the other hand, has required the operation of an additional cooling agent for probably every cooling

  4. A Hands-on Exploration of the Retrograde Motion of Mars as Seen from the Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pincelli, M. M.; Otranto, S.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a set of activities based on the use of a celestial simulator to gain insights into the retrograde motion of Mars as seen from the Earth. These activities provide a useful link between the heliocentric concepts taught in schools and those tackled in typical introductory physics courses based on classical mechanics for…

  5. Instabilities in the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid three body problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urschel, John C.; Galante, Joseph R.

    2013-03-01

    We consider dynamics of a Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid system, and, under some simplifying assumptions, show the existence of instabilities in the motions of an asteroid. In particular, we show that an asteroid whose initial orbit is far from the orbit of Mars can be gradually perturbed into one that crosses Mars' orbit. Properly formulated, the motion of the asteroid can be described as a Hamiltonian system with two degrees of freedom, with the dynamics restricted to a "large" open region of the phase space reduced to an exact area preserving map. Instabilities arise in regions where the map has no invariant curves. The method of MacKay and Percival is used to explicitly rule out the existence of these curves, and results of Mather abstractly guarantee the existence of diffusing orbits. We emphasize that finding such diffusing orbits numerically is quite difficult, and is outside the scope of this paper.

  6. Properties of thermospheric gravity waves on earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Harris, I.; Pesnell, W. D.

    1992-01-01

    A spectral model with spherical harmonics and Fourier components that can simulate atmospheric perturbations in the global geometry of a multiconstituent atmosphere is presented. The boundaries are the planetary surface where the transport velocities vanish and the exobase where molecular heat conduction and viscosity dominate. The time consuming integration of the conservation equations is reduced to computing the transfer function (TF) which describes the dynamic properties of the medium divorced from the complexities in the temporal and horizontal variations of the excitation source. Given the TF, the atmospheric response to a chosen source distribution is then obtained in short order. Theoretical studies are presented to illuminate some properties of gravity waves on earth, Venus and Mars.

  7. Association of corotating magnetic sector structure with Jupiters decameter-wave radio emissions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrow, C. H.

    1979-01-01

    Chree (superposed epoch) analyses of Jupiter's decameter-wave radio emission taken from the new Thieman (1979) catalog show highly significant correlation with solar activity indicated by the geomagnetic Ap index. The correlation effects can be explained in terms of corotating interplanetary magnetic sector features. At times when the solar wind velocity is relatively low, about 300 to 350 km/s, a sector boundary can encounter the Earth and Jupiter almost simultaneously during the period immediately before opposition. After opposition this will not normally occur as the solar wind velocities necessary are too low. The correlation effects are much enhanced for the three apparitions of 1962-1964 during which a relatively stable and long-lived sector pattern was present. Chree analyses for this period indicate periodicities, approximately equal to half the solar rotation period, in the Jupiter data.

  8. Energetic-ion acceleration and transport in the upstream region of Jupiter: Voyager 1 and 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, D. N.; Zwickl, R. D.; Carbary, J. F.; Krimigis, S. M.; Lepping, R. P.

    1982-01-01

    Long-lived upstream energetic ion events at Jupiter appear to be very similar in nearly all respects to upstream ion events at Earth. A notable difference between the two planetary systems is the enhanced heavy ion compositional signature reported for the Jovian events. This compositional feature has suggested that ions escaping from the Jovian magnetosphere play an important role in forming upstream ion populations at Jupiter. In contrast, models of energetic upstream ions at Earth emphasize in situ acceleration of reflected solar wind ions within the upstream region itself. Using Voyager 1 and 2 energetic ( approximately 30 keV) ion measurements near the magnetopause, in the magnetosheath, and immediately upstream of the bow shock, the compositional patterns are examined together with typical energy spectra in each of these regions. A model involving upstream Fermi acceleration early in events and emphasizing energetic particle escape in the prenoon part of the Jovian magnetosphere late in events is presented to explain many of the features in the upstream region of Jupiter.

  9. The atmospheric escape at Mars: complementing the scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilensten, Jean; Simon, Cyril; Barthélémy, Mathieu; Thissen, Roland; Ehrenreich, David; Gronoff, Guillaume; Witasse, Olivier

    2013-04-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly ener- getic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. This study assesses the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions.We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a 2 case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering ...), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished but complement the other processes and allow writing the scenario of the Mars escape. We show that the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible.When simulating the hot Jupiter HD209458b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+.

  10. The crash of P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter and its implications for comet bombardment on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.

    1994-01-01

    Periodic Comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 will impact Jupiter in late July 1994. The comet, which broke into more than 20 telescopically detectable fragments when it passed with the Roche lobe of Jupiter on July 8, 1992, is captured in a highly eccentric orbit about Jupiter. The 21 recognized nuclei will be spread out in a train of the order 7 x 10(exp 6) km long at the time of impact, and the impacts will be spread in time over about 5 1/2 days centered on about July 21.2 UT. In addition to the train of recognized bright nuclei, the comet consists of 'wings' of unresolved bodies that are the source of a very broad composite dust tail. The linear extent of the wings is about an order of magnitude greater than that of the train of recognized discrete nuclei. Collision of the wings will be spread in time over several months. Thus the impact of P/S-L 9 with Jupiter will be an event of appreciable duration.

  11. Jupiter: A New Perspective

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-05-16

    This extraordinary view of Jupiter was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on the outbound leg of its 12th close flyby of the gas giant planet. This new perspective of Jupiter from the south makes the Great Red Spot appear as though it is in northern territory. This view is unique to Juno and demonstrates how different our view is when we step off the Earth and experience the true nature of our three-dimensional universe. Juno took the images used to produce this color-enhanced image on April 1 between 3:04 a.m. PDT (6:04 a.m. EDT) and 3:36 a.m. PDT (6:36 a.m. EDT). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 10,768 miles (17,329 kilometers) to 42,849 miles (68,959 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a southern latitude spanning 34.01 to 71.43 degrees. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager. The view is a composite of several separate JunoCam images that were re-projected, blended, and healed. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22421

  12. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzales, Andrew A.; Stoker, Carol R.

    2016-01-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as "Red Dragon", onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth Return

  13. An efficient approach for Mars Sample Return using emerging commercial capabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzales, Andrew A.; Stoker, Carol R.

    2016-06-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science (Squyres, 2011 [1]). This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as ;Red Dragon;, onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the

  14. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Andrew A; Stoker, Carol R

    2016-06-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science [1]. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as "Red Dragon", onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth Return

  15. Photographer : JPL Range : 7 million kilometers (5 million miles) Callisto is Jupiter's outermost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer : JPL Range : 7 million kilometers (5 million miles) Callisto is Jupiter's outermost Galilean satellites and darkest of the four(but almost twice as bright as Earth's Moon). Mottled appearance from bright and dark patches. Bright spots seem like rayed or bright halved craters seen on our Moon. This face is always turned toward Jupiter. Photo taken through violet filter. Ganymede is slightly larger than Mercury but much less dense (twice the density of water). Its surface brightness is 4 times of Earth's Moon. Mare regions (dark features) are like the Moon's but have twice the brightness, and believed to be unlikely of rock or lava as the Moon's are. It's north pole seems covered with brighter material and may be water frost. Scattered brighter spots may be related to impact craters or source of fresh ice.

  16. Habitability: Where to look for life? Halophilic habitats: Earth analogs to study Mars habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, F.; Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A.; Rodríguez, N.; Fernández-Sampedro, M.; Caballero-Castrejón, F. J.; Amils, R.

    2012-08-01

    Oxidative stress, high radiation doses, low temperature and pressure are parameters which made Mars's surface adverse for life. Those conditions found on Mars surface are harsh conditions for life to deal with. Life, as we know it on Earth, needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only "sine qua nom" element is water. Extremophilic microorganisms widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. Recently reported results in extreme environments indicate the possibility of presence of "oasys" for life in microniches due to water deliquescence in salts deposits. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view from that reported by Viking missions: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentration of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars. Some particular protective environments or elements could house organic molecules or the first bacterial life forms on Mars surface. Terrestrial analogs could help us to afford its comprehension. We are reporting here some preliminary studies about endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light

  17. Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burr, D.M.; Bruno, B.C.; Lanagan, P.D.; Glaze, L.S.; Jaeger, W.L.; Soare, R.J.; Wan, Bun Tseung J.-M.; Skinner, J.A.; Baloga, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Mesoscale Raised Rim Depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A Review of the Characteristics, Processes, and Spatial Distributions of Analogs for Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burr, Devon M.; Bruno, Barbara C.; Lanagan, Peter D.; Glaze, Lori; Jaeger, Windy L.; Soare, Richard J.; Tseung, Jean-Michel Wan Bun; Skinner, James A. Jr.; Baloga, Stephen M.

    2008-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach.

  19. HUBBLE CLICKS IMAGES OF IO SWEEPING ACROSS JUPITER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    While hunting for volcanic plumes on Io, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured these images of the volatile moon sweeping across the giant face of Jupiter. Only a few weeks before these dramatic images were taken, the orbiting telescope snapped a portrait of one of Io's volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide 'snow.' These stunning images of the planetary duo are being released to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Hubble telescope's launch on April 24, 1990. All of these images were taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The three overlapping snapshots show in crisp detail Io passing above Jupiter's turbulent clouds. The close-up picture of Io (bottom right) reveal a 120-mile-high (200-kilometer) plume of sulfur dioxide 'snow' emanating from Pillan, one of the moon's active volcanoes. 'Other observations have inferred sulfur dioxide 'snow' in Io's plumes, but this image offers direct observational evidence for sulfur dioxide 'snow' in an Io plume,' explains John R. Spencer of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. A Trip Around Jupiter The three snapshots of the volcanic moon rounding Jupiter were taken over a 1.8-hour time span. Io is roughly the size of Earth's moon but 2,000 times farther away. In two of the images, Io appears to be skimming Jupiter's cloud tops, but it's actually 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) away. Io zips around Jupiter in 1.8 days, whereas the moon circles Earth every 28 days. The conspicuous black spot on Jupiter is Io's shadow and is about the size of the moon itself (2,262 miles or 3,640 kilometers across). This shadow sails across the face of Jupiter at 38,000 mph (17 kilometers per second). The smallest details visible on Io and Jupiter measure 93 miles (150 kilometers) across, or about the size of Connecticut. These images were further sharpened through image reconstruction techniques. The view is so crisp that one would have to stand on Io to see this much detail on Jupiter with the naked eye. The bright patches on Io

  20. Hubble Clicks Images of Io Sweeping Across Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    While hunting for volcanic plumes on Io, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured these images of the volatile moon sweeping across the giant face of Jupiter. Only a few weeks before these dramatic images were taken, the orbiting telescope snapped a portrait of one of Io's volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide 'snow.'

