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Sample records for icy moons orbiter

  1. The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter reference trajectory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whiffen, Gregory J.; Lam, Try

    2006-01-01

    The proposed NASA Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission would have used a single spacecraft to orbit Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa in succession. The enormous Delta-Velocity required for this mission (nearly [25 km/s]) would necessitate the use of very high efficiency electric propulsion. The trajectory created for the proposed baseline JIMO mission may be the most complex trajectory ever designed. This paper describes the current reference trajectory in detail and describes the processes that were used to construct it.

  2. Icy Satellites Impactor Probes for the Jovian Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shirley, J. H.; Zimmerman, W. F.; Strauss, W.; Ivlev, R.; Duong, T.; Hunter, D.; Slimko, E.; Nacaise, F.; Archer, E.; Nesmith, B.

    2003-01-01

    We present a preliminary design and mission description for Icy Satellites Impactor Probes (IPS). This design addresses two of the scientific themes of this Icy Galilean Satellites Forum: Surface Chemistry and Geophysics, and Interior Structures. Impactor probes may also make significant contributions in the areas of surface geology and mineralogy.

  3. A Power Conversion Concept for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2003-01-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) is a bold new mission under development by the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters. ITMO is examining the potential of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology to efficiently deliver scientific payloads to three Jovian moons: Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. A critical element of the NEP vehicle is the reactor power system, consisting of the nuclear reactor, power conversion, heat rejection, and power management and distribution (PMAD). The emphasis of this paper is on the non-nuclear elements of the reactor power system.

  4. Forum on Concepts and Approaches for Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    The papers presented at this conference primarily discuss instruments and techniques for conducting science on Jupiter's icy moons, and geologic processes on the moons themselves. Remote sensing of satellites, cratering on satellites, and ice on the surface of Europa are given particular attention. Some papers discuss Jupiter's atmosphere, or exobiology.

  5. Planetary protection for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gershman, R.; Kohlhase, C.; Koukol, R.

    NASA is developing plans for an ambitious mission to orbit three planet-sized moons of Jupiter -- Callisto, Ganymede and Europa -- which may harbor vast oceans beneath their icy surfaces. The mission, called the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), would orbit each of these moons for extensive investigations of their makeup, their history and their potential for sustaining life. JIMO has been identified as the first space science mission to potentially incorporate the revolutionary nuclear power and propulsion capability being developed by NASA's Project Prometheus. Planetary protection (PP) requirements for JIMO are expected to be based on a recommendation by the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the U.S. National Research Council that in any one mission the probability of contaminating a Europan ocean with a viable Earth organism should be less than 10-4. The SSB stated that calculation of this probability should, as a minimum, take into account the following: bioburden at launch, cruise survival of the organisms, organism survival in the radiation environment adjacent to Europa, probability of landing at a geologically active site on Europa, the mechanisms of transfer of the organisms to the Europan subsurface, and organism survival and proliferation before, during, and after subsurface transfer. This presentation reports on preliminary assessment of these factors by the JIMO Project and on work in progress aimed at finding a design capable of meeting planetary protection goals for Europa with the lowest cost and risk impacts for the project. This design will potentially include: credit for sterilizing effects of in-flight radiation, pre-launch sterilization with isolation from recontamination for spacecraft elements protected from the radiation environment, identification of quarantine orbits within the Jovian system providing long term stability, providing high system reliability against failure modes that could lead to surface impact, and assuring separation of the

  6. A Power Conversion Concept for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2003-01-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission is currently under study by the Office of Space Science under the Project Prometheus Program. JIMO is examining the use of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) to carry scientific payloads to three Jovian moons. A potential power system concept includes dual 100 kWe Brayton converters, a deployable pumped loop heat rejection subsystem, and a 400 Vac Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) bus. Many trades were performed in aniving at this candidate power system concept. System-level studies examined design and off-design operating modes, determined startup requirements, evaluated subsystem redundancy options, and quantified the mass and radiator area of reactor power systems from 20 to 200 kWe. In the Brayton converter subsystem, studies were performed to investigate converter packaging options, and assess the induced torque effects on spacecraft dynamics due to rotating machinery. In the heat rejection subsystem, design trades were conducted on heat transport approaches, material and fluid options, and deployed radiator geometries. In the PMAD subsystem, the overall electrical architecture was defined and trade studies examined distribution approaches, voltage levels, and cabling options.

  7. Jupiter Icy Moons Tidal Signatures and Ocean Mapping from Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, X.; Bar-Server, Y. E.; Folkner, W. M.; Williams, J. G.; Zumberge, J. F.

    2003-01-01

    Following the Galileo spacecraft encounters with Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, evidence emerged suggesting that these Galilean moons of Jupiter may have liquid oceans underneath their icy shells. Detection of the oceans on one or all three moons will have profound implications on probability of life beyond the Earth. The icy satellites also have tidal environments that are among the strongest in the solar system. The leading time-varying tidal forcing term on the surface of Europa is at least 9 times larger than those on the inner planets. Tidal forcing on the surfaces of Ganymede and Callisto are about 10% and 7%, respectively, of that on Europa. Since a planetary body with internal fluid deforms more than an otherwise solid body, tidal measurements offer exciting opportunities to detect the oceans.

  8. Power-Conversion Concept Designed for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2004-01-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) is a bold new mission being developed by NASA's Office of Space Science under Project Prometheus. JIMO is examining the potential of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) technology to efficiently deliver scientific payloads to three of Jupiter's moons: Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. A critical element of the NEP spacecraft is the space reactor power system (SRPS), consisting of the nuclear reactor, power conversion, heat rejection, and power management and distribution (PMAD).

  9. Numerical investigation of mapping orbits about Jupiter's icy moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aiello, John

    2005-01-01

    A proposed mission that would orbit Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa will require low altitude, high inclination orbits for gravity and surface mapping. This paper explores the dynamics of these orbits by direct propagation against an ephemeris model. Initial conditions within the context of a mapping mission's likely requirements are considered. The results complement the analytical studies and reveal additional dependencies.

  10. Electric Propulsion Technology Development for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    During 2004, the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter project, a part of NASA's Project Prometheus, continued efforts to develop electric propulsion technologies. These technologies addressed the challenges of propelling a spacecraft to several moons of Jupiter. Specific challenges include high power, high specific impulse, long lived ion thrusters, high power/high voltage power processors, accurate feed systems, and large propellant storage systems. Critical component work included high voltage insulators and isolators as well as ensuring that the thruster materials and components could operate in the substantial Jupiter radiation environment. A review of these developments along with future plans is discussed.

  11. Tectonics of Icy Moons: A Tale of Oceans and Orbital Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, Simon

    2010-05-01

    Icy moons of the outer solar system commonly experience eccentric orbits that impart daily tidal stresses to the outer ice layer. Depending on the orbital dynamics and configuration of the moons and their host planets, these stresses may or may not be sufficiently large to deform the ice layer. Although the stresses are typically very small, many icy moons exhibit pervasively tectonized surfaces, replete with fractures, faults, and significant topography (e.g., Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, Dione, Titan, Miranda, Ariel, Titania, Triton). Deformation may be driven by various means (e.g., orbital recession, polar wander, ice shell thickening), but tidal deformation is particularly important and is enhanced if an outer ice layer is decoupled from an underlying liquid ocean. The tidal response of the ocean creates tidal bulges in the ice layer that oscillate longitudinally and in amplitude during the orbital period. The resultant diurnal tidal stress field (perhaps 10s of kPa) rotates throughout the orbit. Any fractures growing in this time frame should thus be curved (e.g., Europa's cycloidal cracks, which have been cited as the smoking gun for a subsurface ocean). Long lineaments should accumulate strike-slip offsets in such a stress field, as occurs on Europa and perhaps Enceladus. The progressive development of ice ridges to either side of central cracks may result from this shearing process. A decoupled ice layer also permits faster than synchronous rotation of the ice layer, which may allow several MPa of stress to accrue, perhaps explaining long lineaments on Europa. It is unclear if Europa continues to be tectonically active, especially given apparent ice shell thickening that would have muted the tidal response through time. Nonetheless, subtle troughs across Europa's surface crosscut all other features and may indicate some degree of ongoing activity. In contrast, active tectonics on Enceladus is implied by ongoing geyser-like eruptions of water-ice from

  12. Analysis of Thrust Vectoring Capabilities for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quadrelli, Marco B .; Gromov, Konstantin; Murray, Emmanuell

    2005-01-01

    A strategy to mitigate the impact of the trajectory design of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) on the attitude control design is described in this paper. This paper shows how the thrust vectoring control torques, i.e. the torques required to steer the vehicle, depend on various parameters (thrust magnitude, thrust pod articulation angles, and thrust moment arms). Rather than using the entire reaction control system (RCS) system to steer the spacecraft, we investigate the potential utilization of only thrust vectoring of the main ion engines for the required attitude control to follow the representative trajectory. This study has identified some segments of the representative trajectory where the required control torque may exceed the designed ion engine capability, and how the proposed mitigation strategy succeeds in reducing the attitude control torques to within the existing capability.

  13. Feasibility Study of Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Permanent Magnet Alternator Start Sequence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kenny, Barbara H.; Tokars, Roger P.

    2006-01-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission was a proposed, (recently cancelled) long duration science mission to study three moons of Jupiter: Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. One design of the JIMO spacecraft used a nuclear heat source in conjunction with a Brayton rotating machine to generate electrical power for the electric thrusters and the spacecraft bus. The basic operation of the closed cycle Brayton system was as follows. The working fluid, a heliumxenon gas mixture, first entered a compressor, then went through a recuperator and hot-side heat exchanger, then expanded across a turbine that drove an alternator, then entered the cold-side of the recuperator and heat exchanger and finally returned to the compressor. The spacecraft was to be launched with the Brayton system off-line and the nuclear reactor shut down. Once the system was started, the helium-xenon gas would be circulated into the heat exchangers as the nuclear reactors were activated. Initially, the alternator unit would operate as a motor so as to drive the turbine and compressor to get the cycle started. This report investigated the feasibility of the start up sequence of a permanent magnet (PM) machine, similar in operation to the alternator unit, without any position or speed feedback sensors ("sensorless") and with a variable load torque. It is found that the permanent magnet machine can start with sensorless control and a load torque of up to 30 percent of the rated value.

  14. An Overview of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) Mission, Environments, and Materials Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Dave

    2012-01-01

    Congress authorized NASA's Prometheus Project in February 2003, with the first Prometheus mission slated to explore the icy moons of Jupiter with the following main objectives: (1) Develop a nuclear reactor that would provide unprecedented levels of power and show that it could be processed safely and operated reliably in space for long-duration. (2) Explore the three icy moons of Jupiter -- Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa -- and return science data that would meet the scientific goals as set forth in the Decadal Survey Report of the National Academy of Sciences.

  15. Main Power Distribution Unit for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Papa, Melissa R.

    2004-01-01

    Around the year 2011, the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) will be launched and on its way to orbit three of Jupiter s planet-sized moons. The mission goals for the JIMO project revolve heavily around gathering scientific data concerning ingredients we, as humans, consider essential: water, energy and necessary chemical elements. The JIM0 is an ambitious mission which will implore propulsion from an ION thruster powered by a nuclear fission reactor. Glenn Research Center is responsible for the development of the dynamic power conversion, power management and distribution, heat rejection and ION thrusters. The first test phase for the JIM0 program concerns the High Power AC Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) Test Bed. The goal of this testing is to support electrical performance verification of the power systems. The test bed will incorporate a 2kW Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU) to simulate the nuclear reactor as well as two ION thrusters. The first module of the PMAD Test Bed to be designed is the Main Power Distribution Unit (MPDU) which relays the power input to the various propulsion systems and scientific instruments. The MPDU involves circuitry design as well as mechanical design to determine the placement of the components. The MPDU consists of fourteen relays of four different variations used to convert the input power into the appropriate power output. The three phase system uses 400 Vo1ts(sub L-L) rms at 1000 Hertz. The power is relayed through the circuit and distributed to the scientific instruments, the ION thrusters and other controlled systems. The mechanical design requires the components to be positioned for easy electrical wiring as well as allowing adequate room for the main buss bars, individual circuit boards connected to each component and power supplies. To accomplish creating a suitable design, AutoCAD was used as a drafting tool. By showing a visual layout of the components, it is easy to see where there is extra room or where the

  16. Environmental Change in Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Vance, S.

    2014-12-01

    There is strong evidence that subsurface oceans could exist within several of the outer solar system's ice-rich moons, at Jupiter (Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), Saturn (Enceladus and Titan), and Neptune (Triton). If liquid water is indeed available in these subsurface environments, then the availability of chemical energy becomes the greatest limitation on whether icy worlds could harbor life. Of these moons, the largest (Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan) are expected to harbor oceans deep within, and high-pressure H2O ice phases are expected farther beneath those deep oceans. In contrast, the oceans of smaller icy worlds—Europa, Enceladus, and Triton—are plausibly in direct contact with rock below. Given that serpentinization or other water-rock geochemical activity could supply reductants directly to their oceans, these icy worlds have the greatest chance to support present-day microbial life. Each of these three icy worlds displays spectacular resurfaced terrains that are very young (crater retention ages ~10s Myr and younger), with their internal activity linked to extremes in tidal heating today and/or in the geologically recent past. However, the degree of their tidal heating may have changed greatly over time. Europa is believed to experience cyclical tidal heating and activity; Enceladus may have experienced cyclical activity or a geologically recent pulse of activity; Triton may have experienced extreme tidal heating upon its capture and orbital circularization. Such dynamic pasts would pose challenges for any life within. We consider the possible effects of severe swings in the activity level of icy worlds, specifically the implications for delivery of chemical energy to their subsurface oceans.

  17. Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) Remote Sensing: Geology and Geochemistry Science Goals and Objectives.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaney, D. L.; Spencer, J.

    2003-12-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) Science Definition Team met with the broader science community to identify the key outstanding science goals and objectives that could be met by the JIMO mission at the Forum on Concepts and Approaches for JIMO in Houston, Texas on June 14-15, 2003. The Remote Sensing: Geology and Geochemistry subgroup identified that our primary objective was to determine the coupled compositional evolution of the Jovian Satellites by determining the composition, origin, physical state, and distribution of surface materials of all four Galilean Satellites. Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Io have undergone complex geological and chemical processing which have important implications for the evolution of the satellites and the habitability of Europa. To meet this goal, the following science objectives for JIMO were identified: 1) Identify major and minor surface components, distributions, geological ages, including abiotic and biotic organic molecules, trapped volatiles; 2) Characterize currently and recently geologically active areas; 3) Characterize exogenics vs. endogenic processes via spatial distribution patterns or other characteristics such as time variability (diurnal or longer timescales) of surface chemistry; 4) Map regolith thermophysical properties; 5) Determine heat flow on Europa and Io to investigate their coupled thermal evolution; 6) Determine temperature-dependent physical and chemical stability of surface components; 7) Map isotopic components that elucidate fractionation processes; and 8) Map regolith photometric properties. In addition JIMO should collect data needed to identify and characterize potential landing sites from both science and engineering perspectives given the potential for follow on missions to search for life on Europa in situ.

  18. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-01-01

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant-RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton Power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor i the 1980's and early 1990's. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste hear is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared radiator. The radiator consists of two coplanar wings, which would be deployed after the reactor is in space. System trades were performed to vary cycle state point temperatures and convertor design as well as power output. Other redundancy combinations were considered to understand the affects of convertor

  19. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Power Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-02-01

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant - RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. Stirling convertors have a long heritage operating in both power generation and the cooler industry, and are currently in use in a wide variety of applications. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor in the 1980's and early 1990's. The baseline RPP considered in this study consists of four dual-opposed Stirling convertors connected to the reactor by a liquid lithium loop. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste heat is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared

  20. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Power Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-02-06

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant - RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. Stirling convertors have a long heritage operating in both power generation and the cooler industry, and are currently in use in a wide variety of applications. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor in the 1980's and early 1990's. The baseline RPP considered in this study consists of four dual-opposed Stirling convertors connected to the reactor by a liquid lithium loop. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste heat is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared

  1. Evaluation of the measurement technologies required for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Holcomb, D. E.; Kisner, R. A.; Bryan, W. L.; Hardy, J. E.

    2006-07-01

    This paper provides an overview of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) evaluation of the measurement technologies required for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) reactor. The specific reactor parameters considered are neutron flux, temperature, coolant flow, and control element position. All four of the notional reactor module concepts are considered, to the extent technically relevant (i.e., liquid metal-thermoelectric, liquid metal-Brayton, heat pipe-Brayton, and direct cycle gas-cooled-Brayton). The mission environmental condition and the associated survival requirement assumptions are based upon the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) descriptions of the mission profile and ORNL estimation of the reactor contribution to the environment. Each reactor parameter measurement section includes a survey of the current state-of-the-art to identify candidate measurement technologies given the environmental conditions and duration of the JIMO mission and an evaluation of the potential technologies as well as the selection process rationale underlying the evaluation. The environmental conditions and performance requirements for fore-of-shield neutron detectors require technologies significantly beyond the current commercial state-of-the-art. The most challenging mission requirement is the combination of the necessity to observe the initial reactor approach to critical with fresh, highly enriched fuel combined with the strong desirability of the capability to monitor low-power, hot reactor dynamics in space with a long-lifetime detector system. The mission background radiation environment would significantly contaminate the signals from non-fission-based detector technologies located aft-of-shield. Shielded fission counters are, therefore, a strongly preferred detector technology due to their larger signal pulse sizes (which provides the additional benefit of being able to drive longer cable lengths) and consequent signal separability from the background space radiation

  2. Habitability potential of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coustenis, A.; Solomonidou, A.; Bampasidis, G.; Hirtzig, M.; Sohl, F.; Hussmann, H.; Kyriakopoulos, K.; Seymour, K.; Bratsolis, E.; Moussas, X.

    2012-09-01

    The satellites of Jupiter and Saturn have been revealed as extremely astrobiologically interesting bodies presenting promising conditions for habitability and the development and/or maintenance of life. Titan and Enceladus, Saturn's satellites, were found by the Cassini-Huygens mission to possess active organic chemistries with seasonal variations, unique geological features and possibly internal liquid water oceans, among other. Additionally, Jupiter's Europa and Ganymede show indications of harboring liquid water oceans under their icy crusts, which may be in direct contact with a silicate mantle floor and kept warm through time by tidally generated heat. All of these environments satisfy many of the "classical" criteria for habitability (liquid water, energy sources to sustain metabolism and "nutrients" over a period of time long enough to allow the development of life). In order to study the habitability of icy moons around giant planets, we look at the atmosphere-surface-interior connections with their similarities with the Earth as a starting point [1]. The discovery of the water jets on Enceladus, the possibility for cryovolcanic processes on Titan and the hypothetically active mantle of Europa suggest that icy moons around giant planets may well contain subsurface oceans.

  3. JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE): An ESA mission to orbit Ganymede and to characterise the Jupiter system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasset, O.; Dougherty, M. K.; Coustenis, A.; Bunce, E. J.; Erd, C.; Titov, D.; Blanc, M.; Coates, A.; Drossart, P.; Fletcher, L. N.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Krupp, N.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Tortora, P.; Tosi, F.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2013-04-01

    Past exploration of Jupiter's diverse satellite system has forever changed our understanding of the unique environments to be found around gas giants, both in our solar system and beyond. The detailed investigation of three of Jupiter's Galilean satellites (Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto), which are believed to harbour subsurface water oceans, is central to elucidating the conditions for habitability of icy worlds in planetary systems in general. The study of the Jupiter system and the possible existence of habitable environments offer the best opportunity for understanding the origins and formation of the gas giants and their satellite systems. The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission, selected by ESA in May 2012 to be the first large mission within the Cosmic Vision Program 2015-2025, will perform detailed investigations of Jupiter and its system in all their inter-relations and complexity with particular emphasis on Ganymede as a planetary body and potential habitat. The investigations of the neighbouring moons, Europa and Callisto, will complete a comparative picture of the Galilean moons and their potential habitability. Here we describe the scientific motivation for this exciting new European-led exploration of the Jupiter system in the context of our current knowledge and future aspirations for exploration, and the paradigm it will bring in the study of giant (exo) planets in general.

  4. Traveling Wave Tube (TVT) RF Power Combining Demonstration for use in the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downey, Joseph A.

    2004-01-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) is set to launch between the years 2012 and 2015. It will possibly utilize a nuclear reactor power source and ion engines as it travels to the moons of Jupiter. The nuclear reactor will produce hundreds of kilowatts of power for propulsion, communication and various scientific instruments. Hence, the RF amplification devices aboard will be able to operate at a higher power level and data rate. The initial plan for the communications system is for an output of 1000 watts of RF power, a data rate of at least 10 megabits a second, and a frequency of 32 GHz. A higher data rate would be ideal to fully utilize the instruments aboard JIMO. At NASA Glenn, one of our roles in the JIMO project is to demonstrate RF power combining using multiple traveling wave tubes (TWT). In order for the power of separate TWT s to be combined, the RF output waves from each must be in-phase and have the same amplitude. Since different tubes act differently, we had to characterize each tube using a Network Analyzer. We took frequency sweeps and power sweeps to characterize each tube to ensure that they will behave similarly under the same conditions. The 200 watt Dornier tubes had been optimized to run at a lower power level (120 watts) for their extensive use in the ACTS program, so we also had to experiment with adjusting the voltage settings on several internal components (helix, anode, collector) of the tubes to reach the full 200 watt potential. from the ACTS program. Phase shifters and power attenuators were placed in the waveguide circuit at the inputs to the tubes so that adjustments could be made individually to match them exactly. A magic tee was used to route and combine the amplified electromagnetic RF waves on the tube output side. The demonstration of 200 watts of combined power was successful with efficiencies greater than 90% over a 500 MHz bandwidth. The next step will be to demonstrate the use of three amplifiers using two magic tees by

  5. The Icy Moons of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard

    The Galilean satellites formed in a nebula of dust and gas that surrounded Jupiter toward the end of the formation of the giant planet itself. Their diverse initial compositions were determined by conditions in the circum-jovian nebula, just as the planets' initial properties were governed by their formation within the circum-solar nebula. The Galilean satellites subsequently evolved under the complex interplay of orbital and geophysical processes, which included the effects of orbital resonances, tides, internal differentiation, and heat. The history and character of the satellites can be inferred from consideration of the formation of planets and the satellites, from studies of their plausible orbital evolution, from measurements of geophysical properties, especially gravitational and magnetic fields, from observations of the compositions and geological structure of their surfaces, and from geophysical modeling of the processes that can relate these lines of evidence. The three satellites with large water-ice components, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are very different from one another as a result of the ways that these processes have played out in each case. Europa has a deep liquid-water ocean with a thin layer of surface ice, Ganymede and Callisto likely have relatively thin liquid water layers deep below their surfaces, and Callisto remains only partially differentiated, with rock and ice mixed through much of its interior. A tiny inner satellite, Amalthea, also appears to be largely composed of ice. Each of these moons is fascinating in its own right, and the ensemble provides a powerful set of constraints on the processes that led to their formation and evolution.

  6. Cassini CAPS and INMS Detection of Water Group Pick-Up Ions Near the Orbits of Saturn's Icy Moons Enceladus, Dione and Rhea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokar, R. L.; Bagenal, F.; Crary, F. J.; Omidi, N.; Paty, C. S.; Perry, M. E.; Thomsen, M. F.; Waite, J. H.; Wilson, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    In this study water group pick up ions near the orbits of Saturn's moons Enceladus, Dione, and Rhea are studied for all Cassini plasma spectrometer (CAPS) data since orbit insertion with comparisons made to Cassini ion and neutral mass spectrometer (INMS) observations in ion mode. In addition, in-situ CAPS pick-up ion phase space measurements during Cassini's Enceladus close encounters are compared with hybrid and multi-fluid simulations. The icy surfaces of Enceladus, Dione and Rhea, along with Enceladus' south polar plumes (~90% water vapor with a smaller admixture of CO2, CO, N2, and CH4), are sources of neutral H2O vapor. In the case of Enceladus, due to the plumes, the region of dense vapor is large whereas in the case of Dione and Rhea only a smaller exosphere near the surfaces exists. The dense bulk plasma in Saturn's inner magnetosphere (electrons, protons, water group ions) nearly co-rotates with Saturn near the orbits of these moons with speeds ~40 to 60 km/s while the neutral gas, both near the moons and in extended tori, moves at the slower gravitational orbital speeds. This relative speed leads to a characteristic 'pick-up' velocity space signature for these ions near their source region (before assimilation into the core ion population) and since arriving at Saturn CAPS has detected O+, OH+, H2O+ and H3O+ with these fresh 'pick-up' signatures. In addition, previous studies have shown that the Cassini INMS detected H3O+ near Enceladus with similar phase space density and simultaneous with the CAPS observations. These studies are extended, using the full CAPS/INMS data sets and the highest fidelity simulations.

  7. The long-period librations of large synchronous icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yseboodt, Marie; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2014-11-01

    A moon in synchronous rotation has longitudinal librations because of its non-spherical mass distribution and its elliptical orbit around the planet. We study the long-period librations of the Galilean satellites and Titan and include deformation effects and the existence of a subsurface ocean. We take into account the fact that the orbit is not keplerian and has other periodicities than the main period of orbital motion around Jupiter or Saturn due to perturbations by the Sun, other planets and moons. An orbital theory is used to compute the orbital perturbations due to these other bodies. For Titan we also take into account the large atmospheric torque at the semi-annual period of Saturn around the Sun.We numerically evaluate the amplitude and phase of the long-period librations for many interior structure models of the icy moons constrained by the mass, radius and gravity field.

  8. Surface Penetrating Radar Simulations for Jupiter's Icy Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Gogineni, S. P.; Green, J. L.; Reinisch, B. W.; Song, P.; Fung, S. F.; Benson, R. F.; Taylor, W. W. L.; Cooper, F.

    2003-01-01

    The icy moons of Jupiter (Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede) are of similar overall composition but show different surface features as a result of different sub-surface processes. Furthermore, each of these moons could have a liquid ocean of water buried underneath the icy crust, but their depth can only be speculated. For Europa, estimates put the thickness of the ice shell anywhere between 2-30 km, with'a few models predicting up to 100 km. Much of the uncertainties are due to the largely unknown temperature gradients and levels of water impurities across different surface layers. One of the most important geological processes is the possible transportation of heat by ice convection. If the ice is convecting, then an upper limit of about 20 km is set for the depth of the ocean underneath. Convection leads to a sharp increase in temperature followed by a thick region of nearly constant temperature. If ice is not convecting, then an exponentially increasing temperature profile is expected. The crust is thought to be a mixture of ice and rock, and although the exact percentage of rock is not known, it is expected to be low. Additionally, the ice crust could contain salt, similar to sea ice on Earth. The exact amount of salt and how that amount changes with depth is also unknown. In preparation for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission, we performed simulations for a surface-penetrating radar investigating signatures for different possible surface and sub-surface structures of these moons in order to estimate the applicability of using radar with a frequency range between 1 and 50 MHz. This includes simulations of power requirements, attenuation losses, layer resolutions for scenarios with and without the presence of a liquid ocean underneath the ice, cases of convecting and non-convecting ice, different impurities within the ice, and different surface roughnesses.

  9. ARTEMIS Orbits Magnetic Moon

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's THEMIS spacecraft have completed their mission and are still working perfectly, so NASA is re-directing the outermost two spacecraft to special orbits around the Moon. Now called ARTEMIS, th...

  10. Geologic Evolution of Saturn's Icy Moon Tethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Roland; Stephan, K.; Schmedemann, N.; Roatsch, T.; Kersten, E.; Neukum, G.; Porco, C. C.

    2013-10-01

    Tethys, 1072 km in diameter, is a mid-sized icy moon of Saturn imaged for the first time in two Voyager flybys [1][2][3]. Since July 2004, its surface has been imaged by the Cassini ISS cameras at resolutions between 200 and 500 m/pxl. We present results from our ongoing work to define and map geologic units in camera images obtained preferentially during Cassini’s Equinox and Solstice mission phases. In the majority of Tethys’ surface area a densely cratered plains unit [1][2][3][this work] is abundant. The prominent graben system of Ithaca Chasma is mapped as fractured cratered plains. Impact crater and basin materials can be subdivided into three degradational classes. Odysseus is a fresh large impact basin younger than Ithaca Chasma according to crater counts [4]. Heavily degraded craters and basins occur in the densely cratered plains unit. A smooth, less densely cratered plains unit in the trailing hemisphere was previously identified by [2] but mapping of its boundaries is difficult due to varying viewing geometries of ISS images. To the south of Odysseus, we identified a cratered plains unit not seen in Voyager data, characterized by remnants of highly degraded large craters superimposed by younger fresher craters with a lower crater density compared to the densely cratered plains unit. Its distinct linear northern contact with the densely cratered plains suggests a tectonic origin. Sets of minor fractures can be distinguished in the densely cratered plains, and locally, features of mass wasting can be observed. References: [1] Smith B. A. et al. (1981), Science 212, 163-191. [2] Smith B. A. et al. (1982), Science 215, 504-537. [3] Moore J. M. and Ahern J. L. (1983), JGR 88 (suppl.), A577-A584. [4] Giese B. et al. (2007), GRL 34, doi:10.1029/2007GL031467.

  11. JUICE: A European Mission to Jupiter and its Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasset, Olivier; Witasse, Olivier; Barabash, Stas; Brandt, Pontus; Bruzzone, Lorenzo; Bunce, Emma; Cecconi, Baptiste; Cavalié, Thibault; Cimo, Giuseppe; Coustenis, Athena; Cremonese, Gabriele; Dougherty, Michele; Fletcher, Leigh N.; Gladstone, Randy; Gurvits, Leonid; Hartogh, Paul; Hoffmann, Holger; Hussmann, Hauke; Iess, Luciano; Jaumann, Ralf; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Kaspi, Yohai; Krupp, Norbert; Langevin, Yves; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Palumbo, Pasquale; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Plaut, Jeffrey; Poulet, Francois; Roatsch, Thomas; Retherford, Kurt D.; Rothkaehl, Hanna; Stevenson, David J.; Tosi, Federico; Van Hoolst, Tim; Wahlund, Jan-Erik; Wurz, Peter; Altobelli, Nicolas; Accomazzo, A.; Boutonnet, Arnaud; Erd, Christian; Vallat, Claire

    2016-10-01

    JUICE - JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - is the first large mission in the ESA Cosmic Vision programme [1]. The implementation phase started in July 2015. JUICE will arrive at Jupiter in October 2029, and will spend 3 years characterizing the Jovian system, the planet itself, its giant magnetosphere, and the giant icy moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. JUICE will then orbit Ganymede.The first goal of JUICE is to explore the habitable zone around Jupiter [2]. Ganymede is a high-priority target because it provides a unique laboratory for analyzing the nature, evolution and habitability of icy worlds, including the characteristics of subsurface oceans, and because it possesses unique magnetic fields and plasma interactions with the environment. On Europa, the focus will be on recently active zones, where the composition, surface and subsurface features (including putative water reservoirs) will be characterized. Callisto will be explored as a witness of the early Solar System.JUICE will also explore the Jupiter system as an archetype of gas giants. The circulation, meteorology, chemistry and structure of the Jovian atmosphere will be studied from the cloud tops to the thermosphere and ionosphere. JUICE will investigate the 3D properties of the magnetodisc, and study the coupling processes within the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. The mission also focuses on characterizing the processes that influence surface and space environments of the moons.The payload consists of 10 instruments plus a ground-based experiment (PRIDE) to better constrain the S/C position. A remote sensing package includes imaging (JANUS) and spectral-imaging capabilities from UV to sub-mm wavelengths (UVS, MAJIS, SWI). A geophysical package consists of a laser altimeter (GALA) and a radar sounder (RIME) for exploring the moons, and a radio science experiment (3GM) to probe the atmospheres and to determine the gravity fields. The in situ package comprises a suite to study plasma and

  12. Radar Sounding for Planetary Subsurface Exploration: Translating the Mars Experience to Jupiter's Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plaut, J.

    2015-12-01

    Exploration of the subsurface of Mars using radar sounding began with MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) on Mars Express in 2005 and continued with SHARAD (Shallow Radar) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2006. These instruments have been operating continuously since, providing a rich legacy of science return and observational experience in the highly variable environments and target sets at Mars. New missions to the icy moons of Jupiter, ESA's JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) and NASA's Europa Mission, will both carry radar sounders to probe the subsurface of several of the icy moons (Ganymede, Europa and Callisto by JUICE; Europa by the Europa Mission). The success of the Mars sounders demonstrated the scientific value of the technique and provided confidence that sounding of the icy moons is a promising endeavor. Icy targets at Mars have proven especially amenable to penetration by radar sounding. The polar layered deposits of Mars have been probed to their base (2-4 km deep) by MARSIS, operating at frequencies of 1.3-5.5 MHz. SHARAD, operating with a wider bandwidth at 15-25 MHz, provides higher vertical resolution that allows detection and imaging of fine details of interior layering in the ice deposits. The sounder planned for the Europa mission, REASON (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding, Ocean to Near-Surface), will utilize simultaneous dual frequency signals to obtain complementary deep sounding and high-vertical-resolution shallow observations. Co-located observations by MARSIS and SHARAD also demonstrate that high surface roughness (relative to the radar wavelength) affects the strength of the penetrating signals, and thus the capability to detect deep or low-contrast subsurface interfaces. The icy moon sounders' wavelengths were selected, in part, to mitigate against this degradation of signals by the anticipated rough surfaces of Jupiter's moons. This paper will discusss these and other examples of lessons

  13. Saturn and 4 Icy Moons, Enhanced Color

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This enhanced-color picture shows Saturn, its rings, and four of its icy satellites. Three satellites (Tethys, Dione, and Rhea) are visible against the darkness of space, and another smaller satellite (Mimas) is visible against Saturn's cloud tops very near the left horizon and just below the rings. The dark shadows of Mimas and Tethys are also visible on Saturn's cloud tops, and the shadow of Saturn is seen across part of the rings. Saturn, second in size only to Jupiter in our Solar System, is 120,660 km (75,000 mi) in diameter at its equator (the ring plane) but, because of its rapid spin, Saturn is 10% smaller measured through its poles. Saturn's rings are composed mostly of ice particles ranging from microscopic dust to boulders in size. These particles orbit Saturn in a vast disk that is a mere 100 meters (330 feet) or so thick. The rings' thinness contrasts with their huge diameter--for instance 272,400 km (169,000 mi) for the outer part of the bright A ring, the outermost ring visible here. The pronounced concentric gap in the rings, the Cassini Division (named after its discoverer), is a 3500-km wide region (2200 mi, almost the width of the United States) that is much less populated with ring particles than the brighter B and A rings to either side of the gap. The rings also show some enigmatic radial structure ('spokes'), particularly at left. This image was synthesized from images taken in Voyager's orange, blue, and ultraviolet filters and was processed to create an exaggerated false color.

  14. A passive low frequency instrument for radio wave sounding the subsurface oceans of the Jovian icy moons: An instrument concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartogh, P.; Ilyushin, Ya. A.

    2016-10-01

    Exploration of subsurface oceans on Jovian icy moons is a key issue of the icy moons' geology. Electromagnetic wave propagation is the only way to probe their icy mantles from the orbit. In the present paper, a principal concept of a passive interferometric instrument for deep sounding of the icy moons' crust is proposed. Its working principle is measuring and correlating Jupiter's radio wave emissions with reflections from the deep sub-surface of the icy moons. A number of the functional aspects of the proposed experiment are studied, in particular, impact of the wave scattering on the surface terrain on the instrument performance and digital sampling of the noisy signal. Results of the test of the laboratory prototype of the instrument are also presented in the paper.

  15. Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer: mission status after the Definition Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitri; Barabash, Stas; Bruzzone, Lorenzo; Dougherty, Michele; Erd, Christian; Fletcher, Leigh; Gare, Philippe; Gladstone, Randall; Grasset, Olivier; Gurvits, Leonid; Hartogh, Paul; Hussmann, Hauke; Iess, Luciano; Jaumann, Ralf; Langevin, Yves; Palumbo, Pasquale; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Sarri, Giuseppe; Wahlund, Jan-Erik; Witasse, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), the ESA first large-class mission within the Cosmic Vision Program 2015-2025, was adopted in November 2014. The mission will perform detailed investigations of Jupiter and its system with particular emphasis on Ganymede as a planetary body and potential habitat. The overarching theme for JUICE is: The emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants. At Ganymede, the mission will characterize in detail the ocean layers; provide topographical, geological and compositional mapping of the surface; study the physical properties of the icy crusts; characterize the internal mass distribution, investigate the exosphere; study Ganymede's intrinsic magnetic field and its interactions with the Jovian magnetosphere. For Europa, the focus will be on the non-ice chemistry, understanding the formation of surface features and subsurface sounding of the icy crust over recently active regions. Callisto will be explored as a witness of the early solar system. JUICE will perform a multidisciplinary investigation of the Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants. The circulation, meteorology, chemistry and structure of the Jovian atmosphere will be studied from the cloud tops to the thermosphere. The focus in Jupiter's magnetosphere will include an investigation of the three dimensional properties of the magnetodisc and in-depth study of the coupling processes within the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. Aurora and radio emissions will be elucidated. JUICE will study the moons' interactions with the magnetosphere, gravitational coupling and long-term tidal evolution of the Galilean satellites. JUICE highly capable scientific payload includes 10 state-of-the-art instruments onboard the spacecraft plus one experiment that uses the spacecraft telecommunication system with ground-based radio telescopes. The remote sensing package includes a high-resolution multi-band visible imager (JANUS) and spectro-imaging capabilities from the

  16. JUICE: A European Mission to Jupiter and its Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witasse, O.; Altobelli, N.; Barabash, S.; Bruzzone, L.; Dougherty, M.; Erd, C.; Fletcher, L.; Gladstone, R.; Grasset, O.; Gurvits, L.; Hartogh, P.; Hussmann, H.; Iess, I.; Langevin, Y.; Palumbo, P.; Piccioni, G.; Sarri, G.; Titov, D.; Wahlund, J.-E.

    2015-10-01

    JUICE -JUpiter ICy moons Explorer -is the first large mission in the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme[1]. The mission was selected in May 2012 and adopted in November 2014. The implementation phase starts in July 2015, following the selection of the prime industrial contractor. Planned for launch in June 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in October 2029, it will spend at least three years making detailed observations of Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

  17. Neutral atmosphere near the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.

    2016-07-01

    The paper discusses the formation and dynamics of the rarefied gas envelope near the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. Being the most massive icy moon, Ganymede can form a rarefied exosphere with a relatively dense near-surface layer. The main parent component of the gas shell is water vapor, which enters the atmosphere due to thermal degassing, nonthermal radiolysis, and other active processes and phenomena on the moon's icy surface. A numerical kinetic simulation is performed to investigate, at the molecular level, the formation, chemical evolution, and dynamics of the mainly H2O- and O2-dominant rarefied gas envelopes. The ionization processes in these rarefied gas envelopes are due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and the magnetospheric plasma. The chemical diversity of the icy moon's gas envelope is attributed to the primary action of ultraviolet solar photons and plasma electrons on the rarefied gas in the H2O- or O2-dominant atmosphere. The model is used to calculate the formation and development of the chemical diversity in the relatively dense near-surface envelope of Ganymede, where an important contribution comes from collisions between parent molecules and the products of their photolysis and radiolysis.

  18. The Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) on the JUICE Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruzzone, L.; Plaut, J.; Alberti, G.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bovolo, F.; Campbell, B. A.; Castelletti, D.; Gim, Y.; Ilisei, A. M.; Kofman, W. W.; Komatsu, G.; McKinnon, W. B.; Mitri, G.; Moussessian, A.; Notarnicola, C.; Orosei, R.; Patterson, G. W.; Pettinelli, E.; Plettemeier, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) is one of the main instruments included in the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) ESA mission. It is a radar sounder designed for studying the subsurface geology and geophysics of Galilean icy moons (i.e., Ganymede, Europa and Callisto) and for detecting possible subsurface water. RIME is designed for penetration of the icy moons up to a depth of 9 km. Two main operation scenarios are foreseen for RIME: i) flyby observations of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (from a distance of 1000 km to the closest approach of about 400 km); and ii) circular orbital observations around Ganymede at 500 km of altitude. According to these scenarios, RIME is designed to explore the icy shell of the Galilean icy satellites by characterizing the wide range of compositional, thermal, and structural variation found in the subsurface of these moons. RIME observations will profile the ice shells of the Galilean icy satellites with specific focus on Ganymede given the circular orbital phase. The acquired measures will provide geological context on hemispheric (thousands of km), regional (hundreds of km with multiple overlaps), and targeted (tens of km) scales appropriate for a variety of hypothesis tests. RIME will operate in a single frequency band, centred at 9 MHz. The frequency was selected as the result of extensive study of penetration capabilities, surface roughness of the moons, Jovian radio noise, antenna accommodation, and system design. The 9 MHz frequency provides penetration capabilities and mitigation of surface scattering (which can cause signal loss and clutter issues), at the expense of mapping coverage, as it is likely to obtain high SNR observations only on the anti-Jovian side of the target moons. The RIME antenna is a 16 m dipole. The chirp pulse bandwidth is up to 3 MHz, which provides vertical resolution of about 50 m in ice after side lobe weighting. RIME will also operate with 1 MHz bandwidth to reduce data volume when

  19. Exobiology and Planetary Protection of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raulin, François; Hand, Kevin P.; McKay, Christopher P.; Viso, Michel

    2010-06-01

    The outer solar system is an important area of investigation for exobiology, the study of life in the universe. Several moons of the outer planets involve processes and structures comparable to those thought to have played an important role in the emergence of life on Earth, such as the formation and exchange of organic materials between different reservoirs. The study of these prebiotic processes on, and in, outer solar system moons is a key goal for exobiology, together with the question of habitability and the search for evidence of past or even present life. This chapter reviews the aspects of prebiotic chemistry and potential presence of life on Europa, Enceladus and Titan, based on the most recent data obtained from space missions as well as theoretical and experimental laboratory models. The habitability of these extraterrestrial environments, which are likely to include large reservoirs of liquid water in their internal structure, is discussed as well as the particular case of Titan’s hydrocarbon lakes. The question of planetary protection, especially in the case of Europa, is also presented.

  20. Habitability potential of icy moons: a comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomonidou, Anezina; Coustenis, Athena; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Sohl, Frank; Hussmann, Hauke; Bampasidis, Georgios; Wagner, Frank; Raulin, François; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Lopes, Rosaly

    2014-05-01

    Looking for habitable conditions in the outer solar system our research focuses on the natural satellites rather than the planets themselves. Indeed, the habitable zone as traditionally defined may be larger than originally con-ceived. The strong gravitational pull caused by the giant planets may produce enough energy to sufficiently heat the interiors of orbiting icy moons. The outer solar system satellites then provide a conceptual basis within which new theories for understanding habitability can be constructed. Measurements from the ground but also by the Voyager, Galileo and the Cassini spacecrafts revealed the potential of these satellites in this context, and our understanding of habitability in the solar system and beyond can be greatly enhanced by investigating several of these bodies together [1]. Their environments seem to satisfy many of the "classical" criteria for habitability (liquid water, energy sources to sustain metabolism and chemical compounds that can be used as nutrients over a period of time long enough to allow the development of life). Indeed, several of the moons show promising conditions for habitability and the de-velopment and/or maintenance of life. Europa, Callisto and Ganymede may be hiding, under their icy crust, putative undersurface liquid water oceans [3] which, in the case of Europa [2], may be in direct contact with a silicate mantle floor and kept warm by tidally generated heat [4]. Titan and Enceladus, Saturn's satellites, were found by the Cassini-Huygens mission to possess active organic chemistries with seasonal variations, unique geological features and possibly internal liquid water oceans. Titan's rigid crust and the probable existence of a subsurface ocean create an analogy with terrestrial-type plate tectonics, at least surficial [5], while Enceladus' plumes find an analogue in gey-sers. As revealed by Cassini the liquid hydrocarbon lakes [6] distributed mainly at polar latitudes on Titan are ideal isolated

  1. Crustal failure on icy Moons from a strong tidal encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillen, Alice C.; Giannella, David; Shaw, John G.; Ebinger, Cynthia

    2016-09-01

    Close tidal encounters among large planetesimals and Moons should have been more common than grazing or normal impacts. Using a mass spring model within an N-body simulation, we simulate the deformation of the surface of an elastic spherical body caused by a close parabolic tidal encounter with a body that has similar mass as that of the primary body. Such an encounter can induce sufficient stress on the surface to cause brittle failure of an icy crust and simulated fractures can extend a large fraction of the radius of body. Strong tidal encounters may be responsible for the formation of long graben complexes and chasmata in ancient terrain of icy Moons such as Dione, Tethys, Ariel and Charon.

  2. 2017 Eclipse and the Moon's Orbit

    NASA Video Gallery

    Solar eclipses can only occur at New Moon, when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. But not every New Moon produces an eclipse. The Moon's orbit is slightly tilted, and as seen in this anima...

  3. Lunar Orbiter I - Moon & Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    First view of the earth and moon from space. Published in: Spaceflight Revolution: Langley Research Center From Sputnik to Apollo, by James R. Hansen. NASA History Series. NASA SP ; 4308. p ii. Caption: 'The picture of the century was this first view of the earth from space. Lunar Orbiter I took the photo on 23 August 1966 on its 16th orbit just before it passed behind the moon. The photo also provided a spectacular dimensional view of the lunar surface.'

  4. Core Shadow Zones of Terrestrial Planets and Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohl, F.; Knapmeyer, M.; Gassner, L.; Lange, C.; Wagner, F. W.

    2011-12-01

    The internal dynamics of a planetary core is strongly dependent on its total radius. The volume/surface ratio of a planetary core is linked directly to the outgoing heat flux, which is also an indicator for the element partition between the surrounding mantle and the core. The determination of the core radius is thus an elementary step to better understand the origin and evolution of a planetary body. An observable that has been shown to serve as indicator for core size is the extent of the seismological (P-wave-) core shadow. It appears that the variation of seismic velocities with depth is dominated by quadratic terms, if not an essentially depth independent velocity can be assumed. The observed and predicted core shadow extents of many terrestrial planet models, computed as function of the relative core radius, thus align closely to the analytically derived function for objects with constant velocity profiles. The heavier solar system terrestrial planets, especially Venus and Earth, show the largest deviation from the relation between core radius and shadow width that holds for small bodies. For terrestrial planets more massive than Earth, as found for several exoplanets, the increasing internal pressure would cause increased curvature of tentative seismic rays and thus a more pronounced excursion from the relation for bodies with depth-independent elastic parameters. For Titan, a geophysical network has been suggested as a follow up to the highly successful Cassini-Huygens mission that is currently orbiting Saturn. Titan belongs to the class of weakly differentiated icy moons, which consist of an icy crust, underlain by a deep internal ocean and a central ice-rock body. Unlike any other moon in the solar system, Titan has a thick atmosphere that gives rise to surface processes resembling those on Earth. The goal of the proposed network is an improved understanding of the interactions between atmosphere, surficial ice and a putative subsurface water ocean. Key

  5. Lunar Orbiter: Moon and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The worlds first view of the Earth taken by a spacecraft from the vicinity of the Moon. The photo was transmitted to Earth by the United States Lunar Orbiter I and recieved at the NASA tracking station at Robledo de Chavela near Madrid, Spain. This crescent of the Earth was photographed August 23 at 16:35 GMT when the spacecraft was on its 16th orbit and just about to pass behind the Moon. This is the view the astronauts will have when they come around the backside of the Moon and face the Earth. The Earth is shown on the left of the photo with the U.S. east coast in the upper left, southern Europe toward the dark or night side of the Earth, and Antartica at the bottom of the Earth crescent. The surface of the Moon is shown on the right side of the photograph.

  6. Current Status of Japanese Participation to Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer "JUICE"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Y.; Sasaki, S.; Kimura, J.; Tohara, K.; Fujimoto, M.; Sekine, Y.

    2015-12-01

    JUICE is an ESA's L-class mission to Explore Jupiter Icy Moons. The science objectives of JUICE is to understand (1) emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants and (2) Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants. JUICE was mission adopted in November 2014. JUICE will be launched by Arian-5. After 7.5 years of interplanetary transfer and Earth-Venus-Earth-Earth gravity assists JUICE will be inserted into an orbit around Jupiter in January 2030. JUICE will make observation of all the three Jupiter icy Moons that potentially have subsurface ocean under the icy crust. After inserted into Ganymede orbit in 2032, JUICE will make detailed observation of the largest Icy Moon in the solar system. Three Japanese groups were selected to provide part of the three science instruments RPWI, GALA, and PEP/JNA. Two Japanese groups were also selected as science Co-I of two instrument groups JANUS and J-MAG. JUICE is the first mission for ISAS/JAXA to participate to foreign large science mission as a junior partner who will provide part of the science instruments. Taking into account all the data to be obtained by 5 instruments that JUICE-JAPAN will participate, Japanese team will be able to contribute to most of the major science objectives relating with planet Jupiter (JANUS), Jupiter magnetosphere (PEP/JNA, RPWI, and J-MAG), and Icy Moons (GALA, J-MAG, and JANUS). JUICE-JAPAN Working Group (WG) was established in September 2013. JUICE-JAPAN WG submitted a proposal for ISAS/JAXA small project in February 2014. JUICE-JAPAN WG passed the MDR in September 2014. JUICE-JAPAN passed the ISAS SRR that was held in April 2015 and also passed the ISAS project preparation review that was held in May 2015. Currently JUICE-JAPAN is an ISAS pre-project. In the future, SDR is scheduled in the end of 2015, PDR is scheduled in 2016 and CDR is scheduled in 2017. JUICE is a long-term mission that will be completed about 20 years from now. It is quite important to take place a necessary change

  7. Impact Craters on Jupiter's Icy Moons as Astrobiological Targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierhaus, E. B.; Lipps, J. H.

    2004-12-01

    Impact craters are prime astrobiological targets on icy moons with possible subsurface oceans. Craters are natural probes to subsurface materials; hence may sequester biologic signatures such as whole organisms, fossils, biochemicals, biomarkers, and biotextures. Craters expose a stratigraphic record. The closer to the crater center, the more deep-seated is the excavated material. All craters provide samples of the crust in the walls, overturned ice, and ejecta. Larger craters excavate deep interior ice in the central peaks, which may arise at the interface between solid ice and liquid water. The largest craters possess concentric rings, and flat floors that may be frozen water from under the icy shell that might expose information about the water column. Craters immediately deliver sub-surface materials to the surface, in contrast to endogenic processes (e.g. Europa) that likely operate over days to thousands or more years. The slower endogenic processes allow any extant life proactively to migrate from their habitats to other marginal regions or to die and degrade. Craters also offer unique habitats. A sub-surface "lens" of melt remains beneath the crater floor for up to thousands of years after impact. Life could rapidly exploit and abandon these habitats as they form and disappear, so these sub-surface melt-lenses may serve as rich - albeit temporary - locales of biological activity or repositories for fossils as they freeze. Although Europa displays the best evidence for a global ocean of the three icy Galilean satellites, Ganymede and Callisto also may have liquid water beneath their icy crusts. Ganymede, at least, bears evidence of an extensive geological history, which may have provided energy and habitats for biological processes. Though briny oceans (if they exist) are deeper beneath the icy crusts on Ganymede and Callisto than on Europa, the investigative principle largely remains the same. However, excavation to the deeply buried water requires larger

  8. The dust halo of Saturn's largest icy moon, Rhea.

    PubMed

    Jones, G H; Roussos, E; Krupp, N; Beckmann, U; Coates, A J; Crary, F; Dandouras, I; Dikarev, V; Dougherty, M K; Garnier, P; Hansen, C J; Hendrix, A R; Hospodarsky, G B; Johnson, R E; Kempf, S; Khurana, K K; Krimigis, S M; Krüger, H; Kurth, W S; Lagg, A; McAndrews, H J; Mitchell, D G; Paranicas, C; Postberg, F; Russell, C T; Saur, J; Seiss, M; Spahn, F; Srama, R; Strobel, D F; Tokar, R; Wahlund, J-E; Wilson, R J; Woch, J; Young, D

    2008-03-01

    Saturn's moon Rhea had been considered massive enough to retain a thin, externally generated atmosphere capable of locally affecting Saturn's magnetosphere. The Cassini spacecraft's in situ observations reveal that energetic electrons are depleted in the moon's vicinity. The absence of a substantial exosphere implies that Rhea's magnetospheric interaction region, rather than being exclusively induced by sputtered gas and its products, likely contains solid material that can absorb magnetospheric particles. Combined observations from several instruments suggest that this material is in the form of grains and boulders up to several decimetres in size and orbits Rhea as an equatorial debris disk. Within this disk may reside denser, discrete rings or arcs of material.

  9. Regional geology and stratigraphy of Saturn's icy moon Tethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Roland; Stephan, Katrin; Schmedemann, Nico; Roatsch, Thomas; Kersten, Elke; Neukum, Gerhard; Porco, Carolyn C.

    2013-04-01

    Tethys, with a diameter of 1060 km one of the 6 mid-sized icy moons of Saturn, was imaged for the first time in the early 1980ies by the cameras aboard the two Voyager spacecraft at resolutions of 1 km/pxl and lower [1][2][3]. These images show that most of Tethys is densely cratered and displays two major landmarks: the ~ 400 km large impact structure Odysseus and the huge graben system of Ithaca Chasma [1][2]. Since July 2004, Cassini has been in orbit about Saturn and has made several close passes at Tethys, providing an almost complete global image coverage at regional scale (200 - 500 m/pxl). However, varying viewing geometries between images taken during different orbits still impede the identification and mapping of geologic units. In this work we present an update of Tethys' regional geology and stratigraphy, based on Cassini ISS images. Crater distribution measurements, by us and in comparison with measurements of other groups [4], are used to support stratigraphic findings. Most of Tethys' surface consists of a hilly, rugged, heavily cratered plains unit, as identified in Voyager images [1][2][3]. A smooth, less densely cratered plains unit in the trailing hemisphere was previously observed by [2] which is also identifiable in Cassini ISS, but its exact boundaries are difficult to map due to varying viewing geometries of ISS observations. Another sparsely cratered plains unit not seen in Voyager images can be located to the south of Odysseus. It features remnants of highly degraded large craters superimposed by younger fresher craters with a lower crater density compared to the heavily cratered plains. Its distinct linear northern contact with the heavily cratered plains suggests an origin related to tectonism. Again, varying viewing conditions hamper to map the exact boundaries of this unit. The prominent graben system of Ithaca Chasma represents fractured cratered plains. The high resolution of Cassini ISS images reveals that tectonism on Tethys is more

  10. High energy electron processing of icy regoliths on Saturn's moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaible, Micah; Johnson, Robert E.

    2015-11-01

    A unique space weathering phenomenon has been identified on several icy Saturnian moons. Cassini revealed anomalous lens shaped regions in both optical and thermal wavelengths, colloquially known as the 'PacMan' feature, which are centered on the leading hemispheres and approximately symmetric about the equators. In particular, the Cassini InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS) measurements of thermal emission in the mid-IR showed that surface temperature variations during a diurnal cycle were smaller inside the anomalous regions. The locations of the anomalies were shown to closely match the expected deposition profile of high energy (~ MeV) electrons moving counter rotational to the moons, suggesting an energetic source to drive their formation. However, the mechanisms by which thermal conductivity enhancement occur lack quantitative comparison with theoretical and experimental results.Electron interactions with the grains can excite molecules, which, if near enough to an intergrain contact, can cause atoms or molecules to migrate into the contact region, thus increasing the contact volume or 'sintering' the grains. Sintering improves the thermal contact between grains, leading to increased effective thermal conductivity of the regolith. Equations previously developed to describe material behavior in nuclear reactor were used to estimate the timescale for the energetic electrons to increase the contact volume sufficiently to describe the enhanced thermal conductivity of the anomalous regions. In order to properly constrain the sintering calculations, the unique electron energy distribution measured in the vicinity of each of the moons was used in the calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations of excited electrons in water ice were carried out to determine the length scale for an average electron excitation or ionization event. This length scale determines the distance from the primary reaction at which electrons can still be mobilized to move into the contact region

  11. Investigating Saturn's Icy Moons using HST/STIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Noll, K. S.; Spencer, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    The inner moons of Saturn - Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione and Rhea - exhibit remarkable large-scale albedo and color variations. These trends can be linked to a combination of the unique exogenic processes occurring the Saturn system, including E-ring grain bombardment and charged particle bombardment. One of the fascinating characteristics of the Saturn system is that the icy satellites, though their surface compositions are dominated by water ice, are spectrally red - they are absorbing in the ultraviolet-visible wavelength region (wavelengths <~550 nm) - a spectral feature not typical of pure water ice. In fact, the existing data show that in the UV, absorptions appear to be present superimposed on the overall red slope. Thus, though Cassini instruments have learned much about the surfaces of the icy moons, a basic question that remains is: What is their surface composition and what are the species or processes that cause these UV absorptions? Cassini's spectral coverage is lacking in precisely the near-UV wavelength regime in which the satellites appear to absorb most strongly. To resolve this issue and determine some understanding of the surface species present, we have obtained data using HST/STIS (Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph). We have utilized the STIS G230L detector to obtain high SNR spectra in the 180-320 nm region along with short G430L exposures to obtain spectra in the 320-570 nm range, to completely fill in the Cassini gap in spectral coverage. Full-disk measurements have been made of the trailing and leading hemispheres of Mimas, Dione and Rhea; a spectrum of Enceladus was also obtained. We report on the results. In particular, we discuss implications for the presence of ammonia, ozone and organics.

  12. Hemispheric and Topographic Asymmetry of Magnetospheric Particle Irradiation for Icy Moon Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Sturner, S. J.

    2007-01-01

    All surfaces of icy moons without significant atmospheres, i.e. all except Titan in the giant planet systems, are irradiated by hot plasma and more energetic charged particles from the local magnetospheric environments. This irradiation can significantly impact the chemical composition, albedo, and detectable presence of signs of life on the sensible surfaces, while also limiting lifetimes and science operations of orbital spacecraft for extreme radiation environments as at Europa. Planning of surface remote sensing and lander operations, and interpretation of remote sensing and in-situ measurements, should include consideration of natural shielding afforded by the body of the moon, by any intrinsic or induced magnetic fields as at Ganyrnede, and by topographic structures.

  13. Radio Sounding Techniques for the Galilean Icy Moons and their Jovian Magnetospheric Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, James L.; Markus, Thursten; Fung, Shing F.; Benson, Robert F.; Reinich, Bodo W.; Song, Paul; Gogineni, S. Prasad; Cooper, John F.; Taylor, William W. L.; Garcia, Leonard

    2004-01-01

    Radio sounding of the Earth's topside ionosphere and magnetosphere is a proven technique from geospace missions such as the International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies (ISIS) and the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE). Application of this technique to Jupiter's icy moons and the surrounding Jovian magnetosphere will provide unique remote sensing observations of the plasma and magnetic field environments and the subsurface conductivities, of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Spatial structures of ionospheric plasma above the surfaces of the moons vary in response to magnetic-field perturbations from (1) magnetospheric plasma flows, (2) ionospheric currents from ionization of sputtered surface material, and (3) induced electric currents in salty subsurface oceans and from the plasma flows and ionospheric currents themselves. Radio sounding from 3 kHz to 10 MHz can provide the global electron densities necessary for the extraction of the oceanic current signals and supplements in-situ plasma and magnetic field measurements. While radio sounding requires high transmitter power for subsurface sounding, little power is needed to probe the electron density and magnetic field intensity near the spacecraft. For subsurface sounding, reflections occur at changes in the dielectric index, e.g., at the interfaces between two different phases of water or between water and soil. Variations in sub-surface conductivity of the icy moons can be investigated by radio sounding in the frequency range from 10 MHz to 50 MHz, allowing the determination of the presence of density and solid-liquid phase boundaries associated with oceans and related structures in overlying ice crusts. The detection of subsurface oceans underneath the icy crusts of the Jovian moons is one of the primary objectives of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission. Preliminary modeling results show that return signals are clearly distinguishable be&een an ice crust with a thickness of

  14. Habitability of the giant icy moons: current knowledge and future insights from the JUICE mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasset, O.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Titov, D.; Erd, C.; Bunce, E.; Coustenis, A.; Blanc, M.; Coates, A.; Fletcher, L.; van Hoolst, T.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Krupp, N.; Tortora, P.; Tosi, F.; Wielders, A.

    2012-09-01

    Large satellites of gas giants, at orbits beyond the snow-line, such as Jupiter or Saturn, can contain a large amount of water (almost 45% in mass). Hydrospheres are extremely thick, ~600 km for Ganymede and Callisto, and may possess liquid layers below the icy crust. Thus, the Galilean satellites provide a conceptual basis within which new theories for understanding habitability can be constructed. Measurements from the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft revealed the potential of these satellites in this context. The JUpiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) will greatly enhance our understanding of their potential habitability. It is known, even at Earth where life mostly depends on solar energy, that habitats exist deep in the oceans in eternal darkness feeding on chemical energy. Aqueous layers are suspected below the icy crusts of the moons, which possess similar physical characteristics than Earth's deep oceans. Since they are certainly very stable through time, and because complex chemistry and energy sources may be available, life may have originated within such subsurface habitats despite the hostile surface conditions. Liquid water reservoirs have been proposed on Ganymede, Europa and Callisto from geophysical models, based on Galileo observations. These oceans that are covered by ice shells exist independently of the input of stellar energy, and are located well outside the conventional habitable zone of the Sun. Considering the pressure range encountered within the icy moons, four different scenarios can be defined. These result from varying thicknesses of the water ice layers and the liquid ocean with respect to the silicate floor (Figure 1). Case 2 in Figure 1 is highly probable for the largest moons (Ganymede and Callisto), while case 3 is more probable for Europa and smaller icy moons if they host liquid reservoirs such as has been discovered at Enceladus. Europa's ocean is unique because it may be in contact with the rock layer. This substrate may be

  15. The dust halo of Saturn's largest icy moon, Rhea.

    PubMed

    Jones, G H; Roussos, E; Krupp, N; Beckmann, U; Coates, A J; Crary, F; Dandouras, I; Dikarev, V; Dougherty, M K; Garnier, P; Hansen, C J; Hendrix, A R; Hospodarsky, G B; Johnson, R E; Kempf, S; Khurana, K K; Krimigis, S M; Krüger, H; Kurth, W S; Lagg, A; McAndrews, H J; Mitchell, D G; Paranicas, C; Postberg, F; Russell, C T; Saur, J; Seiss, M; Spahn, F; Srama, R; Strobel, D F; Tokar, R; Wahlund, J-E; Wilson, R J; Woch, J; Young, D

    2008-03-01

    Saturn's moon Rhea had been considered massive enough to retain a thin, externally generated atmosphere capable of locally affecting Saturn's magnetosphere. The Cassini spacecraft's in situ observations reveal that energetic electrons are depleted in the moon's vicinity. The absence of a substantial exosphere implies that Rhea's magnetospheric interaction region, rather than being exclusively induced by sputtered gas and its products, likely contains solid material that can absorb magnetospheric particles. Combined observations from several instruments suggest that this material is in the form of grains and boulders up to several decimetres in size and orbits Rhea as an equatorial debris disk. Within this disk may reside denser, discrete rings or arcs of material. PMID:18323452

  16. Iceless Icy Moons: Is the Nice Model In Trouble?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dones, Henry C. Luke; Levison, H. F.

    2012-05-01

    Nimmo and Korycansky (2012; henceforth NK12) stated that if the outer Solar System underwent a Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) in the Nice model, the mass striking the icy satellites at speeds up to tens of km/s would have vaporized so much ice that moons such as Mimas, Enceladus, and Miranda would have been devolatilized. NK12's possible explanations of this apparent discrepancy with observations include (1) the mass influx was a factor of 10 less than that in the Nice model; (2) the mass distribution of the impactors was top-heavy, so that luck might have saved some of the moons from suffering large, vapor-removing impacts; or (3) the inner moons formed after the LHB. NK12 calculated the mass influx onto the satellites from the lunar impact rate estimated by Gomes et al. (2005) and scaling factors calculated by Zahnle et al. (1998, 2003; also see Barr and Canup 2010). Production of vapor in hypervelocity impacts is calculated from Kraus et al. (2011). Our preliminary results show that there is about an order-of-magnitude uncertainty in the mass striking the satellites during the LHB, with NK12's estimate at the upper end of the range. We will discuss how the mass influx depends on the velocity and mass distributions of the impactors. The Nice model lives. We thank the NASA Lunar Science Institute (http://lunarscience.nasa.gov/) for support. Barr, A.C., Canup, R.M., Nature Geoscience 3, 164-167 (2010). Gomes, R., Levison, H.F., Tsiganis, K., Morbidelli, A., Nature 435, 466-469 (2005). Kraus, R.G., Senft, L.E., Stewart, S.T., Icarus 214, 724-738 (2011). Nimmo, F., Korycansky, D.G., Icarus, in press, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103512000310 (2012). Zahnle, K., Dones, L., Levison, H.F., Icarus 136, 202-222 (1998). Zahnle, K., Schenk, P., Levison, H.F., Dones, L., Icarus 163, 263-289 (2003).

  17. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Jun; Kitadai, Norio

    2015-06-01

    The outer Solar System may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons--Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto--may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the Universe. Recently, in situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life. PMID:26060981

  18. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Jun; Kitadai, Norio

    2015-06-01

    The outer Solar System may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons--Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto--may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the Universe. Recently, in situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life.

  19. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Jun; Kitadai, Norio

    2015-06-01

    The outer solar system may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons, Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto, may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the universe. Recently, in-situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the Jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life.

  20. Introducing the Moon's Orbital Eccentricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oostra, Benjamin

    2014-11-01

    I present a novel way to introduce the lunar orbital eccentricity in introductory astronomy courses. The Moon is perhaps the clearest illustration of the general orbital elements such as inclination, ascending node, eccentricity, perigee, and so on. Furthermore, I like the students to discover astronomical phenomena for themselves, by means of a guided exercise, rather than just telling them the facts.1 The inclination and nodes may be found by direct observation, monitoring carefully the position of the Moon among the stars. Even the regression of the nodes may be discovered in this way2 To find the eccentricity from students' observations is also possible,3 but that requires considerable time and effort. if a whole class should discover it in a short time, here is a method more suitable for a one-day class or home assignment. The level I aim at is, more or less, advanced high school or first-year college students. I assume them to be acquainted with celestial coordinates and the lunar phases, and to be able to use algebra and trigonometry.

  1. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

    PubMed Central

    Kitadai, Norio

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The outer Solar System may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons—Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto—may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the Universe. Recently, in situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life. Key Words: Planetary science—Europa—Planetary habitability and biosignatures—Extraterrestrial life—Extraterrestrial organic compounds. Astrobiology 15, 430–441. PMID:26060981

  2. Saturn and 4 Icy Moons in Natural Color

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This approximate natural-color image shows Saturn, its rings, and four of its icy satellites. Three satellites (Tethys, Dione, and Rhea) are visible against the darkness of space, and another smaller satellite (Mimas) is visible against Saturn's cloud tops very near the left horizon and just below the rings. The dark shadows of Mimas and Tethys are also visible on Saturn's cloud tops, and the shadow of Saturn is seen across part of the rings. Saturn, second in size only to Jupiter in our Solar System, is 120,660 km (75,000 mi) in diameter at its equator (the ring plane) but, because of its rapid spin, Saturn is 10% smaller measured through its poles. Saturn's rings are composed mostly of ice particles ranging from microscopic dust to boulders in size. These particles orbit Saturn in a vast disk that is a mere 100 meters (330 feet) or so thick. The rings' thinness contrasts with their huge diameter--for instance 272,400 km (169,000 mi) for the outer part of the bright A ring, the outermost ring visible here. The pronounced concentric gap in the rings, the Cassini Division (named after its discoverer), is a 3500-km wide region (2200 mi, almost the width of the United States) that is much less populated with ring particles than the brighter B and A rings to either side of the gap. The rings also show some enigmatic radial structure ('spokes'), particularly at left. This image was synthesized from images taken in Voyager's blue and violet filters and was processed to recreate an approximately natural color and contrast.

  3. Exchange processes from the deep interior to the surface of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasset, O.

    Space exploration provides outstanding images of planetary surfaces. Galileo space- craft around Jupiter, and now Cassini in the saturnian system have revealed to us the variety of icy surfaces in the solar system. While Europa, Enceladus, and maybe Titan present past or even active tectonic and volcanic activities, many other moons have been dead worlds for more than 3 billions years. Composition of ices is also complex and it is now commonly admitted that icy surfaces are never composed of pure ices. Water ice can be mixed with salts (Europa?), with hydrocarbons (Titan?) or with silicates (Callisto). The present surfaces of icy moons are the results of both internal (tectonic; volcanism; mantle composition; magnetic field; . . . ) and external processes (radiations, atmospheres, impacts, . . . ). Internal activity (past or present) is almost unknown. While the surfaces indicate clearly that an important activity existed (Ganymede, Europa, Titan, . . . ) or still exists (Enceladus, Titan?, . . . ), volcanic and tectonic processes within icy mantles are still very poorly understood. This project proposes some key studies for improving our knowledge of exchange processes within icy moons, which are: 1) Surface compositions: Interpretation of mapping spectrometer data. It addresses the interpretation of remote sensing data. These data are difficult to understand and a debate between people involved in Galileo and those who are now trying to interpret Cassini data might be fruitful. As an example, interpretation of Galileo data on Europa are still controversial. It is impossible to affirm that the "non-icy" material which does not present the classic infrared signature of pure ice is due to the presence of magnesium hydrates, sodium hydrates, magnesium sulfurs, "clays", or even altered water ice. Discussion on the subject are still needed. On Titan, the presence of the atmosphere impedes to link IR data from Cassini to the composition of the surface. 2) Past and

  4. Compositional Impact of Io Volcanic Emissions on Jupiter's Magnetosphere and the Icy Galilean Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John; Fegley, Bruce; Lipatov, Alexander; Richardson, John; Sittler, Edward

    2011-01-01

    measured throughout the jovian magnetosphere and in the local moon environments can act as tracers if we know from direct measurements and models the distributions at the mostly likely sources, i.e. at IO. However, our knowledge of these abundances are very limited from earlier in-situ and remote measurements, mainly confined to major (S, O) and some minor (Na, K, Cl) species with abundances at or above a few percent relative to O. Future in-situ plasma measurements by the planned Jupiter Europa Orbiter and Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter missions should extend the abundance coverage to minor and even trace elemental species. For Europa astrobiological investigations it is also important to specify iogenic inputs and surface processing of isotopic species. We discuss the range of abundance distributions arising from models for IO hot volcanic emissions, and from the subsequent dynamics of ion injection, magnetospheric transport, and icy moon surface bombardment.

  5. Experimental Facilities to Synthesize and Study Clathrate Hydrates: Applications to Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Menn, E.; Nna Mvondo, D.; Bezacier, L.; Bollengier, O.; Grasset, O.; Tobie, G.

    2014-02-01

    A series of experimental investigations are being carried out on mixed CH4-N2 and CH4-CO2 clathrate hydrates, compounds of high interest for icy moons. First results on their phase diagram and their infrared and Raman signatures will be presented.