    These stunning images of the planetary duo are being released to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Hubble telescope's launch on April 24, 1990. All of these images were taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

    The three overlapping snapshots show in crisp detail Io passing above Jupiter's turbulent clouds. The close-up picture of Io (bottom right) reveal a 120-mile-high (200-kilometer) plume of sulfur dioxide 'snow' emanating from Pillan, one of the moon's active volcanoes.

    'Other observations have inferred sulfur dioxide 'snow' in Io's plumes, but this image offers direct observational evidence for sulfur dioxide 'snow' in an Io plume,' explains John R. Spencer of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

    A Trip Around Jupiter

    The three snapshots of the volcanic moon rounding Jupiter were taken over a 1.8-hour time span. Io is roughly the size of Earth's moon but 2,000 times farther away. In two of the images, Io appears to be skimming Jupiter's cloud tops, but it's actually 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) away. Io zips around Jupiter in 1.8 days, whereas the moon circles Earth every 28 days.

    The conspicuous black spot on Jupiter is Io's shadow and is about the size of the moon itself (2,262 miles or 3,640 kilometers across). This shadow sails across the face of Jupiter at 38,000 mph (17 kilometers per second). The smallest details visible on Io and Jupiter measure 93 miles (150 kilometers) across, or about the size of Connecticut.

    These images were further sharpened through image reconstruction techniques. The view is so crisp that one would have to stand on Io to see this much detail on Jupiter with the naked eye

  1. Permafrost features on Earth and Mars: Similarities, differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joens, H. P.

    1985-01-01

    Typical permafrost features on Earth are polygonal structures, pingos and soli-/gelifluxion features. In areas around the poles and in mountain ranges the precipitation accumulates to inland ice or ice streams. On Mars the same features were identified: polygonal features cover the larger part of the northern lowlands indicating probably an ice wedge-/sand wedge system or desiccation cracks. These features indicate the extend of large mud accumulations which seem to be related to large outflow events of the chaotic terrains. The shore line of this mud accumulation is indicated by a special set of relief types. In some areas large pingo-like hills were identified. In the vicinity of the largest martian volcano, Olympus Mons, the melting of underlying permafrost and/or ground ice led to the downslope sliding of large parts of the primary shield which formed the aureole around Olympus Mons. Glacier-like features are identified along the escarpment which separates the Southern Uplands from the Northern Lowlands.

  2. An Efficient Approach for Mars Sample Return Using Emerging Commercial Capabilities

    PubMed Central

    Gonzales, Andrew A.; Stoker, Carol R.

    2016-01-01

    Mars Sample Return is the highest priority science mission for the next decade as recommended by the 2011 Decadal Survey of Planetary Science [1]. This article presents the results of a feasibility study for a Mars Sample Return mission that efficiently uses emerging commercial capabilities expected to be available in the near future. The motivation of our study was the recognition that emerging commercial capabilities might be used to perform Mars Sample Return with an Earth-direct architecture, and that this may offer a desirable simpler and lower cost approach. The objective of the study was to determine whether these capabilities can be used to optimize the number of mission systems and launches required to return the samples, with the goal of achieving the desired simplicity. All of the major element required for the Mars Sample Return mission are described. Mission system elements were analyzed with either direct techniques or by using parametric mass estimating relationships. The analysis shows the feasibility of a complete and closed Mars Sample Return mission design based on the following scenario: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle places a modified version of a SpaceX Dragon capsule, referred to as “Red Dragon”, onto a Trans Mars Injection trajectory. The capsule carries all the hardware needed to return to Earth Orbit samples collected by a prior mission, such as the planned NASA Mars 2020 sample collection rover. The payload includes a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle; a fueled Earth Return Vehicle, support equipment, and a mechanism to transfer samples from the sample cache system onboard the rover to the Earth Return Vehicle. The Red Dragon descends to land on the surface of Mars using Supersonic Retropropulsion. After collected samples are transferred to the Earth Return Vehicle, the single-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle launches the Earth Return Vehicle from the surface of Mars to a Mars phasing orbit. After a brief phasing period, the Earth

  3. Jupiter's magnetosphere and radiation belts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennel, C. F.; Coroniti, F. V.

    1979-01-01

    Radioastronomy and Pioneer data reveal the Jovian magnetosphere as a rotating magnetized source of relativistic particles and radio emission, comparable to astrophysical cosmic ray and radio sources, such as pulsars. According to Pioneer data, the magnetic field in the outer magnetosphere is radially extended into a highly time variable disk-shaped configuration which differs fundamentally from the earth's magnetosphere. The outer disk region, and the energetic particles confined in it, are modulated by Jupiter's 10 hr rotation period. The entire outer magnetosphere appears to change drastically on time scales of a few days to a week. In addition to its known modulation of the Jovian decametric radio bursts, Io was found to absorb some radiation belt particles and to accelerate others, and most importantly, to be a source of neutral atoms, and by inference, a heavy ion plasma which may significantly affect the hydrodynamic flow in the magnetosphere. Another important Pioneer finding is that the Jovian outer magnetosphere generates, or permits to escape, fluxes of relativistic electrons of such intensities that Jupiter may be regarded as the dominant source of 1 to 30 MeV cosmic ray electrons in the heliosphere.

  4. Photographer : JPL Range : 5.9 million kilometers (3.66 million miles) Europa is Jupiter's 2nd

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer : JPL Range : 5.9 million kilometers (3.66 million miles) Europa is Jupiter's 2nd Galilean satellites from the planet and the brightest. Photo taken early morning through violet filter. Faint swirls and linear patterns show in the equatorial region (which shows darker than the poles). This hemisphere always faces Jupiter. North is up. Density and size comparable to Earth's Moon and seems to show water ice or ground water on its surface.

  5. Life On Mars: Past, Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, there is direct geomorphological evidence that, in the past, Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface - possibly due to a thicker atmosphere. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. One of the martian meteorites dates back to this early period and may contain evidence consistent with life. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Cyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Cyr timeframe. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued

  6. Humans to Mars in 1999

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubrin, Robert; Baker, David

    1991-01-01

    A set of vehicle designs and a mission architecture that was developed to send humans to Mars in the 1990's are discussed. Launching, landing, a 500 day stay on Mars, and a return to Earth are discussed. The plan is not merely a one shot expedition, but puts into place immediately an economical method of Earth-Mars transportation, real surface exploratory mobility, and significant base capabilities that can rapidly evolve into a mostly self-sufficient Mars colony. Since the plans call for the use of a combination of off the shelf technology and new technology that can be easily developed, the authors argue that there is no reason to postpone the exploration of Mars until several decades after a lunar base build-up.

  7. Mars double-aeroflyby free returns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jesick, Mark

    2017-09-01

    Mars double-flyby free-return trajectories that pass twice through the Martian atmosphere are documented. This class of trajectories is advantageous for potential Mars atmospheric sample return missions because of its low geocentric energy at departure and arrival, because it would enable two sample collections at unique locations during different Martian seasons, and because of its lack of deterministic maneuvers. Free return opportunities are documented over Earth departure dates ranging from 2015 through 2100, with viable missions available every Earth-Mars synodic period. After constraining the maximum lift-to-drag ratio to be less than one, the minimum observed Earth departure hyperbolic excess speed is 3.23 km/s, the minimum Earth atmospheric entry speed is 11.42 km/s, and the minimum round-trip flight time is 805 days. An algorithm using simplified dynamics is developed along with a method to derive an initial estimate for trajectories in a more realistic dynamic model. Multiple examples are presented, including free returns that pass outside and inside of Mars's appreciable atmosphere.

  8. Jupiter's hydrogen bulge: A Cassini perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melin, Henrik; Stallard, T. S.

    2016-11-01

    We present observations of H Ly-α and H2 emissions on the body of Jupiter obtained during the Cassini flyby in late 2000 and early 2001. The H Ly-α emission is highly organised by System III longitude and latitude, peaking at a brightness of 22 kR between 90 and 120° longitude. This is known as the H Ly-α 'bulge'. These observations add to a number of previous studies, showing that the feature is very long-lived, present over several decades. We show that there is a strong correlation between the prevailing solar H Ly-α flux (measured at Earth) and the peak brightness of the H Ly-α bulge at Jupiter, which supports the notion that it is primarily driven by solar resonance scatter. The H Ly-α brightness distribution is not aligned with the jovigraphic equator, but is approximately aligned with the particle drift equator of some, but not all, major Jupiter magnetic field models. On the time scale of days, the bulge region appears twice as variable as the non-bulge region. We propose that the electron recombination of H3+ is an important reaction for the generation of the H Ly-α bulge, which requires an enhancement of soft electrons at the location of the bulge. We derive an equatorial H3+ lifetime of 1.6 ± 0.4 h and a corresponding column averaged electron density of 1.7 × 109 m-3.

  9. The planets and life.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    It is pointed out that planetary exploration is not simply a program designed to detect life on another planet. A planet similar to earth, such as Mars, when studied for evidence as to why life did not arise, may turn out to be scientifically more important than a planet which has already produced a living system. Of particular interest after Mars are Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter has a primitive atmosphere which may well be synthesizing organic molecules today. Speculations have been made concerning the possibility of a bio-zone in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

  10. Human exploration of Mars - The role of a Mars outpost laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duke, Michael B.

    1992-01-01

    Consideration is given to a Martian exploration strategy which includes intensive robotic reconnaissance to characterize features of Mars' geology that are important to the solution of major problems of Mars history, including the possible past presence of life. A human reconnaissance phase may follow the robotic reconnaissance phase, guided to the most productive sites by the results of the robotic missions. The strategy also involves an intensive human phase of investigation, with interactive field geology/laboratory investigation at the Mars outpost. The laboratory investigations, as well as the field work, should be highly interactive with a broad scientific community on earth. The most detailed analyses would be performed on samples returned to earth.

  11. Low Cost Mars Sample Return Utilizing Dragon Lander Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol R.

    2014-01-01

    We studied a Mars sample return (MSR) mission that lands a SpaceX Dragon Capsule on Mars carrying sample collection hardware (an arm, drill, or small rover) and a spacecraft stack consisting of a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) that collectively carry the sample container from Mars back to Earth orbit.

  12. Transportation: Destination Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eoff, Bill

    1998-01-01

    As the agency space transportation lead center, Marshall Space Flight Center has been conducting transportation assessments for future robotic and human Mars missions to identify critical technologies. Five human Mars options are currently under assessment with each option including all transportation requirements from Earth to Mars and return. The primary difference for each option is the propulsion source from Earth to Mars. In case any of the options require heavy launch capability that is not currently projected as available, an in-house study has been initiated to determine the most cost effective means of providing such launch capability. This assessment is only considering launch architectures that support the overall human Mars mission cost goal of $25B. The guidelines for the launch capability study included delivery of 80 metric ton (176 KLB) payloads, 25 feet diameter x 92 feet long, to 220 nmi orbits at 28.5 degrees. The launch vehicle concept of the study was designated "Magnum" to differentiate from prior heavy launch vehicle assessments. This assessment along with the assessment of options for all transportation phases of a Mars mission are on-going.

  13. Chandra Observations of the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, Carey

    2014-11-01

    Many solar system objects are now known to emit X-rays due to charge-exchange between highly charged solar wind (SW) minor ions and neutrals in their extended atmospheres, including Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and the heliosphere, with total power outputs on the MW - GW scale. (Currently only upper limits exist for Saturn and Pluto.) Chandra observations of their morphology, spectra, and time dependence provide important information about the neutral atmosphere structure and the SW flux and charge state. Chandra observations of solar x-ray scattering from Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon have also provided important clues for the scattering material and the solar radiation field at the body. We present here a 15 year summary of Chandra's solar system observations.

  14. Third International Colloquium on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Abstracts of papers concerning the geology and geophysics of Mars, volcanism on Mars, the Mars atmosphere, and the long term history of the atmosphere-cap-regolith volatile regime are presented. Formation of the Mars surface, climatology, gravity and magnetism, atmospheric boundary layers, and interpretation of Viking imagery and Earth-based observations are considered.

  15. Jupiter's decisive role in the inner Solar System's early evolution.

    PubMed

    Batygin, Konstantin; Laughlin, Greg

    2015-04-07

    The statistics of extrasolar planetary systems indicate that the default mode of planet formation generates planets with orbital periods shorter than 100 days and masses substantially exceeding that of the Earth. When viewed in this context, the Solar System is unusual. Here, we present simulations which show that a popular formation scenario for Jupiter and Saturn, in which Jupiter migrates inward from a > 5 astronomical units (AU) to a ≈ 1.5 AU before reversing direction, can explain the low overall mass of the Solar System's terrestrial planets, as well as the absence of planets with a < 0.4 AU. Jupiter's inward migration entrained s ≳ 10-100 km planetesimals into low-order mean motion resonances, shepherding and exciting their orbits. The resulting collisional cascade generated a planetesimal disk that, evolving under gas drag, would have driven any preexisting short-period planets into the Sun. In this scenario, the Solar System's terrestrial planets formed from gas-starved mass-depleted debris that remained after the primary period of dynamical evolution.

  16. Possible complex organic compounds on Mars.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, K; Sato, T; Kajishima, S; Kaneko, T; Ishikawa, Y; Saito, T

    1997-01-01

    It is suggested that primitive Mars had somehow similar environments as primitive Earth. If life was born on the primitive earth using organic compounds which were produced from the early Earth environment, the same types of organic compounds were also formed on primitive Mars. Such organic compounds might have been preserved on Mars still now. We are studying possible organic formation on primitive and present Mars. A gaseous mixture of CO2, CO, N2 and H2O with various mixing ratios were irradiated with high energy protons (major components of cosmic rays). Hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde were detected among volatile products, and yellow-brown-colored water-soluble non-volatile substances were produced, which gave amino acids after acid-hydrolysis. Major part of "amino acid precursors" were not simple molecules like aminonitriles, but complex compounds which eluted earlier than free amino acids in cation-exchange HPLC. These organic compounds should be major targets in the future Mars mission. Strategy for the detection of the complex organics on Mars will be discussed.

  17. A New View on Jupiter's North Pole

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-03-07

    This computer-generated image is based on an infrared image of Jupiter's north polar region that was acquired on February 2, 2017, by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard Juno during the spacecraft's fourth pass over Jupiter. The image shows the structure of the cyclonic pattern observed over Jupiter's North pole: a central cyclone surrounded by eight circumpolar cyclones with diameters ranging from 2,500 to 2,900 miles (4,000 to 4,600 kilometers) across. JIRAM is able to collect images in the infrared wavelengths around 5 micrometers (µm) by measuring the intensity of the heat coming out of the planet. The heat from a planet that is radiated into space is called the radiance. This image is an enhancement of the original JIRAM image. In order to give the picture a 3-D shape, the enhancement starts from the idea that where the radiance has its highest value, there are no clouds and JIRAM can see deeper into the atmosphere. Consequently, all the other areas of the image are originally shaded more or less by clouds of different thickness. Then, to create these pictures, the originals have been inverted to give the thicker clouds the whitish color and the third dimension as the clouds we normally see here in the Earth's atmosphere. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22336

  18. Preparation on Earth for Drilling on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-02-20

    The development of the Mars rover Curiosity capabilities for drilling into a rock on Mars required years of development work. Seen here are some of the rocks used in bit development testing and lifespan testing at JPL in 2007.

  19. Roemer Redux: A Virtual Observational Exercise on Jupiter's Moons and the Speed of Light from Project CLEA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowski, Jan Paul; Snyder, G. A.; Marschall, L. A.

    2009-01-01

    Project CLEA announces a new laboratory exercise which allows students to determine the speed of light by timing eclipses of Jupiter's moon Io. The experiment is similar to Ole Roemer's classic 17th Century work which established, for the first time, that light did not travel through space instantaneously. Students view a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its satellites, similar to that used in the CLEA exercise, The Revolution of the Moons of Jupiter. After identifying Io, they record the precise time when the moon enters Jupiter's shadow at a date about two months after conjunction. Using the recorded time of this eclipse and the known period of Io, students predict the time of an eclipse near opposition and then record the observed time of that eclipse. The discrepancy between the predicted and observed times, along with the difference in the distance between Earth and Jupiter at the two eclipses yields a value of the speed of light accurate to about 10%. Software provided with the exercise enables students to calculate predicted times and Earth/Jupiter distances, as well as to analyze the time discrepancy and to visualize the logic of the analysis. A student manual, including historical and scientific background of the exercise is provided. Our poster will present examples of the screens and manuals for the exercise and will discuss the limits of accuracy of the method and sources of error. For further information on CLEA exercises, please visit http://www.gettysburg.edu/ marschal/clea/CLEAhome.html This research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Gettysburg College.

  20. Astronomy Books of 1981.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    1982-01-01

    Presents 21 photographs (with accompanying text) taken by instruments aboard interplanetary probes, including those of the Earth, Mercury, Mars, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, planetary satellites, and Saturn and its rings. (JN)

  1. First Close-up Image of Jupiter from Voyager 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    NASA'S Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up investigation of the largest planet. The spacecraft, flying toward a March 5 closest approach, was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Jupiter and 371.7 million miles (598.2 million kilometers) from Earth when the picture was taken. As the Voyager cameras begin their meteorological surveillance of Jupiter, they reveal a dynamic atmosphere with more convective structure than had previously been thought. While the smallest atmospheric features seen in this picture are still as large as 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) across, Voyager will be able to detect individual storm systems as small as 3 miles (5 kilometers) at closest approach. The Great Red Spot can be seen near the limb at the far right. Most of the other features are too small to be seen in terrestrial telescopes. This picture is really a combination of three images taken through color filters, then transmitted to Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Deep Space Network's antennas, and assembled by JPL's Image Processing Lab. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  2. Earth Moon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-06-08

    NASA Galileo spacecraft took this image of Earth moon on December 7, 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97. The distinct bright ray crater at the bottom of the image is the Tycho impact basin. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00405

  3. The Edge of Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-19

    This enhanced color Jupiter image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, showcases several interesting features on the apparent edge (limb) of the planet. Prior to Juno's fifth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops, members of the public voted on which targets JunoCam should image. This picture captures not only a fascinating variety of textures in Jupiter's atmosphere, it also features three specific points of interest: "String of Pearls," "Between the Pearls," and "An Interesting Band Point." Also visible is what's known as the STB Spectre, a feature in Jupiter's South Temperate Belt where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide. JunoCam images of Jupiter sometimes appear to have an odd shape. This is because the Juno spacecraft is so close to Jupiter that it cannot capture the entire illuminated area in one image -- the sides get cut off. Juno acquired this image on March 27, 2017, at 2:12 a.m. PDT (5:12 a.m. EDT), as the spacecraft performed a close flyby of Jupiter. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) from the planet. This enhanced color image was created by citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21389

  4. Super-chondritic Sm/Nd ratios in Mars, the Earth and the Moon.

    PubMed

    Caro, Guillaume; Bourdon, Bernard; Halliday, Alex N; Quitté, Ghylaine

    2008-03-20

    Small isotopic differences in the atomic abundance of neodymium-142 (142Nd) in silicate rocks represent the time-averaged effect of decay of formerly live samarium-146 (146Sm) and provide constraints on the timescales and mechanisms by which planetary mantles first differentiated. This chronology, however, assumes that the composition of the total planet is identical to that of primitive undifferentiated meteorites called chondrites. The difference in the 142Nd/144Nd ratio between chondrites and terrestrial samples may therefore indicate very early isolation (<30 Myr from the formation of the Solar System) of the upper mantle or a slightly non-chondritic bulk Earth composition. Here we present high-precision 142Nd data for 16 martian meteorites and show that Mars also has a non-chondritic composition. Meteorites belonging to the shergottite subgroup define a planetary isochron yielding an age of differentiation of 40 +/- 18 Myr for the martian mantle. This isochron does not pass through the chondritic reference value (100 x epsilon(142)Nd = -21 +/- 3; 147Sm/144Nd = 0.1966). The Earth, Moon and Mars all seem to have accreted in a portion of the inner Solar System with approximately 5 per cent higher Sm/Nd ratios than material accreted in the asteroid belt. Such chemical heterogeneities may have arisen from sorting of nebular solids or from impact erosion of crustal reservoirs in planetary precursors. The 143Nd composition of the primitive mantle so defined by 142Nd is strikingly similar to the putative endmember component 'FOZO' characterized by high 3He/4He ratios.