  6. JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer (JUICE): The ESA L1 Mission to the Jupiter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, M. K.; Grasset, O.; Erd, C.; Titov, D.; Bunce, E.; Coustenis, A.; Blanc, M.; Coates, A.; Drossart, P.; Fletcher, L.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Krupp, N.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Tortora, P.; Tosi, F.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2012-10-01

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission has recently been selected by ESA as the first large mission within the Cosmic Visions 2015-2025 plan. We will introduce the mission that is being developed to thoroughly explore the Jupiter system with focus on the largest satellite, Ganymede.

  7. Experimental techniques to study clathrate hydrates in the context of giant icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Menn, E.; Bezacier, L.; Bollengier, O.; Oancea, A.; Grasset, O.; Tobie, G.

    2012-09-01

    Gas clathrate hydrates probably play a key role in the storage and transport of gas compounds in water-rich environments, especially for icy moons [1]. In order to understand how they may affect the exchange processes in these objects, a series of experiments has been set up to realise controlled synthesis of mixted gas hydrates, to perform infrared and Raman diagnostics, and to constrain their phase diagram. Experiments cover a wide pressure range, from 10-2 mbar up to 30 GPa and are focused on three gas compounds of high interest for the icy satellites of the outer solar system: methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

  8. High-Power Radar Sounders for the Investigation of Jupiter Icy Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safaeinili, A.; Ostro, S.; Rodriquez, E.; Blankenship, D.; Kurth, W.; Kirchner, D.

    2005-01-01

    The high power and high data rate capability made available by a Prometheus class spacecraft could significantly enhance our ability to probe the subsurface of the planets/moons and asteroid/comets. The main technology development driver for our radar is the proposed Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (or JIMO) mission due to its harsh radiation environment. We plan to develop a dual-band radar at 5 and 50 MHz in response to the two major science requirements identified by the JIMO Science Definition Team: studying the near subsurface (less than 2 km) at high resolution and detection of the ice/ocean interface for Europa (depth up to 30 km). The 50-MHz band is necessary to provide high spatial resolution (footprint and depth) as required by the JIMO mission science requirements as currently defined. Our preliminary assessment indicates that the 50-MHz system is not required to be as high-power as the 5-MHz system since it will be more limited by the surface clutter than the Jupiter or galactic background noise. The low frequency band (e.g. 5 MHz), which is the focus of this effort, would be necessary to mitigate the performance risks posed by the unknown subsurface structure both in terms of unknown attenuation due to volumetric scattering and also the detection of the interface through the attenuative transition region at the ice/ocean interface. Additionally, the 5-MHz band is less affected by the surface roughness that can cause loss of coherence and clutter noise. However, since the Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) of the 5-MHz radar band is reduced due to Jupiter noise when operating in the Jupiter side of the moon, it is necessary to increase the radiated power. Our challenge is to design a high-power HF radar that can hnction in Jupiter's high radiation environment, yet be able to fit into spacecraft resource constraints such as mass and thermal limits. Our effort to develop the JIMO radar sounder will rely on our team's experience with planetary radar sounder design

  9. Inverse theory resolution analysis in planning radio science gravity investigations of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganse, A.; Vance, S.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of an icy satellite's interior relates fundamentally to its composition, thermal structure, formation and evolution history, and prospects for supporting life. Gravity measurements via radio Doppler information during spacecraft flybys constitute an important tool to infer gross interior structure. Liquid water and ice layers have previously been inferred for the interiors of Jupiter's icy satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto on the basis of magnetic field measurements by the Galileo probe. On Europa and Callisto induced magnetic field signatures measured by the Galileo probe provided strong evidence for an ionic aqueous ocean. Among the chief goals of the proposed Europa Clipper mission in returning to Europa is characterizing the structure of the moon's icy shell. A geophysical inverse theory resolution analysis can be calculated at the pre-measurement mission planning stage, contributing planning considerations from the point of view of the search for mass anomalies in the ice shell (meteorites or diapiric upwellings) or near the H2O/rock interface (seamounts). The analysis allows us to assess the location-varying resolution of an icy moon's interior density anomaly distribution that can be estimated from radio Doppler measurements. It considers the tradeoff between the resolution of the estimated density anomaly distribution and its estimation uncertainty, and investigates issues in distinguishing between ocean anomalies (e.g., seamounts) and mass anomalies within or near the surface of the ice layer. We apply the resolution analysis to proposed Europa Clipper trajectories and past Galileo spacecraft trajectories about Europa and Ganymede.

  10. Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowker, D. E.; Hughes, J. K.

    1971-01-01

    A selection of the reconstructed photographs taken during 1966 and 1967 by five Lunar Orbiters is presented. The selection provides essentially complete coverage of the near and far sides of the moon in detail. The photographs were reprocessed from the original video data tapes.

  11. Mission Techniques for Exploring Saturn's icy moons Titan and Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reh, Kim; Coustenis, Athena; Lunine, Jonathan; Matson, Dennis; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Vargas, Andre; Beauchamp, Pat; Spilker, Tom; Strange, Nathan; Elliott, John

    2010-05-01

    The future exploration of Titan is of high priority for the solar system exploration community as recommended by the 2003 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey [1] and ESA's Cosmic Vision Program themes. Cassini-Huygens discoveries continue to emphasize that Titan is a complex world with very many Earth-like features. Titan has a dense, nitrogen atmosphere, an active climate and meteorological cycles where conditions are such that the working fluid, methane, plays the role that water does on Earth. Titan's surface, with lakes and seas, broad river valleys, sand dunes and mountains was formed by processes like those that have shaped the Earth. Supporting this panoply of Earth-like processes is an ice crust that floats atop what might be a liquid water ocean. Furthermore, Titan is rich in very many different organic compounds—more so than any place in the solar system, except Earth. The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) concept that followed the 2007 TandEM ESA CV proposal [2] and the 2007 Titan Explorer NASA Flagship study [3], was examined [4,5] and prioritized by NASA and ESA in February 2009 as a mission to follow the Europa Jupiter System Mission. The TSSM study, like others before it, again concluded that an orbiter, a montgolfiѐre hot-air balloon and a surface package (e.g. lake lander, Geosaucer (instrumented heat shield), …) are very high priority elements for any future mission to Titan. Such missions could be conceived as Flagship/Cosmic Vision L-Class or as individual smaller missions that could possibly fit within NASA's New Frontiers or ESA's Cosmic Vision M-Class budgets. As a result of a multitude of Titan mission studies, several mission concepts have been developed that potentially fit within various cost classes. Also, a clear blueprint has been laid out for early efforts critical toward reducing the risks inherent in such missions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of potential Titan (and Enceladus) mission

  12. Distant retrograde orbits for the Moon's exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorenko, Vladislav

    We discuss the properties of the distant retrograde orbits (which are called quasi-satellite orbits also) around Moon. For the first time the distant retrograde orbits were described by J.Jackson in studies on restricted three body problem at the beginning of 20th century [1]. In the synodic (rotating) reference frame distant retrograde orbit looks like an ellipse whose center is slowly drifting in the vicinity of minor primary body while in the inertial reference frame the third body is orbiting the major primary body. Although being away the Hill sphere the third body permanently stays close enough to the minor primary. Due to this reason the distant retrograde orbits are called “quasi-satellite” orbits (QS-orbits) too. Several asteroids in solar system are in a QS-orbit with respect to one of the planet. As an example we can mention the asteroid 2002VE68 which circumnavigates Venus [2]. Attention of specialists in space flight mechanics was attracted to QS-orbits after the publications of NASA technical reports devoted to periodic moon orbits [3,4]. Moving in QS-orbit the SC remains permanently (or at least for long enough time) in the vicinity of small celestial body even in the case when the Hill sphere lies beneath the surface of the body. The properties of the QS-orbit can be studied using the averaging of the motion equations [5,6,7]. From the theoretical point of view it is a specific case of 1:1 mean motion resonance. The integrals of the averaged equations become the parameters defining the secular evolution of the QS-orbit. If the trajectory is robust enough to small perturbations in the simplified problem (i.e., restricted three body problem) it may correspond to long-term stability of the real-world orbit. Our investigations demonstrate that under the proper choice of the initial conditions the QS-orbits don’t escape from Moon or don’t impact Moon for long enough time. These orbits can be recommended as a convenient technique for the large

  13. Discovering New Compounds on Icy Moon Surfaces with Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, C. L.; Wray, J. J.; Hand, K. P.; Poston, M.; Carlson, R. W.; Clark, R. N.; Spencer, J. R.; Jennings, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Spectroscopy of icy satellite surfaces can aid us in understanding sources and sinks of material in the outer solar system. The spectral complexity of the Saturnian satellite system as seen in reflected sunlight suggests additional complexity may be present at mid-infrared wavelengths from which unique compositional information can be gleaned [1]. Yet to date, Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) surface compositional studies have received little attention. We are investigating the value of mid-infrared spectroscopy for identifying non-H2O constituents of icy moon surfaces. On Iapetus' dark terrain, we find an emissivity feature at ~855 cm-1 and a possible doublet at 660 and 690 cm-1 that do not correspond to any known instrument artifacts [2]. We attribute the 855 cm-1feature to fine-grained silicates, similar to those found in dust on Mars and in meteorites, which are nearly featureless at shorter wavelengths [3]. Silicates on the dark terrains of Saturn's icy moons have been suspected for decades, but there have been no definitive detections until now. Because peaks can shift depending on temperature, pressure, and grain size, measurements at Iapetus-like conditions are necessary for more positive feature identifications [e.g., 4]. We measured the vacuum (P<3x10-8 torr) and low temperature (125 K) mid-infrared spectra of various fine-grained powdered silicates. We find that some of these materials do have emissivity features near 855 cm-1and match the doublet. Identifying a specific silicate would provide clues into the origin and implications of the dark material in the Saturnian system. We also report on our ongoing exploration of the CIRS icy moon dataset and plans for additional future measurements in JPL's Icy Worlds Simulation Lab. [1] Flasar, F. M., et al. (2004), Space Sci Rev, 115, 169. [2] Young, C.L., et al. (in review), ApJ Lett. [3] Christensen, P. R., et al. (2004), Sci, 306, 1733. [4] Wray, J. J., et al. (2014), DPS 46th Meeting, Vol. 46.

  14. Identifying new surface constituents of icy moons using mid-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Cindy L.; Wray, James J.; Hand, Kevin P.; Poston, Michael J.; Carlson, Robert W.; Clark, Roger N.; Spencer, John R.; Jennings, Donald E.

    2015-11-01

    Spectroscopic compositional studies of the icy satellites can help us to better understand the formation and evolution of material in the outer solar system. The spectral complexity of the Saturnian satellite system as seen in reflected visible light suggests additional complexity may be present at mid-infrared wavelengths from which unique compositional information can be gleaned [1]. In addition, the mid-infrared is the region of the stronger fundamental diagnostic vibrational modes of many compounds. However, Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) surface compositional studies have received little attention to date.We are exploring the suitability of mid-infrared spectroscopy for discovering non-H2O compounds on icy moon surfaces. On the dark terrain of Iapetus, we find an emissivity feature at ~855 cm-1 and a potential doublet at 660 and 690 cm-1 that do not correspond to any known instrument artifacts [2]. We attribute the 855 cm-1 feature to fine-grained silicates, similar to those found in dust on Mars and in meteorites, which are nearly featureless at shorter wavelengths [3]. Although silicates on the dark terrains of Saturn’s icy moons have been suspected for decades, there have been no definitive prior detections. Serpentines measured at ambient conditions have features near 855 cm-1 and 660 cm-1 [4]. However, peaks can shift depending on temperature, pressure, and grain size, so measurements at Iapetus-like conditions are necessary for more positive identifications [e.g., 5].We measured the vacuum, low temperature (125 K) spectra of various fine-grained powdered silicates. We find that some of these materials do have emissivity features near 855 cm-1 and match the doublet. Identifying a specific silicate would provide clues into the sources and sinks of the dark material in the Saturnian system. We report on our ongoing exploration of the CIRS icy moon dataset and plans for future measurements in JPL’s Icy Worlds Simulation Lab.[1] Flasar, F

  15. Mid-infrared spectroscopy to better characterize icy moon surface compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Cindy L.; Wray, James J.; Hand, Kevin P.; Poston, Michael; Carlson, Robert W.; Clark, Roger Nelson; Spencer, John R.; Jennings, Donald

    2016-10-01

    Previous spectroscopy work on icy moons has focused primarily on the visible and near-IR portion of the spectrum due to challenges presented by a low signal to noise ratio at the longer wavelengths. However, the mid-IR is the region of the strongest fundamental vibrations of many important types of molecules (e.g., organics) and has the potential to reveal unique compositional information [1]. We use the wealth of data that is now available from Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) to average spectra over similar regions to improve the signal to noise, helping to reveal spectral features never before observed.Our initial work has already led to the detection and tentative laboratory identification of the first spectral features observed for any icy moon in the mid-IR [2]. On Iapetus' dark terrain, we found an emissivity feature at ~855 cm-1 and a possible doublet at 660 and 690 cm-1 that does not correspond to any known instrument artifacts. We attributed the 855 cm-1 feature to fine-grained silicates, similar to those found in dust on Mars and in meteorites, which are nearly featureless at shorter wavelengths [e.g., 3, 4]. Silicates on the dark terrains of Saturn's icy moons have been suspected for decades, but there have been no definitive detections until this work.We measured the vacuum, low temperature mid-IR spectra of various fine-grained powdered silicates, including Mg-rich serpentines, often present in meteorites. Some of these materials do have emissivity features near 855 cm-1 and exhibit a doublet. Presently, we are continuing to comb the CIRS icy moon database for spectral features (particularly focusing on the warmer surfaces in the Saturn system) and are performing further vacuum chamber measurements to experiment with more sample types and ice/sample mixtures to determine the impacts of changing conditions in the chamber on features. We are also working to understand how surface porosity and mixing with various darkening agents may

  16. Cassini finds an oxygen-carbon dioxide atmosphere at Saturn's icy moon Rhea.

    PubMed

    Teolis, B D; Jones, G H; Miles, P F; Tokar, R L; Magee, B A; Waite, J H; Roussos, E; Young, D T; Crary, F J; Coates, A J; Johnson, R E; Tseng, W-L; Baragiola, R A

    2010-12-24

    The flyby measurements of the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn's moon Rhea reveal a tenuous oxygen (O(2))-carbon dioxide (CO(2)) atmosphere. The atmosphere appears to be sustained by chemical decomposition of the surface water ice under irradiation from Saturn's magnetospheric plasma. This in situ detection of an oxidizing atmosphere is consistent with remote observations of other icy bodies, such as Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede, and suggestive of a reservoir of radiolytic O(2) locked within Rhea's ice. The presence of CO(2) suggests radiolysis reactions between surface oxidants and organics or sputtering and/or outgassing of CO(2) endogenic to Rhea's ice. Observations of outflowing positive and negative ions give evidence for pickup ionization as a major atmospheric loss mechanism.

  17. Onset of convection and differentiation in the hydrated cores of icy moons.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotin, Christophe; Reynard, Bruno

    2013-04-01

    The Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn have revealed that the three large Jovian icy moons and Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, are at least partly differentiated. Their normalized moments of inertia are smaller than 2/5, which is the value for undifferentiated moons. We present new simulations of the thermal evolution, dehydration process, differentiation, and onset of convection in the hydrated cores of large icy satellites. The motivation is to investigate whether convection can start before dehydration starts in the cores. Such a process would prevent differentiation. The viscosity of antigorite, the hydrated silicate supposed to compose the hydrated cores, is strongly non-Newtonian and weakly temperature-dependent. The cores are volumetrically heated by natural radioactivity. We have adapted the theory developed for non-Newtonian fluids heated from below [1] to the case of volumetrically heated fluids. A recent review [2] of the physical parameters relevant to the thermal evolution of hydrated cores made of antigorite provides values quite different from those used in previous studies [3,4], which seriously modifies the results of previous simulations including the predicted present interior structure of the large icy satellites. The numerical simulations presented in this study suggest that the inner part of the hydrated core of icy moons would dehydrate for a large range of parameters, the most important of which is the amount of 40K. The outer core would remain hydrated. It is shown that convection could start in the outer core for large values of internal heating. Implications for subsequent thermal evolution are being investigated. [1] Solomatov V.S. (1995) Scaling of temperature and stressdependent viscosity convection; Phys. Fluids 7, 266; doi: 10.1063/1.868624. [2] Reynard B. (2012) Serpentine in active subduction zones. Lithos, doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2012.10.012 [3] Grinrod P.M., A.D. Fortes, F. Nimmo, D.L. Feltham

  18. Technology for a Thermo-chemical Ice Penetrator for Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arenberg, Jonathan; Harpole, George; Zamel, James; Sen, Bashwar; Lee, Greg; Ross, Floyd; Retherford, Kurt D.

    2016-10-01

    The ability to place sensors or to take samples below the ice surface enables a wide variety of potential scientific investigations. Penetrating an ice cap can be accomplished via a mechanical drill, laser drill, kinetic impactor, or heated penetrator. This poster reports on the development of technology for the latter most option, namely a self-heated probe driven by an exothermic chemical reaction: a Thermo-chemical ice penetrator (TChIP). Our penetrator design employs a eutectic mix of alkali metals that produce an exothermic reaction upon contact with an icy surface. This reaction increases once the ice starts melting, so no external power is required. This technology is inspired by a classified Cold-War era program developed at Northrop Grumman for the US Navy. Terrestrial demonstration of this technology took place in the Arctic; however, this device cannot be considered high TRL for application at the icy moons of the solar system due to the environmental differences between Earth's Arctic and the icy moons. These differences demand a TChIP design specific to these cold, low mass, airless worlds. It is expected that this model of TChIP performance will be complex, incorporating all of the forces on the penetrator, gravity, the thermo-chemistry at the interface between penetrator and ice, and multi-phase heat and mass transport, and hydrodynamics. Our initial efforts are aimed at the development of a validated set of tools and simulations to predict the performance of the penetrator for both the environment found on these icy moons and for a terrestrial environment. The purpose of the inclusion of the terrestrial environment is to aid in model validation. Once developed and validated, our models will allow us to design penetrators for a specific scientific application on a specific body. This poster discusses the range of scientific investigations that are enabled by TChIP. We also introduce the development plan to advance TChIP to the point where it can be

  19. SELENE: The Moon-Orbiting Observatory Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizutani, H.; Kato, M.; Sasaki, S.; Iijima, Y.; Tanaka, K.; Takizawa, Y.

    The Moon-orbiting SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) mission is prepared in Japan for lunar science and technology development. The launch target has been changed from 2005 to 2006 because of the launch failure of H2A rocket in 2003. The spacecraft consists of a main orbiting satellite at about 100 km altitude in the polar orbit and two sub-satellites in the elliptical orbits. The scientific objectives of the mission are; 1) study of the origin and evolution of the Moon, 2) in-situ measurement of the lunar environment, and 3) observation of the solar-terrestrial plasma environment. SELENE carries the instruments for scientific investigation, including mapping of lunar topography and surface composition, measurement of the gravity and magnetic fields, and observation of lunar and solar-terrestrial plasma environment. The total mass of scientific payload is about 300 kg. The mission period will be 1 year. If extra fuel is available, the mission will be extended in a lower orbit around 50 km. The elemental abundances are measured by x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers. Alpha particles from the radon gas and polonium are detected by an alpha particle spectrometer. The mineralogical abundance is characterized by a multi-band imager. The mineralogical composition is identified by a spectral profiler which is a continuous spectral analyzer. The surface topographic data are obtained by a high resolution terrain camera and a laser altimeter. The inside structure up to 5 km below the lunar surface is observed by the radar sounder experiment using a 5 MHz radio wave. A magnetometer and an electron reflectometer provides data on the lunar surface magnetic field. Doppler tracking of the orbiter via the sub-satellite when the orbiter is in the far side is used to determine the gravity field of the far side. Radio sources on the two sub-satellites are used to conduct differential VLBI observation from the ground stations. The lunar environment of high energy particles

  20. Thermal Conductive Heat Transfer and Partial Melting of Volatiles in Icy Moons, Asteroids, and Kuiper Belt Objects (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.; Furfaro, R.

    2013-12-01

    Thermal gradients within conductive layers of icy satellite and asteroids depend partly on heat flow, which is related to the secular decay of radioactive isotopes, to heat released by chemical phase changes, by conversion of gravitational potential energy to heat during differentiation, tidal energy dissipation, and to release of heat stored from prior periods. Thermal gradients are also dependent on the thermal conductivity of materials, which in turn depends on their composition, crystallinity, porosity, crystal fabric anisotropy, and details of their mixture with other materials. Small impurities can produce lattice defects and changes in polymerization, and thereby have a huge influence on thermal conductivity, as can cage-inclusion (clathrate) compounds. Heat flow and thermal gradients can be affected by fluid phase advection of mass and heat (in oceans or sublimating upper crusts), by refraction related to heterogeneities of thermal conductivity due to lateral variations and composition or porosity. Thermal profiles depend also on the surface temperature controlled by albedo and climate, surface relief, and latitude, orbital obliquity and surface insolation, solid state greenhouses, and endogenic heating of the surface. The thermal state of icy moon interiors and thermal gradients can be limited at depth by fluid phase advection of heat (e.g., percolating meteoric methane or gas emission), by the latent heat of phase transitions (melting, solid-state transitions, and sublimation), by solid-state convective or diapiric heat transfer, and by foundering. Rapid burial of thick volatile deposits can also affect thermal gradients. For geologically inactive or simple icy objects, most of these controls on heat flow and thermal gradients are irrelevant, but for many other icy objects they can be important, in some cases causing large lateral and depth variations in thermal gradients, large variations in heat flow, and dynamically evolving thermal states. Many of

  1. JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (juice): AN ESA L-Class Mission Candidate to the Jupiter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, M. K.; Grasset, O.; Erd, C.; Titov, D.; Bunce, E. J.; Coustenis, A.; Blanc, M.; Coates, A. J.; Drossart, P.; Fletcher, L.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Krupp, N.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Tortora, P.; Tosi, F.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2012-04-01

    the first subsurface observations of this icy moon, including the first determination of the minimal thickness of the icy crust over the most recently active regions. JUICE will determine the characteristics of liquid-water oceans below the icy surfaces of the moons. This will lead to an understanding of the possible sources and cycling of chemical and thermal energy, allow investigation of the evolution and chemical composition of the surfaces and of the subsurface oceans, and enable an evaluation of the processes that have affected the satellites and their environments through time. The study of the diversity of the satellite system will be enhanced with additional information gathered remotely on Io and smaller moons. The mis-sion will also focus on characterising the diversity of processes in the Jupiter system which may be required in order to provide a stable environment at Ganymede, Europa and Callisto on geologic time scales, including gravitational coupling between the Galilean satellites and their long term tidal influence on the system as a whole. Focused stud-ies of Jupiter's atmosphere, and magnetosphere and their interaction with the Galilean satellites will further enhance our understanding of the evolution and dynamics of the Jovian system. The circulation, meteorology, chemistry and structure of Jupiter will be studied from the cloud tops to the thermosphere. These observations will be attained over a sufficiently long temporal baseline with broad latitudinal coverage to investigate evolving weather systems and the mechanisms of transporting energy, momentum and material between the different layers. The focus in Jupiter's magnetosphere will include an investigation of the three dimensional properties of the magnetodisc and in-depth study of the coupling processes within the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. Aurora and radio emissions and their response to the solar wind will be elucidated.

  2. Ionization chemistry in the H2O-dominant atmospheres of the icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.; Johnson, R. E.

    2007-08-01

    The main pathways of the ionization chemistry for pure H2O- and mixed H2O+O2+CO2+NH3+CH4 atmospheres which are representative for neutral and ionized atmospheres of the icy bodies in the Jovian and Saturnian systems are discussed. The gaseous envelopes of the icy moons of the giant planets are formed usually due to the surface radiolysis by the solar UV radiation and energetic magnetospheric plasma (Johnson, 1990). The standard astrochemical UMIST2005 (UDFA05) network is used to infer the main chemical pathways of ionization chemistry in the pure or with admixtures of other volatile molecules water vapor atmospheres. In case of the H2O- dominant atmosphere the parent H2O molecules are easily dissociated and ionized by the solar UVradiation and the energetic magnetospheric electrons. These impact processes result in the formation of the secondary neutral and ionized products - chemically active radicals O and OH, and H+, H2+, O+, OH+, and H2O+ ions. Secondary ions have admixture abundances in the H2O-dominant atmospheres, because they are efficiently transformed to H3O+ hydroxonium ions in the fast ion-molecular reactions. The major H3O+ hydroxonium ion does not chemically interact with other neutrals, and is destroyed in the dissociative recombination with thermal electrons mainly reproducing the chemically simple H, H2, O, and OH species. In case of the mixed H2O+O2-dominant atmosphere corresponding to the near-surface atmospheres of icy moons (Shematovich et al., 2005), the ionization chemistry results in the formation of the second major ion O2+ - because ion of molecular oxygen has the lower ionization potential comparing with other parent species -H2, H2O, CO2. The H+, O+, OH+, and H2O+ ions can be easily converted to O2+ ions through the ion-molecular reactions. In case of significant admixture of molecular hydrogen it is possible to transfer the O2+ ions to the O2H+ ions through the fast reaction with H2 and further to the H3O+ ions through the ion

  3. Role of radiolysis in the formation and destruction of molecules on the Jovian icy moons.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, M. H.; Hudson, R. L.; Carlson, R. W.

    2003-05-01

    Spectra of the icy moons of Jupiter reveal surfaces dominated by water-ice along with hydrated materials and minor amounts of SO2, and CO2 (1). The surfaces of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto undergo significant bombardment by the Jovian magnetospheric radiation (protons, electrons, sulfur and oxygen ions), which can alter surface compositions through radiolysis and ion implantation. Results from our laboratory studies of the IR spectra of proton-irradiated ices relevant to these moons provide new information about possible chemical pathways. Our data also predict possible species for future IR detections, and serve as inputs for understanding the physical habitability of ice surface layers that is of interest for future missions. We will review the formation and identification of several radiation products from H2O + SO2, H2O + H2S, and H2O + SO2 + CO2 ices. The formation and stability of hydrated sulfuric acid in a radiation environment is examined. In addition, a more complicated four component mixture, H2O + SO2 + CO2 + CH4, has been examined to determine the evolution of methane's 3.3 micron feature during radiolysis. The IR detection of CH4 is of interest to astrobiologists as a possible marker of methanogens in an irradiated ice environment. This research is supported through NASA's Planetary Atmospheres and Planetary Geology and Geophysics programs. (1) see review by Roush, T.L., JGR 2001, 106, 33,315.

  4. Contingency and recovery options for the European Student Moon Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Weg, Willem Johan; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the analysis performed on the lunar orbit and some of the possible contingencies for the European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO). Originally scheduled for launch in 2014 -2015 as a piggyback payload, it was the only ESA planned mission to the Moon. By way of a weak stability boundary transfer, ESMO is inserted into an orbit around the Moon. Propellant use is at a premium, so the operational orbit is selected to be highly eccentric. In addition, an optimization is presented to achieve an orbit that is stable for 6 months without requiring orbit maintenance. A parameter study is undertaken to study the sensitivity of the lunar orbit insertion. A database of transfer solutions across 2014 and 2015 is used to study the relation between the robustness of weak capture and the planetary geometry at lunar arrival. A number of example recovery scenarios, where the orbit insertion maneuver partially or completely fails, are also considered.

  5. Laboratory Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify New Compounds on Icy Moon Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wray, James J.; Young, Cindy L.; Hand, Kevin P.; Poston, Michael J.; Carlson, Robert W.; Clark, Roger N.; Spencer, John R.; Jennings, Donald E.

    2014-11-01

    We are exploring the value of mid-infrared spectroscopy for identifying non-H2O constituents of icy moon surfaces. Recently we reported evidence for a new emissivity feature identified on Iapetus using Cassini’s Composite Infrared Spectrometer [1]. This 11.7 μm feature is consistent with emissivity minima (transparency features) of very fine-grained silicates. Its position and shape may be diagnostic of silicate type, but most lab data at these wavelengths have been acquired using coarser grains and/or at Earth surface pressures and temperatures. Infrared spectra can change substantially under low-temperature, vacuum conditions [e.g., 2,3].We prepared sieved (<0.4 mm) and very fine-grained (few μm) powders of six different silicates and measured their VNIR (0.35-2.5 μm) reflectance spectra under ambient air, and mid-IR (1.2-20 μm) spectra in a purged N2 glovebox. All silicates exhibited mid-IR transparency features (and loss of other features) in micronized form that were not observed for the coarser grain sizes. Muscovite, a phyllosilicate mineral possibly similar to those tentatively identified on Europa [4], provided the closest match to Iapetus in the mid-IR--although clear VNIR features of muscovite have not been identified on Iapetus [5]--and therefore we measured muscovite across the same wavelength range under Iapetus-like conditions (T=125 K, P<3x10^-8 torr). We will report on our ongoing analysis and plans for additional future measurements in JPL’s Icy Worlds Simulation Lab. [1] Young, C.L., et al. (2014), Workshop on the Habitability of Icy Worlds, Abstract #4038.[2] Logan, L.M., et al. (1973), J. Geophys. Res., 78(23), 4983-5003.[3] Donaldson Hanna, K.L., et al. (2012), J. Geophys. Res., 117, E00H05.[4] Shirley, J.H., et al. (2013), AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract #P54A-07.[5] Clark, R.N., et al. (2012), Icarus, 218, 831-860.

  6. Surface charging of thick porous water ice layers in ion sputtering experiments: implications for the surfaces of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galli, André; Vorburger, Audrey; Pommerol, Antoine; Wurz, Peter; Jost, Bernhard; Poch, Olivier; Brouet, Yann; Tulej, Marek; Thomas, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    We use a laboratory facility to study the sputtering properties of centimeter-thick porous water ice subjected to the bombardment of ions and electrons to better constrain exosphere models of the icy moons of Jupiter. Our ice samples are as similar as possible to the expected surface properties of Europa. Surface charging of these samples may distort any experimental results for ion sputtering. In this preparatory study we therefore focus on the electric properties of ice at different temperatures, in particular the time scales for charging and discharging when subjected to a beam of ions. Regarding the ion sputtering yield, our experiments yield similar results as previous experiments where thin dense ice layers were sputtered off a micro-balance. However, our experiments also allow us to derive an electric conductivity of porous ice. The results imply that electron precipitation and sputtering play a non-negligible role for certain plasma conditions at the icy moons of Jupiter.

  7. Fitting Orbits to Jupiter's Moons with a Spreadsheet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridges, Richard

    1995-01-01

    Describes how a spreadsheet is used to fit a circular orbit model to observations of Jupiter's moons made with a small telescope. Kepler's Third Law and the inverse square law of gravity are observed. (AIM)

  8. The HADES Mission Concept - Astrobiological Survey of Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttcher, T.; Huber, L.; Le Corre, L.; Leitner, J.; McCarthy, D.; Nilsson, R.; Teixeira, C.; Vaquer Araujo, S.; Wilson, R.

    2009-04-01

    The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterise Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

  9. The HADES mission concept - astrobiological survey of Jupiter's icy moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttcher, Thomas; Huber, Liliane; Le Corre, Lucille; Leitner, Johannes; McCarthy, David; Nilsson, Ricky; Teixeira, Carlos; Vaquer Araujo, Sergi; Wilson, Rebecca C.; Adjali, Fatah; Altenburg, Martin; Briani, Giacomo; Buchas, Peter; Le Postollec, Aurélie; Meier, Teresa

    2009-10-01

    The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterize Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

  10. Orbital eccentricity of Mercury and the origin of the moon.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, A. G. W.

    1972-01-01

    The results of some recent work conducted by Anderson (1972) are considered. If Anderson is correct in his conclusion that the bulk composition of the moon resembles that of the Allende inclusions, then the natural place for the formation of the moon in the solar system is inside the orbit of Mercury, through planetary accumulation from the condensed material to be found there. This explains the anomalous large eccentricity of the orbit of Mercury.

  11. Theoretical studies of the radar properties of the icy Galilean moons of Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eshleman, Von R.

    1993-01-01

    The icy Galilean satellites of Jupiter - Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - have unusual radar scattering properties compared with those of the terrestrial planets or Earth's Moon. There are three main features of the data that distinguish these targets: (1) the radar cross-section normalized by the geometrical cross-section is an order of magnitude larger than that of any terrestrial planet; (2) the reflected power is almost evenly distributed between two orthogonal polarizations with more power being returned in the same circular polarization as was transmitted whereas virtually all of the power returned from the terrestrial planets is contained in the opposite circular polarization to the one that was transmitted; and (3) the echo power spectra have a broad shape indicating a nearly uniformly radar-bright surface in contrast to the spectra from the terrestrial planets that contain a strong quasi-specular component from the vicinity of the sub-radar point and very little reflected power from the rest of the surface. The normalized radar cross-sections decrease as the areal water ice coverage decreases from Europa to Ganymede to Callisto. Recently, radar echoes from the polar caps of Mars and Mercury, and from Saturn's satellite Titan imply similarly strong cross-sections and have classically unexpected polarization properties and it is also thought that this is due to the presence of ice on the surface. A model called the radar glory model is analyzed and it is shown that the main features of the radar echoes calculated from this model agree well with the observations from all three icy Galilean satellites. This model involves long radar paths in the ice below the surface and special structures in which the refractive index decreases abruptly at a hemispherical boundary. It is not known whether such structures exist or how they could be created, but possible scenarios can be imagined such as the formation of an impact crater followed by deposition of a frost layer

  12. Icy moon exospheres: the interface between Jovian environment and satellite surfaces as a key scientific target for JUICE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plainaki, Christina; Milillo, Anna; Grassi, Davide; Mura, Alessandro; Massetti, Stefano; Orsini, Stefano; Mangano, Valeria; De Angelis, Elisabetta; Rispoli, Rosanna

    2016-04-01

    The exospheres of Jupiter's icy satellites -often referred to as tenuous atmospheres- represent the actual interface between the surfaces of these moons and the giant planet's environment. In this perspective, their characterization is of key importance to achieve a fully understanding of the alteration processes induced on the icy surfaces by the radiation environment. Therefore, a full interpretation of the surface data and a thorough understanding of the surface evolution history, have as a necessary prerequisite the accurate determination of the role of the exospheres in the interactions between the icy moons and the Jupiter's magnetospheric environment. Moreover, in order to understand the mass and energy exchange between satellites and Jovian environment, the detailed characterization of the exosphere as a boundary region between the moon and the giant planet's magnetosphere, is fundamental. In this paper, we show that the achievement of the science objectives of the JUICE mission related to the icy satellites exospheres will be feasible only through an interdisciplinary approach characterized by coordinated observation scenarios and joint campaigns in payload operations. It is evidenced that it is of key importance to measure - in the larger possible extent - the following quantities: density of neutral species; density of ionosphere and charged particles fluxes; efficiency of interactions of the exosphere with particle and photon radiation fields. Through the planning of potential synergies between different datasets to be obtained during different mission phases, the current paper aims to contribute to the achievement of both of the JUICE mission's Key Science Goals, i.e. 1) the characterization of Ganymede, Europa and Callisto as planetary objects and potential habitats and 2) the exploration of the Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants. The suggested planning for joint observations by different JUICE payload instruments could be extended later in

  13. Orbital Evolution and Stability of the Inner Uranian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark

    2012-10-01

    Nine densely-packed inner moons of Uranus show signs of chaos and orbital instability over a variety of time scales. Many moons show measureable orbital changes within a decade or less. Long-term integrations predict that some moons could collide in less than one million years. One faint ring embedded in the system may, in fact, be the debris left behind from an earlier such collision. Meanwhile, the nearby moon Mab falls well outside the influence of the others but nevertheless shows rapid, as yet unexplained, changes in its orbit. It is embedded within a dust ring that also shows surprising variability. A highly optimized series of observations with WFC3 over the next three cycles will address some of the fundamental open questions about this dynamically active system: Do the orbits truly show evidence of chaos? If so, over what time scales? What can we say about the masses of the moons involved? What is the nature of the variations in Mab's orbit? Is Mab's motion predictable or random? Astrometry will enable us to derive the orbital elements of these moons with 10-km precision. This will be sufficient to study the year-by-year changes and, combined with other data from 2003-2007, the decadal evolution of the orbits. The pairing of precise astrometry with numerical integrations will enable us to derive new dynamical constraints on the masses of these moons. Mass is the fundamental unknown quantity currently limiting our ability to reproduce the interactions within this system. This program will also capitalize upon our best opportunity for nearly 40 years to study the unexplained variations in Uranus's faint outer rings.