  5. Jupiter's Magnetosphere: Plasma Description from the Ulysses Flyby.

    PubMed

    Bame, S J; Barraclough, B L; Feldman, W C; Gisler, G R; Gosling, J T; McComas, D J; Phillips, J L; Thomsen, M F; Goldstein, B E; Neugebauer, M

    1992-09-11

    Plasma observations at Jupiter show that the outer regions of the Jovian magnetosphere are remarkably similar to those of Earth. Bow-shock precursor electrons and ions were detected in the upstream solar wind, as at Earth. Plasma changes across the bow shock and properties of the magnetosheath electrons were much like those at Earth, indicating that similar processes are operating. A boundary layer populated by a varying mixture of solar wind and magnetospheric plasmas was found inside the magnetopause, again as at Earth. In the middle magnetosphere, large electron density excursions were detected with a 10-hour periodicity as planetary rotation carried the tilted plasma sheet past Ulysses. Deep in the magnetosphere, Ulysses crossed a region, tentatively described as magnetically connected to the Jovian polar cap on one end and to the interplanetary magnetic field on the other. In the inner magnetosphere and lo torus, where corotation plays a dominant role, measurements could not be made because of extreme background rates from penetrating radiation belt particles.

  6. Jupiter's Southern Exposure in Infrared

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-03-07

    This computer-generated image shows the structure of the cyclonic pattern observed over Jupiter's south pole. Like in the North, Jupiter's south pole also contains a central cyclone, but it is surrounded by five cyclones with diameters ranging from 3,500 to 4,300 miles (5,600 to 7,000 kilometers) in diameter. Almost all the polar cyclones (at both poles), are so densely packed that their spiral arms come in contact with adjacent cyclones. However, as tightly spaced as the cyclones are, they have remained distinct, with individual morphologies over the seven months of observations detailed in the paper. The data used in generating this image was collected by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard the Juno spacecraft during the fourth Juno pass over Jupiter on Feb. 2, 2017. JIRAM is able to collect images in the infrared wavelengths around 5 micrometers (µm) by measuring the intensity of the heat coming out of the planet. The heat from the planet is radiated to space and it is called radiance. This image is an enhancement of the original JIRAM image. In order to give the picture a 3-D shape, the enhancement starts from the idea that the radiance has its highest value where there are no clouds and JIRAM can see deeper into the atmosphere. Consequently, all the other areas of the image are originally shaded more or less by clouds of different thickness. Then, to create these pictures, the originals have been inverted to give the thicker clouds the whitish color and the third dimension that we see with normal clouds here in the Earth's atmosphere. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22337

  7. Is Canyon Width a Diagnostic Indicator of the Discharge of Megafloods on Earth and Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapotre, M. G.; Lamb, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    On Earth, large floods have carved steep-walled and amphitheater-headed canyons from the Pleistocene (e.g. Box Canyon, ID) through the Holocene (e.g. Asbyrgi Canyon, Iceland), to historic times (e.g. Canyon Lake Gorge, TX). The geologic record on Mars suggests that similar floods have carved canyons by waterfall retreat about 3.5 billion years ago, when the red planet was wetter and possibly warmer. We currently lack robust paleo-hydraulic tools to reconstruct the discharge of ancient floods, especially on Mars where sediment sizes are obscured from observation. To address this issue, we hypothesize that the width of canyon escarpment is controlled by the hydraulics of the canyon-carving flood due to focusing of the flood into the canyon head. We compiled field data from multiple canyons and floods on Earth and Mars and show that there is a correlation between estimated flood discharge and canyon headwall width. To explore what sets this relationship, we identified five important parameters using dimensional analysis: the Froude number, the ratio of backwater length to canyon length, the ratio of backwater length to flood width, the ratio of canyon width to flood width, and the topographic slope upstream of the canyon. We used the hydraulic numerical modeling suite ANUGA to simulate overland flow over different canyon geometries and flood parameters to systematically explore the relative bed shear stresses along the canyon rim as a metric for flow focusing. Results show that canyons that exceed a certain length, scaling with the hydraulic backwater length, have shear stresses at their heads that are significantly higher than near the canyon mouth. Shear stresses along the rim of the canyon sidewalls are limited, in comparison to stresses along the canyon head, when the flood width is of the order of the backwater length. Flow focusing only occurs for subcritical flow. Together, these results suggest that canyons may only grow from a perturbation that is large

  8. Methane on Mars: Thermodynamic Equilibrium and Photochemical Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.; Summers, M. E.; Ewell, M.

    2010-01-01

    The detection of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere of Mars by Mars Express and Earth-based spectroscopy is very surprising, very puzzling, and very intriguing. On Earth, about 90% of atmospheric ozone is produced by living systems. A major question concerning methane on Mars is its origin - biological or geological. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations indicated that methane cannot be produced by atmospheric chemical/photochemical reactions. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations for three gases, methane, ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the Earth s atmosphere are summarized in Table 1. The calculations indicate that these three gases should not exist in the Earth s atmosphere. Yet they do, with methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide enhanced 139, 50 and 12 orders of magnitude above their calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentration due to the impact of life! Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations have been performed for the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars based on the assumed composition of the Mars atmosphere shown in Table 2. The calculated thermodynamic equilibrium concentrations of the same three gases in the atmosphere of Mars is shown in Table 3. Clearly, based on thermodynamic equilibrium calculations, methane should not be present in the atmosphere of Mars, but it is in concentrations approaching 30 ppbv from three distinct regions on Mars.

  9. Jupiter's Northern Lights

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-06

    This is a reconstructed view of Jupiter's northern lights through the filters of Juno's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (UVS) instrument on Dec. 11, 2016, as the Juno spacecraft approached Jupiter, passed over its poles, and plunged towards the equator. Such measurements present a real challenge for the spacecraft's science instruments: Juno flies over Jupiter's poles at 30 miles (50 kilometers) per second -- more than 100,000 miles per hour -- speeding past auroral forms in a matter of seconds. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21938

  10. Chemical evolution and the preservation of organic compounds on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kanavarioti, Anastassia; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1989-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the environment on early Mars and early Earth were very similar. Since life is abundant on Earth, it seems likely that conditions on early Earth were conducive to chemical evolution and the origin of life. The similarity between early Mars and early Earth encourages the hypothesis that chemical evolution might have also occurred on Mars, but that decreasing temperatures and the loss of its atmosphere brought the evolution to a halt. The possibility of finding on Mars remnants of organic material dating back to this early clement period is addressed.

  11. First Image from MarCO-B

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-05-15

    The first image captured by one of NASA's Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats. The image, which shows both the CubeSat's unfolded high-gain antenna at right and the Earth and its moon in the center, was acquired by MarCO-B on May 9. MarCO is a pair of small spacecraft accompanying NASA's InSight (Interior Investigations Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander. Together, MarCO-A and MarCO-B are the first CubeSats ever sent to deep space. InSight is the first mission to ever explore Mars' deep interior. If the MarCO CubeSats make the entire journey to Mars, they will attempt to relay data about InSight back to Earth as the lander enters the Martian atmosphere and lands. MarCO will not collect any science, but are intended purely as a technology demonstration. They could serve as a pathfinder for future CubeSat missions. An annotated version is available at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22323

  12. Hydraulic Reconstructions of Outburst Floods on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lamb, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Large outburst floods on Earth and Mars have carved bedrock canyons in basalt that often have steep sidewalls and amphitheater heads, suggesting erosion by waterfall retreat and block toppling. Two paleohydraulic methods are typically used to reconstruct flood discharges. The first is based on the discharge required to move sediment, which requires rare grain-size data and is necessarily a lower bound. The second assumes bedrock canyons are entirely inundated, which likely greatly overestimates the discharge of canyon carving floods. Here we explore a third hypothesis that canyon width is an indicator of flood discharge. For example, we expect that for large floods relative to the canyon width, the canyon will tend to widen as water spills over and erodes the canyon sidewalls. In contrast, small floods, relative to the canyon size will tend to focus flow into the canyon head, resulting in a narrowing canyon. To test this hypothesis, we need data on how outburst floods focus water into canyons across a wide range of canyon and flood sizes. To fill this data gap, we performed a series of numerical simulations solving the 2D depth-averaged shallow water equations for turbulent flow. We analyzed the effect of five non-dimensional parameters on the shear stress and discharge distributions around head and sidewalls of canyons of different sizes. The Froude number of the flood has the greatest effect on the distribution of shear stresses and discharges around the canyon rim; higher Froude numbers lead to less convergence of the flow towards the canyon, and thus to lower shear stresses (and discharges) on the sides of the canyon. Simulation results show that canyons of constant width were likely carved by floods within a relatively narrow range of discharges. The range of discharges is sensitive to the Froude number and size of blocks that are toppled at the canyon head, both of which can be estimated from field and remotely sensed data. Example applications on Earth and

  13. Mega-Impacts on Mars: Implications for the Late Heavy Bombardment in the Inner Solar System, and the Early Evolution of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, Herbert

    2012-01-01

    There are about 30 very large impact basins on Mars, > 1000 km in diameter, most of which are revealed by their topographic and/or crustal thickness signatures. Crater retention ages and model absolute ages suggest these all formed in a relatively short time (100-200 million years?), perhaps during a "Late Heavy Bombardment" (LHB) caused by the evolution of the orbits of the giant planets. This so-called "Nice Model" of planetary formation may explain the LHB on the Moon at about 3.9 billion years ago and would have produced a similar bombardment throughout the inner solar system. The formation of 30 very large impact basins would have had catastrophic environmental consequences for Mars, which were further complicated by the demise of the global magnetic field at about the same time. If there are no very large basins on Mars older than the 30 we see and the LHB really lasted everywhere only a short time, there may have been a relatively longer time (400 million years?) during which Mars and the Earth suffered no major impact trauma and during which conditions on both worlds may have been far more habitable than during the LHB. However, if the formation of the Mars crustal dichotomy was due to an even larger giant impact that predated the very large basins, all record of this earlier and possibly more clement time on Mars may have been erased. Ages of the smaller but still very large basins can be used to approximately date the giant impact (if it occurred). Even the very large basins appear to have reset the crater retention ages of the entire crust of Mars and may have by themselves erased any record of an earlier time.