  14. Introducing the Moon's Orbital Eccentricity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oostra, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    I present a novel way to introduce the lunar orbital eccentricity in introductory astronomy courses. The Moon is perhaps the clearest illustration of the general orbital elements such as inclination, ascending node, eccentricity, perigee, and so on. Furthermore, I like the students to discover astronomical phenomena for themselves, by means of a…

  15. Stable Satellite Orbits for Global Coverage of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ely, Todd; Lieb, Erica

    2006-01-01

    A document proposes a constellation of spacecraft to be placed in orbit around the Moon to provide navigation and communication services with global coverage required for exploration of the Moon. There would be six spacecraft in inclined elliptical orbits: three in each of two orthogonal orbital planes, suggestive of a linked-chain configuration. The orbits have been chosen to (1) provide 99.999-percent global coverage for ten years and (2) to be stable under perturbation by Earth gravitation and solar-radiation pressure, so that no deterministic firing of thrusters would be needed to maintain the orbits. However, a minor amount of orbit control might be needed to correct for such unmodeled effects as outgassing of the spacecraft.

  16. Orbital and Rotational Dynamics of Pluto's Small Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Spencer, John R.; Porter, Simon; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Binzel, Richard P.; Buie, Marc W.; Grundy, William M.; Nimmo, Francis; Jacobson, Robert A.; Brozovic, Marina; Throop, Henry B.; Stern, S. A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; The New Horizons Science Team

    2016-05-01

    Four small moons, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central binary planet comprising Pluto and Charon. Showalter and Hamilton (Nature 522, 45-49, 2015) analyzed Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data from 2010-2012 to explore some of the dynamical consequences of orbiting a binary planet. They noted evidence for a chaotic rotation of Nix and Hydra, and identified a possible three-body resonance between Styx, Nix and Hydra. We revisit the dynamics of the outer moons based on the data from the New Horizons flyby of July 2015, combined with three more years of HST data. As New Horizons was approaching Pluto, the LORRI camera regularly imaged the moons over a period of approximately 100 days. It also resolved the moons in closeup images, revealing details about the moons' sizes, shapes and surface properties. The LORRI data set has made it possible to derive light curves, rotation rates and pole orientations unambiguously. The moons rotate much faster than they orbit and have high obliquities, suggesting that tidal de-spinning has not played the dominant role in their rotational evolution; impacts may also have played an important role. We will discuss the latest conclusions from a joint analysis of the LORRI and HST data sets, combined with new dynamical simulations. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project and by Space Telescope Science Institute.

  17. Orbital and Rotational Dynamics of Pluto's Small Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark; Weaver, Harold; Spencer, John; Porter, Simon; Hamilton, Douglas; Binzel, Richard; Buie, Marc; Grundy, William; Nimmo, Francis; Jacobson, Robert; Brozovic, Marina; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Cathy; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly

    2016-04-01

    Four small moons, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central binary planet comprising Pluto and Charon. Showalter and Hamilton (Nature 522, 45-49, 2015) analyzed Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data from 2010-2012 to explore some of the dynamical consequences of orbiting a binary planet. They noted evidence for a chaotic rotation of Nix and Hydra, and identified a possible three-body resonance between Styx, Nix and Hydra. We revisit the dynamics of the outer moons based on the data from the New Horizons flyby of July 2015, combined with three more years of HST data. As New Horizons was approaching Pluto, the LORRI camera regularly imaged the moons over a period of ~100 days. It also resolved the moons in closeup images, revealing details about the moons' sizes, shapes and surface properties. The LORRI data set has made it possible to derive light curves, rotation rates and pole orientations unambiguously. The moons rotate much faster than they orbit and have high obliquities, suggesting that tidal de-spinning has not played a dominant role in their rotational evolution. We will discuss the latest conclusions from a joint analysis of the LORRI and HST data sets, combined with new dynamical simulations. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project and by Space Telescope Science Institute.

  18. Development and Testing of a Laser-Powered Cryobot for Outer Planet Icy Moon Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, V.; Stone, W.; Hogan, B.; Lelievre, S.; Flesher, C.

    2013-12-01

    Project VALKYRIE (Very-deep Autonomous Laser-powered Kilowatt-class Yo-yoing Robotic Ice Explorer) is a NASA-funded effort to develop the first laser powered cryobot - a self-contained intelligent ice penetrator capable of delivering science payloads through ice caps of the outer planet icy moons. The long range objective is to enable a full-scale Europa lander mission in which an autonomous life-searching underwater vehicle is transported by the cryobot and launched into the sub-surface Europan ocean. Mission readiness testing will involve an Antarctic sub-glacial lake cryobot sample return through kilometers of ice cap thickness. A key element of VALKYRIE's design is the use of a high energy laser as the primary power source. 1070 nm laser light is transmitted at a power level of 5 kW from a surface-based laser and injected into a custom-designed optical waveguide that is spooled out from the descending cryobot. Light exits the downstream end of the fiber, travels through diverging optics, and strikes a beam dump, which channels thermal power to hot water jets that melt the descent hole. Some beam energy is converted, via photovoltaic cells, to electricity for running onboard electronics and jet pumps. Since the vehicle can be sterilized prior to deployment and the melt path freezes behind it, preventing forward contamination, expansions on VALKYRIE concepts may enable cleaner and faster access to sub-glacial Antarctic lakes. Testing at Stone Aerospace between 2010 and 2013 has already demonstrated high power optical energy transfer over relevant (kilometer scale) distances as well as the feasibility of a vehicle-deployed optical waveguide (through which the power is transferred). The test vehicle is equipped with a forward-looking synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can detect obstacles out to 1 kilometer from the vehicle. The initial ASTEP test vehicle will carry a science payload consisting of a DUV flow cytometer and a water sampling sub-system that will be

  19. Exploring Jupiter's icy moons with old techniques and big facilities - new insights on sulfuric acid hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard-Casely, H. E.; Avdeev, M.; Brand, H.; Wallwork, K.

    2013-12-01

    Sulfuric acid hydrates have been proposed to be abundant on the surface of Europa [1], and hence would be important planetary forming materials for this moon and its companions Ganymede and Callisto. Understanding of the surface features and subsurface of these moons could be advanced by firmer knowledge of the icy materials that comprise them [2], insight into which can be drawn from firmer knowledge of physical properties and phase behaviour of the candidate materials. We wish to present results from a study that started with the question ';What form of sulfuric acid hydrate would form on the surface of Europa'. The intrinsic hydrogen-domination of planetary ices, makes studying these materials with laboratory powder diffraction very challenging. Insights into their crystalline phase behavior and the extraction of a number of thermal and mechanical properties is often only accessible with high-flux synchrotron x-ray diffraction and utilization of the large scattering cross section with neutron diffraction. We have used the Powder Diffraction beamline at Australian synchrotron [4] and the Echidna (High-resolution neutron powder diffraction) instrument of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, [5] to obtain an number of new insights into the crystalline phases formed from sulfruic acid and water mixtures. These instruments have enabled the discovery a new water-rich sulfuric acid hydrate form [6], improved structural characterisation of existing forms [7] and a charting the phase diagram of this fundamental binary system [8]. This has revealed exciting potential for understanding more about the surface of Europa from space, perhaps even providing a window into its past. [1] Carlson, R.W., R.E. Johnson, and M.S. Anderson, Science, 1999. 286(5437): p. 97-99. [2] Fortes, A.D. and M. Choukroun. Space Sci Rev, 2010. 153(1-4): p. 185-218. [3] Blake, D., et al., Space Sci Rev,, 2012. 170(1-4): p. 341-399. [4] Wallwork, K.S., Kennedy B. J. and Wang, D

  20. Targeting chaotic orbits to the Moon through recurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollt, Erik M.; Meiss, James D.

    1995-02-01

    Transport times for a chaotic system are highly sensitive to initial conditions and parameter values. In a previous paper, we presented a technique to find rough orbits (epsilon chains) that achieve a desired transport rapidly. The strategy is to build the epsilon chain from segments of a long orbit - the point is that long orbits have recurrences in neighborhoods where faster orbits must also pass. If a local hyperbolicity condition is satisfied, then a nearby shadow orbit may be constructed with significantly smaller errors. In this paper, we modify the technique to find real orbits, in configuration space, of the restricted three body problem. We find a chaotic Earth-Moon transfer orbit that achieves ballistic capture and that requires 38% less total velocity boost than a comparable Hohmann transfer orbit.

  1. Time-varying Geometric Orbital Elements of Saturn's Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): The orbital elements of Saturn's moons are a moving target. Not only do they change with time due to gravitational interactions among the moons, but the familiar osculating elements are often not physically meaningful because of Saturn's large oblateness. Starting with numerical orbit integrations constrained by ground-based and spacecraft observations (e.g., Jacobson et al. 2008, AJ), we express the orbits of Saturn's moons in terms of the physically meaningful "epicyclic elements" derived in several papers by Borderies (Rappaport) and Longaretti, obtaining them from the Cartesian position and velocity at each moment in time via the algorithm of Renner and Sicardy (2006, CeMDA). Our purpose is twofold: Firstly, Saturn's rings respond to myriad resonances with the moons, and the location and phase of those resonances depend on each moon's mean motion, argument of pericenter, etc. By obtaining time series for these quantities in forms that directly reflect the motion of the perturbers as seen by the rings, we enable more precise study of ring resonances. Resonances due to Mimas, Janus, and Epimetheus, and perhaps also Prometheus and Pandora, change with time in such a way as to result in observable effects in spiral waves and edge locations (e.g., Tiscareno et al. 2006, ApJL; Spitale and Porco 2009, AJ). Secondly, by means of Fourier analysis and wavelet analysis, we investigate the frequencies that govern the evolution of the geometric orbital elements, and even how those frequencies themselves may change with time, thus casting light on the interactions among moons, as well as on the relation between orbital and rotational motion.

  2. Time-varying Geometric Orbital Elements of Saturn's Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.

    2014-11-01

    The orbital elements of Saturn's moons are a moving target. Not only do they change with time due to gravitational interactions among the moons, but the familiar osculating elements are often not physically meaningful because of Saturn's large oblateness. Starting with numerical orbit integrations constrained by ground-based and spacecraft observations (e.g., Jacobson et al. 2008, AJ), we express the orbits of Saturn's moons in terms of the physically meaningful "epicyclic elements" derived in several papers by Borderies (Rappaport) and Longaretti, obtaining them from the Cartesian position and velocity at each moment in time via the algorithm of Renner and Sicardy (2006, CeMDA). Our purpose is twofold: Firstly, Saturn's rings respond to myriad resonances with the moons, and the location and phase of those resonances depend on each moon's mean motion, argument of pericenter, etc. By obtaining time series for these quantities in forms that directly reflect the motion of the perturbers as seen by the rings, we enable more precise study of ring resonances. Resonances due to Mimas, Janus, and Epimetheus, and perhaps also Prometheus and Pandora, change with time in such a way as to result in observable effects in spiral waves and edge locations (e.g., Tiscareno et al. 2006, ApJL; Spitale and Porco 2009, AJ). Secondly, by means of Fourier analysis and wavelet analysis, we investigate the frequencies that govern the evolution of the geometric orbital elements, and even how those frequencies themselves may change with time, thus casting light on the interactions among moons, as well as on the relation between orbital and rotational motion.

  3. The Moon's orbit history and inferences on its origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conway, B. A.

    1984-01-01

    A frequency dependent model of tidal friction was used to determine the evolution of the Earth-Moon system. The analysis considers the lunar orbit eccentricity and inclination, the solar tide on the Earth, Earth oblateness, and higher order terms in the tidal potential. A solution of the equations governing the precession of the Earth's rotational angular momentum and the lunar ascending node is found. The history is consistent with a capture origin for the Moon. It rules out the origin of the Moon by fission. Results are shown for a range of assumed values for the lunar tidal dissipation. Tidal dissipation within the Moon, during what would be the immediate postcapture period, is shown to be capable of significantly heating the Moon. The immediate postcapture orbit has a periapsis within the Earth's Roche limit. Capture into resonance with the Earth's gravitational field as this orbit tidally evolves is suggested to be a mechanism to prevent so close, an approach. It is shown that the probability of such capture is negligibly small and alternative hypotheses for the survival of the Roche limit passage is offered.

  4. Planetary Protection for the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) Mission Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erd, Christian

    2012-07-01

    The JUICE mission is being studied by ESA in the framework of its Cosmic Vision programme, addressing the topical questions ``What are the conditions for planet formation and emergence of life?'' and ``How does the Solar System work?''. Jupiter can be seen as a paradigm of planetary systems forming a mini-solar system on its own. By investigating its diverse satellites, the understanding of the formation and evolution such of systems would be advanced. The question of whether possible habitats of life are provided underneath the surfaces of the icy satellites Callisto, Ganymede and Europa would be addressed by remote sensing and in situ observations of their surfaces, their compositions and their interiors, including the characterizations of subsurface liquid water oceans, including targeting of recently active regions on Europa for inferring the minimal thickness of the icy crust. JUICE would furthermore provide observations of Jupiter's atmosphere addressing open questions on the circulation at mid-latitudes, and also including coverage of the polar region from a distance of about 29~R_J (see also L. Fletcher et al. in meeting C3.1 "Planetary Atmospheres"). JUICE would study the properties of the magnetosphere and would provide extensive monitoring of Jupiter's plasma environment at distances ranging from more than 100 to 8.5~R_J, which is the distance of Europa. The unique magnetic and plasma interactions between the Jupiter environment and Ganymede would be target to focused investigations, from orbit around Ganymede (see also A. Coates et al in session C3.2 ``Planetary Upper Atmospheres, Ionospheres and Magnetospheres''). The magnetic field and its potential habitability of Ganymede makes it a unique target for specific investigation. The presentation will briefly describe the science objectives of the JUICE mission (see also C.~Erd et al. in session B0.3 ``Active Natural Satellites in the Solar System''), and will then discuss the baseline mission profile

  5. Modeling the Orbital Sampling Effect of Extrasolar Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, René; Hippke, Michael; Jackson, Brian

    2016-04-01

    The orbital sampling effect (OSE) appears in phase-folded transit light curves of extrasolar planets with moons. Analytical OSE models have hitherto neglected stellar limb darkening and non-zero transit impact parameters and assumed that the moon is on a circular, co-planar orbit around the planet. Here, we present an analytical OSE model for eccentric moon orbits, which we implement in a numerical simulator with stellar limb darkening that allows for arbitrary transit impact parameters. We also describe and publicly release a fully numerical OSE simulator (PyOSE) that can model arbitrary inclinations of the transiting moon orbit. Both our analytical solution for the OSE and PyOSE can be used to search for exomoons in long-term stellar light curves such as those by Kepler and the upcoming PLATO mission. Our updated OSE model offers an independent method for the verification of possible future exomoon claims via transit timing variations and transit duration variations. Photometrically quiet K and M dwarf stars are particularly promising targets for an exomoon discovery using the OSE.

  6. Determining the Eccentricity of the Moon's Orbit without a Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisciunas, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    Ancient Greek astronomers knew that Moon's distance from the Earth was not constant. Ptolemy's model of the Moon's motion implied that the Moon ranged in distance from 33 to 64 Earth radii. This implied that its angular size ranged nearly a factor of two. Tycho Brahe's model of the Moon's motion implied a smaller distance range, some ±3 percent at syzygy. However, the ancient and Renaissance astronomers are notably silent on the subject of measuring the angular size of the Moon as a check on the implied range of distance from their models of the position of the Moon. Using a quarter-inch hole in a piece of cardboard that slides along a yardstick, we show that pre-telescopic astronomers could have measured an accurate mean value of the angular size of the Moon, and that they could have determined a reasonably accurate value of the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit. The principal calibration for each observer is to measure the apparent angular diameter of a 91 mm disk viewed at a distance of 10 meters, giving a true angular size of 31.3 arcmin (the Moon's mean angular size). Because the sighting hole is not much bigger than the size of one's pupil, each observer obtains a personal correction factor with which to scale the raw measures. If one takes data over the course of 7 lunations (7.5 anomalistic months), any systematic errors which are a function of phase should even out over the course of the observations. We find that the random error of an individual observation of ±0.8 arcmin can be achieved.

  7. Early development of Science Opportunity Analysis tools for the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesin Moinelo, Alejandro; Vallat, Claire; Altobelli, Nicolas; Frew, David; Llorente, Rosario; Costa, Marc; Almeida, Miguel; Witasse, Olivier

    2016-10-01

    JUICE is the first large mission in the framework of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. JUICE will survey the Jovian system with a special focus on three of the Galilean Moons: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.The mission has recently been adopted and big efforts are being made by the Science Operations Center (SOC) at the European Space and Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid for the development of tools to provide the necessary support to the Science Working Team (SWT) for science opportunity analysis and early assessment of science operation scenarios. This contribution will outline some of the tools being developed within ESA and in collaboration with the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) at JPL.The Mission Analysis and Payload Planning Support (MAPPS) is developed by ESA and has been used by most of ESA's planetary missions to generate and validate science observation timelines for the simulation of payload and spacecraft operations. MAPPS has the capability to compute and display all the necessary geometrical information such as the distances, illumination angles and projected field-of-view of an imaging instrument on the surface of the given body and a preliminary setup is already in place for the early assessment of JUICE science operations.NAIF provides valuable SPICE support to the JUICE mission and several tools are being developed to compute and visualize science opportunities. In particular the WebGeoCalc and Cosmographia systems are provided by NAIF to compute time windows and create animations of the observation geometry available via traditional SPICE data files, such as planet orbits, spacecraft trajectory, spacecraft orientation, instrument field-of-view "cones" and instrument footprints. Other software tools are being developed by ESA and other collaborating partners to support the science opportunity analysis for all missions, like the SOLab (Science Operations Laboratory) or new interfaces for observation definitions and

  8. Four Years on Orbit at the Moon with LOLA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Lemoine, F. G.

    2013-12-01

    After four years of near-continuous operation at the Moon, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) continues to collect altimetry, surface roughness, slope and normal reflectance data. Although the instrument is beginning to show the effects of tens of thousands of thermal cycles and the natural process of the aging of the laser transmitters, LOLA continues to acquire data on the sunlit portion of every orbit on all 5 laser beams when below 100-km altitude. LOLA has acquired over 6x10^9 altimeter measurements, all geodetically controlled to the center-of-mass of the Moon with a radial precision of around 10 cm and an accuracy of about 1 meter. The position of the measurements on the lunar surface is primarily limited by the knowledge of the position of the spacecraft in orbit; in the last year the LRO orbit accuracy has improved significantly as a result of the availability of an accurate gravity model of the Moon from the GRAIL Discovery mission. Our present estimate of positional accuracy is less than 10 m rms but is only achievable with a GRAIL gravity model to at least degree and order 600 because of the perturbing gravitational effect of the Moon's surface features. Significant improvements in the global shape and topography have assisted the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) stereo mapping program, and the identification of potential lunar landing sites for ESA and Russia, particularly in the high-latitude polar regions where 5- and 10-meter average horizontal resolution has been obtained. LOLA's detailed mapping of the polar regions has improved the delineation of permanently-shadowed areas and assisted in the understanding of the LEND neutron data and its relationship to surface slopes. Recently, a global, calibrated LOLA normal albedo dataset at 1064 nm has been developed and is being combined with analysis and modeling by the Diviner team for the identification of the coldest locations in the polar regions.

  9. Two-phase convection in the high-pressure ice layer of the large icy moons: geodynamical implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousova, K.; Sotin, C.; Tobie, G.; Choblet, G.; Grasset, O.

    2015-12-01

    The H2O layers of large icy satellites such as Ganymede, Callisto, or Titan probably include a liquid water ocean sandwiched between the deep high-pressure ice layer and the outer ice I shell [1]. It has been recently suggested that the high-pressure ice layer could be decoupled from the silicate core by a salty liquid water layer [2]. However, it is not clear whether accumulation of liquids at the bottom of the high-pressure layer is possible due to positive buoyancy of water with respect to high-pressure ice. Numerical simulation of this two-phase (i.e. ice and water) problem is challenging, which explains why very few studies have self-consistently handled the presence and transport of liquids within the solid ice [e.g. 3]. While using a simplified description of water production and transport, it was recently showed in [4] that (i) a significant fraction of the high-pressure layer reaches the melting point and (ii) the melt generation and its extraction to the overlying ocean significantly influence the global thermal evolution and interior structure of the large icy moons.Here, we treat the high-pressure ice layer as a compressible mixture of solid ice and liquid water [5]. Several aspects are investigated: (i) the effect of the water formation on the vigor of solid-state convection and its influence on the amount of heat that is transferred from the silicate mantle to the ocean; (ii) the fate of liquids within the upper thermal boundary layer - whether they freeze or reach the ocean; and (iii) the effect of salts and volatile compounds (potentially released from the rocky core) on the melting/freezing processes. Investigation of these aspects will allow us to address the thermo-chemical evolution of the internal ocean which is crucial to evaluate the astrobiological potential of large icy moons. This work has been performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. [1] Hussmann et al. (2007), Treatise of

  10. Hubble Discovery Image of New Moon Orbiting Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This four-picture sequence (spanning 30 minutes) shows one of four new moons discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, in images taken of Saturn on May 22, 1995, when Saturn's rings were tilted edge-on to Earth.

    Identified as S/1995 S3, the moon appears as an elongated white spot near the center of each image. The new moon lies just outside Saturn's outermost 'F' ring and is no bigger than about 15 miles across. The brighter object to the left is the moon Epimetheus, which was discovered during the ring-plane crossing of 1966. Both moons change position from frame to frame because they are orbiting the planet.

    Saturn appears as a bright white disk at far right, and the edge-on rings extend diagonally to the upper left. To the left of the vertical line, each image has been processed to remove residual light from the rings and accentuate any faint satellites orbiting near the rings. The long observing times necessary to detect the faint satellites have resulted in Saturn's bright, overexposed appearance.

    Saturn ring plane crossings happen only once every 15 years, and historically have given astronomers an opportunity to discover new satellites that are normally lost in the glare of the planet's bright ring system.

    The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Spaced Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

    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/

  11. Development of radiative transfer code for JUICE/SWI mission toward the atmosphere of icy moons of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Takayoshi; Kasai, Yasuko; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2016-07-01

    The Submillimeter Wave Instrument (SWI) is one of the scientific instruments on the JUpiter Icy moon Explorer (JUICE). We plan to observe atmospheric compositions including water vapor and its isotopomers in Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto). The frequency windows of SWI are 530 to 625 GHz and 1080 to 1275 GHz with 100 kHz spectral resolution. We are developing a radiative transfer code in Japan with line-by-line method for Ganymede atmosphere in THz region (0 - 3 THz). Molecular line parameters (line intensity and partition function) were taken from JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) catalogue. The pencil beam was assumed to calculate a spectrum of H _{2}O and CO in rotational transitions at the THz region. We performed comparisons between our model and ARTS (Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator). The difference were less than 10% and 5% for H _{2}O and CO, respectively, under the condition of the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). Comparison with several models with non-LTE assumption will be presented.

  12. On the onset of convection and differentiation in the hydrated cores of icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotin, C.; Reynard, B.

    2012-09-01

    We will present new simulations of the thermal evolution, dehydration process, differentiation, and onset of convection in the hydrated cores of large icy satellites. The motivation is to investigate whether convection can start before dehydration starts in the cores. Such a process would prevent differentiation. The viscosity of antigorite, the hydrated silicate supposed to compose the hydrated cores, is strongly non-Newtonian and weakly temperature-dependent. The cores are volumetrically heated by natural radioactivity. We have adapted the theory developed by Solomatov (1995) [1] for non-Newtonian fluids heated from below to the case of volumetrically heated fluids. A recent review [2] of the physical parameters relevant to the thermal evolution of hydrated cores made of antigorite provides values quite different from those used in previous studies [3,4], which seriously modifies the results of previous simulations including the predicted present interior structure of the large icy satellites. One key parameter is the amount of potassium present in the hydrated silicates. This study investigates ratios of K/U that span a broad range from earthlike to solar. It is shown that convection can start but is limited to the outer layer of the hydrated core. In the center, temperatures are large enough for dehydration to start.

  13. Reconciling the Orbital and Physical Properties of the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronnet, T.; Vernazza, P.; Mousis, O.; Brugger, B.; Beck, P.; Devouard, B.; Witasse, O.; Cipriani, F.

    2016-09-01

    The origin of Phobos and Deimos is still an open question. Currently, none of the three proposed scenarios for their origin (intact capture of two distinct outer solar system small bodies, co-accretion with Mars, and accretion within an impact-generated disk) are able to reconcile their orbital and physical properties. Here we investigate the expected mineralogical composition and size of the grains from which the moons once accreted assuming they formed within an impact-generated accretion disk. A comparison of our results with the present-day spectral properties of the moons allows us to conclude that their building blocks cannot originate from a magma phase, thus preventing their formation in the innermost part of the disk. Instead, gas-to-solid condensation of the building blocks in the outer part of an extended gaseous disk is found as a possible formation mechanism as it does allow reproducing both the spectral and physical properties of the moons. Such a scenario may finally reconcile their orbital and physical properties, alleviating the need to invoke an unlikely capture scenario to explain their physical properties.

  14. MOM-E: Moon-Orbiting Mothership Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration proposed that a new class of robotic space missions and spacecrafts be introduced to "ensure that future missions are safe, sustainable and affordable". Indeed, the United States space program aims for a return to manned space missions beyond Earth orbit, and robotic explorers are intended to pave the way. This vision requires that all future missions become less costly, provide a sustainable business plan, and increase in safety. Over the course of several fast feasibility studies that considered the 3 drivers above, the small-scale, consumer-driven Moon-Orbiting Mothership Explorer (MOM-E) mission was born. MOM-E's goals are to enable space exploration by offering a scaled down platform which carries multiple small space explorers to the Moon. Each payload will be dropped at their desired destination, offering a competitive price to customers. MOM-E's current scope of operations is limited to the Moon and will be used as a proof of concept mission. However, MOM-E is specifically designed with the idea that the platform is scalable.

  15. A SEARCH FOR ASTEROIDS, MOONS, AND RINGS ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Howell, Steve B.; Kawaler, Steven D.

    2010-03-20

    Do white dwarfs host asteroid systems? Although several lines of argument suggest that white dwarfs may be orbited by large populations of asteroids, transits would provide the most direct evidence. We demonstrate that the Kepler mission has the capability to detect transits of white dwarfs by asteroids. Because white-dwarf asteroid systems, if they exist, are likely to contain many asteroids orbiting in a spatially extended distribution, discoveries of asteroid transits can be made by monitoring only a small number of white dwarfs, compatible with Kepler's primary mission, which is to monitor stars with potentially habitable planets. Possible future missions that survey 10 times as many stars with similar sensitivity and minute-cadence monitoring can establish the characteristics of asteroid systems around white dwarfs, such as the distribution of asteroid sizes and semimajor axes. Transits by planets would be more dramatic, but the probability that they will occur is lower. Ensembles of planetary moons and/or the presence of rings around planets can also produce transits detectable by Kepler. The presence of moons and rings can significantly increase the probability that Kepler will discover planets orbiting white dwarfs, even while monitoring only a small number of them.

  16. Evolution of the Moon's orbit and the origin of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, D. L.; Nordmann, J. C.; Cisne, J. L.

    1974-01-01

    Indications about the past history of the lunar orbit that are yielded by palaeontological data derived from periodicities in fossil corals are shown to suggest that the moon approached the earth 2,850 plus or minus 250 Myr BP. Convergent evidence in the geological record indicates that a pulse of high temperature volcanism occurred about 2800 Myr BP. The implied catastrophe roughly coincides with the first records of life. It seems within the realm of possibility that a global thermal event might have been involved in the origin of life.

  17. A Survey Of Earth-Moon Libration Orbits: Stationkeeping Strategies And Intra-Orbit Transfers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folta, David; Vaughn, Frank

    2004-01-01

    Cislunar space is a readily accessible region that may well develop into a prime staging area in the effort to colonize space near Earth or to colonize the Moon. While there have been statements made by various NASA programs regarding placement of resources in orbit about the Earth-Moon Lagrangian locations, there is no survey of the total cost associated with attaining and maintaining these unique orbits in an operational fashion. Transfer trajectories between these orbits required for assembly, servicing, and positioning of these resources have not been extensively investigated. These orbits are dynamically similar to those used for the Sun-Earth missions, but differences in governing gravitational ratios and perturbation sources result in unique characteristics. We implement numerical computations using high fidelity models and linear and nonlinear targeting techniques to compute the various maneuver (Delta)V and temporal costs associated with orbits about each of the Earth-Moon Lagrangian locations (L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5). From a dynamical system standpoint, we speak to the nature of these orbits and their stability. We address the cost of transfers between each pair of Lagrangian locations.

  18. Bacterial Motility As a Biosignature: Tests at Icy Moon Analogue Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeau, J. L.; Lindensmith, C.; Deming, J. W.; Stocker, R.; Graff, E.; Serabyn, E.; Wallace, J. K.; Liewer, K.; Kuhn, J.

    2014-12-01

    Extraterrestrial life in our Solar System, if present, is almost certain to be microbial. Methods and technologies for unambiguous detection of living or extinct microorganisms are needed for life-detection missions to the Jovian and Saturnian moons, where liquid water is known to exist. Our research focuses specifically on microbial meaningful motion as a biosignature—"waving crowds" at the micron scale. Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) is an excellent tool for unambiguous identification of bacterial and protozoal swimming, even in the presence of turbidity, drift, and currents. The design of a holographic instrument with bacteria scale resolution was described in the previous talk. In this presentation, we will illustrate the design challenges for construction of a field instrument for extreme environments and space, and present plans for scientific investigations at analogue sites for the coming season. The challenges of creating a field instrument involve performance trade-offs, the ability to operate at extreme temperatures, and handling large volumes of data. A fully autonomous instrument without external cables or power is also desirable, and this is something that previous holographic instruments have not achieved. The primary issues for space exploration are identification of a laser and drive electronics that are qualified for the expected radiation environments of the moons around gas giant planets. Tests in Earth analogue environments will establish performance parameters as well as answer scientific questions that traditional microscopic techniques cannot. Specifically, we will visit a Greenland field site to determine whether or not microorganisms are motile within the brine-filled interior network of sea ice, and if they can be autonomously tracked using the instrument. Motility within the liquid phase of a frozen matrix has been hypothesized to explain how bacteria contribute to the biogeochemical signatures detected in ice, but observational

  19. Space tourism: from earth orbit to the moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, P.

    Travel to and from the lunar surface has been known to be feasible since it was first achieved 34 years ago. Since that time there has been enormous progress in related engineering fields such as rocket propulsion, materials and avionics, and about 1 billion has been spent on lunar science and engineering research. Consequently there are no fundamental technical problems facing the development of lunar tourism - only business and investment problems. The outstanding problem is to reduce the cost of launch to low Earth orbit. Recently there has been major progress towards overturning the myth that launch costs are high because of physical limits. Several "X Prize" competitor vehicles currently in test-flight are expected to be able to perform sub-orbital flights at approximately 1/1,000 of the cost of Alan Shepard's similar flight in 1961. This activity could have started 30 years ago if space agencies had had economic rather than political objectives. A further encouraging factor is that the demand for space tourism seems potentially limitless. Starting with sub-orbital flights and growing through orbital activities, travel to the Moon will offer further unique attractions. In every human culture there is immense interest in the Moon arising from millennia of myths. In addition, bird-like flying sports, first described by Robert Heinlein, will become another powerful demand factor. Roundtrips of 1 to 2 weeks are very convenient for travel companies; and the radiation environment will permit visitors several days of surface activity without significant health risks. The paper also discusses economic aspects of lunar tourism, including the benefits it will have for those on Earth. Lunar economic development based on tourism will have much in common with economic development on Earth based on tourism: starting from the fact that many people spontaneously wish to visit popular places, companies in the tourism industry invest to sell a growing range of services to ever

  20. Analysis of Cassini UVIS Far Ultraviolet Reflectance Spectra to Constrain the Non-Ice Material in Saturn’s Rings and Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, Eric Todd; Colwell, J. E.; Esposito, L. W.; Hendrix, A. R.

    2012-10-01

    The FUV spectra of Saturn’s icy ring particles and moons show the presence of an absorbing constituent that presumably is delivered to the system via micrometeoroid bombardment. Understanding the properties of the non-icy material plays into broader questions regarding the age and evolution of the rings. The FUV spectrum contains a water ice absorption edge at 165 nm. The reflectance shortward of the water ice absorption edge is determined by the composition and abundance of the non-icy material whereas the reflectance longward of the absorption edge is determined by both water ice and non-icy material. We have taken two approaches to constrain the properties of the non-ice component of the rings using FUV spectra taken by the Cassini UVIS. In one approach we compare the ring particle Bond albedo, A0, to spectral models with varying abundances and compositions of non-ice components. We first determine A0, across the water ice absorption edge using the classical Chandrasekhar radiative transfer model for the C Ring and Cassini Division with the scattering function replaced by a self-gravity wake model for the A and B rings. We then compare the retrieved values of A0, to spectral models of intimate mixtures where the free parameters are the fractional abundances of the ice and non-ice constituents, grain size, and grain asymmetry parameter for scattering. In the second approach we compare FUV color ratios (180/155 nm) across Saturn’s rings, as well as to icy moons, in order to investigate relative variations in water ice abundance in these objects. We find that A0, longward of the absorption edge peaks in the outer B ring and reaches a minimum in the C Ring and Cassini Division, consistent with the purest water ice being found in the B Ring and the most polluted in the C Ring and Cassini Division.

  1. Absolute irradiance of the Moon for on-orbit calibration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, T.C.; Kieffer, H.H.; ,

    2002-01-01

    The recognized need for on-orbit calibration of remote sensing imaging instruments drives the ROLO project effort to characterize the Moon for use as an absolute radiance source. For over 5 years the ground-based ROLO telescopes have acquired spatially-resolved lunar images in 23 VNIR (Moon diameter ???500 pixels) and 9 SWIR (???250 pixels) passbands at phase angles within ??90 degrees. A numerical model for lunar irradiance has been developed which fits hundreds of ROLO images in each band, corrected for atmospheric extinction and calibrated to absolute radiance, then integrated to irradiance. The band-coupled extinction algorithm uses absorption spectra of several gases and aerosols derived from MODTRAN to fit time-dependent component abundances to nightly observations of standard stars. The absolute radiance scale is based upon independent telescopic measurements of the star Vega. The fitting process yields uncertainties in lunar relative irradiance over small ranges of phase angle and the full range of lunar libration well under 0.5%. A larger source of uncertainty enters in the absolute solar spectral irradiance, especially in the SWIR, where solar models disagree by up to 6%. Results of ROLO model direct comparisons to spacecraft observations demonstrate the ability of the technique to track sensor responsivity drifts to sub-percent precision. Intercomparisons among instruments provide key insights into both calibration issues and the absolute scale for lunar irradiance.

  2. The Saturn System's Icy Satellites: New Results from Cassini

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopes-Gautier, Rosaly M.; Buratti, Bonnie; Hendrix, A. R.