  14. EMMI-Electric solar wind sail facilitated Manned Mars Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janhunen, Pekka; Merikallio, Sini; Paton, Mark

    2015-08-01

    The novel propellantless electric solar wind sail concept promises efficient low thrust transportation in the Solar System outside Earth's magnetosphere. Combined with asteroid mining to provide water and synthetic cryogenic rocket fuel in orbits of Earth and Mars, possibilities for affordable continuous manned presence on Mars open up. Orbital fuel and water enable reusable bidirectional Earth-Mars vehicles for continuous manned presence on Mars and allow smaller fuel fraction of spacecraft than what is achievable by traditional means. Water can also be used as radiation shielding of the manned compartment, thus reducing the launch mass further. In addition, the presence of fuel in the orbit of Mars provides the option for an all-propulsive landing, thus potentially eliminating issues of heavy heat shields and augmenting the capability of pinpoint landing. With this E-sail enabled scheme, the recurrent cost of continuous bidirectional traffic between Earth and Mars might ultimately approach the recurrent cost of running the International Space Station, ISS.

  15. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: Clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahaney, W.C.; Milner, M.W.; Netoff, D.I.; Malloch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Baker, V.R.; Miyamoto, H.; Hare, T.M.; Komatsu, G.

    2004-01-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  16. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, William C.; Milner, Michael W.; Netoff, D. I.; Malloch, David; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Hare, Trent M.; Komatsu, Goro

    2004-09-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO 3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  17. Mars: The Viking Discoveries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, Bevan M.

    This booklet describes the results of NASA's Viking spacecraft on Mars. It is intended to be useful for the teacher of basic courses in earth science, space science, astronomy, physics, or geology, but is also of interest to the well-informed layman. Topics include why we should study Mars, how the Viking spacecraft works, the winds of Mars, the…

  18. Juno on Jupiter Doorstep

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-06-24

    NASA's Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 21, 2016, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Jupiter. As Juno makes its initial approach, the giant planet's four largest moons -- Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto -- are visible, and the alternating light and dark bands of the planet's clouds are just beginning to come into view. Juno is approaching over Jupiter's north pole, affording the spacecraft a unique perspective on the Jupiter system. Previous missions that imaged Jupiter on approach saw the system from much lower latitudes, closer to the planet's equator. The scene was captured by the mission's imaging camera, called JunoCam, which is designed to acquire high resolution views of features in Jupiter's atmosphere from very close to the planet. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20701

  19. Cometary science. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio.

    PubMed

    Altwegg, K; Balsiger, H; Bar-Nun, A; Berthelier, J J; Bieler, A; Bochsler, P; Briois, C; Calmonte, U; Combi, M; De Keyser, J; Eberhardt, P; Fiethe, B; Fuselier, S; Gasc, S; Gombosi, T I; Hansen, K C; Hässig, M; Jäckel, A; Kopp, E; Korth, A; LeRoy, L; Mall, U; Marty, B; Mousis, O; Neefs, E; Owen, T; Rème, H; Rubin, M; Sémon, T; Tzou, C-Y; Waite, H; Wurz, P

    2015-01-23

    The provenance of water and organic compounds on Earth and other terrestrial planets has been discussed for a long time without reaching a consensus. One of the best means to distinguish between different scenarios is by determining the deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratios in the reservoirs for comets and Earth's oceans. Here, we report the direct in situ measurement of the D/H ratio in the Jupiter family comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the ROSINA mass spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, which is found to be (5.3 ± 0.7) × 10(-4)—that is, approximately three times the terrestrial value. Previous cometary measurements and our new finding suggest a wide range of D/H ratios in the water within Jupiter family objects and preclude the idea that this reservoir is solely composed of Earth ocean-like water. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Discoveries about Jupiter. Results for Pioneers 10 and 11 combined with earth-based findings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Included in this discussion of findings regarding the planet Jupiter are atmospheric characteristics, weather, the magnetosphere, radiation belts, radio emission, natural satellites, possible origins, the Great Red Spot, the interior and the possibility of life.

  1. Space - The long range future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Puttkamer, J.

    1985-01-01

    Space exploration goals for NASA in the year 2000 time frame are examined. A lunar base would offer the opportunity for continuous earth viewing, further cosmogeochemical exploration and rudimentary steps at self-sufficiency in space. The latter two factors are also compelling reasons to plan a manned Mars base. Furthermore, competition and cooperation in a Mars mission and further interplanetary exploration is an attractive substitute for war. The hardware requirements for various configurations of Mars missions are briefly addressed, along with other, unmanned missions to the asteroid belt, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Finally, long-range technological requirements for providing adequate living/working facilities for larger human populations in Space Station environments are summarized.

  2. Voyager 2 Jupiter encounter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A NASA News Release is presented which contains the following: (1) general release; (2) two views of Voyager 2 flight past Jupiter; (3) Voyager mission summary; (4) Voyager 1 science results; (5) Jupiter science objectives; (6) Jupiter the planet and its satellites; (7) Voyager experiments; (8) planet comparison; (9) a list of Voyager science investigators and (10) the Voyager team.

  3. Modern myths of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Gilbert V.

    2006-08-01

    July 30, 2006 was the 30 th anniversary of the Viking Mission's first Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment on Mars. The strong response, together with supporting results from eight additional LR tests of Martian soil, established the presence of an active agent that was inhibited by heating. The data satisfied the pre-mission criteria for the detection of living microorganisms. However, the scientific community reacted cautiously, generally concluding that the activity in the soil was caused by chemistry or physics. Over the last three decades, investigation of Mars has greatly increased. Soil, rock and atmospheric analyses have been made. Multi-spectral observations have been made from Mars and Earth orbits and from Earth-based telescopes. Knowledge of extreme habitats and bizarre life forms that populate them on Earth has increased dramatically. However, this vast amount of new astrobiological information has yet to be integrated into an objective scientific evaluation of the LR results and the possibilities for life on Mars. Indeed, in part upon misinterpretations of the new findings, myths have been embedded into the scientific literature of Mars. Based on these myths as key ingredients, a false "standard model" of Martian life potential has been developed. It has been accepted by much of the astrobiological community, and, through its endorsement, the world at large. This paper attempts to bring the supportable facts together in calling for a revision of the current consensus regarding life on Mars. It recommends actions to facilitate the paradigm change.

  4. Science Driven Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2004-01-01

    Mars appears to be cold dry and dead world. However there is good evidence that early in its history it had liquid water, more active volcanism, and a thicker atmosphere. Mars had this earth-like environment over three and a half billion years ago, during the same time that life appeared on Earth. The main question in the exploration of Mars then is the search for a independent origin of life on that planet. Ecosystems in cold, dry locations on Earth - such as the Antarctic - provide examples of how life on Mars might have survived and where to look for fossils. Fossils are not enough. We will want to determine if life on Mars was a separate genesis from life on Earth. For this determination we need to access intact martian life; possibly frozen in the deep old permafrost. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet will require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be the most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Planetary exploration - Earth's new horizon /Twelfth von Karman Lecture/

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schurmeier, H. M.

    1975-01-01

    Planetary exploration is examined in terms of the interaction of technological growth with scientific progress and the intangibles associated with exploring the unknown. The field is limited to unmanned exploration of the planets and their satellites. A descriptive model of the endeavor, its activities and achievements in the past decade, a characterization of the current state of the art, and a look at some of the planetary mission opportunities for the next decade are presented. A case is made for the value to civilization of ongoing planetary exploration. The pioneering U.S. planetary explorers, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter, are discussed in the second part of the work. Launch velocity, navigation, the remote system, the earth base, and management technology are considered in the third part. Authorized near-term U.S. planetary projects and opportunities of the next decade are described in the last section.

  6. Cars on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2002-01-01

    Mars is one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system, featuring an atmosphere, water, and enormous volcanoes and canyons. The Mars Pathfinder, Global Surveyor, and Odyssey missions mark the first wave of the Planet Earth's coming invasion of the red planet, changing our views of the past and future of the planet and the possibilities of life. Scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis will present experiences on the Pathfinder mission, the challenges of using solar power on the surface of Mars, and present future missions to Mars such as the upcoming Mars Twin Rovers, which will launch two highly-capable vehicles in 2003 to explore the surface of Mars.

  7. First image of clouds over Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This is the first image ever taken from the surface of Mars of an overcast sky. Featured are stratus clouds coming from the northeast at about 15 miles per hour (6.7 meters/second) at an approximate height of ten miles (16 kilometers) above the surface. The 'you are here' notation marks where Earth was situated in the sky at the time the image was taken. Scientists had hoped to see Earth in this image, but the cloudy conditions prevented a clear viewing. Similar images will be taken in the future with the hope of capturing a view of Earth. From Mars, Earth would appear as a tiny blue dot as a star would appear to an Earthbound observer. Pathfinder's imaging system will not be able to resolve Earth's moon. The clouds consist of water ice condensed on reddish dust particles suspended in the atmosphere. Clouds on Mars are sometimes localized and can sometimes cover entire regions, but have not yet been observed to cover the entire planet. The image was taken about an hour and forty minutes before sunrise by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on Sol 16 at about ten degrees up from the eastern Martian horizon.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages and Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  8. Internal constitution of Mars.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1972-01-01

    Models of the internal structure of Mars consistent with the mass, radius and moment of inertia of the planet are constructed. The models assume that the radius of the core is between 0.36 and 0.60 of the radius of the planet, that the zero-pressure density of the mantle is between 3.54 and 3.49 g/cu cm, and that the planet contains 25 to 28% iron. Meteorite models of Mars containing 25 wt % iron and 12 wt % core are also proposed. It is maintained that Mars in contrast to the earth is an incompletely differentiated planet with a core substantially richer in sulfur than the core of the earth. The absence of a magnetic field on Mars is possibly linked with lack of lunar precessional torque and the small size and high resistivity of the Martian core.