    2008-01-01

    Cassini-Huygens is a multidisciplinary, international planetary mission consisting of an orbiting spacecraft and a probe. The Huygens probe successfully landed on Titan's surface on January 14, 2005, while the orbiter has performed observations of Saturn, its rings, satellites, and magnetosphere since it entered orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. The Cassini mission has been prolific in its scientific discoveries about the Saturn system. In this special section, we present new mission results with a focus on the 'icy satellites,' which we define as all Saturn's moons with the exception of Titan. The results included in this section have come out of the Cassini SOST--Satellites Orbiter Science Team--a multi-instrument and multidiscipline group that works together to better understand the icy satellites and their interactions with Saturn and its rings. Other papers included in this issue present ground-based observations and interior modeling of these icy moons.

  3. Orbit Determination of Spacecraft in Earth-Moon L1 and L2 Libration Point Orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodard, Mark; Cosgrove, Daniel; Morinelli, Patrick; Marchese, Jeff; Owens, Brandon; Folta, David

    2011-01-01

    The ARTEMIS mission, part of the THEMIS extended mission, is the first to fly spacecraft in the Earth-Moon Lissajous regions. In 2009, two of the five THEMIS spacecraft were redeployed from Earth-centered orbits to arrive in Earth-Moon Lissajous orbits in late 2010. Starting in August 2010, the ARTEMIS P1 spacecraft executed numerous stationkeeping maneuvers, initially maintaining a lunar L2 Lissajous orbit before transitioning into a lunar L1 orbit. The ARTEMIS P2 spacecraft entered a L1 Lissajous orbit in October 2010. In April 2011, both ARTEMIS spacecraft will suspend Lissajous stationkeeping and will be maneuvered into lunar orbits. The success of the ARTEMIS mission has allowed the science team to gather unprecedented magnetospheric measurements in the lunar Lissajous regions. In order to effectively perform lunar Lissajous stationkeeping maneuvers, the ARTEMIS operations team has provided orbit determination solutions with typical accuracies on the order of 0.1 km in position and 0.1 cm/s in velocity. The ARTEMIS team utilizes the Goddard Trajectory Determination System (GTDS), using a batch least squares method, to process range and Doppler tracking measurements from the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN), Berkeley Ground Station (BGS), Merritt Island (MILA) station, and United Space Network (USN). The team has also investigated processing of the same tracking data measurements using the Orbit Determination Tool Kit (ODTK) software, which uses an extended Kalman filter and recursive smoother to estimate the orbit. The orbit determination results from each of these methods will be presented and we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages associated with using each method in the lunar Lissajous regions. Orbit determination accuracy is dependent on both the quality and quantity of tracking measurements, fidelity of the orbit force models, and the estimation techniques used. Prior to Lissajous operations, the team determined the appropriate quantity of tracking

  4. Earth-to-Moon low energy transfers targeting L1 hyperbolic transit orbits.

    PubMed

    Topputo, Francesco; Vasile, Massimiliano; Bernelli-Zazzera, Franco

    2005-12-01

    In the frame of the lunar exploration, numerous future space missions will require maximization of payload mass, and simultaneously achieving reasonable transfer times. To fulfill this request, low energy non-Keplerian orbits could be used to reach the Moon instead of high energetic transfers. The low energy solutions can be separated into two main categories depending on the nature of the trajectory approaching the Moon: low energy transit orbits that approach the Moon from the interior equilibrium point L(1) and weak stability boundary transfers that reach the Moon after passing through L(2). This paper proposes an alternative way to exploit the opportunities offered by L(1) transit orbits for the design of Earth-Moon transfers. First, in a neighborhood of the L(1) point, the three-body dynamics is linearized and written in normal form; then the entire family of nonlinear transit orbits is obtained by selecting the appropriate nontrivial amplitudes associated with the hyperbolic part. The L(1)-Earth arc is close to a 5:2 resonant orbit with the Moon, whose perturbations cause the apogee to rise. In a second step, two selected low altitude parking orbits around the Earth and the Moon are linked with the transit orbit by means of two three-body Lambert arcs, solutions of two two-point boundary value problems. The resulting Earth-to-Moon trajectories prove to be very efficient in the Moon captured arc and save approximately 100 m/sec in Deltav cost when compared to the Hohmann transfer. Furthermore, such solutions demonstrate that Moon capture could be obtained in the frame of the Earth-Moon R3BP neglecting the presence of the Sun.

  5. Spectral detectability of CH4-N2 clathrates for in-situ and remote observation of Titan and other icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nna-Mvondo, D.; Tobie, G.; Le Menn, E.; Grasset, O.

    2015-10-01

    Multicomponent clathrates may be present at the surface of several icy moons, although they have not been detected yet, possibly due to the absence of reliable spectral data. In this work, w e present infrared (IR) and Raman spectral studies of CH4-N2 clathrates at low temperature and pressure, in order to identify discriminating criteria for their possible detection. These clathrates are particularly interesting for Titan and Pluto. Our experimental results indicate that identification of mixed clathrate from remote sensing is very challenging, and that only in- situ Raman spectroscopy may provide a clear identification of clathrate and co nstraints on their composition.

  6. Stationkeeping of the First Earth-Moon Libration Orbiters: The ARTEMIS Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folta, David; Woodard, Mark; Cosgrove, D.

    2011-01-01

    Libration point orbits near collinear locations are inherently unstable and must be controlled. For Acceleration Reconnection and Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) Earth-Moon Lissajous orbit operations, stationkeeping is challenging because of short time scales, large orbital eccentricity of the secondary, and solar gravitational and radiation pressure perturbations. ARTEMIS is the first NASA mission continuously controlled at both Earth-Moon L1 and L2 locations and uses a balance of optimization, spacecraft implementation and constraints, and multi-body dynamics. Stationkeeping results are compared to pre-mission research including mode directions.

  7. Preliminary Design Considerations for Access and Operations in Earth-Moon L1/L2 Orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folta, David C.; Pavlak, Thomas A.; Haapala, Amanda F.; Howell, Kathleen C.

    2013-01-01

    Within the context of manned spaceflight activities, Earth-Moon libration point orbits could support lunar surface operations and serve as staging areas for future missions to near-Earth asteroids and Mars. This investigation examines preliminary design considerations including Earth-Moon L1/L2 libration point orbit selection, transfers, and stationkeeping costs associated with maintaining a spacecraft in the vicinity of L1 or L2 for a specified duration. Existing tools in multi-body trajectory design, dynamical systems theory, and orbit maintenance are leveraged in this analysis to explore end-to-end concepts for manned missions to Earth-Moon libration points.

  8. Measuring the Orbital Period of the Moon Using a Digital Camera

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Stephen W.

    2006-01-01

    A method of measuring the orbital velocity of the Moon around the Earth using a digital camera is described. Separate images of the Moon and stars taken 24 hours apart were loaded into Microsoft PowerPoint and the centre of the Moon marked on each image. Four stars common to both images were connected together to form a "home-made" constellation.…

  9. Carbonic acid as a reserve of carbon dioxide on icy moons: The formation of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) in a polar environment

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Brant M.; Kaiser, Ralf I.; Strazzulla, Giovanni

    2014-06-20

    Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) has been detected on the surface of several icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn via observation of the ν{sub 3} band with the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on board the Galileo spacecraft and the Visible-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on board the Cassini spacecraft. Interestingly, the CO{sub 2} band for several of these moons exhibits a blueshift along with a broader profile than that seen in laboratory studies and other astrophysical environments. As such, numerous attempts have been made in order to clarify this abnormal behavior; however, it currently lacks an acceptable physical or chemical explanation. We present a rather surprising result pertaining to the synthesis of carbon dioxide in a polar environment. Here, carbonic acid was synthesized in a water (H{sub 2}O)-carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) (1:5) ice mixture exposed to ionizing radiation in the form of 5 keV electrons. The irradiated ice mixture was then annealed, producing pure carbonic acid which was then subsequently irradiated, recycling water and carbon dioxide. However, the observed carbon dioxide ν{sub 3} band matches almost exactly with that observed on Callisto; subsequent temperature program desorption studies reveal that carbon dioxide synthesized under these conditions remains in solid form until 160 K, i.e., the sublimation temperature of water. Consequently, our results suggest that carbon dioxide on Callisto as well as other icy moons is indeed complexed with water rationalizing the shift in peak frequency, broad profile, and the solid state existence on these relatively warm moons.

  10. Low-cost Alternative Orbits In The Earth-Moon System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melo, C. F.; Winter, O. C.; Vieira Neto, E.

    The moon has been the target of innumerous space missions throughout the last decades, and everything indicates that many others will occur. This is especially true due to the fact that lunar bases play a fundamental role in supporting future manned interplanetary missions. Thus, knowledge about low-cost alternative orbits in the Earth-Moon system can be extremely advantageous. In this paper, we presented two regions of alternative orbits in the Earth-Moon system. They are stable orbits around the Moon, whose distance from the lunar surface varies between 400 and 20,000 kilometers. In our studies, we determined the location and size of these regions based on the restricted circular planar problem of 3-body, Earth-Moon-spacecraft. In this system, the regions of stability correspond to quasi-periodic orbits around known periodic orbits (Broucke, 1968). Then, we considered a more realistic model. We adopted the restricted problem of 4-body Sun-Earth-Moon-spacecraft, taking into account the Earth's oblateness, the eccentricities of the Earth and the Moon, the inclination of the Moon, the obliquity of the Earth and the solar radiation pressure on the spacecraft. The results show that even so, a significant portion of the regions of stability remains. These orbits are stable in the practical sense that the energy of the problem of 2-body Moon-spacecraft remains negative for a period greater than 1000 days. The maintenance cost of orbits in these regions is low, keeping in mind that they are stable regions.

  11. Report of the Terrestrial Bodies Science Working Group. Volume 4: The moon. [lunar polar orbiter mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haskin, L. A.; Duke, M. B.; Hubbard, N.; Johnson, T. V.; Malin, M. C.; Minear, J.

    1977-01-01

    A rationale for furture exploration of the moon is given. Topics discussed include the objectives of the lunar polar orbiter mission, the mission profile, and general characteristics of the spacraft to be used.

  12. Numerical investigation of planetesimal collision trajectories with a Moon accumulating in Earth orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, L.P.

    1984-01-01

    In the scenario of lunar origin in which the Moon is assumed to have accreted most of its mass while in orbit about the Earth, planetasimals on the accretion knowledge of the relative impact rates of heliocentric planetting Earth and Moon is essential for any attempt to establish dynamical constraints on lunar origin. Numerical integrations of the regularized equations of motion for four bodies (Sun, Earth, Moon, planetismal) were done. A planetismal impact trajectory was calculated by assuming that the planetismal has hit the surface of the Moon at an assumed location, traveling in an assumed direction, and with an assumed impact speed. Next, the equations of motion were numerically integrated backward in time in order to determine from where the planetismal has come. In this way those volumes in heliocentric orbital element space which contribute trajectories that directly impact the Moon.

  13. Moon formation and orbital evolution in extrasolar planetary systems - A literature review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, K.

    2011-02-01

    With over 450 extrasolar planets detected, the possibility of searching for moons of these planets is starting to be investigated. In order to make efficient use of limited observing resources, it would be useful if the types of moons that a given planet is likely to host was known prior to detection. Fortunately, informed by simulations of moon formation in our own solar system, as well as more general theoretical investigations of moon orbital evolution, such information is now available. I present a review of literature results concerning the likely physical and orbital properties of extra-solar moons, and how these properties are predicted to vary with the properties of their host planet.

  14. Circumlunar Free-Return Cycler Orbits for a Manned Earth-Moon Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Genova, Anthony L.; Aldrin, Buzz

    2015-01-01

    Multiple free-return circumlunar cycler orbits were designed to allow regular travel between the Earth and Moon by a manned space station. The presented cycler orbits contain circumlunar free-return "figure-8" segments and yield lunar encounters every month. Smaller space "taxi" vehicles can rendezvous with (and depart from) the cycling Earth-Moon space station to enter lunar orbit (and/or land on the lunar surface), return to Earth, or reach destinations including Earth-Moon L1 and L2 halo orbits, near-Earth objects (NEOs), Venus, and Mars. To assess the practicality of the selected orbits, relevant cycler characteristics (including (Delta)V maintenance requirements) are presented and compared.

  15. Automated Estimation of the Orbital Parameters of Jupiter's Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Western, Emma; Ruch, Gerald T.

    2016-01-01

    Every semester the Physics Department at the University of St. Thomas has the Physics 104 class complete a Jupiter lab. This involves taking around twenty images of Jupiter and its moons with the telescope at the University of St. Thomas Observatory over the course of a few nights. The students then take each image and find the distance from each moon to Jupiter and plot the distances versus the elapsed time for the corresponding image. Students use the plot to fit four sinusoidal curves of the moons of Jupiter. I created a script that automates this process for the professor. It takes the list of images and creates a region file used by the students to measure the distance from the moons to Jupiter, a png image that is the graph of all the data points and the fitted curves of the four moons, and a csv file that contains the list of images, the date and time each image was taken, the elapsed time since the first image, and the distances to Jupiter for Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. This is important because it lets the professor spend more time working with the students and answering questions as opposed to spending time fitting the curves of the moons on the graph, which can be time consuming.

  16. Phase diagram and density of fluids in the water-methanol system: experiments and implications for the crystallization and dynamics of subsurface oceans in icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, C.; Mantegazzi, D.; Deschamps, F.; Sanchez-Valle, C.

    2013-12-01

    Methanol, CH3OH, has been recently observed in several comets and at the surface of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, [Hodyss et al., 2009]. Its plausible presence in the subsurface ocean could significantly affect the thermal and structural evolution of the satellite [Deschamps et al., 2010]. Methanol lowers the melting temperature of water ice [Vuillard & Sanchez, 1961; Miller & Carpenter, 1964], hence decreasing the efficiency of convective heat transfer through the outer ice Ih shell, and affects the subsurface ocean density and thermo-chemical evolution. However, the phase diagram and the fluid density of the H2O - CH3OH system remains largely unknown at the high pressures and low temperature conditions relevant for the icy moon interiors. In this study, we determined experimentally the liquidus temperature of Ice Ih and Ice VI and the fluid density in the binary water-methanol system (5, 10 and 20 w% CH3OH) from sound velocity measurments by Brillouin scattering spectroscopy over the P-T range 230 - 300 K and 10-4 - 1.2 GPa. The experiments were conducted using a membrane-type diamond anvil cell (mDAC) and an in-house designed Peltier cooling system to achieve the low temperatures of interest. Melting and crystallization in the system was visually monitored and confirmed from changes in the Brillouin spectra and in the pressure dependence of the measured sound velocities. The density of fluids ρ(P, T,x) in the binary system weas determined from the inversion of sound velocities measured in the fluids as a function of pressure along isotherms from 230 to 300 K. The results are used to propose a thermodynamic model for the CH3OH-H2O system over the investigated P-T range and further used to examine the effect of the methanol on the crystallization and thermo-chemical evolution of the subsurface ocean. The implications of these results for the thermal and structural evolution of icy moons, with particular applications to Titan, will be further discussed. References

  17. Lunar Dynamics on Internal Structure of the Moon on the orbit around the planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Shigehisa

    2015-04-01

    This work concerns on problem of dynamics of the Moon rotating on the orbit around the Earth. First, the author introduces what about on the reference data which was updated by NASA in 2013. The NASA's mission of GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory)in 2012 was a key to obtain the lunar gravity field on the whole area of the Moon's surface. Now, the author introduces his dynamical model for obtaining an advanced understanding of the lunar internal structure inside of the Moon's surface. The data obtained by NASA had shown that the crust on the moon near side to the Earth was about 30 km thick and that on the moon far side to the Earth was was 50 km. Then, a bold modelling can be introduced for the existing Moon's internal structure referring to the fruuits of the research works in the field of the Earth's gravity found on the basis of the past contributions in the field of geodesy under several bold assumptions wich have been accepted in the fields of astronomy and of the space sciences. In brief, the Moon's gravity could reduce the lunar interface of the core must be surely excentric boldly about 10 km inside of the orbit on the radial line between the Moon and the Earth.Hence, the lunar magnetic field must be freezed to show the reversed polarity relative to that of the Earth. Neverthless, it should be updated to the details in the successive research.

  18. Large impacts and tectonism: the relative ages of the basin Odysseus and Ithaca Chasma on Saturn's icy moon Tethys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Roland; Stephan, Katrin; Schmedemann, Nico; Roatsch, Thomas; Kersten, Elke; Neukum, Gerhard; Denk, Tilmann; Porco, Carolyn C.

    2014-05-01

    Large impact events forming craters of basin size (> 200 - 300 km in diameter) on planets, asteroids or planetary satellites can cause intense tectonic deformation on their surfaces, indicated by concentric and/or radial troughs or ridges [e.g., 1]. Recently, sets of parallel grooves on asteroid (4) Vesta have been discussed to be the result of impact-related deformation in connection with basin-forming events on Vesta's south polar area [2]. On Saturn's mid-sized icy satellites Tethys, 1072 km in diameter, major landforms are the 445 km large impact basin Odysseus and the huge graben system of Ithaca Chasma which were first imaged during the Voyager encounters in 1980 and 1981 [3][4]. Ithaca Chasma is a ~100 km wide terraced trough. It has been discussed that Ithaca Chasma could be the result of structural deformation caused by the impact event that created Odysseus [4][5]. Preliminary mapping and crater counts using Cassini ISS imaging data on Odysseus and Ithaca Chasma, however, infer that this has not been the case [6]. Cassini VIMS spectral data show that Ithaca Chasma has less ice compared to Odysseus which supports this finding that it is older than the basin [7]. Major problems to exactly define the stratigraphic position of Ithaca Chasma with respect to the basin Odysseus are (1) that only those craters are allowed to be used for crater counts which clearly superimpose the tectonic structures (e.g., the terraced scarps) across the chasm, and (2) further geologic processes that affected the chasm interior caused obliteration of craters which results in lower crater frequencies. Our preliminary crater counts [6] were carried out on lower-resolution Cassini imaging data. During Cassini's orbital tour since July 2004, the ISS cameras have provided almost complete global image coverage of Tethys at resolutions of 100 - 300 m/pxl. In this work we present results from our ongoing studies on Tethys' geology, based on these new imaging data, primarily focused on

  19. Applications of High Etendue Line-Profile Spectro-Polarimetry to the Study of the Atmospheric and Magnetospheric Environments of the Jovian Icy Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Walter M.; Roesler, Fred L.; Jaffel, Lotfi Ben; Ballester, Gilda E.; Oliversen, Ronald J.; Morgenthaler, Jeffrey P.; Mierkiewicz, Edwin

    2003-01-01

    Electrodynamic effects play a significant, global role in the state and energization of the Earth's ionosphere/magnetosphere, but even more so on Jupiter, where the auroral energy input is four orders of magnitude greater than on Earth. The Jovian magnetosphere is distinguished from Earth's by its rapid rotation rate and contributions from satellite atmospheres and internal plasma sources. The electrodynamic effects of these factors have a key role in the state and energization of the ionosphere-corona- plasmasphere system of the planet and its interaction with Io and the icy satellites. Several large scale interacting processes determine conditions near the icy moons beginning with their tenuous atmospheres produced from sputtering, evaporative, and tectonic/volcanic sources, extending out to exospheres that merge with ions and neutrals in the Jovian magnetosphere. This dynamic environment is dependent on a complex network of magnetospheric currents that act on global scales. Field aligned currents connect the satellites and the middle and tail magnetospheric regions to the Jupiter's poles via flux tubes that produce as bright auroral and satellite footprint emissions in the upper atmosphere. This large scale transfer of mass, momentum, and energy (e.g. waves, currents) means that a combination of complementary diagnostics of the plasma, neutral, and and field network must be obtained near simultaneously to correctly interpret the results. This presentation discusses the applicability of UV spatial heterodyne spectroscopy (SHS) to the broad study of this system on scales from satellite surfaces to Jupiter's aurora and corona.

  20. NEXT GENERATION OF TELESCOPES OR DYNAMICS REQUIRED TO DETERMINE IF EXO-MOONS HAVE PROGRADE OR RETROGRADE ORBITS

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Karen M.; Fujii, Yuka

    2014-08-20

    We survey the methods proposed in the literature for detecting moons of extrasolar planets in terms of their ability to distinguish between prograde and retrograde moon orbits, an important tracer of the moon formation channel. We find that most moon detection methods, in particular, sensitive methods for detecting moons of transiting planets, cannot observationally distinguishing prograde and retrograde moon orbits. The prograde and retrograde cases can only be distinguished where the dynamical evolution of the orbit due to, e.g., three body effects is detectable, where one of the two cases is dynamically unstable, or where new observational facilities, which can implement a technique capable of differentiating the two cases, come online. In particular, directly imaged planets are promising targets because repeated spectral and photometric measurements, which are required to determine moon orbit direction, could also be conducted with the primary interest of characterizing the planet itself.

  1. In-Orbit Instrument-Pointing Calibration Using the Moon as a Target

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abramovici, Alex; Pollock, Harold R.

    2011-01-01

    A method was developed for in-orbit measurement of the relative pointing of spectrometer channels, and the relationship between the spectrometer channels and the spacecraft coordinate system. In this innovation, individual scans of the Moon, from the three channels, were used to determine the position of the center of the Moon, with respect to channel-specific coordinates. Comparing the coordinates of the center of the Moon, obtained from individual channels, yields the relative pointing between the channels. Comparing the coordinates of the center of the Moon in one of the channels with the Moon ephemerides and with the spacecraft coordinate measurement, using the onboard star tracker, yields the relative orientation of the channel optical axes with respect to the spacecraft coordinates.

  2. Dynamics of Orbits near 3:1 Resonance in the Earth-Moon System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Lebois, Ryan; Carrico, John P., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft is currently in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth with a period near 3:1 resonance with the Moon. Its orbit is oriented so that apogee does not approach the Moon. Simulations show this orbit to be remarkably stable over the next twenty years. This article examines the dynamics of such orbits in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). We look at three types of periodic orbits, each exhibiting a type of symmetry of the CR3BP. For each of the orbit types, we assess the local stability using Floquet analysis. Although not all of the periodic solutions are stable in the mathematical sense, any divergence is so slow as to produce practical stability over several decades. We use Poincare maps with twenty-year propagations to assess the nonlinear stability of the orbits, where the perturbation magnitudes are related to the orbit uncertainty for the IBEX mission. Finally we show that these orbits belong to a family of orbits connected in a bifurcation diagram that exhibits exchange of stability. The analysis of these families of period orbits provides a valuable starting point for a mission orbit trade study.

  3. A Free-Return Earth-Moon Cycler Orbit for an Interplanetary Cruise Ship

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Genova, Anthony L.; Aldrin, Buzz

    2015-01-01

    A periodic circumlunar orbit is presented that can be used by an interplanetary cruise ship for regular travel between Earth and the Moon. This Earth-Moon cycler orbit was revealed by introducing solar gravity and modest phasing maneuvers (average of 39 m/s per month) which yields close-Earth encounters every 7 or 10 days. Lunar encounters occur every 26 days and offer the chance for a smaller craft to depart the cycler and enter lunar orbit, or head for a Lagrange point (e.g., EM-L2 halo orbit), distant retrograde orbit (DRO), or interplanetary destination such as a near-Earth object (NEO) or Mars. Additionally, return-to-Earth abort options are available from many points along the cycling trajectory.

  4. Physicochemical Requirements Inferred for Chemical Self-Organization Hardly Support an Emergence of Life in the Deep Oceans of Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascal, Robert

    2016-05-01

    An approach to the origin of life, focused on the property of entities capable of reproducing themselves far from equilibrium, has been developed recently. Independently, the possibility of the emergence of life in the hydrothermal systems possibly present in the deep oceans below the frozen crust of some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn has been raised. The present report is aimed at investigating the mutual compatibility of these alternative views. In this approach, the habitability concept deduced from the limits of life on Earth is considered to be inappropriate with regard to emerging life due to the requirement for an energy source of sufficient potential (equivalent to the potential of visible light). For these icy moons, no driving force would have been present to assist the process of emergence, which would then have had to rely exclusively on highly improbable events, thereby making the presence of life unlikely on these Solar System bodies, that is, unless additional processes are introduced for feeding chemical systems undergoing a transition toward life and the early living organisms.

  5. ESA radiation and micro-meteoroid models applied to Space Weathering of atmosphere-less bodies: icy moons and asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallat, Claire; Altobelli, Nicolas; Cornet, Thomas; Schmidt, Jürgen; Navarro, Sara; Erd, Christian; Witasse, Olivier; Rodmann, Jens; Mints, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    The Galilean moons reveal large albedo variations on their surfaces, in particular between their leading and trailing hemispheres. The differences observed are likely the results of a balance between various weathering processes of the surface, determined by the moons' local environment. Chemical and physical alterations occur at the surface, triggered by multiple exogenic energy deposit processes (radiolysis, plasma sputtering, micro-meteoroids impacts, …).The observed variations are probably due to anisotropy in the energy fluxes received on each hemisphere and due to to a different relative contribution of the weathering agents (plasma, dust…) as function of the distance to Jupiter. We will be testing this hypothesis by estimating quantitatively the kinetic energy flux impacting different part of the surfaces of the Galilean moons. This work is essential in the context of the future missions to the Jovian moons, such as the JUICE ESA mission, as a proper understanding of the moons' surface history can be achieved only if one is able to constrain the balance between exogenic and endogenic alteration processes.Impacts of dust particles coming from the Galilean moons and evolving dynamically in the Jovian system will be simulated using the Jovian Micrometeoroid Environment Model (JMEM) [1]. Direct interplanetary dust impacts are simulated using the prediction of the Interplanetary Micrometeoroid Environment Model (IMEM) [2] computed at Jupiter's Hill radius, taking into account gravitational focusing by the planet. Finally, electron and ion fluxes interacting with different parts of the moons' surfaces can be estimated using the Jovian Specification Environment model (JOSE) [3].In parallel, signature of surface weathering will be assessed using reflectance maps based on the Galileo imaging data.Those models will also be applied, for comparison, to other atmosphere-less bodies of the solar system such as the asteroids Ceres, Vesta and Pallas.References[1] Liu et

  6. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND NON-KEPLERIAN ORBITAL MOTION OF 'PROPELLER' MOONS EMBEDDED IN SATURN'S RINGS

    SciTech Connect

    Tiscareno, Matthew S.; Burns, Joseph A.; Hedman, Matthew M.; Milano, Anthony J.; Evans, Michael W.; Sremcevic, Miodrag; Beurle, Kevin; Cooper, Nicholas J.; Porco, Carolyn C.; Spitale, Joseph N.; Weiss, John W.

    2010-08-01

    We report the discovery of several large 'propeller' moons in the outer part of Saturn's A ring, objects large enough to be followed over the 5 year duration of the Cassini mission. These are the first objects ever discovered that can be tracked as individual moons, but do not orbit in empty space. We infer sizes up to 1-2 km for the unseen moonlets at the center of the propeller-shaped structures, though many structural and photometric properties of propeller structures remain unclear. Finally, we demonstrate that some propellers undergo sustained non-Keplerian orbit motion.

  7. Extension of Earth-Moon libration point orbits with solar sail propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heiligers, Jeannette; Macdonald, Malcolm; Parker, Jeffrey S.

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents families of libration point orbits in the Earth-Moon system that originate from complementing the classical circular restricted three-body problem with a solar sail. Through the use of a differential correction scheme in combination with a continuation on the solar sail induced acceleration, families of Lyapunov, halo, vertical Lyapunov, Earth-centred, and distant retrograde orbits are created. As the solar sail circular restricted three-body problem is non-autonomous, a constraint defined within the differential correction scheme ensures that all orbits are periodic with the Sun's motion around the Earth-Moon system. The continuation method then starts from a classical libration point orbit with a suitable period and increases the solar sail acceleration magnitude to obtain families of orbits that are parametrised by this acceleration. Furthermore, different solar sail steering laws are considered (both in-plane and out-of-plane, and either fixed in the synodic frame or fixed with respect to the direction of Sunlight), adding to the wealth of families of solar sail enabled libration point orbits presented. Finally, the linear stability properties of the generated orbits are investigated to assess the need for active orbital control. It is shown that the solar sail induced acceleration can have a positive effect on the stability of some orbit families, especially those at the L2 point, but that it most often (further) destabilises the orbit. Active control will therefore be needed to ensure long-term survivability of these orbits.

  8. Earth-Moon Libration Point Orbit Stationkeeping: Theory, Modeling and Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folta, David C.; Pavlak, Thomas A.; Haapala, Amanda F.; Howell, Kathleen C.; Woodard, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Collinear Earth-Moon libration points have emerged as locations with immediate applications. These libration point orbits are inherently unstable and must be maintained regularly which constrains operations and maneuver locations. Stationkeeping is challenging due to relatively short time scales for divergence effects of large orbital eccentricity of the secondary body, and third-body perturbations. Using the Acceleration Reconnection and Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) mission orbit as a platform, the fundamental behavior of the trajectories is explored using Poincare maps in the circular restricted three-body problem. Operational stationkeeping results obtained using the Optimal Continuation Strategy are presented and compared to orbit stability information generated from mode analysis based in dynamical systems theory.

  9. Detecting extrasolar moons akin to solar system satellites with an orbital sampling effect

    SciTech Connect

    Heller, René

    2014-05-20

    Despite years of high accuracy observations, none of the available theoretical techniques has yet allowed the confirmation of a moon beyond the solar system. Methods are currently limited to masses about an order of magnitude higher than the mass of any moon in the solar system. I here present a new method sensitive to exomoons similar to the known moons. Due to the projection of transiting exomoon orbits onto the celestial plane, satellites appear more often at larger separations from their planet. After about a dozen randomly sampled observations, a photometric orbital sampling effect (OSE) starts to appear in the phase-folded transit light curve, indicative of the moons' radii and planetary distances. Two additional outcomes of the OSE emerge in the planet's transit timing variations (TTV-OSE) and transit duration variations (TDV-OSE), both of which permit measurements of a moon's mass. The OSE is the first effect that permits characterization of multi-satellite systems. I derive and apply analytical OSE descriptions to simulated transit observations of the Kepler space telescope assuming white noise only. Moons as small as Ganymede may be detectable in the available data, with M stars being their most promising hosts. Exomoons with the ten-fold mass of Ganymede and a similar composition (about 0.86 Earth radii in radius) can most likely be found in the available Kepler data of K stars, including moons in the stellar habitable zone. A future survey with Kepler-class photometry, such as Plato 2.0, and a permanent monitoring of a single field of view over five years or more will very likely discover extrasolar moons via their OSEs.

  10. Overview of a Preliminary Destination Mission Concept for a Human Orbital Mission to the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazanek, D. D.; Abell, P. A.; Antol, J.; Barbee, B. W.; Beaty, D. W.; Bass, D. S.; Castillo-Rogez, J. C.; Coan, D. A.; Colaprete, A.; Daugherty, K. J.; Drake, B. G.; Earle, K. D.; Graham, L. D.; Hembree, R. M.; Hoffman, S. J.; Jefferies, S. A.; Lewis, R.; Lupisella, M. L.; Reeves, D. M.

    2012-06-01

    NASA’s Human Spaceflight Architecture Team has been developing a preliminary mission concept to assess how a human orbital mission to the martian moons might be conducted as a follow-on to an asteroid mission and possibly prior to landing on Mars.

  11. On the state of water ice on saturn's moon Titan and implications to icy bodies in the outer solar system.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Weijun; Jewitt, David; Kaiser, Ralf I

    2009-10-22

    The crystalline state of water ice in the Solar System depends on the temperature history of the ice and the influence of energetic particles to which it has been exposed. We measured the infrared absorption spectra of amorphous and crystalline water ice in the 10-50 K and 10-140 K temperature ranges, respectively, and conducted a systematic experimental study to investigate the amorphization of crystalline water ice via ionizing radiation irradiation at doses of up to 160 +/- 30 eV per molecule. We found that crystalline water ice can be converted only partially to amorphous ice by electron irradiation. The experiments showed that a fraction of the 1.65 microm band, which is characteristic for crystalline water ice, survived the irradiation, to a degree that strongly depends on the temperature. Quantitative kinetic fits of the temporal evolution of the 1.65 mum band clearly demonstrate that there is a balance between thermal recrystallization and irradiation-induced amorphization, with thermal recrystallizaton dominant at higher temperatures. Our experiments show the amorphization at 40 K was incomplete, in contradiction to Mastrapa and Brown's conclusion (Icarus 2006, 183, 207.). At 50 K, the recrystallization due to thermal effects is strong, and most of the crystalline ice survived. Temperatures of most icy objects in the Solar System, including Jovian satellites, Saturnian satellites (including Titan), and Kuiper Belt Objects, are equal to or above 50 K; this explains why water ice detected on those objects is mostly crystalline. PMID:19827849

  12. The moon as a radiometric reference source for on-orbit sensor stability calibration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, T.C.

    2009-01-01

    The wealth of data generated by the world's Earth-observing satellites, now spanning decades, allows the construction of long-term climate records. A key consideration for detecting climate trends is precise quantification of temporal changes in sensor calibration on-orbit. For radiometer instruments in the solar reflectance wavelength range (near-UV to shortwave-IR), the Moon can be viewed as a solar diffuser with exceptional stability properties. A model for the lunar spectral irradiance that predicts the geometric variations in the Moon's brightness with ???1% precision has been developed at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, AZ. Lunar model results corresponding to a series of Moon observations taken by an instrument can be used to stabilize sensor calibration with sub-percent per year precision, as demonstrated by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). The inherent stability of the Moon and the operational model to utilize the lunar irradiance quantity provide the Moon as a reference source for monitoring radiometric calibration in orbit. This represents an important capability for detecting terrestrial climate change from space-based radiometric measurements.

  13. 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.

  14. Access to Mars from Earth-Moon libration point orbits: Manifold and direct options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    This investigation is focused specifically on transfers from Earth-Moon L1/L2 libration point orbits to Mars. Initially, the analysis is based on 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 L2 orbits as well as non-manifold trajectories. For the manifold options, ballistic transfers from Earth-Moon L2 libration point orbits to Sun-Earth L1/L2 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.

  15. Lunar capture orbits, a method of constructing earth moon trajectories and the lunar GAS mission. [Get Away Specials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belbruno, E. A.

    1987-01-01

    A method is described to construct trajectories from the earth to the moon which utilizes the existence of lunar capture orbits and the concept of 'stability boundary'. These orbits are ballistic and represent a new family of trajectories. They go into orbit about the moon from a suitable position about the earth with no required thrusting. This method is applied to a mission being studied at JPL called Lunar GAS (Get Away Special). Other applications are discussed.

  16. Out-of-plane orbital maneuvers using swing-bys with the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neto, J. B. S.; Prado, A. F. B. A.; Formiga, J. K. S.

    2015-10-01

    This paper has the goal of showing some cases of plane change maneuvers using a swing-by with the Moon to decrease the magnitude of the impulses used, when compared to a classical Hohmann maneuver. The analytical model is based on the "patched-conics" approach, where a series of "two-body" problems is considered to build the whole maneuver. A study of the effects of the semi-major axes of the transfer orbits were made, to complete some previous studies made in the literature. The results show that, for some final inclinations, the use of the swing-by in the Moon is really advantageous.

  17. Low-Thrust Transfers from Distant Retrograde Orbits to L2 Halo Orbits in the Earth-Moon System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parrish, Nathan L.; Parker, Jeffrey S.; Hughes, Steven P.; Heiligers, Jennette

    2016-01-01

    Enable future missions Any mission to a DRO or halo orbit could benefit from the capability to transfer between these orbits Chemical propulsion could be used for these transfers, but at high propellant cost Fill gaps in knowledge A variety of transfers using SEP or solar sails have been studied for the Earth-Moon system Most results in literature study a single transfer This is a step toward understanding the wide array of types of transfers available in an N-body force model.