  9. Comparison of the Mantle Potential Temperature of Ancient Mars and the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, Justin; Dasgupta, Rajdeep

    2016-04-01

    Basaltic igneous rocks shed light onto the chemistry, tectonic, and thermal state of planetary interiors. For the purpose of comparative planetology, therefore, it is critical to fully utilize the compositional diversity of basaltic rocks for different terrestrial planets. For Mars, basaltic compositions have been analyzed in situ on the surface at three different landing sites, from orbit providing global geochemistry, and in the laboratory for specific Martian meteorites [1-4]. This provides a range in chemistry and age of Martian rocks. Terrestrial mafic to ultramafic igneous rocks have a range in chemistry across different tectonic regimes and different ages [5-8]. These differences in chemistry and age of planetary basalts may reflect changes in the conditions of partial melting in the planetary interiors. Therefore, here we compare estimates of basalt genesis conditions for Mars with rocks from the Noachian (Gusev Crater, Meridiani Planum, Gale Crater, and a clast in the NWA 7034 meteorite [9, 10]), Hesperian (surface volcanics [11]), and Amazonian (surface volcanics and shergottites [11-14]), to calculate an average mantle potential temperature for different Martian epochs and investigate how the interior of Mars has changed through time. We also calculate formation conditions for terrestrial komatiites and Archean basalts to calculate an average mantle potential temperature during the Archean. Finally, we compare Martian mantle potential temperatures with petrologic estimate of cooling for the Earth to compare the cooling history for Mars and the Earth. References: [1] Squyres S.W. et al. (2006) JGR. doi:10.1029/2005je002562. [2] Schmidt M.E., et al. (2014) JGRP. doi:2013JE004481. [3] Zipfel J. et al. (2011) MaPS. 46(1): 1-20. [4] Treiman A.H. and Filiberto J. (2015) MaPS. DOI:10.1111/maps.12363. [5] Putirka K.D.(2005) G-cubed. DOI:10.1029/2005gc000915. [6] Putirka K.D. et al. (2007) ChemGeo. 241(3-4): 177-206. [7] Courtier A.M. et al. (2007) EPSL. 264

  10. Earth - South America (first frame of Earth Spin Movie)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This color image of the Earth was obtained by Galileo at about 6:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 11, 1990, when the spacecraft was about 1.3 million miles from the planet during the first of two Earth flybys on its way to Jupiter. The color composite used images taken through the red, green and violet filters. South America is near the center of the picture, and the white, sunlit continent of Antarctica is below. Picturesque weather fronts are visible in the South Atlantic, lower right. This is the first frame of the Galileo Earth spin movie, a 500- frame time-lapse motion picture showing a 25-hour period of Earth's rotation and atmospheric dynamics.

  11. Mars and earth - Comparison of cold-climate features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1981-01-01

    On earth, glacial and periglacial features are common in areas of cold climate. On Mars, the temperature of the present-day surface is appropriate for permafrost, and the presence of water is suspected from data relating to the outgassing of the planet, from remote-sensing measurements over the polar caps and elsewhere on the Martian surface, and from recognition of fluvial morphological features such as channels. These observations and the possibility that ice could be in equilibrium with the high latitudes north and south of + or - 40 deg latitude suggest that glacial and periglacial features should exist on the planet. Morphological studies based mainly on Viking pictures indicate many features that can be attributed to the action of ice. Among these features are extensive talus aprons; debris avalanches; flows that resemble glaciers or rock glaciers; ridges that look like moraines; various types of patterned ground, scalloped scarps, and chaotically collapsed terrain that could be attributed to thermokarst processes; and landforms that may reflect the interaction of volcanism and ice.

  12. Hubble Spies Spooky Shadow on Jupiter's Giant Eye

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-10-28

    This trick that the planet is looking back at you is actually a Hubble treat: An eerie, close-up view of Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system. Hubble was monitoring changes in Jupiter’s immense Great Red Spot (GRS) storm on April 21, 2014, when the shadow of the Jovian moon, Ganymede, swept across the center of the storm. This gave the giant planet the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the center of a 10,000 mile-diameter “eye.” For a moment, Jupiter “stared” back at Hubble like a one-eyed giant Cyclops. Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  13. The Pioneer 10 plasma analyzer results at Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfe, J. H.

    1975-01-01

    Results are reported for the Pioneer 10 plasma-analyzer experiment at Jupiter. The analyzer system consisted of dual 90-deg quadrispherical electrostatic analyzers, multiple charged-particle detectors, and attendant electronics; it was capable of determining the incident plasma-distribution parameters over the energy range from 100 to 18,000 eV for protons and from approximately 1 to 500 eV for electrons. Data are presented on the interaction between the solar wind and the Jovian magnetosphere, the interplanetary ion flux, observations of the magnetosheath plasma, and traversals of the bow shock and magnetopause. Values are estimated for the proton isotropic temperature, number density, and bulk velocity within the magnetosheath flow field as well as for the beta parameter, ion number density, and magnetic-energy density of the magnetospheric plasma. It is argued that Jupiter has a reasonably thick magnetosphere somewhat similar to earth's except for the vastly different scale sizes involved.

  14. Evidence for Seismogenic Hydrogen Gas, a Potential Microbial Energy Source on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMahon, Sean; Parnell, John; Blamey, Nigel J. F.

    2016-09-01

    The oxidation of molecular hydrogen (H2) is thought to be a major source of metabolic energy for life in the deep subsurface on Earth, and it could likewise support any extant biosphere on Mars, where stable habitable environments are probably limited to the subsurface. Faulting and fracturing may stimulate the supply of H2 from several sources. We report the H2 content of fluids present in terrestrial rocks formed by brittle fracturing on fault planes (pseudotachylites and cataclasites), along with protolith control samples. The fluids are dominated by water and include H2 at abundances sufficient to support hydrogenotrophic microorganisms, with strong H2 enrichments in the pseudotachylites compared to the controls. Weaker and less consistent H2 enrichments are observed in the cataclasites, which represent less intense seismic friction than the pseudotachylites. The enrichments agree quantitatively with previous experimental measurements of frictionally driven H2 formation during rock fracturing. We find that conservative estimates of current martian global seismicity predict episodic H2 generation by Marsquakes in quantities useful to hydrogenotrophs over a range of scales and recurrence times. On both Earth and Mars, secondary release of H2 may also accompany the breakdown of ancient fault rocks, which are particularly abundant in the pervasively fractured martian crust. This study strengthens the case for the astrobiological investigation of ancient martian fracture systems.

  15. Diverse Electron and Ion Acceleration Characteristics Observed Over Jupiter's Main Aurora

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauk, B. H.; Haggerty, D. K.; Paranicas, C.; Clark, G.; Kollmann, P.; Rymer, A. M.; Peachey, J. M.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S. M.; Adriani, A.; Allegrini, F.; Bagenal, F.; Bonfond, B.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Ebert, R. W.; Gladstone, G. R.; Kurth, W. S.; McComas, D. J.; Ranquist, D.; Valek, P.

    2018-02-01

    Two new Juno-observed particle features of Jupiter's main aurora demonstrate substantial diversity of processes generating Jupiter's mysterious auroral emissions. It was previously speculated that sometimes-observed potential-driven aurora (up to 400 kV) can turn into broadband stochastic acceleration (dominating at Jupiter) by means of instability. Here direct evidence for such a process is revealed with a "mono-energetic" electron inverted-V rising in energy to 200 keV, transforming into a region of broadband acceleration with downward energy fluxes tripling to 3,000 mW/m2, and then transforming back into a mono-energetic structure ramping down from 200 keV. But a second feature of interest observed nearby is unlikely to have operated in the same way. Here a downward accelerated proton inverted-V, with inferred potentials to 300-400 kV, occurred simultaneously with downward accelerated broadband electrons with downward energy fluxes as high as any observed ( 3,000 mW/m2). This latter feature has no known precedent with Earth auroral observations.

  16. Weighing Molecules on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-02

    New results from the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, instrument on NASA Curiosity rover detected about 2,000 times as much argon-40 as argon-36, which weighs less, confirming the connection between Mars and Martian meteorites found on Earth.

  17. Kingian Co-Evolution of the Water and Mineral/Rock Components for Earth and Mars: Implications for Planetary Habitability (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, V. R.

    2013-12-01

    Planetary habitability may fluctuate episodically against a background provided by the co-evolution of a planet's mineral/rock (geosphere) components and its water (hydrosphere) in relation to its position in a circumstellar system. The water/rock (geosphere/hydrosphere) co-evolution can be inferred from the geological histories of the terrestrial planets of the solar system, particularly from the very extensive understanding of Earth and Mars. Habitability and water/rock co-evolution have components that are tychistic (i.e., driven by chance) and anancastic (i.e., dynamically driven largely by deterministic forces). They also have a final, end-directed (i.e., teleomatic) aspect that operates in accordance with natural laws. This is a larger perspective on the idea of planetary habitability than is generally associated with an astronomical approach, and it incorporates additional insights from a geological perspective on the issue. The geological histories of Mars and Earth are punctuated with critical, short-term epochs of extreme change, which for Earth are known to be associated with major disruptions of its biosphere. These catastrophic epochs can be described as a type of non-Darwinian evolution that was envisioned by the geologist Clarence King. In an 1877 paper King proposed that accelerated evolutionary change occurs during sudden environmental disruptions. Such Kingian disruptions in mineral/rock and water evolution mark the planetary histories of Mars and Earth, including the early formation and condensation of a steam atmosphere, an impacting cataclysm at about 3.9 to 4 Ga, episodes of concentrated volcanism and tectonism, and associated rapid changes in the linked atmosphere and hydrosphere. These disruptions are closely tied to migrations of water between different planetary reservoirs, the nature of planetary accretion, the origin of a physically coupled atmosphere and ocean, the prospects for initiating plate tectonics, and punctuated greenhouse

  18. Jupiter's interior and deep atmosphere: The initial pole-to-pole passes with the Juno spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, S. J.; Adriani, A.; Adumitroaie, V.; Allison, M.; Anderson, J.; Atreya, S.; Bloxham, J.; Brown, S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; DeJong, E.; Folkner, W.; Gautier, D.; Grassi, D.; Gulkis, S.; Guillot, T.; Hansen, C.; Hubbard, W. B.; Iess, L.; Ingersoll, A.; Janssen, M.; Jorgensen, J.; Kaspi, Y.; Levin, S. M.; Li, C.; Lunine, J.; Miguel, Y.; Mura, A.; Orton, G.; Owen, T.; Ravine, M.; Smith, E.; Steffes, P.; Stone, E.; Stevenson, D.; Thorne, R.; Waite, J.; Durante, D.; Ebert, R. W.; Greathouse, T. K.; Hue, V.; Parisi, M.; Szalay, J. R.; Wilson, R.