  18. Low-Thrust Transfers from Distant Retrograde Orbits to L2 Halo Orbits in the Earth-Moon System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parrish, Nathan L.; Parker, Jeffrey S.; Hughes, Steven P.; Heiligers, Jeannette

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a study of transfers between distant retrograde orbits (DROs) and L2 halo orbits in the Earth-Moon system that could be flown by a spacecraft with solar electric propulsion (SEP). Two collocation-based optimal control methods are used to optimize these highly-nonlinear transfers: Legendre pseudospectral and Hermite-Simpson. Transfers between DROs and halo orbits using low-thrust propulsion have not been studied previously. This paper offers a study of several families of trajectories, parameterized by the number of orbital revolutions in a synodic frame. Even with a poor initial guess, a method is described to reliably generate families of solutions. The circular restricted 3-body problem (CRTBP) is used throughout the paper so that the results are autonomous and simpler to understand.

  19. The Homoclinic and Heteroclinic Connections of Planar Symmetric Resonant Orbits in the Restricted Three-Body Earth-Moon System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Chao

    2016-07-01

    This study presents planar symmetric resonant orbits in the restricted three-body Earth-Moon system and their homoclinic and heteroclinic connections in the vicinity of the Moon are analyzed in details. In the rotating coordinate frame of the circular restricted three-body problem, there exist planar periodic orbits that appear symmetric about the line connecting the Earth and the Moon. The orbital periods of these orbits demonstrate approximately p:q resonance with respect to the Moon (a spacecraft completes p orbits while the Moon completes q orbits around the Earth in the same time interval). For a specified resonant ratio, four cases of these symmetric resonant orbits (those with resonant ratios of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:1, 2:3, 3:1, 3:2, 3:4 are presented as examples) are defined and computed in the restricted three-body Earth-Moon system. We focus our attention on those resonant orbits that pass through the vicinity of the Moon and compute the corresponding stable and unstable invariant manifolds. Poincare maps are plotted by observing the orbital states of resonant orbits at perilunes and we then identify the presence of the homoclinic connection and the heteroclinic connection. This characteristic of orbital transfers might provide a means for observing the Moon's low-latitude regions with different longitudes and the insertion into lunar orbitis not necessary. Besides, other potential utilizations of the homoclinic and heteroclinic connections for fully making use of lunar gravity assist are also discussed.

  20. Millimeter Laser Ranging to the Moon: prospects and challenges in improving the orbital and rotational dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopeikin, S.; Pavlis, E.; Pavlis, D.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements are crucial for advanced exploration of the laws of fundamental gravitational physics and geophysics as well as for future human and robotic missions to the Moon. The corner-cube reflectors (CCR) currently on the Moon require no power and still work perfectly since their installation during the project Apollo era. Current LLR technology allows us to measure distances to the Moon with a precision approaching one millimeter [1]. As NASA, ESA, and other space agencies pursues the vision of taking humans back to the Moon, new, more precise laser ranging applications will be demanded, including continuous tracking from more sites on Earth, placing new CCR arrays on the Moon, and possibly installing other devices such as transponders, etc. for multiple scientific and technical purposes [2]. Since this effort involves humans in space, then in all situations the accuracy, fidelity, and robustness of the measurements, their adequate interpretation, and any products based on them, are of utmost importance. Successful achievement of this goal strongly demands further significant improvement of the theoretical model of the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. This model should inevitably be based on the theory of general relativity, fully incorporate the relevant geophysical processes, lunar librations, tides, and should rely upon the most recent standards and recommendations of the IAU for data analysis [3]. This talk discusses theoretical ideas, methods and challenges in developing such an advanced mathematical model. The model will take into account all the classical and relativistic effects in the orbital and rotational motion of the Moon and Earth at the millimeter precision. The model is supposed to be implemented as a part of the computer code underlying NASA Goddard's orbital analysis and geophysical parameter estimation package GEODYN [4]. The new model will allow us to make more precise altimetry of

  1. Use of the moon to support on-orbit sensor calibration for climate change measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, T.C.; Kieffer, H.H.

    2006-01-01

    Production of reliable climate datasets from multiple observational measurements acquired by remote sensing satellite systems available now and in the future places stringent requirements on the stability of sensors and consistency among the instruments and platforms. Detecting trends in environmental parameters measured at solar reflectance wavelengths (0.3 to 2.5 microns) requires on-orbit instrument stability at a level of 1% over a decade. This benchmark can be attained using the Moon as a radiometric reference. The lunar calibration program at the U.S. Geological Survey has an operational model to predict the lunar spectral irradiance with precision ???1%, explicitly accounting for the effects of phase, lunar librations, and the lunar surface photometric function. A system for utilization of the Moon by on-orbit instruments has been established. With multiple lunar views taken by a spacecraft instrument, sensor response characterization with sub-percent precision over several years has been achieved. Meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) capture the Moon in operational images; applying lunar calibration to GEO visible-channel image archives has the potential to develop a climate record extending decades into the past. The USGS model and system can provide reliable transfer of calibration among instruments that have viewed the Moon as a common source. This capability will be enhanced with improvements to the USGS model absolute scale. Lunar calibration may prove essential to the critical calibration needs to cover a potential gap in observational capabilities prior to deployment of NPP/NPOESS. A key requirement is that current and future instruments observe the Moon.

  2. Moon

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ... Moon. The purpose of this acrobatic feat is to assist in the calibration of several of Terra's instruments. Over a 16-minute interval, the ... Shown here are "raw" red-band data, with no adjustments for radiometric calibration. Because the pitch rate of the spacecraft resulted in ...

  3. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission - Six years of science and exploration at the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, J. W.; Petro, N. E.; Vondrak, R. R.

    2016-07-01

    Since entering lunar orbit on June 23, 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. These measurements provide new information regarding the physical properties of the lunar surface, the lunar environment, and the location of volatiles and other resources. Scientific interpretation of these observations improves our understanding of the geologic history of the Moon, its current state, and what its history can tell us about the evolution of the Solar System. Scientific results from LRO observations overturned existing paradigms and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This paper summarizes the capabilities, measurements, and some of the science and exploration results of the first six years of the LRO mission.

  4. Operating the Dual-Orbiter GRAIL Mission to Measure the Moon's Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beerer, Joseph G.; Havens, Glen G.

    2012-01-01

    NASA's mission to measure the Moon's gravity and determine the interior structure, from crust to core, has almost completed its 3-month science data collection phase. The twin orbiters of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission were launched from Florida on September 10, 2011, on a Delta-II launch vehicle. After traveling for nearly four months on a low energy trajectory to the Moon, they were inserted into lunar orbit on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. In January 2012 a series of circularization maneuvers brought the orbiters into co-planar near-circular polar orbits. In February a distant (75- km) rendezvous was achieved and the science instruments were turned on. A dual- frequency (Ka and S-band) inter-orbiter radio link provides a precise orbiter-to-orbiter range measurement that enables the gravity field estimation. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, manages the GRAIL project. Mission management, mission planning and sequencing, and navigation are conducted at JPL. Lockheed Martin, the flight system manufacturer, operates the orbiters from their control center in Denver, Colorado. The orbiters together have performed 28 propulsive maneuvers to reach and maintain the science phase configuration. Execution of these maneuvers, as well as the payload checkout and calibration activities, has gone smoothly due to extensive pre-launch operations planning and testing. The key to the operations success has been detailed timelines for product interchange between the operations teams and proven procedures from previous JPL/LM planetary missions. Once in science phase, GRAIL benefitted from the payload operational heritage of the GRACE mission that measures the Earth's gravity.

  5. Tidal coupling of a Schwarzschild black hole and circularly orbiting moon

    SciTech Connect

    Fang Hua; Lovelace, Geoffrey

    2005-12-15

    We describe the possibility of using the laser interferometer space antenna (LISA) 's gravitational-wave observations to study, with high precision, the response of a massive central body (e.g. a black hole or a soliton star) to the tidal gravitational pull of an orbiting, compact, small-mass object (a white dwarf, neutron star, or small-mass black hole). Motivated by this LISA application, we use first-order perturbation theory to study tidal coupling for a special, idealized case: a Schwarzschild black hole of mass M, tidally perturbed by a 'moon' with mass {mu}<orbit at a radius b>>M with orbital angular velocity {omega}. We investigate the details of how the tidal deformation of the hole gives rise to an induced quadrupole moment I{sub ij} in the hole's external gravitational field at large radii, including the vicinity of the moon. In the limit that the moon is static, we find, in Schwarzschild coordinates and Regge-Wheeler gauge, the surprising result that there is no induced quadrupole moment. We show that this conclusion is gauge dependent and that the static, induced quadrupole moment for a black hole is inherently ambiguous, and we contrast this with an earlier result of Suen, which gave, in a very different gauge, a nonzero static induced quadrupole moment with a sign opposite to what one would get for a fluid central body. For the orbiting moon and the central Schwarzschild hole, we find (in agreement with a recent result of Poisson) a time-varying induced quadrupole moment that is proportional to the time derivative of the moon's tidal field, I{sub ij}=(32/45)M{sup 6}E{sub ij} and that therefore is out of phase with the tidal field by a spatial angle {pi}/4 and by a temporal phase shift {pi}/2. This induced quadrupole moment produces a gravitational force on the moon that reduces its orbital energy and angular momentum at the same rate as the moon's tidal field sends energy and angular momentum into the hole's horizon. As a partial

  6. Electric Properties of Water Ice doped with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2): Implications for Icy Moons such as Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, C.; Freund, F. T.; Cruikshank, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Large floats of ice on Jupiter's moon Europa drift and collide. The float boundaries are marked by brownish-reddish colors. The origin of these colors is poorly understood. Maybe upwelling of water along the active float boundaries brings finely divided suspended matter or organic compounds from the ocean below to the surface, where the intense, high energy environment in Jupiter's radiation belt would lead to photochemical oxidation. At the same time it has been suggested that Europa's ice contains traces of H2O2, presumably due to micro-meteorite impacts and other processes. We measured the electric currents generated in pure and H2O2-doped water ice when we subjected one end of ice blocks to uniaxial stress. Ice samples with 0%, 0.3% and 0.03% H2O2 were formed in polyethylene troughs, 4.1 x 13.5 x 3.8 cm, with Cu contacts at both ends, at 263K (-10°C), 190K (-78°C, dry ice) and 77K (-196°C,liquid N2). At 77K the ice samples detached themselves from at least one of the Cu contacts, due to thermal contraction. At 190K, when stressing one end, essentially no currents were produced in the pure water ice. By contrast, H2O2-doped ices produced several hundred picoamperes (pA) of positive currents, indicating defect electrons (holes) flowing down the stress gradient. At 263K the results are ambiguous. These (as yet preliminary) results indicate that stresses might break the peroxy bonds of imbedded H2O2 molecules, releasing the same type of positive hole charge carriers as observed during stress experiments with silicate rocks. Since positive holes are defect electrons associated with O 2sp levels at the upper edge of the valence band, they seem to have the capability to spread through the ices. Chemically positive holes are equivalent to highly oxidizing oxygen radicals. They may be responsible for oxidation reactions along the boundaries of active ice floats on Europa.

  7. A Venus-mass Planet Orbiting a Brown Dwarf: A Missing Link between Planets and Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udalski, A.; Jung, Y. K.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Kozłowski, S.; Skowron, J.; Poleski, R.; Soszyński, I.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Mróz, P.; Szymański, M. K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Maoz, D.; Kaspi, S.; Gaudi, B. S.; Hwang, K.-H.; Choi, J.-Y.; Shin, I.-G.; Park, H.; Bozza, V.

    2015-10-01

    The co-planarity of solar system planets led Kant to suggest that they formed from an accretion disk, and the discovery of hundreds of such disks around young stars as well as hundreds of co-planar planetary systems by the Kepler satellite demonstrate that this formation mechanism is extremely widespread. Many moons in the solar system, such as the Galilean moons of Jupiter, also formed out of the accretion disks that coalesced into the giant planets. Here we report the discovery of an intermediate system, OGLE-2013-BLG-0723LB/Bb, composed of a Venus-mass planet orbiting a brown dwarf, which may be viewed either as a scaled-down version of a planet plus a star or as a scaled-up version of a moon plus a planet orbiting a star. The latter analogy can be further extended since they orbit in the potential of a larger, stellar body. For ice-rock companions formed in the outer parts of accretion disks, like Uranus and Callisto, the scaled masses and separations of the three types of systems are similar, leading us to suggest that the formation processes of companions within accretion disks around stars, brown dwarfs, and planets are similar.

  8. Doubly-periodic orbits in the Sun-Earth-Moon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farohar, R.; Muhonen, D.; Dunham, D.

    1980-01-01

    A series of periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon circular restricted problem of three bodies was found which is ideally suited for exploring the Earth's geomagnetic tail. The mean apsidal motion of the basic highly elliptical Earth orbit was maintained at about one degree per day by a sequence of lunar swingbys, keeping the apogees in the anti-Sun direction. The orbits were periodic in reference frames rotating at both lunar and solar rates. Apogee distances were alternately raised and lowered by the lunar swingby maneuvers. Several categories of these Sun-synchronous double lunar swingby orbits were identified. The strength and flexibility of this trajectory concept was demonstrated with real world simulations.

  9. The Earth transiting the Sun as seen from Jupiter's moons: detection of an inverse Rossiter-McLaughlin effect produced by the opposition surge of the icy Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaro, P.; Barbieri, M.; Monaco, L.; Zaggia, S.; Lovis, C.

    2015-10-01

    We report on a multiwavelength observational campaign which followed the Earth's transit on the Sun as seen from Jupiter on 2014 January 2014. Simultaneous observations of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede obtained with high accuracy radial velocity planetary searcher (HARPS) from La Silla, Chile and HARPS-N from La Palma, Canary Islands were performed to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect due to the Earth's passage using the same technique successfully adopted for the 2012 Venus Transit. The expected modulation in radial velocities was of ≈20 cm s-1 but an anomalous drift as large as ≈38 m s-1, i.e. more than two orders of magnitude higher and opposite in sign, was detected instead. The consistent behaviour of the two spectrographs rules out instrumental origin of the radial velocity drift and Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network observations rule out the possible dependence on the Sun's magnetic activity. We suggest that this anomaly is produced by the opposition surge on Europa's icy surface, which amplifies the intensity of the solar radiation from a portion of the solar surface centred around the crossing Earth which can then be observed as a sort of inverse Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. in fact, a simplified model of this effect can explain in detail most features of the observed radial velocity anomalies, namely the extensions before and after the transit, the small differences between the two observatories and the presence of a secondary peak closer to Earth passage. This phenomenon, observed here for the first time, should be observed every time similar Earth alignments occur with rocky bodies without atmospheres. We predict that it should be observed again during the next conjunction of Earth and Jupiter in 2026.

  10. Comparing the roughness of the Moon from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) to asteroids and planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnouin-Jha, O. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Oberst, J.; Head, J. W.; Lucey, P. G.; Robinson, M. S.; Duxbury, T. C.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is a unique instrument that measures the topography of Moon at vertical resolutions of 10 cm and horizontal resolutions of 25 m over 1000s of km. These data are used to compute the fractal roughness of the surface of the Moon at horizontal scales that overlap similar altimetry collected at the asteroids 25143 Itokawa and 433 Eros, and the planets Mercury and Mars. This comparative analysis provides new insights on the processes that create fractal versus non-fractal topography on the Moon. 2>0.5 where e is the elevation, and s is the distance between altimetric points. For fractal structures, σ obeys σ= Ch(B/Bo)H where Bo = 1 m, and Ch is a normalizing constant. The quantity H is called the Hurst exponent. 50 m, the Moon is significantly rougher than the rubble pile asteroid Itokawa. However, extrapolating the fractal distributions observed on the Moon to B~1m, the value of σ approximates those computed for the very smooth Muses-C regio on Itokawa, where on average <1m changes in elevation are seen over 5 m of lateral displacements. This is equivalent to slopes<12°. 10km). One possible explanation for this loss may be due to gravitational forces that limit the formation of topography in excess of 3-5 km. Gravity slows the construction of large topography by volcanism and enhances any fluvial erosional processes on Mars for example. Furthermore, the formation of broad (>15km) but shallow complex craters relative to small but simple bowl shaped ones occurs because the topography of large transient craters (>10 km on the Moon) cannot be maintained by the strength of the crustal rocks and collapse due to gravity.

  11. Dynamical Sequestration of the Moon-Forming Impactor in Co-Orbital Resonance with Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kortenkamp, Stephen J.; Hartmann, William J.

    2015-11-01

    Recent concerns about the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the moon, and an associated “isotope crisis” are assuaged if the impactor was a local object that formed near Earth and the impact occurred relatively late. We investigated a scenario that may meet these criteria, with the moon-forming impactor originating in 1:1 co-orbital resonance with Earth. Using N-body numerical simulations we explored the dynamical consequences of placing Mars-mass companions in various co-orbital configurations with a proto-Earth having 90% of its current mass. We modeled configurations that include the four terrestrial planets as well as configurations that also include the four giant planets. In both the 4- and 8-planet models we found that a single additional Mars-mass companion typically remains a stable co-orbital of Earth for the entire 250 million year (Myr) duration of our simulations (33 of 34 simulations). In an effort to destabilize such a system we carried out an additional 45 simulations that included a second Mars-mass co-orbital companion. Even with two Mars-mass companions sharing Earth’s orbit most of these models (28) also remained stable for the entire 250 Myr duration of the simulations. Of the 17 two-companion models that eventually became unstable 12 impacts were observed between Earth and an escaping co-orbital companion. The average delay we observed for an impact of a Mars-mass companion with Earth was 101 Myr, and the longest delay was 221 Myr. Several of the stable simulations involved unusual 3-planet co-orbital configurations that could exhibit interesting observational signatures in plantetary transit surveys.

  12. Mars Phobos and Deimos Survey (M-PADS) - a Martian Moons Orbiter and Phobos Lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, A. J.; Price, M. E.; Walker, R. J.; Dando, G. C.; Wells, N. S.; Zarnecki, J. C.

    We describe a Mars `Micro Mission' for detailed study of the martian satellites Phobos and Deimos. The mission involves two mini-spacecraft equipped with solar electric propulsion to reach Mars orbit. Two spacecraft are stacked for launch: an orbiter for remote investigation of the moons and in situ studies of their environment in Mars orbit, and another carrying a lander for in situ measurements on the surface of Phobos (or alternatively Deimos). Phobos and Deimos remain only partially studied, and Deimos less well than Phobos. Mars has almost always been the primary mission objective, while the more dedicated Phobos project (1988-89) failed to realise its full potential. Many questions remain concerning the moons' origins, evolution, physical nature and composition. Current missions such as Mars Express are due to extend our knowledge of Phobos in some areas but largely neglect Deimos. The objectives of M-PADS focus on: origins and evolution, interactions with Mars, volatiles and interiors, surface features, and differences. The consequent measurement requirements imply both landed and remote sensing payloads. M-PADS is expected to accommodate a 60 kg orbital payload and a 16 kg lander payload.

  13. Polyhedral representation of invariant manifolds applied to orbit transfers in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontani, Mauro; Teofilatto, Paolo

    2016-02-01

    Recently, manifold dynamics has assumed an increasing relevance for analysis and design of low-energy missions, both in the Earth-Moon system and in alternative multibody environments. This work proposes and describes an intuitive polyhedral interpolative approach for each state component associated with manifold trajectories, both in two and in three dimensions. An adequate grid of data, coming from the numerical propagation of a finite number of manifold trajectories, is employed. Accuracy of this representation is evaluated with reference to the invariant manifolds associated with a two-dimensional Lyapunov orbit and a three-dimensional Halo orbit, and is proven to be satisfactory, with the exclusion of limited regions of the manifolds. As a first, preliminary application, the polyhedral interpolation technique allows identifying the orbits in the proximity of the interior collinear libration point as either asymptotic, transit, or bouncing trajectories. Then, two applications to orbital maneuvering are addressed. First, the globally optimal two-impulse transfer between a specified low Earth orbit and a Lyapunov orbit (through its stable manifold) is determined. Second, the minimum-time low-thrust transfer from the same terminal orbits is found using again the stable manifold. These applications prove the effectiveness of the polyhedral interpolative technique and represent the premise for its application also to different problems involving invariant manifold dynamics.

  14. Identification of New Orbits to Enable Future Missions for the Exploration of the Martian Moon Phobos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamaro, Mattia; Biggs, James D.

    One of the paramount stepping stones towards NASA's long-term goal of undertaking human missions to Mars is the exploration of the Martian moons. In this paper, a showcase of various classes of non-Keplerian orbits are identified and a number of potential mission applications in the Mars-Phobos system are proposed. These applications include: low-thrust hovering around Phobos for close-range observations; Libration Point Orbits in enhanced three-body dynamics to enable unique low-cost operations for space missions in the proximity of Phobos; their manifold structure for high-performance landing/take-off maneuvers to and from Phobos' surface; Quasi-Satellite Orbits for long-period station-keeping and maintenance. In particular, these orbits could exploit Phobos' occulting bulk as a passive radiation shield during future manned flights to Mars to reduce human exposure to radiation. Moreover, the latter orbits can be used as an orbital garage, requiring no orbital maintenance, where a spacecraft could make planned pit-stops during a round-trip mission to Mars.

  15. NPP VIIRS On-Orbit Calibration and Characterization Using the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, J.; Xiong, X.; Butler, J.

    2012-01-01

    The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of five instruments on-board the Suomi National Polar orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2011. VIIRS has been scheduled to view the Moon approximately monthly with a spacecraft roll maneuver after its NADIR door open on November 21, 2011. To reduce the uncertainty of the radiometric calibration due to the view geometry, the lunar phase angles of the scheduled lunar observations were confined in the range from -56 deg to -55 deg in the first three scheduled lunar observations and then changed to the range from -51.5 deg to -50.5 deg, where the negative sign for the phase angles indicates that the VIIRS views a waxing moon. Unlike the MODIS lunar observations, most scheduled VIIRS lunar views occur on the day side of the Earth. For the safety of the instrument, the roll angles of the scheduled VIIRS lunar observations are required to be within [-14 deg, 0 deg] and the aforementioned change of the phase angle range was aimed to further minimize the roll angle required for each lunar observation while keeping the number of months in which the moon can be viewed by the VIIRS instrument each year unchanged. The lunar observations can be used to identify if there is crosstalk in VIIRS bands and to track on-orbit changes in VIIRS Reflective Solar Bands (RSB) detector gains. In this paper, we report our results using the lunar observations to examine the on-orbit crosstalk effects among NPP VIIRS bands, to track the VIIRS RSB gain changes in first few months on-orbit, and to compare the gain changes derived from lunar and SD/SDSM calibration.

  16. Apollo 16 view of moon taken with Fairchild metric mapping camera in orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    A newly-analyzed photograph of the southwest quadrant of the Moon with an overlay indicating where the launch vehicle stages from two Apollo missions, 13 and 14, hit the lunar surface. This is the first time two S-IVB stage impact points have been located in a single photo. The S-IVB stage is the thrid stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle. The Riphaeus Mountains run northward between the two impact points. The fresh, raised-rim crater at center left is Euclides; and the largest crater near the horizon at upper left is Landberg. The mare area at lower right is the Known Sea. The photograph was taken by the Apollo 16 Fairchild metric mapping camera in lunar orbit, at a 40-degree north oblique angle. The picture was taken during the Apollo 16 Command/Service Module's 59th revolution of the Moon, at an altitude of 124 kilometers. The Sun elevation was 18 degrees.

  17. Evidence of recent thrust faulting on the Moon revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

    PubMed

    Watters, Thomas R; Robinson, Mark S; Beyer, Ross A; Banks, Maria E; Bell, James F; Pritchard, Matthew E; Hiesinger, Harald; van der Bogert, Carolyn H; Thomas, Peter C; Turtle, Elizabeth P; Williams, Nathan R

    2010-08-20

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images reveal previously undetected lobate thrust-fault scarps and associated meter-scale secondary tectonic landforms that include narrow extensional troughs or graben, splay faults, and multiple low-relief terraces. Lobate scarps are among the youngest landforms on the Moon, based on their generally crisp appearance, lack of superposed large-diameter impact craters, and the existence of crosscut small-diameter impact craters. Identification of previously known scarps was limited to high-resolution Apollo Panoramic Camera images confined to the equatorial zone. Fourteen lobate scarps were identified, seven of which are at latitudes greater than +/-60 degrees, indicating that the thrust faults are globally distributed. This detection, coupled with the very young apparent age of the faults, suggests global late-stage contraction of the Moon. PMID:20724632

  18. Discussion paper on environmental hazards on the Moon, in low Earth orbit, and in low Mars orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Heiken, G.

    1990-09-01

    In a lunar base era, potential problems with dust will be serious. Lunar soils, which make up most of the regolith that covers the Moon's surface, are similar to silty sands on Earth, with mean grain sizes of 45--100 {mu}m. Lunar dust has very low electrical conductivity and dielectric losses, permitting accumulation of electric charge under ultraviolet irradiation. Dust coatings cover thermally-sensitive surfaces, windows and visors, clog moving parts, and create continual abrasion hazards. Reduced gravity on the Moon favors the stability of aerosolized lunar soil and thereby will prolong its availability for inhalation if it is not removed from habitat atmosphere by filtration systems. Some of the other hazards that must be considered include: Perception; on the lunar surface it is difficult to judge topographic details and distances, and Micrometeoroid impact; new materials are needed to protect astronauts and equipment at a lunar base. Spacecraft in low orbits around Earth and Mars experience strong chemical interactions where O{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} are photodissociated by sunlight. A ground-based facility at Los Alamos can be used to test these chemical interactions with materials proposed for use in spacecraft and satellites. Another component of the space exploration initiative is the environmental effects posed by man on the tenuous lunar and martian atmospheres. Before significant development occurs on these planets, these atmospheres must be measured. Orbiting sensors designed to measure these atmospheres can also be used to search for water.

  19. A Dynamical System Approach to Orbit Down-Selection of Earth-Moon Autonomous Navigation Constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villac, Benjamin; Chow, Channing; Lo, Martin; Hintz, Gerald

    2011-07-01

    The article develops a method for the exploration of a concept of autonomous navigation constellations in the Earth-Moon system. This concept consists of using autonomous GPS-like beacons on three-body periodic orbits to provide navigation services to an end-user in the larger Earth-Moon neighborhood. The autonomy of the constellation spacecraft would be achieved using LiAISON navigation as introduced by Hill, Born, and Lo. The article focuses on the problem of orbit down-selection for such a concept, which is approached by formulating an optimization problem. The discussion of potential cost functions and the resulting simplifications of the problem are addressed. A continuation based method that leverages the structure of periodic orbits in the circular restricted three-body problem is then proposed to analyze the problem. The method allows notably for a succinct representation of the solution space as a one-dimensional graph that highlights local and global extrema of the optimization problem. Illustration of the method using a simplified down-selection metric is discussed to balance the strengths and limitations of the approach.

  20. NPP VIIRS on-orbit calibration and characterization using the moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, J.; Xiong, X.; Butler, J.

    2012-09-01

    The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of five instruments on-board the Suomi National Polarorbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2011. VIIRS has been scheduled to view the Moon approximately monthly with a spacecraft roll maneuver after its NADIR door open on November 21, 2012. To reduce the uncertainty of the radiometric calibration due to the view geometry, the lunar phase angles of the scheduled lunar observations were confined in the range from -56° to -55° in the first three scheduled lunar observations and then changed to the range from -51.5° to -50.5°, where the negative sign for the phase angles indicates that the VIIRS views a waxing moon. Unlike the MODIS lunar observations, most scheduled VIIRS lunar views occur on the day side of the Earth. For the safety of the instrument, the roll angles of the scheduled VIIRS lunar observations are required to be within [-14°, 0°] and the aforementioned change of the phase angle range was aimed to further minimize the roll angle required for each lunar observation while keeping the number of months in which the moon can be viewed by the VIIRS instrument each year unchanged. The lunar observations can be used to identify if there is crosstalk in VIIRS bands and to track on-orbit changes in VIIRS Reflective Solar Bands (RSB) detector gains. In this paper, we report our results using the lunar observations to examine the on-orbit crosstalk effects among NPP VIIRS bands, to track the VIIRS RSB gain changes in first few months on-orbit, and to compare the gain changes derived from lunar and SD/SDSM calibration.

  1. On-Orbit Cross-Calibration of AM Satellite Remote Sensing Instruments using the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, James J.; Kieffer, Hugh H.; Barnes, Robert A.; Stone, Thomas C.

    2003-01-01

    On April 14,2003, three Earth remote sensing spacecraft were maneuvered enabling six satellite instruments operating in the visible through shortwave infrared wavelength region to view the Moon for purposes of on-orbit cross-calibration. These instruments included the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) radiometer on the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra spacecraft, the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) and Hyperion instrument on Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft, and the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) on the SeaStar spacecraft. Observations of the Moon were compared using a spectral photometric mode for lunar irradiance developed by the Robotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) project located at the United States Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. The ROLO model effectively accounts for variations in lunar irradiance corresponding to lunar phase and libration angles, allowing intercomparison of observations made by instruments on different spacecraft under different time and location conditions. The spacecraft maneuvers necessary to view the Moon are briefly described and results of using the lunar irradiance model in comparing the radiometric calibration scales of the six satellite instruments are presented here.

  2. A possible space VLBI constellation utilizing the stable orbits around the TLPs in the Earth-Moon system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Bin; Tang, Jingshi; Hou, Xiyun

    2016-07-01

    Current studies indicate that there are stable orbits around but far away from the triangular libration points .Two special quasi-periodic orbits around each triangular libration points L4 , L5 in the Earth-Moon sys-tem perturbed by Sun are gain , and the stable orbits discussed in this work are ideal places for space colonies because no orbit control is needed. These stable orbits can also be used as nominal orbits for space VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) stations. The two stations can also form baselines with stations on the Earth and the Moon, or with stations located around another TLP. Due to the long distance between the stations, the observation precision can be greatly enhanced compared with the VLBI stations on the Earth. Such a VLBI constellation not only can advance the radio astronomy, but also can be used as a navigation system for human activities in the Earth-Moon system and even in the solar system. This paper will focus on the navigation constellation coverage issues, and the orbit determination accuracy problems within the Earth-Moon sys-tem and interplanetary space.

  3. Tidal coupling of a Schwarzschild black hole and circularly orbiting moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Hua; Lovelace, Geoffrey

    2005-12-01

    We describe the possibility of using the laser interferometer space antenna (LISA) ’s gravitational-wave observations to study, with high precision, the response of a massive central body (e.g. a black hole or a soliton star) to the tidal gravitational pull of an orbiting, compact, small-mass object (a white dwarf, neutron star, or small-mass black hole). Motivated by this LISA application, we use first-order perturbation theory to study tidal coupling for a special, idealized case: a Schwarzschild black hole of mass M, tidally perturbed by a “moon” with mass μ≪M in a circular orbit at a radius b≫M with orbital angular velocity Ω. We investigate the details of how the tidal deformation of the hole gives rise to an induced quadrupole moment Iij in the hole’s external gravitational field at large radii, including the vicinity of the moon. In the limit that the moon is static, we find, in Schwarzschild coordinates and Regge-Wheeler gauge, the surprising result that there is no induced quadrupole moment. We show that this conclusion is gauge dependent and that the static, induced quadrupole moment for a black hole is inherently ambiguous, and we contrast this with an earlier result of Suen, which gave, in a very different gauge, a nonzero static induced quadrupole moment with a sign opposite to what one would get for a fluid central body. For the orbiting moon and the central Schwarzschild hole, we find (in agreement with a recent result of Poisson) a time-varying induced quadrupole moment that is proportional to the time derivative of the moon’s tidal field, Iij=(32/45)M6E˙ij and that therefore is out of phase with the tidal field by a spatial angle π/4 and by a temporal phase shift π/2. This induced quadrupole moment produces a gravitational force on the moon that reduces its orbital energy and angular momentum at the same rate as the moon’s tidal field sends energy and angular momentum into the hole’s horizon. As a partial analog of a result

  4. Overview of a Preliminary Destination Mission Concept for a Human Orbital Mission to the Martial Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazanek, D. D.; Abell, P. A.; Antol, J.; Barbee, B. W.; Beaty, D. W.; Bass, D. S.; Castillo-Rogez, J. C.; Coan, D. A.; Colaprete, A.; Daugherty, K. J.; Drake, B. G.; Earle, K. D.; Graham, L. D.; Hembree, R. M.; Hoffman, S. J.; Jefferies, S. A.; Lupisella, M. L.; Reeves, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) has been developing a preliminary Destination Mission Concept (DMC) to assess how a human orbital mission to one or both of the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, might be conducted as a follow-on to a human mission to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and as a possible preliminary step prior to a human landing on Mars. The HAT Mars-Phobos-Deimos (MPD) mission also permits the teleoperation of robotic systems by the crew while in the Mars system. The DMC development activity provides an initial effort to identify the science and exploration objectives and investigate the capabilities and operations concepts required for a human orbital mission to the Mars system. In addition, the MPD Team identified potential synergistic opportunities via prior exploration of other destinations currently under consideration.

  5. Quantum effects on Lagrangian points and displaced periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battista, Emmanuele; Dell'Agnello, Simone; Esposito, Giampiero; Simo, Jules

    2015-04-01

    Recent work in the literature has shown that the one-loop long distance quantum corrections to the Newtonian potential imply tiny but observable effects in the restricted three-body problem of celestial mechanics; i.e., at the Lagrangian libration points of stable equilibrium, the planetoid is not exactly at an equal distance from the two bodies of large mass, but the Newtonian values of its coordinates are changed by a few millimeters in the Earth-Moon system. First, we assess such a theoretical calculation by exploiting the full theory of the quintic equation, i.e., its reduction to Bring-Jerrard form and the resulting expression of roots in terms of generalized hypergeometric functions. By performing the numerical analysis of the exact formulas for the roots, we confirm and slightly improve the theoretical evaluation of quantum corrected coordinates of Lagrangian libration points of stable equilibrium. Second, we prove in detail that for collinear Lagrangian points the quantum corrections are also of the same order of magnitude in the Earth-Moon system. Third, we discuss the prospects of measuring, with the help of laser ranging, the above departure from the equilateral triangle picture, which is a challenging task. On the other hand, a modern version of the planetoid is the solar sail, and much progress has been made, in recent years, on the displaced periodic orbits of solar sails at all libration points, both stable and unstable. Therefore, the present paper investigates, eventually, a restricted three-body problem involving Earth, the Moon, and a solar sail. By taking into account the one-loop quantum corrections to the Newtonian potential, displaced periodic orbits of the solar sail at libration points are again found to exist.

  6. Mars Phobos and Deimos Survey (M-PADS) A martian Moons orbiter and Phobos lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Andrew J.; Price, Michael E.; Walker, Roger J.; Dando, Glyn C.; Wells, Nigel S.; Zarnecki, John C.

    2009-01-01

    We describe a Mars ‘Micro Mission’ for detailed study of the martian satellites Phobos and Deimos. The mission involves two ˜330 kg spacecraft equipped with solar electric propulsion to reach Mars orbit. The two spacecraft are stacked for launch: an orbiter for remote investigation of the moons and in situ studies of their environment in Mars orbit, and another carrying a lander for in situ measurements on the surface of Phobos (or alternatively Deimos). Phobos and Deimos remain only partially studied, and Deimos less well than Phobos. Mars has almost always been the primary mission objective, while the more dedicated Phobos project (1988 89) failed to realise its full potential. Many questions remain concerning the moons’ origins, evolution, physical nature and composition. Current missions, such as Mars Express, are extending our knowledge of Phobos in some areas but largely neglect Deimos. The objectives of M-PADS focus on: origins and evolution, interactions with Mars, volatiles and interiors, surface features, and differences. The consequent measurement requirements imply both landed and remote sensing payloads. M-PADS is expected to accommodate a 60 kg orbital payload and a 16 kg lander payload. M-PADS resulted from a BNSC-funded study carried out in 2003 to define candidate Mars Micro Mission concepts for ESA’s Aurora programme.