    2017-05-01

    On 27 August 2016, the Juno spacecraft acquired science observations of Jupiter, passing less than 5000 kilometers above the equatorial cloud tops. Images of Jupiter's poles show a chaotic scene, unlike Saturn's poles. Microwave sounding reveals weather features at pressures deeper than 100 bars, dominated by an ammonia-rich, narrow low-latitude plume resembling a deeper, wider version of Earth's Hadley cell. Near-infrared mapping reveals the relative humidity within prominent downwelling regions. Juno's measured gravity field differs substantially from the last available estimate and is one order of magnitude more precise. This has implications for the distribution of heavy elements in the interior, including the existence and mass of Jupiter's core. The observed magnetic field exhibits smaller spatial variations than expected, indicative of a rich harmonic content.

  19. Juno observes the dynamics of Jupiter's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.; Juno Science Team

    2017-10-01

    Jupiter is a photogenic planet, but our knowledge of the deep atmosphere is limited. Remote sensing observations have traditionally probed within and above the cloud tops, which are in the 0.5-1.0 bar pressure range. Dynamical models have focused on explaining this data set. Microwave observations from Earth probe down to the 5-10 bar range, which overlaps with the predicted base of the water cloud. The Galileo probe yielded data on winds, composition, temperature gradients, clouds, radiant flux, and lightning down to 22 bars, but only at one place on the planet. Further, the traditional observations are constrained to cover low and middle latitudes. In contrast, Juno's camera and infrared radiometer, JunoCam and JIRAM, have yielded images of the poles that show cyclonic vortices in polygonal arrangements. Juno's microwave radiometer yields latitude-altitude cross sections that show dynamical features of the ammonia distribution down to 50-100 bars. And Jupiter's gravity field yields information about the winds at thousands of km depth, where the pressures are tens of kbars. In this talk I will summarize the Juno observations that pertain to the dynamics of Jupiter's atmosphere and I will offer some of my own interpretations. The new data raise as many questions as answers, but that is as it should be. As Ed Stone said during a Voyager encounter, "If we knew all the answers before we got there, we wouldn't be learning anything."

  20. Illustration of Launching Samples Home from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    One crucial step in a Mars sample return mission would be to launch the collected sample away from the surface of Mars. This artist's concept depicts a Mars ascent vehicle for starting a sample of Mars rocks on their trip to Earth.

  1. Jupiter Environment Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturm, Erick J.; Monahue, Kenneth M.; Biehl, James P.; Kokorowski, Michael; Ngalande, Cedrick,; Boedeker, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    The Jupiter Environment Tool (JET) is a custom UI plug-in for STK that provides an interface to Jupiter environment models for visualization and analysis. Users can visualize the different magnetic field models of Jupiter through various rendering methods, which are fully integrated within STK s 3D Window. This allows users to take snapshots and make animations of their scenarios with magnetic field visualizations. Analytical data can be accessed in the form of custom vectors. Given these custom vectors, users have access to magnetic field data in custom reports, graphs, access constraints, coverage analysis, and anywhere else vectors are used within STK.

  2. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  3. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites

    DOE PAGES

    Kruijer, Thomas S.; Burkhardt, Christoph; Budde, Gerrit; ...

    2017-06-12

    The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two geneticallymore » distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ~1 My and ~3–4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter’s core grew to ~20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ~50 Earth masses until at least ~3–4 My after Solar System formation. Furthermore, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation.« less

  4. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruijer, Thomas S.; Burkhardt, Christoph; Budde, Gerrit; Kleine, Thorsten

    2017-06-01

    The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ˜1 My and ˜3-4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter’s core grew to ˜20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ˜50 Earth masses until at least ˜3-4 My after Solar System formation. Thus, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation.

  5. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites

    SciTech Connect

    Kruijer, Thomas S.; Burkhardt, Christoph; Budde, Gerrit

    The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two geneticallymore » distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ~1 My and ~3–4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter’s core grew to ~20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ~50 Earth masses until at least ~3–4 My after Solar System formation. Furthermore, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation.« less

  6. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites

    PubMed Central

    Kruijer, Thomas S.; Burkhardt, Christoph; Kleine, Thorsten

    2017-01-01

    The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ∼1 My and ∼3–4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter’s core grew to ∼20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ∼50 Earth masses until at least ∼3–4 My after Solar System formation. Thus, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation. PMID:28607079

  7. Swapping Rocks: Ejection and Exchange of Surface Material Among the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Tonks, W. B.

    1993-07-01

    median transit time of 12 m.y. Of the remainder, a few percent strike Mars and a larger fraction (about 20%) are ejected from the solar system by Jupiter. Earth ejecta is also mainly reaccreted by the Earth, but about 30% strike Venus within 15 m.y. and 5% strike Mars within 150 m.y. Again, about 20% of Earth ejecta is thrown out of the solar system by Jupiter. Mars ejecta is more equitably distributed: Nearly equal fractions fall on Earth and Venus, slightly more are accreted to Mars, and a few percent strike Mercury. About 20% of Mars ejecta is thrown out of the solar system by Jupiter. The larger terrestrial planets, Venus and Earth, thus readily exchange ejecta. Mars ejecta largely falls on Venus and Earth, but Mars only receives a small fraction of their ejecta. A substantial fraction of ejecta from all the terrestrial planets (except Mercury) is thrown out of the solar system by Jupiter, a fact that may have some implications for the panspermia mechanism of spreading life through the galaxy. From the standpoint of collecting meteorites on Earth, in addition to martian and lunar meteorites, we should expect someday to find meteorites from Earth itself (Earth rocks that have spent a median time of 5 m.y. in space before falling again on the Earth) and from Venus.

  8. Particle Radiation Sources, Propagation and Interactions in Deep Space, at Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Beyond: Examples of Radiation Interactions and Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, Nathan A.; Cooper, John F.; Desai, Mihir; Downs, Cooper; Gorby, Matt; Jordan, Andrew P.; Joyce, Colin J.; Kozarev, Kamen; Linker, Jon A.; Mikíc, Zoran; Riley, Pete; Spence, Harlan E.; Török, Tibor; Townsend, Lawrence W.; Wilson, Jody K.; Zeitlin, Cary

    2017-11-01

    Particle radiation has significant effects for astronauts, satellites and planetary bodies throughout the Solar System. Acute space radiation hazards pose risks to human and robotic exploration. This radiation also naturally weathers the exposed surface regolith of the Moon, the two moons of Mars, and other airless bodies, and contributes to chemical evolution of planetary atmospheres at Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, and Pluto. We provide a select review of recent areas of research covering the origin of SEPs from coronal mass ejections low in the corona, propagation of events through the solar system during the anomalously weak solar cycle 24 and important examples of radiation interactions for Earth, other planets and airless bodies such as the Moon.

  9. DOPPLER SIGNATURES OF THE ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION ON HOT JUPITERS

    SciTech Connect

    Showman, Adam P.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    The meteorology of hot Jupiters has been characterized primarily with thermal measurements, but recent observations suggest the possibility of directly detecting the winds by observing the Doppler shift of spectral lines seen during transit. Motivated by these observations, we show how Doppler measurements can place powerful constraints on the meteorology. We show that the atmospheric circulation-and Doppler signature-of hot Jupiters splits into two regimes. Under weak stellar insolation, the day-night thermal forcing generates fast zonal jet streams from the interaction of atmospheric waves with the mean flow. In this regime, air along the terminator (as seen during transit) flows towardmore » Earth in some regions and away from Earth in others, leading to a Doppler signature exhibiting superposed blueshifted and redshifted components. Under intense stellar insolation, however, the strong thermal forcing damps these planetary-scale waves, inhibiting their ability to generate jets. Strong frictional drag likewise damps these waves and inhibits jet formation. As a result, this second regime exhibits a circulation dominated by high-altitude, day-to-night airflow, leading to a predominantly blueshifted Doppler signature during transit. We present state-of-the-art circulation models including non-gray radiative transfer to quantify this regime shift and the resulting Doppler signatures; these models suggest that cool planets like GJ 436b lie in the first regime, HD 189733b is transitional, while planets hotter than HD 209458b lie in the second regime. Moreover, we show how the amplitude of the Doppler shifts constrains the strength of frictional drag in the upper atmospheres of hot Jupiters. If due to winds, the {approx}2 km s{sup -1} blueshift inferred on HD 209458b may require drag time constants as short as 10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} s, possibly the result of Lorentz-force braking on this planet's hot dayside.« less

  10. Habitability: where lo look for life? Habitability Index Earth analogs to study Mars and Europa`s habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, F.; Amils, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2010-12-01

    The first astrobiological mission specially designed to detect life on Mars, the Viking missions, thought life unlikely, considering the amount of UV radiation bathing the surface of the planet, the resulting oxidative conditions, and the lack of adequate atmospheric protection. The necessity of the Europa surface exploration comes from the idea of a water ocean existence in its interior. Life needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only sine qua nom elements is the water, taking into account our experience on Earth extreme ecosystems The discovery of extremophiles on Earth widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentrations of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars (Fernández-Remolar et al., 2004). But, where to look for life in other planetary bodies? Planet`s or Icy Moon`s surface are adverse for life. Some particular protective environments or elements should house the organic molecules and the first bacterial life forms (Gómez F. et al., 2007). Terrestrial analogues work could help us to