  7. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission: Seven Years at the Moon - Accomplishments, Data, and Future Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petro, Noah; Keller, John

    2016-07-01

    The LRO Spacecraft has been orbiting the Moon for over 7 years (~91 lunations), and in that time data from the seven instruments has contributed to a revolution in our understanding of the Moon. Since launch the mission goals and instruments science questions have evolved, from the initial characterization of the lunar surface and its environment to studying the variability of surface hydration and measuring the flux of new craters that have formed during LRO's time in lunar orbit. The growing LRO dataset in the PDS presents a unique archive that allows for an unprecedented opportunity to study how an airless body changes over time. The LRO instrument suite [1] is performing nominally, with no significant performance issues since the mission entered the current extended mission. The Mini-RF instrument team is investigating new methods for collecting bistatic data using an Earth-based X-band transmitter [2] during a possible upcoming extended mission starting in September 2016, pending NASA approval. The LRO spacecraft has been in an elliptical, polar orbit with a low perilune over the South Pole since December 2011. This orbit minimizes annual fuel consumption, enabling LRO to use fuel to maximize opportunities for obtaining unique science (e.g., lunar eclipse measurements from Diviner, measuring spacecraft impacts by GRAIL and LADEE). The LRO instrument teams deliver data to the PDS every three months, data that includes raw, calibrated, and gridded/map products [3]. As of January, over 681TB has been archived. These higher-level data products include a number of resources that are useful for mission planners, in addition to planetary scientists. A focus of the mission has been on the South Pole, therefore a number of special products (e.g., illumination maps, high resolution topography, hydration maps) are available. Beyond the poles, high-resolution (~1-2 m spatial resolution) topographic products are available for select areas, as well as maps of rock abundance

  8. Recent extensional tectonics on the Moon revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Robinson, Mark S.; Banks, Maria E.; Tran, Thanh; Denevi, Brett W.

    2012-03-01

    Large-scale expressions of lunar tectonics--contractional wrinkle ridges and extensional rilles or graben--are directly related to stresses induced by mare basalt-filled basins. Basin-related extensional tectonic activity ceased about 3.6 Gyr ago, whereas contractional tectonics continued until about 1.2 Gyr ago. In the lunar highlands, relatively young contractional lobate scarps, less than 1 Gyr in age, were first identified in Apollo-era photographs. However, no evidence of extensional landforms was found beyond the influence of mare basalt-filled basins and floor-fractured craters. Here we identify previously undetected small-scale graben in the farside highlands and in the mare basalts in images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Crosscut impact craters with diameters as small as about 10m, a lack of superposed craters, and graben depths as shallow as ~1m suggest these pristine-appearing graben are less than 50 Myr old. Thus, the young graben indicate recent extensional tectonic activity on the Moon where extensional stresses locally exceeded compressional stresses. We propose that these findings may be inconsistent with a totally molten early Moon, given that thermal history models for this scenario predict a high level of late-stage compressional stress that might be expected to completely suppress the formation of graben.

  9. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Six Years of Science and Exploration at the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, John W.; Petro, Noah E.; McClanahan, Timothy P.; Vondrak, Richard R.

    2015-11-01

    The LRO mission, currently in an extended mission phase, is producing a remotely sensed dataset that is unrivaled in planetary science. With an ever-increasing baseline of measurements the LRO data has revealed the Moon’s surface and environment to be dynamic, with new craters and distal ejecta, variations in volatiles at and near the surface, a variable exosphere, and a surface that responds to variations in the flux of radiation from the Sun. Taken together the LRO dataset has significant value in forming how we understand airless bodies work in the Solar System and how planets evolve. We will discuss recent observations from the mission including, geologically recent volcanism, contemparay impacts, and polar volatiles.We will also discuss the mission's support of future exploration of the Moon. As initially conceived, one of the primary objectives for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was to identify safe landing sites for future human and robotic exploration, and LRO mission remains capable of targeted high resolution observations to support the planning of future robotic missions to the Moon. The LRO team seeks to engage with mission planners to discuss LRO's enabaling capabilities.

  10. On-orbit radiometric calibration over time and between spacecraft using the moon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kieffer, H.H.; Stone, T.C.; Barnes, R.A.; Bender, S.; Eplee, R.E.; Mendenhall, J.; Ong, L.; ,

    2002-01-01

    The Robotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) project has developed a spectral irradiance model of the Moon that accounts for variations with lunar phase through the bright half of a month, lunar librations, and the location of an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. The methodology of comparing spacecraft observations of the Moon with this model has been developed to a set of standardized procedures so that comparisons can be readily made. In the cases where observations extend over several years (e.g., SeaWiFS), instrument response degradation has been determined with precision of about 0.1% per year. Because of the strong dependence of lunar irradiance on geometric angles, observations by two spacecraft cannot be directly compared unless acquired at the same time and location. Rather, the lunar irradiance based on each spacecraft instrument calibration can be compared with the lunar irradiance model. Even single observations by an instrument allow inter-comparison of its radiometric scale with other instruments participating in the lunar calibration program. Observations by SeaWiFS, ALI, Hyperion and MTI are compared here.

  11. Measurement of Surface Composition for the Icy Galilean Moons Via Neutral and Ion Mass Spectrometry from Orbit with JIMO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, M.; Berthelier, J.; Carlson, R.; Cooper, J.; Johnson, R.; Jurac, S.; Leblanc, F.; Shematovich, V.

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we will provide insights into mass spectrometer requirements. In addition, we will describe the modeling of the neutrals ejected from likely surface materials and their ionization rates in the Jovian environment. We will use such models to connect the mass spectra measurements of the freshly formed ions to surface composition. We will also discuss what possible compositional signatures are for endogenic materials other than water ice. Finally, since a goal is to identify material composition with surface features, we will describe the transport of neutrals ejected from the surface prior to detection by either an ion or neutral mass spectrometer.

  12. Tidal Friction, the Effect of Oceans on the Secular Variation of the Inclination and Eccentricity of the Moon's Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostelecky, J.

    Procedures of astrodynamics are used to calculate the actual values of the secular variation of the inclination and eccentricity of the Moon's orbit due to ocean tides. The ocean tide data were taken from the resolution of the ocean tide potential into spherical functions based on cotidal maps.

  13. Dynamical sequestration of the Moon-forming impactor in co-orbital resonance with Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kortenkamp, Stephen J.; Hartmann, William K.

    2016-09-01

    Recent concerns about the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the Moon, and an associated "isotope crisis" may be assuaged if the impactor was a local object that formed near Earth. We investigated a scenario that may meet this criterion, with protoplanets assumed to originate in 1:1 co-orbital resonance with Earth. Using N-body numerical simulations we explored the dynamical consequences of placing Mars-mass companions in various co-orbital configurations with a proto-Earth of 0.9 Earth-masses (M⊕). We modeled 162 different configurations, some with just the four terrestrial planets and others that included the four giant planets. In both the 4- and 8-planet models we found that a single Mars-mass companion typically remained a stable co-orbital of Earth for the entire 250 million year (Myr) duration of our simulations (59 of 68 unique simulations). In an effort to destabilize such a system we carried out an additional 94 simulations that included a second Mars-mass co-orbital companion. Even with two Mars-mass companions sharing Earth's orbit about two-thirds of these models (66) also remained stable for the entire 250 Myr duration of the simulations. Of the 28 2-companion models that eventually became unstable 24 impacts were observed between Earth and an escaping co-orbital companion. The average delay we observed for an impact of a Mars-mass companion with Earth was 102 Myr, and the longest delay was 221 Myr. In 40% of the 8-planet models that became unstable (10 out of 25) Earth collided with the nearly equal mass Venus to form a super-Earth (loosely defined here as mass ≥1.7 M⊕). These impacts were typically the final giant impact in the system and often occurred after Earth and/or Venus has accreted one or more of the other large objects. Several of the stable configurations involved unusual 3-planet hierarchical co-orbital systems.

  14. Identification of new orbits to enable future mission opportunities for the human exploration of the Martian moon Phobos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamaro, Mattia; Biggs, James D.

    2016-02-01

    One of the paramount stepping stones towards NASA's long-term goal of undertaking human missions to Mars is the exploration of the Martian moons. Since a precursor mission to Phobos would be easier than landing on Mars itself, NASA is targeting this moon for future exploration, and ESA has also announced Phootprint as a candidate Phobos sample-and-return mission. Orbital dynamics around small planetary satellites are particularly complex because many strong perturbations are involved, and the classical circular restricted three-body problem (R3BP) does not provide an accurate approximation to describe the system's dynamics. Phobos is a special case, since the combination of a small mass-ratio and length-scale means that the sphere-of-influence of the moon moves very close to its surface. Thus, an accurate nonlinear model of a spacecraft's motion in the vicinity of this moon must consider the additional perturbations due to the orbital eccentricity and the complete gravity field of Phobos, which is far from a spherical-shaped body, and it is incorporated into an elliptic R3BP using the gravity harmonics series-expansion (ER3BP-GH). In this paper, a showcase of various classes of non-keplerian orbits is identified and a number of potential mission applications in the Mars-Phobos system are proposed: these results could be exploited in upcoming unmanned missions targeting the exploration of this Martian moon. These applications include: low-thrust hovering and orbits around Phobos for close-range observations; the dynamical substitutes of periodic and quasi-periodic Libration Point Orbits in the ER3BP-GH to enable unique low-cost operations for space missions in the proximity of Phobos; their manifold structure for high-performance landing/take-off maneuvers to and from Phobos' surface and for transfers from and to Martian orbits; Quasi-Satellite Orbits for long-period station-keeping and maintenance. In particular, these orbits could exploit Phobos' occulting bulk

  15. Moonlet induced wakes in planetary rings: Analytical model including eccentric orbits of moon and ring particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seiß, M.; Spahn, F.; Schmidt, Jürgen

    2010-11-01

    Saturn's rings host two known moons, Pan and Daphnis, which are massive enough to clear circumferential gaps in the ring around their orbits. Both moons create wake patterns at the gap edges by gravitational deflection of the ring material (Cuzzi, J.N., Scargle, J.D. [1985]. Astrophys. J. 292, 276-290; Showalter, M.R., Cuzzi, J.N., Marouf, E.A., Esposito, L.W. [1986]. Icarus 66, 297-323). New Cassini observations revealed that these wavy edges deviate from the sinusoidal waveform, which one would expect from a theory that assumes a circular orbit of the perturbing moon and neglects particle interactions. Resonant perturbations of the edges by moons outside the ring system, as well as an eccentric orbit of the embedded moon, may partly explain this behavior (Porco, C.C., and 34 colleagues [2005]. Science 307, 1226-1236; Tiscareno, M.S., Burns, J.A., Hedman, M.M., Spitale, J.N., Porco, C.C., Murray, C.D., and the Cassini Imaging team [2005]. Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 37, 767; Weiss, J.W., Porco, C.C., Tiscareno, M.S., Burns, J.A., Dones, L. [2005]. Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 37, 767; Weiss, J.W., Porco, C.C., Tiscareno, M.S. [2009]. Astron. J. 138, 272-286). Here we present an extended non-collisional streamline model which accounts for both effects. We describe the resulting variations of the density structure and the modification of the nonlinearity parameter q. Furthermore, an estimate is given for the applicability of the model. We use the streamwire model introduced by Stewart (Stewart, G.R. [1991]. Icarus 94, 436-450) to plot the perturbed ring density at the gap edges. We apply our model to the Keeler gap edges undulated by Daphnis and to a faint ringlet in the Encke gap close to the orbit of Pan. The modulations of the latter ringlet, induced by the perturbations of Pan (Burns, J.A., Hedman, M.M., Tiscareno, M.S., Nicholson, P.D., Streetman, B.J., Colwell, J.E., Showalter, M.R., Murray, C.D., Cuzzi, J.N., Porco, C.C., and the Cassini ISS team [2005]. Bull. Am

  16. Experimental determination of salt partition coefficients between aqueous fluids, ice VI and ice VII: implication for the composition of the deep ocean and the geodynamics of large icy moons and water rich planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Journaux, Baptiste; Daniel, Isabelle; Cardon, Hervé; Petitgirard, Sylvain; Perrillat, Jean-Philippe; Caracas, Razvan; Mezouar, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    The potential habitability of extraterrestrial large aqueous reservoir in icy moons and exoplanets requires an input of nutrients and chemicals that may come from the rocky part of planetary body. Because of the presence of high pressure (HP) water ices (VI, VII, etc.) between the liquid ocean and the silicates, such interactions are considered to be limited in large icy moons, like Ganymede and Titan, and water rich exoplanets. In the case of salty-rich oceans, recent experimental and modeling works have shown that aqueous fluids can be stable at higher pressures [1, 2]. This can ultimately allow direct interaction with the rocky core of icy moons. This effect is nevertheless limited and for larger bodies such as water rich exoplanets with much higher pressures in their hydrosphere, HP ice should be present between the rocky core and a putative ocean. Salts are highly incompatible with low pressure ice Ih, but recent experimental work has shown that alkali metal and halogen salts are moderately incompatible with ice VII, that can incorporate up to several mol/kg of salts [3, 4, 5]. As far as we know, no similar study has been done on ice VI, a HP ice phase expected inside large icy moons. We present here the first experimental data on the partition coefficient of RbI salt between aqueous fluids, ice VI and ice VII using in-situ synchrotron X-Ray single crystal diffraction and X-Ray fluorescence mapping (ESRF - ID-27 beam line [6]). Our experiment enable us to observe a density inversion between ice VI and the salty fluid, and to measure the values of salt partition coefficients between the aqueous fluid and ice VI (strongly incompatible) and ice VII (moderately incompatible). Using the volumes determined with X-Ray diffraction, we were able to measure the density of salty ice VI and ice VII and determine that salty ice VI is lighter than pure H2O ice VI. These results are very relevant for the study of water rich planetary bodies interior because the partition

  17. Formation and evolution of a circumterrestrial disk Constraints on the origin of the moon in geocentric orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, Floyd; Davis, Donald R.; Weidenschilling, Stuart J.

    1986-01-01

    A data base of about 25,000 numerically integrated trajectories of earth-encountering planetesimals is used to study the angular momentum problem of forming the moon out of material captured into a circumterrestrial disk from heliocentric orbits. Mass-orbital element distributions of incoming planetesimals are combined with this data base to calculate, as a function of distance from earth, the net geocentric specific angular momentum of disk-encountering material on heliocentric orbits. Results suggest that a permanent disk population is not possible.

  18. Exploring the Moon at High-Resolution: First Results From the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Mark; Hiesinger, Harald; McEwen, Alfred; Jolliff, Brad; Thomas, Peter C.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Eliason, Eric; Malin, Mike; Ravine, A.; Bowman-Cisneros, Ernest

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V 401 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 on June 18, 2009. After spending four days in Earth-Moon transit, the spacecraft entered a three month commissioning phase in an elliptical 30×200 km orbit. On September 15, 2009, LRO began its planned one-year nominal mapping mission in a quasi-circular 50 km orbit. A multi-year extended mission in a fixed 30×200 km orbit is optional. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera, which images the Moon at 100 and 400 m/pixel in the visible and UV, respectively, while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers with 0.5 m/pixel spatial resolution. LROC was specifically designed to address two of the primary LRO mission requirements and six other key science objectives, including 1) assessment of meter-and smaller-scale features in order to select safe sites for potential lunar landings near polar resources and elsewhere on the Moon; 2) acquire multi-temporal synoptic 100 m/pixel images of the poles during every orbit to unambiguously identify regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination; 3) meter-scale mapping of regions with permanent or near-permanent illumination of polar massifs; 4) repeat observations of potential landing sites and other regions to derive high resolution topography; 5) global multispectral observations in seven wavelengths to characterize lunar resources, particularly ilmenite; 6) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60° -80° ) favorable for morphological interpretations; 7) sub-meter imaging of a variety of geologic units to characterize their physical properties, the variability of the regolith, and other key science questions; 8) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo-era panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document

  19. Exploring the Moon at High-Resolution: First Results From the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Mark; Hiesinger, Harald; McEwen, Alfred; Jolliff, Brad; Thomas, Peter C.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Eliason, Eric; Malin, Mike; Ravine, A.; Bowman-Cisneros, Ernest

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V 401 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41 on June 18, 2009. After spending four days in Earth-Moon transit, the spacecraft entered a three month commissioning phase in an elliptical 30×200 km orbit. On September 15, 2009, LRO began its planned one-year nominal mapping mission in a quasi-circular 50 km orbit. A multi-year extended mission in a fixed 30×200 km orbit is optional. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs). The WAC is a 7-color push-frame camera, which images the Moon at 100 and 400 m/pixel in the visible and UV, respectively, while the two NACs are monochrome narrow-angle linescan imagers with 0.5 m/pixel spatial resolution. LROC was specifically designed to address two of the primary LRO mission requirements and six other key science objectives, including 1) assessment of meter-and smaller-scale features in order to select safe sites for potential lunar landings near polar resources and elsewhere on the Moon; 2) acquire multi-temporal synoptic 100 m/pixel images of the poles during every orbit to unambiguously identify regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination; 3) meter-scale mapping of regions with permanent or near-permanent illumination of polar massifs; 4) repeat observations of potential landing sites and other regions to derive high resolution topography; 5) global multispectral observations in seven wavelengths to characterize lunar resources, particularly ilmenite; 6) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60° -80° ) favorable for morphological interpretations; 7) sub-meter imaging of a variety of geologic units to characterize their physical properties, the variability of the regolith, and other key science questions; 8) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo-era panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document

  20. Toward a Unified View of the Moon's Polar Volatiles from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Although the scientific basis for the possibility of water and other volatiles in the cold traps of the lunar polar regions was developed in the 1960's and '70's [1,2], only recently have the data become available to test the theories in detail. Furthermore, comparisons with other planetary bodies, particularly Mercury, have revealed surprising differences that may point to inconsistencies or holes in our understanding of the basic processes involving volatiles on airless bodies [3]. Addressing these gaps in understanding is critical to the future exploration of the Moon, for which water is an important scientific and engineering resource [4]. Launched in 2009, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been acquiring data from lunar orbit for more than six years. All seven of the remote sensing instruments on the payload have now contributed significantly to advancing understanding of volatiles on the Moon. Here we present results from these investigations, and discuss attempts to synthesize the disparate information to create a self-consistent model for lunar volatiles. In addition to the LRO data, we must take into account results from earlier missions [5,6], ground-based telescopes [7], and sample analyses [8]. The results from these inter-comparisons show that water is likely available in useful quantities, but key additional measurements may be required to resolve remaining uncertainties. [1] Watson, K., Murray, B. C., & Brown, H. (1961), J. Geophys. Res., 66(9), 3033-3045. [2] Arnold, J. R. (1979), J. Geophys. Res. (1978-2012), 84(B10), 5659-5668. [3] Paige, D. A., Siegler, M. A., Harmon, J. K., Neumann, G. A., Mazarico, E. M., Smith, D. E., ... & Solomon, S. C. (2013), Science, 339(6117), 300-303. [4] Hayne, P. O., et al. (2014), Keck Inst. Space Studies Report. [5] Nozette, S., Lichtenberg, C. L., Spudis, P., Bonner, R., Ort, W., Malaret, E., ... & Shoemaker, E. M. (1996), Science, 274(5292), 1495-1498. [6] Pieters, C. M., Goswami, J. N., Clark, R. N

  1. Prospects in the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Moon with the advent of sub-centimeter lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopeikin, S. M.; Pavlis, E.; Pavlis, D.; Brumberg, V. A.; Escapa, A.; Getino, J.; Gusev, A.; Müller, J.; Ni, W.-T.; Petrova, N.

    2008-10-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) measurements are crucial for advanced exploration of the laws of fundamental gravitational physics and geophysics as well as for future human and robotic missions to the Moon. The corner-cube reflectors (CCR) currently on the Moon require no power and still work perfectly since their installation during the project Apollo era. Current LLR technology allows us to measure distances to the Moon with a precision approaching 1 mm. As NASA pursues the vision of taking humans back to the Moon, new, more precise laser ranging applications will be demanded, including continuous tracking from more sites on Earth, placing new CCR arrays on the Moon, and possibly installing other devices such as transponders, etc. for multiple scientific and technical purposes. Since this effort involves humans in space, then in all situations the accuracy, fidelity, and robustness of the measurements, their adequate interpretation, and any products based on them, are of utmost importance. Successful achievement of this goal strongly demands further significant improvement of the theoretical model of the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. This model should inevitably be based on the theory of general relativity, fully incorporate the relevant geophysical processes, lunar librations, tides, and should rely upon the most recent standards and recommendations of the IAU for data analysis. This paper discusses methods and problems in developing such a mathematical model. The model will take into account all the classical and relativistic effects in the orbital and rotational motion of the Moon and Earth at the sub-centimeter level. The model is supposed to be implemented as a part of the computer code underlying NASA Goddard's orbital analysis and geophysical parameter estimation package GEODYN and the ephemeris package PMOE 2003 of the Purple Mountain Observatory. The new model will allow us to navigate a spacecraft precisely to a location on the

  2. Radiometric calibration stability and inter-calibration of solar-band instruments in orbit using the moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Thomas C.

    2008-08-01

    With the increased emphasis on monitoring the Earth's climate from space, more stringent calibration requirements are being placed on the data products from remote sensing satellite instruments. Among these are stability over decade-length time scales and consistency across sensors and platforms. For radiometer instruments in the solar reflectance wavelength range (visible to shortwave infrared), maintaining calibration on orbit is difficult due to the lack of absolute radiometric standards suitable for fight use. The Moon presents a luminous source that can be viewed by all instruments in Earth orbit. Considered as a solar diffuser, the lunar surface is exceedingly stable. The chief diffculty with using the Moon is the strong variations in the Moon's brightness with illumination and viewing geometry. This mandates the use of a photometric model to compare lunar observations, either over time by the same instrument or between instruments. The U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, under NASA sponsorship, has developed a model for the lunar spectral irradiance that explicitly accounts for the effects of phase, the lunar librations, and the lunar surface reflectance properties. The model predicts variations in the Moon's brightness with precision ~1% over a continuous phase range from eclipse to the quarter lunar phases. Given a time series of Moon observations taken by an instrument, the geometric prediction capability of the lunar irradiance model enables sensor calibration stability with sub-percent per year precision. Cross-calibration of instruments with similar passbands can be achieved with precision comparable to the model precision. Although the Moon observations used for intercomparison can be widely separated in phase angle and/or time, SeaWiFS and MODIS have acquired lunar views closely spaced in time. These data provide an example to assess inter-calibration biases between these two instruments.

  3. Radiometric calibration stability and inter-calibration of solar-band instruments in orbit using the moon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, T.C.

    2008-01-01

    With the increased emphasis on monitoring the Earth's climate from space, more stringent calibration requirements are being placed on the data products from remote sensing satellite instruments. Among these are stability over decade-length time scales and consistency across sensors and platforms. For radiometer instruments in the solar reflectance wavelength range (visible to shortwave infrared), maintaining calibration on orbit is difficult due to the lack of absolute radiometric standards suitable for flight use. The Moon presents a luminous source that can be viewed by all instruments in Earth orbit. Considered as a solar diffuser, the lunar surface is exceedingly stable. The chief difficulty with using the Moon is the strong variations in the Moon's brightness with illumination and viewing geometry. This mandates the use of a photometric model to compare lunar observations, either over time by the same instrument or between instruments. The U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, under NASA sponsorship, has developed a model for the lunar spectral irradiance that explicitly accounts for the effects of phase, the lunar librations, and the lunar surface reflectance properties. The model predicts variations in the Moon's brightness with precision ???1% over a continuous phase range from eclipse to the quarter lunar phases. Given a time series of Moon observations taken by an instrument, the geometric prediction capability of the lunar irradiance model enables sensor calibration stability with sub-percent per year precision. Cross-calibration of instruments with similar passbands can be achieved with precision comparable to the model precision. Although the Moon observations used for intercomparison can be widely separated in phase angle and/or time, SeaWiFS and MODIS have acquired lunar views closely spaced in time. These data provide an example to assess inter-calibration biases between these two instruments.

  4. The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) imaging spectrometer for lunar science: Instrument description, calibration, on-orbit measurements, science data calibration and on-orbit validation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, R.O.; Pieters, C.; Mouroulis, P.; Eastwood, M.; Boardman, J.; Glavich, T.; Isaacson, P.; Annadurai, M.; Besse, S.; Barr, D.; Buratti, B.; Cate, D.; Chatterjee, A.; Clark, R.; Cheek, L.; Combe, J.; Dhingra, D.; Essandoh, V.; Geier, S.; Goswami, J.N.; Green, R.; Haemmerle, V.; Head, J.; Hovland, L.; Hyman, S.; Klima, R.; Koch, T.; Kramer, G.; Kumar, A.S.K.; Lee, Kenneth; Lundeen, S.; Malaret, E.; McCord, T.; McLaughlin, S.; Mustard, J.; Nettles, J.; Petro, N.; Plourde, K.; Racho, C.; Rodriquez, J.; Runyon, C.; Sellar, G.; Smith, C.; Sobel, H.; Staid, M.; Sunshine, J.; Taylor, L.; Thaisen, K.; Tompkins, S.; Tseng, H.; Vane, G.; Varanasi, P.; White, M.; Wilson, D.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Discovery Moon Mineralogy Mapper imaging spectrometer was selected to pursue a wide range of science objectives requiring measurement of composition at fine spatial scales over the full lunar surface. To pursue these objectives, a broad spectral range imaging spectrometer with high uniformity and high signal-to-noise ratio capable of measuring compositionally diagnostic spectral absorption features from a wide variety of known and possible lunar materials was required. For this purpose the Moon Mineralogy Mapper imaging spectrometer was designed and developed that measures the spectral range from 430 to 3000 nm with 10 nm spectral sampling through a 24 degree field of view with 0.7 milliradian spatial sampling. The instrument has a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 400 for the specified equatorial reference radiance and greater than 100 for the polar reference radiance. The spectral cross-track uniformity is >90% and spectral instantaneous field-of-view uniformity is >90%. The Moon Mineralogy Mapper was launched on Chandrayaan-1 on the 22nd of October. On the 18th of November 2008 the Moon Mineralogy Mapper was turned on and collected a first light data set within 24 h. During this early checkout period and throughout the mission the spacecraft thermal environment and orbital parameters varied more than expected and placed operational and data quality constraints on the measurements. On the 29th of August 2009, spacecraft communication was lost. Over the course of the flight mission 1542 downlinked data sets were acquired that provide coverage of more than 95% of the lunar surface. An end-to-end science data calibration system was developed and all measurements have been passed through this system and delivered to the Planetary Data System (PDS.NASA.GOV). An extensive effort has been undertaken by the science team to validate the Moon Mineralogy Mapper science measurements in the context of the mission objectives. A focused spectral, radiometric

  5. Icy Satellite Science Today and in Cassini's Final Three Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, B. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Cassini Mission has turned our view of Saturn's icy moons from scientific sketches to fully realized worlds. Among the major discoveries are: Activity on Enceladus and associated plumes that originate in small hot spots on its south pole and that appear to be modulated by tidal forces; a liquid subsurface water ocean on Enceladus that is a habitable environment; several new moons; debris rings associated with moons; a unique equatorial ridge on Iapetus; the identity of new constituents on the moons including carbon dioxide ice on most of them and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)on Iapetus; differentiated or partially differentiated interiors; nano-iron on the surfaces of the moons and in the rings; volatile segregation on Iapetus and Hyperion; and a bewildering array of geologic processes on the small moons. But our new view of these icy worlds has spawned new questions. Among these unanswered questions are: How variable are the plumes? Have any other moons had activity similar to that on Enceladus and did it continue up to the recent past? How much dust do the moons contribute to the region around Saturn? What caused the ridge on Iapetus? What are the interiors of the moons like? How differentiated and compensated are they? Five additional targeted flybys, two of Dione and three of Enceladus, have been designed to answer these questions and will be implemented during the remainder of the Solstice Mission. The Dione flybys both include gravity passes to determine its state of differentiation. One of the flybys is optimized to measure the fields and particle environment around Dione. One of the two remote-sensing flybys of Enceladus will scrutinize the south polar region to further understand the size, temperature, and variability of the emitting areas, while the other will observe the north pole to determine why it is so different from the south. The third Enceladus flyby involves an unprecedented pass less than 50 km above the surface into the midst of

  6. Experiment LEND of the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for high-resolution mapping of neutron emission of the Moon.

    PubMed

    Mitrofanov, I G; Sanin, A B; Golovin, D V; Litvak, M L; Konovalov, A A; Kozyrev, A S; Malakhov, A V; Mokrousov, M I; Tretyakov, V I; Troshin, V S; Uvarov, V N; Varenikov, A B; Vostrukhin, A A; Shevchenko, V V; Shvetsov, V N; Krylov, A R; Timoshenko, G N; Bobrovnitsky, Y I; Tomilina, T M; Grebennikov, A S; Kazakov, L L; Sagdeev, R Z; Milikh, G N; Bartels, A; Chin, G; Floyd, S; Garvin, J; Keller, J; McClanahan, T; Trombka, J; Boynton, W; Harshman, K; Starr, R; Evans, L

    2008-08-01

    The scientific objectives of neutron mapping of the Moon are presented as 3 investigation tasks of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Two tasks focus on mapping hydrogen content over the entire Moon and on testing the presence of water-ice deposits at the bottom of permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles. The third task corresponds to the determination of neutron contribution to the total radiation dose at an altitude of 50 km above the Moon. We show that the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) will be capable of carrying out all 3 investigations. The design concept of LEND is presented together with results of numerical simulations of the instrument's sensitivity for hydrogen detection. The sensitivity of LEND is shown to be characterized by a hydrogen detection limit of about 100 ppm for a polar reference area with a radius of 5 km. If the presence of ice deposits in polar "cold traps" is confirmed, a unique record of many millions of years of lunar history would be obtained, by which the history of lunar impacts could be discerned from the layers of water ice and dust. Future applications of a LEND-type instrument for Mars orbital observations are also discussed. PMID:18844457

  7. NASA's Planned Return to the Moon: Global Access and Anytime Return Requirement Implications on the Lunar Orbit Insertion Burns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garn, Michelle; Qu, Min; Chrone, Jonathan; Su, Philip; Karlgaard, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Lunar orbit insertion LOI is a critical maneuver for any mission going to the Moon. Optimizing the geometry of this maneuver is crucial to the success of the architecture designed to return humans to the Moon. LOI burns necessary to meet current NASA Exploration Constellation architecture requirements for the lunar sortie missions are driven mainly by the requirement for global access and "anytime" return from the lunar surface. This paper begins by describing the Earth-Moon geometry which creates the worst case (delta)V for both the LOI and the translunar injection (TLI) maneuvers over the full metonic cycle. The trajectory which optimizes the overall (delta)V performance of the mission is identified, trade studies results covering the entire lunar globe are mapped onto the contour plots, and the effects of loitering in low lunar orbit as a means of reducing the insertion (delta)V are described. Finally, the lighting conditions on the lunar surface are combined with the LOI and TLI analyses to identify geometries with ideal lighting conditions at sites of interest which minimize the mission (delta)V.

  8. Experiment LEND of the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for high-resolution mapping of neutron emission of the Moon.

    PubMed

    Mitrofanov, I G; Sanin, A B; Golovin, D V; Litvak, M L; Konovalov, A A; Kozyrev, A S; Malakhov, A V; Mokrousov, M I; Tretyakov, V I; Troshin, V S; Uvarov, V N; Varenikov, A B; Vostrukhin, A A; Shevchenko, V V; Shvetsov, V N; Krylov, A R; Timoshenko, G N; Bobrovnitsky, Y I; Tomilina, T M; Grebennikov, A S; Kazakov, L L; Sagdeev, R Z; Milikh, G N; Bartels, A; Chin, G; Floyd, S; Garvin, J; Keller, J; McClanahan, T; Trombka, J; Boynton, W; Harshman, K; Starr, R; Evans, L

    2008-08-01

    The scientific objectives of neutron mapping of the Moon are presented as 3 investigation tasks of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Two tasks focus on mapping hydrogen content over the entire Moon and on testing the presence of water-ice deposits at the bottom of permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles. The third task corresponds to the determination of neutron contribution to the total radiation dose at an altitude of 50 km above the Moon. We show that the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) will be capable of carrying out all 3 investigations. The design concept of LEND is presented together with results of numerical simulations of the instrument's sensitivity for hydrogen detection. The sensitivity of LEND is shown to be characterized by a hydrogen detection limit of about 100 ppm for a polar reference area with a radius of 5 km. If the presence of ice deposits in polar "cold traps" is confirmed, a unique record of many millions of years of lunar history would be obtained, by which the history of lunar impacts could be discerned from the layers of water ice and dust. Future applications of a LEND-type instrument for Mars orbital observations are also discussed.

  9. Investigating at the Moon With new Eyes: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Camera (LROC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiesinger, H.; Robinson, M. S.; McEwen, A. S.; Turtle, E. P.; Eliason, E. M.; Jolliff, B. L.; Malin, M. C.; Thomas, P. C.

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Camera (LROC) H. Hiesinger (1,2), M.S. Robinson (3), A.S. McEwen (4), E.P. Turtle (4), E.M. Eliason (4), B.L. Jolliff (5), M.C. Malin (6), and P.C. Thomas (7) (1) Brown Univ., Dept. of Geological Sciences, Providence RI 02912, Harald_Hiesinger@brown.edu, (2) Westfaelische Wilhelms-University, (3) Northwestern Univ., (4) LPL, Univ. of Arizona, (5) Washington Univ., (6) Malin Space Science Systems, (7) Cornell Univ. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission is scheduled for launch in October 2008 as a first step to return humans to the Moon by 2018. The main goals of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) are to: 1) assess meter and smaller- scale features for safety analyses for potential lunar landing sites near polar resources, and elsewhere on the Moon; and 2) acquire multi-temporal images of the poles to characterize the polar illumination environment (100 m scale), identifying regions of permanent shadow and permanent or near permanent illumination over a full lunar year. In addition, LROC will return six high-value datasets such as 1) meter-scale maps of regions of permanent or near permanent illumination of polar massifs; 2) high resolution topography through stereogrammetric and photometric stereo analyses for potential landing sites; 3) a global multispectral map in 7 wavelengths (300-680 nm) to characterize lunar resources, in particular ilmenite; 4) a global 100-m/pixel basemap with incidence angles (60-80 degree) favorable for morphologic interpretations; 5) images of a variety of geologic units at sub-meter resolution to investigate physical properties and regolith variability; and 6) meter-scale coverage overlapping with Apollo Panoramic images (1-2 m/pixel) to document the number of small impacts since 1971-1972, to estimate hazards for future surface operations. LROC consists of two narrow-angle cameras (NACs) which will provide 0.5-m scale panchromatic images over a 5-km swath, a wide

  10. The H2O and O2 exospheres of Ganymede: The result of a complex interaction between the jovian magnetospheric ions and the icy moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plainaki, Christina; Milillo, Anna; Massetti, Stefano; Mura, Alessandro; Jia, Xianzhe; Orsini, Stefano; Mangano, Valeria; De Angelis, Elisabetta; Rispoli, Rosanna

    2015-01-01

    The H2O and O2 exospheres of Jupiter's moon Ganymede are simulated through the application of a 3D Monte Carlo modeling technique that takes into consideration the combined effect on the exosphere generation of the main surface release processes (i.e. sputtering, sublimation and radiolysis) and the surface precipitation of the energetic ions of Jupiter's magnetosphere. In order to model the magnetospheric ion precipitation to Ganymede's surface, we used as an input the electric and magnetic fields from the global MHD model of Ganymede's magnetosphere (Jia, X., Walker, R.J., Kivelson, M.G., Khurana, K.K., Linker, J.A. [2009]. J. Geophys. Res. 114, A09209). The exospheric model described in this paper is based on EGEON, a single-particle Monte Carlo model already applied for a Galilean satellite (Plainaki, C., Milillo, A., Mura, A., Orsini, S., Cassidy, T. [2010]. Icarus 210, 385-395; Plainaki, C., Milillo, A., Mura, A., Orsini, S., Massetti, S., Cassidy, T. [2012]. Icarus 218 (2), 956-966; Plainaki, C., Milillo, A., Mura, A., Orsini, S., Saur [2013]. Planet. Space Sci. 88, 42-52); nevertheless, significant modifications have been implemented in the current work in order to include the effect on the exosphere generation of the ion precipitation geometry determined strongly by Ganymede's intrinsic magnetic field (Kivelson, M.G. et al. [1996]. Nature 384, 537-541). The current simulation refers to a specific configuration between Jupiter, Ganymede and the Sun in which the Galilean moon is located close to the center of Jupiter's Plasma Sheet (JPS) with its leading hemisphere illuminated. Our results are summarized as follows: (a) at small altitudes above the moon's subsolar point the main contribution to the neutral environment comes from sublimated H2O; (b) plasma precipitation occurs in a region related to the open-closed magnetic field lines boundary and its extent depends on the assumption used to mimic the plasma mirroring in Jupiter's magnetosphere; (c) the

  11. The Lunar Scout Program: An international program to survey the Moon from orbit for geochemistry, mineralogy, imagery, geodesy, and gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Donald A. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    The Lunar Scout Program was one of a series of attempts by NASA to develop and fly an orbiting mission to the moon to collect geochemical, geological, and gravity data. Predecessors included the Lunar Observer, the Lunar Geochemical Orbiter, and the Lunar Polar Orbiter - missions studied under the auspices of the Office of Space Science. The Lunar Scout Program, however, was an initiative of the Office of Exploration. It was begun in late 1991 and was transferred to the Office of Space Science after the Office of Exploration was disbanded in 1993. Most of the work was done by a small group of civil servants at the Johnson Space Center; other groups also responsible for mission planning included personnel from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Boeing, and Martin Marietta. The Lunar Scout Program failed to achieve new start funding in FY 93 and FY 94 as a result of budget downturns, the de-emphasis of the Space Exploration Initiative, and the fact that lunar science did not rate as high a priority as other planned planetary missions, and was cancelled. The work done on the Lunar Scout Program and other lunar orbiter studies, however, represents assets that will be useful in developing new approaches to lunar orbit science.