  11. Voyage to Jupiter.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, David; Samz, Jane

    This publication illustrates the features of Jupiter and its family of satellites pictured by the Pioneer and the Voyager missions. Chapters included are: (1) "The Jovian System" (describing the history of astronomy); (2) "Pioneers to Jupiter" (outlining the Pioneer Mission); (3) "The Voyager Mission"; (4)…

  12. Dragon Scales of Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-07-11

    This intriguing surface texture is the result of rock interacting with water, as observed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The rock was then eroded and later exposed to the surface. The pinkish, almost dragon-like scaled texture represents Martian bedrock that has specifically altered into a clay-bearing rock. The nature of the water responsible for the alteration, and how it interacted with the rock to form the clay remains poorly understood. Not surprisingly, the study of such altered rocks on Mars is an area of active investigation by the Mars science community. Understanding such interactions, and how they happened, help scientists to understand the past climate on Mars, and if the red planet ever harbored life. Recent studies indicate that the early Martian climate may not have been as warm, wet, and Earth-like, as previously suggested. This is not a problem for finding life on Mars as one might think. Ongoing studies of dry and cold environments on Earth shows that life finds ways to adapt to such extremes. Such work provides hope for finding evidence for life on other planets, like Mars, someday. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21781

  13. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  14. Jupiter with Io Crossing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-09-26

    million kilometers). The satellite's shadow can be seen falling on the face of Jupiter at left. Io is traveling from left to right in its one-and-three-quarter-day orbit around Jupiter. Even from this great distance the image of Io shows dark poles and a bright equatorial region. Voyager will make its closest approach to Jupiter -- 174,000 miles (280,000 kilometer) -- on March 5. It will then continue to Saturn in November 1980, Meanwhile Voyager 2, a sister spacecraft, will fly past Jupiter July 9, 1979, and reach Saturn in August 1981. This color image was taken through orange, green and blue filters. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00455

  15. Comparative Planetary Mineralogy: Basaltic Plagioclase from Earth, Moon, Mars and 4 Vesta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karner, J. M.; Papike, J. J.; Shearer, C. K.

    2003-01-01

    Major, minor and trace element analysis of silicates has allowed for the study of planetary basalts in a comparative planetary mineralogy context. We continue this initiative by exploring the chemistry of plagioclase feldspar in basalts from the Earth, Moon, Mars and 4 Vesta. This paper presents new data on plagioclase from six terrestrial basalt suites including Keweenawan, Island Arc, Hawaiian, Columbia Plateau, Taos Plateau, and Ocean Floor; six lunar basalt suites including Apollo 11 Low K, Apollo 12 Ilmenite, Apollo 12 Olivine, Apollo 12 Pigeonite, Apollo 15 Olivine, and Apollo 15 Pigeonite; two basaltic martian meteorites, Shergotty and QUE 94201; and one unequilibrated eucrite, Pasamonte.

  16. Combined 2-micron Dial and Doppler Lidar: Application to the Atmosphere of Earth or Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Koch, Grady J.; Ismail, Syed; Kavaya, Michael; Yu, Jirong; Wood, Sidney A.; Emmitt, G. David

    2006-01-01

    A concept is explored for combining the Doppler and DIAL techniques into a single, multifunctional instrument. Wind, CO2 concentration, and aerosol density can all be measured. Technology to build this instrument is described, including the demonstration of a prototype lidar. Applications are described for use in the Earth science. The atmosphere of Mars can also be studied, and results from a recently-developed simulation model of performance in the Martian atmosphere are presented.

  17. Absolute Radiation Measurements in Earth and Mars Entry Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruden, Brett A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on the measurement of radiative heating for shock heated flows which simulate conditions for Mars and Earth entries. Radiation measurements are made in NASA Ames' Electric Arc Shock Tube at velocities from 3-15 km/s in mixtures of N2/O2 and CO2/N2/Ar. The technique and limitations of the measurement are summarized in some detail. The absolute measurements will be discussed in regards to spectral features, radiative magnitude and spatiotemporal trends. Via analysis of spectra it is possible to extract properties such as electron density, and rotational, vibrational and electronic temperatures. Relaxation behind the shock is analyzed to determine how these properties relax to equilibrium and are used to validate and refine kinetic models. It is found that, for some conditions, some of these values diverge from non-equilibrium indicating a lack of similarity between the shock tube and free flight conditions. Possible reasons for this are discussed.

  18. Interannual variability of planet-encircling dust storms on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, Richard W.; Martin, Leonard J.

    1993-01-01

    A recent review of earth-based telescopic observations of Mars together with Viking orbiter and lander data are employed to estimate the frequency of occurrence of planet-encircling dust storms over the past century and to test whether the period spanned by the Mariner 9 and Viking missions to Mars is representative of the decades prior to 1950. Both spacecraft and earth-based observations suggest that planet-encircling dust storms on Mars occur during a 'dust storm season' in southern spring and summer. Viking data show that planet-encircling dust storms could have occurred in the past on Mars without being detected from earth during years in which Mars was far from earth during the dust storm season. Planet-encircling storms were absent during the dust storm seasons monitored during several favorable oppositions prior to 1956 and after 1986. The change of a planet-encircling dust storm occurring in any arbitrary Mars year is estimated to be approximately one in three, if this occurrence is random from year to year and yet restricted seasonally to southern spring and summer.

  19. MAVEN-Measured Meteoritic Ions on Mars - Tracers of Lower Ionosphere Processes With and Without Analogues On Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benna, M.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Collinson, G.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D.; Srivastava, N.

    2017-12-01

    MAVEN observations of meteoritic metal ion populations during "deep dip" campaigns at Mars have revealed unique non-Earth like behavior that are not yet understood. These deep dip campaigns (6 so far) consisted each of more than a score of repeated orbits through the Martian molecular-ion-dominated lower ionosphere, whose terrestrial parallel (Earth's E-region) has been rather sparcely surveyed in situ by sounding rockets. In regions of weak Mars magnetic fields, MAVEN found ordered exponentially decreasing metal ion concentrations above the altitude of peak meteor ablation. Such an ordered trend has never been observed on Earth. Isolated anomalous high-altitude layers in the metal ion are also encountered, typically on deep dip campaigns in the southern hemisphere where large localized surface remanent magnetic fields prevail. The source of these anomalous layers is not yet evident, although the occurrences of some high-altitude metal ion enhancements were in regions with measured perturbed magnetic fields, indicative of localized electrical currents. Further investigation shows that those currents are also sometimes associated with superthermal/energetic electron bursts offering evidence that that impact ionization of neutral metal populations persisting at high altitudes are the source of metal ion enhancement - a rather difficult assumption to accept far above the ablation region where the metal neutrals are deposited. The relationship of the anomalous layers to the coincident electron populations as well as to the orientation of the magnetic fields which can play a role in the neutral wind generated ion convergences as on Earth is investigated.

  20. Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 impact with Jupiter: Aeronomical predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cravens, T. E.

    1994-01-01

    The fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 will enter the atmosphere of Jupiter during July 20-26, 1994. Significant amounts of water vapor will be injected into the upper atmosphere of Jupiter either from the comet itself or from the lower atmosphere of Jupiter. The photochemistry of both the neutral gas and the ionosphere will be greatly altered by the influx of this water vapor or the atomic oxygen generated by the dissociation of the water. Enhanced abundances of H2O (or other species such as NH3) in the atmosphere above the homopause should persist for at least a year and should be globally distributed. The odd oxygen (i.e., O or H2O or OH) associated with the cometary water influx alters the ion chemistry by removing H(+) ions, which also has the effect of reducing the ionospheric electron density because H(+) is ordinarily the main ion species in the Jovian ionosphere. The density of H3(+), both in the auroral and non-auroral ionosphere, will also be reduced due to presence of water. This ion species has been detected spectroscopically at Jupiter, and a drop in its abundance should be detectable. The major ion species will become H3O(+) which could reach a peak density as high as 10(exp 4)/cu cm in the non-auroral ionosphere and 10(exp 5)/cu cm in the auroral ionosphere. It should be possible to detect this ion species spectroscopically from Earth-based observatories.

  1. The long-term evolution of hydrocarbons in Jupiter's stratosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melin, Henrik; Fletcher, Leigh N.; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Giles, Rohini Sara; Sinclair, James; Orton, Glenn S.; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph

    2016-10-01

    We present the global distribution of hydrocarbons in Jupiter's stratosphere using ground-based mid-infrared R~15,000 TEXES observations from the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), obtained between 2013 and 2016. Ethane and acetylene are the primary products of methane photolysis in Jupiter's stratosphere, and their spatial distribution can be used to trace atmospheric circulation and the lifetimes of chemical constituents. Zonal mean distributions of these species have been previously studied from the Voyager and Cassini spacecraft (Nixon et al., 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.pss.2010.05.008), but the TEXES dataset now provides the opportunity to track the evolution of the hydrocarbons from Earth (Fletcher et al., 2016, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.06.008 ). Global spectral maps of methane, ethane and acetylene emission are used to characterize the temporal evolution of large scale features in Jupiter's stratosphere (0.5-20 mbar?), including: equator to pole contrasts driven by large-scale stratospheric overturning; mid-latitude bands of elevated hydrocarbon emission; small-scale wave phenomena driven by meteorological activity in the underlying troposphere; and the tropical changes in emission related to Jupiter's Quasi-Quadrennial Oscillation. The NEMESIS spectral inversion tool (Irwin et al., 2008, doi: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2007.11.006) is used to derive stratospheric temperatures and hydrocarbon abundances from spatially-resolved spectra at 744, 819, and 1247 cm-1. We use these to investigate the changes in the vertical temperature and ethane and acetylene distributions over time, with the aim of providing the global and temporal context for Juno's exploration of the jovian atmosphere in 2016/17.

  2. Evolution of the Uranus-neptune Planetesimal Swarm: Consequences for the Earth