  12. The icy Jovian satellites after the Galileo mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard

    2010-03-01

    The icy satellites of Jupiter, Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Amalthea have diverse and remarkable characteristics. Their initial compositions were determined by conditions in the circum-Jovian nebula, just as the planets' initial properties were governed by their formation within the circumsolar nebula. The satellites subsequently evolved under the complex interplay of orbital and geophysical processes, especially the effects of orbital resonances, tides, internal differentiation and heat. The history and character of the satellites can be inferred from consideration of the formation of planets and the satellites, from studies of their plausible orbital evolution, from measurements of geophysical properties, especially gravitational and magnetic fields, from observations of the compositions and geological structure of their surfaces and from theoretical modeling of the processes that connect these lines of evidence. The three large icy satellites probably contain significant liquid water: Europa has a deep liquid water ocean under a thin surface layer of ice; Ganymede and Callisto likely have relatively thin liquid water layers deep below their surfaces. Models of formation are challenged by the surprising properties of the outermost and innermost of the group: Callisto is partially differentiated, with rock and ice mixed through much of its interior; and tiny Amalthea also appears to be largely composed of ice. Each of the four moons is fascinating in its own right, and the ensemble provides a powerful set of constraints on the processes that led to their formation and evolution.

  13. Optimization of Return Trajectories for Orbital Transfer Vehicle between Earth and Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Funase, Ryu; Tsuda, Yuichi; Kawaguchi, Jun'ichiro

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, optimum trajectories in Earth Transfer Orbit (ETO) for a lunar transportation system are proposed. This paper aims at improving the payload ratio of the reusable orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), which transports the payload from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Lunar Low Orbit (LLO) and returns to LEO. In ETO, we discuss ballistic flight using chemical propulsion, multi-impulse flight using electrical propulsion, and aero-assisted flight using aero-brake. The feasibility of the OTV is considered.

  14. The steepest slopes on the Moon from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Spatial Distribution and Correlation with Geologic Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2016-07-01

    We calculated topographic gradients over the surface of the Moon at a 25 m baseline using data obtained by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. The relative spatial distribution of steep slopes can be reliably obtained, although some technical characteristics of the LOLA dataset preclude statistical studies of slope orientation. The derived slope-frequency distribution revealed a steep rollover for slopes close to the angle of repose. Slopes significantly steeper than the angle of repose are almost absent on the Moon due to (1) the general absence of cohesion/strength of the fractured and fragmented megaregolith of the lunar highlands, and (2) the absence of geological processes producing steep-slopes in the recent geological past. The majority of slopes steeper than 32°-35° are associated with relatively young large impact craters. We demonstrate that these impact craters progressively lose their steepest slopes. We also found that features of Early Imbrian and older ages have almost no slopes steeper than 35°. We interpret this to be due to removal of all steep slopes by the latest basin-forming impact (Orientale), probably by global seismic shaking. The global spatial distribution of the steepest slopes correlates moderately well with the predicted spatial distribution of impact rate; however, a significant paucity of steep slopes in the southern farside remains unexplained.

  15. Determining parameters of Moon's orbital and rotational motion from LLR observations using GRAIL and IERS-recommended models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, Dmitry A.; Williams, James G.; Suvorkin, Vladimir V.

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this work is to combine the model of orbital and rotational motion of the Moon developed for DE430 with up-to-date astronomical, geodynamical, and geo- and selenophysical models. The parameters of the orbit and physical libration are determined in this work from lunar laser ranging (LLR) observations made at different observatories in 1970-2013. Parameters of other models are taken from solutions that were obtained independently from LLR. A new implementation of the DE430 lunar model, including the liquid core equations, was done within the EPM ephemeris. The postfit residuals of LLR observations make evident that the terrestrial models and solutions recommended by the IERS Conventions are compatible with the lunar theory. That includes: EGM2008 gravitational potential with conventional corrections and variations from solid and ocean tides; displacement of stations due to solid and ocean loading tides; and precession-nutation model. Usage of these models in the solution for LLR observations has allowed us to reduce the number of parameters to be fit. The fixed model of tidal variations of the geopotential has resulted in a lesser value of Moon's extra eccentricity rate, as compared to the original DE430 model with two fit parameters. A mixed model of lunar gravitational potential was used, with some coefficients determined from LLR observations, and other taken from the GL660b solution obtained from the GRAIL spacecraft mission. Solutions obtain accurate positions for the ranging stations and the five retroreflectors. Station motion is derived for sites with long data spans. Dissipation is detected at the lunar fluid core-solid mantle boundary demonstrating that a fluid core is present. Tidal dissipation is strong at both Earth and Moon. Consequently, the lunar semimajor axis is expanding by 38.20 mm/yr, the tidal acceleration in mean longitude is -25.90 {{}^' ' }}/cy^2, and the eccentricity is increasing by 1.48× 10^{-11} each year.

  16. Determining parameters of Moon's orbital and rotational motion from LLR observations using GRAIL and IERS-recommended models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, Dmitry A.; Williams, James G.; Suvorkin, Vladimir V.

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this work is to combine the model of orbital and rotational motion of the Moon developed for DE430 with up-to-date astronomical, geodynamical, and geo- and selenophysical models. The parameters of the orbit and physical libration are determined in this work from lunar laser ranging (LLR) observations made at different observatories in 1970-2013. Parameters of other models are taken from solutions that were obtained independently from LLR. A new implementation of the DE430 lunar model, including the liquid core equations, was done within the EPM ephemeris. The postfit residuals of LLR observations make evident that the terrestrial models and solutions recommended by the IERS Conventions are compatible with the lunar theory. That includes: EGM2008 gravitational potential with conventional corrections and variations from solid and ocean tides; displacement of stations due to solid and ocean loading tides; and precession-nutation model. Usage of these models in the solution for LLR observations has allowed us to reduce the number of parameters to be fit. The fixed model of tidal variations of the geopotential has resulted in a lesser value of Moon's extra eccentricity rate, as compared to the original DE430 model with two fit parameters. A mixed model of lunar gravitational potential was used, with some coefficients determined from LLR observations, and other taken from the GL660b solution obtained from the GRAIL spacecraft mission. Solutions obtain accurate positions for the ranging stations and the five retroreflectors. Station motion is derived for sites with long data spans. Dissipation is detected at the lunar fluid core-solid mantle boundary demonstrating that a fluid core is present. Tidal dissipation is strong at both Earth and Moon. Consequently, the lunar semimajor axis is expanding by 38.20 mm/yr, the tidal acceleration in mean longitude is -25.90 {{}^' ' }}/cy^2 , and the eccentricity is increasing by 1.48× 10^{-11} each year.

  17. The origin of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruskol, Y. L.

    1977-01-01

    The fractionation of the chemical compositions of the moon and the earth and the thermal history of the moon for formation of the moon from an earth-orbiting swarm of bodies during the accumulation of the earth are discussed.

  18. Modeling the Radiance of the Moon for On-orbit Calibration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, T.C.; Kieffer, H.H.; Becker, K.J.; ,

    2003-01-01

    The RObotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) project has developed radiometric models of the Moon for disk-integrated irradiance and spatially resolved radiance. Although the brightness of the Moon varies spatially and with complex dependencies upon illumination and viewing geometry, the surface photometric properties are extremely stable, and therefore potentially knowable to high accuracy. The ROLO project has acquired 5+ years of spatially resolved lunar images in 23 VNIR and 9 SWIR filter bands at phase angles up to 90??. These images are calibrated to exoatmospheric radiance using nightly stellar observations in a band-coupled extinction algorithm and a radiometric scale based upon observations of the star Vega. An effort is currently underway to establish an absolute scale with direct traceability to NIST radiometric standards. The ROLO radiance model performs linear fitting of the spatially resolved lunar image data on an individual pixel basis. The results are radiance images directly comparable to spacecraft observations of the Moon. Model-generated radiance images have been produced for the ASTER lunar view conducted on 14 April 2003. The radiance model is still experimental - simplified photometric functions have been used, and initial results show evidence of computational instabilities, particularly at the lunar poles. The ROLO lunar image dataset is unique and extensive and presents opportunities for development of novel approaches to lunar photometric modeling.

  19. Europa's Icy Shell: A Bridge Between Its Surface and Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul; Mimmo, Francis; Prockter, Louise

    2004-01-01

    Europa, a Moon-sized, ice-covered satellite of Jupiter, is second only to Mars in its astrobiological potential. Beneath the icy surface, an ocean up to 150 km deep is thought to exist, providing a potential habitat for life,and a tempting target for future space missions. The Galileo mission to the Jovian system recently ended, but there are already long-range plans to send much more capable spacecraft,such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), to take a closer look at Europa and her siblings, Ganymede and Callisto, some time in the next two decades. Europak outer icy shell is the only interface between this putative ocean and the surface, but many aspects of this shell are presently poorly understood; in particular, its composition, thickness, deformational history, and mechanical properties. To discuss the ice shell and our current understanding of it, 78 scientists from the terrestrial and planetary science communities in the United States and Europe gathered for a 3-day workshop hosted by the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston in February. A key goal was to bring researchers from disparate disciplines together to discuss the importance and limitations of available data on Europa with a post-Galileo perspective. The workshop featured 2 days of reviews and contributed talks on the composition, physical properties, stratigraphy, tectonics, and future exploration of the ice shell and underlying ocean. The final morning included an extended discussion period, moderated by a panel of noted experts, highlighting outstanding questions and areas requiring future research.

  20. Abort Options for Human Missions to Earth-Moon Halo Orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jesick, Mark C.

    2013-01-01

    Abort trajectories are optimized for human halo orbit missions about the translunar libration point (L2), with an emphasis on the use of free return trajectories. Optimal transfers from outbound free returns to L2 halo orbits are numerically optimized in the four-body ephemeris model. Circumlunar free returns are used for direct transfers, and cislunar free returns are used in combination with lunar gravity assists to reduce propulsive requirements. Trends in orbit insertion cost and flight time are documented across the southern L2 halo family as a function of halo orbit position and free return flight time. It is determined that the maximum amplitude southern halo incurs the lowest orbit insertion cost for direct transfers but the maximum cost for lunar gravity assist transfers. The minimum amplitude halo is the most expensive destination for direct transfers but the least expensive for lunar gravity assist transfers. The on-orbit abort costs for three halos are computed as a function of abort time and return time. Finally, an architecture analysis is performed to determine launch and on-orbit vehicle requirements for halo orbit missions.

  1. Icy Tendrils from Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, C. J.; Porco, C.; Weiss, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    We extend our previous work (Mitchell et al., 2015) in simulating thelarge-scale, sinuous structures, dubbed 'tendrils', observed inCassini ISS images of the E ring near Enceladus. We follow thetrajectories of particles launched from the geyser sources locatedacross the moon's south polar terrain (Porco et al., 2014), assumingthe velocity distribution of Ingersoll and Ewald, (2011), andincluding forces due to the gravity of Saturn and Enceladus, as wellas Saturn's magnetic and electric fields. Charging currents arisingfrom interactions with magnetospheric plasma and Solar UV radiationare also included. The simulations are used to produce syntheticimages which we compare to Cassini ISS tendril images taken in 2006and 2013. We found that specific subsets of geysers appear to be thesources of identifiable tendril features present in the images.However, there remained features not captured by our initialsimulations: a shift in longitude for the brightest part of thetendrils and two features which only appear in some images.In this initial work, we neglected Enceladus' orbital eccentricity aswell as the periodicity and phase of the variability in geyseringactivity recently discovered and attributed to a ~5-hour delay in thediurnally variable tidal stresses at the surface (Nimmo et al. 2014).And we made no attempt to do a photometric determination of the masslost from the moon into orbit around Saturn.We will report on our progress in rectifying these inadequacies. Wewill present the result of including Enceladus's orbital eccentricity,as well as a diurnally variable particle flux out of each geyser, inaccord with the observed plume variability. Eventually, we will usethe absolute brightness of the tendrils, together with a photometricmodel and information on the particle size distribution from our work,and the work of other Cassini teams on E ring particles, to arrive atthe amount of mass leaving the moon and entering Saturn orbit.Mitchell et al., 2015, AJ, 149, 156

  2. Space Weathering on Icy Satellites in the Outer Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, R. N.; Perlman, Z.; Pearson, N.; Cruikshank, D. P.

    2014-01-01

    Space weathering produces well-known optical effects in silicate minerals in the inner Solar System, for example, on the Moon. Space weathering from solar wind and UV (ultraviolet radiation) is expected to be significantly weaker in the outer Solar System simply because intensities are low. However, cosmic rays and micrometeoroid bombardment would be similar to first order. That, combined with the much higher volatility of icy surfaces means there is the potential for space weathering on icy outer Solar System surfaces to show optical effects. The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn is providing evidence for space weathering on icy bodies. The Cassini Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument has spatially mapped satellite surfaces and the rings from 0.35-5 microns and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) instrument from 0.1 to 0.2 microns. These data have sampled a complex mixing space between H2O ice and non-ice components and they show some common spectral properties. Similarly, spectra of the icy Galilean satellites and satellites in the Uranian system have some commonality in spectral properties with those in the Saturn system. The UV absorber is spectrally similar on many surfaces. VIMS has identified CO2, H2 and trace organics in varying abundances on Saturn's satellites. We postulate that through the spatial relationships of some of these compounds that they are created and destroyed through space weathering effects. For example, the trapped H2 and CO2 observed by VIMS in regions with high concentrations of dark material may in part be space weathering products from the destruction of H2O and organic molecules. The dark material, particularly on Iapetus which has the highest concentration in the Saturn system, is well matched by space-weathered silicates in the .4 to 2.6 micron range, and the spectral shapes closely match those of the most mature lunar soils, another indicator of space weathered material.

  3. A Fixed-Base-Simulator Study of the Ability of a Pilot to Establish Close Orbits Around the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Queijo, M. J.; Riley, Donald R.

    1961-01-01

    A study was made on a six-degree-of-freedom fixed-base simulator of the ability of human pilots to modify ballistic trajectories of a 5 space vehicle approaching the moon to establish a circular orbit about 50 miles above the lunar surface. The unmodified ballistic trajectories had miss distances from the lunar surface of from 40 to 80 miles, and a velocity range of from 8,200 to 8,700 feet per second at closest approach. The pilot was given control of the thrust (along the vehicle longitudinal axis) and torques about all three body axes. The information display given to the pilot was a hodograph of the vehicle rate of descent and circumferential velocity, an altimeter, and vehicle attitude and rate meters.

  4. Phasing Delta-V for transfers from Sun-Earth halo orbits to the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hongru; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Hanada, Toshiya

    2016-10-01

    Inspired by successful extended missions such as the ISEE-3, an investigation for the extended mission that involves a lunar encounter following a Sun-Earth halo orbit mission is considered valuable. Most previous studies present the orbit-to-orbit transfers where the lunar phase is not considered. Intended for extended missions, the present work aims to solve for the minimum phasing ∆V for various initial lunar phases. Due to the solution multiplicity of the two-point boundary value problem, the general constrained optimization algorithm that does not identify multiple feasible solutions is shown to miss minima. A two-step differential corrector with a two-body Lambert solver is developed for identifying multiple solutions. The minimum ∆V associated with the short-way and long-way approaches can be recovered. It is acquired that the required ∆V to cover all initial lunar phases is around 45 m/s for the halo orbit with out-of-plane amplitude Az greater than 3.5×105 km, and 14 m/s for a small halo orbit with Az=1×105 km. In addition, the paper discusses the phasing planning based on the ∆V result and the shift of lunar phase with halo orbit revolution.

  5. 400th Anniversary of Marius's Book with the First Image of an Astronomical Telescope and of Orbits of Jovian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Leich, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Simon Mayr's (Marius's) Mundus Iovialis Anno M·DC·IX Detectus Ope Perspicilli Belgici (The World of Jupiter...) was published in Nuremberg in 1614; Marius was the Ansbach court mathematician. The frontispiece includes not only a portrait of Marius (1573-1624) himself but also, in the foreground, a long tube labelled "perspicillum," the first known image of a telescopic device used for astronomy; the name "telescope" came later. A schematic diagram of Jupiter with four moons orbiting appears at upper left; Marius, following a suggestion from Kepler, gave these Galilean satellites the names now still in use: Io, Europa. Ganymede, and Callisto. The title continues Hoc est, Quatuor Joviali cum Planetarum, cum Theoria, tum Tabulae, Propriis Observationibus Maxime Fundate.... A pair of conferences was held in Germany in 2014 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Marius's book and to discuss Marius's work and its relation to Galileo's work (http://www.simon-marius.net; http://www.simon-marius.net/index.php?lang=en&menu=1 28 languages are available). Marius (Mayr) had independently discovered the four satellites of Jupiter, apparently one day after Galileo, on December 29 O.S., 1609; by the time he published his work four years later (a local-circulation publication had appeared in Nuremberg in 1611 in Prognosticon Astrologicum auf das Jahr 1612), Galileo had gained fame and priority, and Galileo accused Marius of plagiarism in Il Saggiatore (1623). With his Belgian telescope, Marius also noted the tilt of the orbital plane of Jupiter's moons, sunspots (1611), and the Andromeda Nebula (1612). He claimed to have worked out a system of cosmology similar to the Tychonic system in 1596, contemporaneously to Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum. A crater, the Marius Hills, and the Rima Marius on the Moon are named for him by the I.A.U., as well as, to celebrate the quadricentennial, a main-belt asteroid, now (7984) Marius. Acknowledgment: JMP thanks Seth Fagen, PRPH Books in

  6. ICI Showcase House Prototype

    SciTech Connect

    2009-02-16

    Building Science Corporation collaborated with ICI Homes in Daytona Beach, FL on a 2008 prototype Showcase House that demonstrates the energy efficiency and durability upgrades that ICI currently promotes through its in-house efficiency program called EFactor.

  7. Potential Biospheres of the icy world in our solar systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Baqué, Mickael

    2016-04-01

    The challenge in astrobiology and planetary research in the near future is to realize space missions to study the habitability of Mars and the icy moons of the Jovian and Saturnian systems. Mars is an interesting object to search for habitable environments and for fossilized (and potentially present) life because of its past water driven wet history. On the other hand the Jovian moon Europa and the Saturnian moon Enceladus are promising candidates, where liquid water oceans beneath the surface are expected. These oceans can be habitable environments and the next challenge is to search there for present life. Some examples on potential biospheres and their biosignatures in Mars-like environments and in environmental conditions with reference to the icy moons will be given, which might exist in such kind of icy environments.

  8. Lagrange L4/L5 points and the origin of our Moon and Saturn's moons and rings.

    PubMed

    Gott, J Richard

    2005-12-01

    The current standard theory of the origin of the Moon is that the Earth was hit by a giant impactor the size of Mars causing ejection of debris from its mantle that coalesced to form the moon; but where did this Mars-sized impactor come from? Isotopic evidence suggests that it came from 1 AU radius in the solar nebula, and computer simulations are consistent with its approaching Earth on a zero-energy parabolic trajectory. How could such a large object form at 1 AU in a quiescent disk of planetesimals without having already collided with the Earth at an earlier epoch before having the chance to grow large? Belbruno and Gott propose that the giant impactor could have formed in a stable orbit from debris at the Earth's Lagrange point L(5) (or L(4)). It would grow quietly by accretion at L(5) (or L(4)), but eventually gravitational perturbations by other growing planetesimals would kick it out into a horseshoe orbit and finally into a chaotic creeping orbit, which Belbruno and Gott show would, with high probability, hit the Earth on a near zero-energy parabolic trajectory. We can see other examples of this phenomenon occurring in the solar system. Asteroid 2002AA29 is in a horseshoe orbit relative to the Earth that looks exactly like the horseshoe orbits that Belbruno and Gott found for objects that had been perturbed from L(4)/L(5). The regular moons of Saturn are made of ice and have the same albedo as the ring particles (ice chunks, plus some dust). We (J. R. Gott, R. Vanderbei, and E. Belbruno) propose that the regular icy moons of Saturn (out to the orbit of Titan), which are all in nearly circular orbits, formed out of a thin disk of planetesimals (ice chunks) rather like the rings of Saturn today only larger in extent. In such a situation formation of objects at L(4)/L(5) might be expected. Indeed, Saturn's moon Dione is accompanied by moons (Helene and Polydeuces) at both L(4) and L(5) Lagrange points, and Saturn's moon Tethys is also accompanied by moons

  9. Lagrange L4/L5 points and the origin of our Moon and Saturn's moons and rings.

    PubMed

    Gott, J Richard

    2005-12-01

    The current standard theory of the origin of the Moon is that the Earth was hit by a giant impactor the size of Mars causing ejection of debris from its mantle that coalesced to form the moon; but where did this Mars-sized impactor come from? Isotopic evidence suggests that it came from 1 AU radius in the solar nebula, and computer simulations are consistent with its approaching Earth on a zero-energy parabolic trajectory. How could such a large object form at 1 AU in a quiescent disk of planetesimals without having already collided with the Earth at an earlier epoch before having the chance to grow large? Belbruno and Gott propose that the giant impactor could have formed in a stable orbit from debris at the Earth's Lagrange point L(5) (or L(4)). It would grow quietly by accretion at L(5) (or L(4)), but eventually gravitational perturbations by other growing planetesimals would kick it out into a horseshoe orbit and finally into a chaotic creeping orbit, which Belbruno and Gott show would, with high probability, hit the Earth on a near zero-energy parabolic trajectory. We can see other examples of this phenomenon occurring in the solar system. Asteroid 2002AA29 is in a horseshoe orbit relative to the Earth that looks exactly like the horseshoe orbits that Belbruno and Gott found for objects that had been perturbed from L(4)/L(5). The regular moons of Saturn are made of ice and have the same albedo as the ring particles (ice chunks, plus some dust). We (J. R. Gott, R. Vanderbei, and E. Belbruno) propose that the regular icy moons of Saturn (out to the orbit of Titan), which are all in nearly circular orbits, formed out of a thin disk of planetesimals (ice chunks) rather like the rings of Saturn today only larger in extent. In such a situation formation of objects at L(4)/L(5) might be expected. Indeed, Saturn's moon Dione is accompanied by moons (Helene and Polydeuces) at both L(4) and L(5) Lagrange points, and Saturn's moon Tethys is also accompanied by moons

  10. Our Battered Moon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2004-01-01

    Most people have probably heard the tale about the Moon being made out of Swiss cheese because, on Earth, the Moon looks like it is full of holes. Those holes are actually impact craters, circular depressions that formed when objects, such as rocks that orbit the Sun, smashed into the surface of the Moon. The activity described in this article,…

  11. New Morphometric Measurements of Peak-Ring Basins on Mercury and the Moon: Results from the Mercury Laser Altimeter and Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Prockter, Louise M.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zuber, Maria T.; Oberst, Juergen; Preusker, Frank; Gwiner, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Peak-ring basins (large impact craters exhibiting a single interior ring) are important to understanding the processes controlling the morphological transition from craters to large basins on planetary bodies. New image and topography data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have helped to update the catalogs of peak-ring basins on Mercury and the Moon [1,2] and are enabling improved calculations of the morphometric properties of these basins. We use current orbital altimeter measurements from the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) [3] and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) [4], as well as stereo-derived topography [5], to calculate the floor depths and peak-ring heights of peak-ring basins on Mercury and the Moon. We present trends in these parameters as functions of rim-crest diameter, which are likely to be related to processes controlling the onset of peak rings in these basins.

  12. Building Small Icy Bodies: the Process of Icy Grain Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, Helen Jane; Hill, Catherine Rachel; Blum, Jurgen; Heisselmann, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    The material remaining in proto-planetary disks provides the ingredients from which planetessimals, and eventually comets, asteroids and planets (including their ring and moon systems) evolve. Aggregation processes are thought to proceed much more rapidly beyond snow-lines in such disks, aided by icy mantles on dust grains, but we do not know nano- and micron-scale dust combines to kilometer-sizes. Recent ALMA observations have proven the existence of snow lines in other proto-planetary systems (Qi et al Science (2013)), so it is by studying icy collisions in the laboratory that we can begin to understand the assembly of the icy bodies in our Solar System.Icy particles (between 4.7 and 10.8 mm in diameter) were collided at relative collision velocities of 0.27 - 0.51 m s-1, at 131 - 160 K, under microgravity conditions using a purpose-built experiment (Salter et al Rev Sci Inst (2010)). Bouncing was observed in the majority of collisions, across a full range of normalized impact parameters (b/R = 0.0-1.0). Coefficients of restitution were evenly spread between 0.08 and 0.65 with an average value of 0.36, leading to a minimum of 58% of translational energy being lost in the collision. The range of coefficients of restitution was attributed to the surface roughness of the particles. Analysis of particle rotation showed that up to 17% of the energy of the particles before the collision was converted into rotational energy. Temperature did not affect the coefficients of restitution over the range studied (Hill et all A&A (2015a)). The effects of chemical composition on the collisional outcomes were also studied, at relative particle impact velocities between 0.01 and 0.19 ms-1, temperatures between 131 and 160 K and a pressure of around 10-5 mbar. Overall the collisional properties of the icy particles were unchanged (Hill et al A&A (2015b)).The implications of these experimental results will be discussed in terms of our understanding of the formation and evolution of

  13. Tidal deformation, Orbital Dynamics and JIMO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratcliff, J. T.; Wu, X.; Williams, J. G.

    2003-12-01

    Observations of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto obtained from encounters by the Galileo spacecraft strongly suggest the possibility of liquid oceans under the icy shells of these Jovian satellites. The strong tidal environments in which these moons are found and the fact that a planetary body with internal fluid undergoes greater deformation than an otherwise solid body make a compelling case for using tidal observations as a method for ocean detection. Given the high degree of uncertainty in our knowledge of the interiors of these moons, a comprehensive geodetic program measuring different physical signatures related to tidal deformation and interior structure is preferred to using separate and various interior parameters that may not be as closely tied to actual measurable quantities. Potential and displacement tidal Love numbers, libration amplitudes of the surface ice shell and rocky mantle, static topography and gravity fields and other quantities should all be included in the measurement objectives. Many geodetic techniques rely heavily upon orbital positions of the spacecraft. Their accurate determination depend on factors such as the orbital configuration, the gravity fields of the icy moons, as well as the duration and geometry of tracking. Given the competing science, engineering and planetary protection demands, orbital accuracy subject to constraints has become a critical mission design issue. Orbit determination simulations and covariance analyses will be used to investigate the achievable accuracies of spacecraft position and geodetic signatures under different orbital and tracking scenarios.

  14. COMPASS Final Report: Saturn Moons Orbiter Using Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP): Flagship Class Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2011-01-01

    The COllaborative Modeling and Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team was approached by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) In-Space Project to perform a design session to develop Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) Spacecraft Conceptual Designs (with cost, risk, and reliability) for missions of three different classes: New Frontier s Class Centaur Orbiter (with Trojan flyby), Flagship, and Discovery. The designs will allow trading of current and future propulsion systems. The results will directly support technology development decisions. The results of the Flagship mission design are reported in this document

  15. Strong orbital expansion of Saturn’s inner ice-rich moons through ring torques and mutual resonances during their accretion from a massive ring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmon, Julien; Canup, Robin M.

    2015-11-01

    Saturn has a diversity of moons with possibly diverse origins. Titan likely formed in Saturn’s sub-nebula (e.g., Canup & Ward 2006). The small moons interior to Mimas are likely recent aggregates of ring’s material spreading through the Roche limit (Charnoz et al. 2010). The origin of the mid-size moons, Mimas through Rhea, is debated. Charnoz et al. (2011) considered a massive ice-rock ring and strong tidal dissipation in Saturn (Q ~ 103), and found that moons out to Rhea could be spawned from such a ring. However such a small value for Q for Saturn is debated. In addition, capture into mutual Mean Motion Resonances (MMR) and resulting eccentricity growth (not included in the Charnoz et al. (2011) model) could lead to orbital destabilization as the moons tidally expand over such large distances (Peale & Canup 2015).Here we consider weak planetary tides (Q ≥ 104) and investigate whether Mimas, Enceladus and Tethys could have been spawned from a massive ice ring (Canup 2010). In this scenario, the rock in these moons would be delivered by material from outside the rings, e.g. by heliocentric impactors during the LHB (Canup 2013). We have expanded a numerical model developed to study the Moon’s accretion (Salmon and Canup 2012, 2014), which couples an analytic Roche-interior disk model to the N-body code SyMBA (Duncan et al. 1998) for satellites, so that we can directly track their accretion and mutual interactions (including MMRs), as well as their tidal interaction with the planet. We consider an initially large Saturn (Fortney et al. 2007) and its progressive contraction, which impacts the strength of tides and the location of the corotation resonance. We perform simulations with and without Dione and Rhea, and study the influence of tidal dissipation into the moons.We find that recoil of the moons due to ring torques, together with capture of moons into MMRs, can produce a distribution similar to that observed. If tidal dissipation in the moons was weak

  16. Shepherd Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Shepherd Moons

    The New Horizons spacecraft took the best images of Jupiter's charcoal-black rings as it approached and then looked back at Jupiter in February 2007. This sequence of pictures from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) shows the well-defined lanes of gravel- to boulder-sized material composing the bulk of the rings; labels point out how these narrow rings are confined in their orbits by small 'shepherding' moons (Metis and Adrastea).

  17. OASIS: Organics Analyzer for Sampling Icy Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Getty, S. A.; Dworkin, J. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Martin, M.; Zheng, Y.; Balvin, M.; Southard, A. E.; Ferrance, J.; Malespin, C.

    2012-01-01

    Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is a well established laboratory technique for detecting and analyzing organic molecules. This approach has been especially fruitful in the analysis of nucleobases, amino acids, and establishing chirol ratios [1 -3]. We are developing OASIS, Organics Analyzer for Sampling Icy Surfaces, for future in situ landed missions to astrochemically important icy bodies, such as asteroids, comets, and icy moons. The OASIS design employs a microfabricated, on-chip analytical column to chromatographically separate liquid ana1ytes using known LC stationary phase chemistries. The elution products are then interfaced through electrospray ionization (ESI) and analyzed by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS). A particular advantage of this design is its suitability for microgravity environments, such as for a primitive small body.

  18. Inelastic neutron scatter iron concentrations of the moon from orbital gamma ray data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, P. A., Jr.; Bielefeld, M. J.

    1981-01-01

    The considered investigation is concerned with the relation between KREEP and thermal neutron flux depression. The Fe(n, n-prime gamma) concentrations of selected lunar regions were calculated by energy-band analysis of the 0.803-0.872 MeV band. The result of the investigation will be used to evaluate the reliability of the previously determined Fe(n, gamma) values. A 0.803-0.872 MeV band was isolated from the Apollo 15 and 16 orbital gamma ray spectra. Preliminary regression analysis of regional ground truth count rates and Fe concentrations showed this energy interval to be optimum for the 0.8467 MeV inelastic scatter (n, n-prime gamma)Fe peak.

  19. X-Ray Probes of Jupiter's Auroral Zones, Galilean Moons, and the Io Plasma Torus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsner, R. F.; Ramsey, B. D.; Swartz, D. A.; Rehak, P.; Waite, J. H., Jr.; Cooper, J. F.; Johnson, R. E.

    2005-01-01

    Remote observations from the Earth orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton Observatory have shown the the Jovian system is a rich and complex source of x-ray emission. The planet's auroral zones and its disk are powerful sources of x-ray emission, though with different origins. Chandra observations discovered x-ray emission from the Io plasma torus and from the Galilean moons Io, Europa, and possibly Ganymede. The emission from the moons is due to bombardment of their surfaces by highly energetic magnetospheric protons, and oxygen and sulfur ions, producing fluorescent x-ray emission lines from the elements in their surfaces against an intense background continuum. Although very faint when observed from Earth orbit, an imaging x-ray spectrometer in orbit around the icy Galilean moons would provide a detail mapping of the elemental composition in their surfaces. Here we review the results of Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of the Jovian system and describe the characteristics of X-MIME, an imaging x-ray spectrometer undergoing study for possible application to future missions to Jupiter such as JIMO. X-MIME has the ultimate goal of providing detailed high-resolution maps of the elemental abundances of the surfaces of Jupiter's icy moons and Io, as well as detailed study of the x-ray mission from the Io plasma torus, Jupiter's auroral zones, and the planetary disk.

  20. A Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer for Remote Surface Composition Analysis of the Galilean Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krueger, H.; Srama, R.; Johnson, T. V.; Henkel, H.; vonHoerner, H.; Koch, A.; Horanyi, M.; Gruen, E.; Kissel, J.; Krueger, F.

    2003-01-01

    Galileo in-situ dust measurements have shown that the Galilean moons are surrounded by tenuous dust clouds formed by collisional ejecta from their icy surfaces, kicked up by impacts of interplanetary micrometeoroids. The majority of the ejecta dust particles have been sensed at altitudes below five between 0.5 and 1 micron, just above the detector threshold, indicating a size distribution decreasing towards bigger particles. their parent bodies. They carry information about the properties of the surface from which they have been kicked up. In particular, these grains may carry organic compounds and other chemicals of biological relevance if they exist on the icy Galilean moons. In-situ analysis of the grain composition with a sophisticated dust analyzer instrument flying on a Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter can provide important information about geochemical and geophysical processes during the evolutionary histories of these moons which are not accessible with other techniques from an orbiter spacecraft. Thus, spacecraft-based in-situ dust measurements can be used as a diagnostic tool for the analysis of the surface composition of the moons. This way, the in-situ measurements turn into a remote sensing technique by using the dust instrument like a telescope for surface investigation. An instrument capable of very high resolution composition analysis of dust particles is the Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer (COSIMA). The instrument was originally developed for the Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission and has now been built for ESA'S comet orbiter Rosetta. Dust particles are collected on a target and are later located by an optical microscope camera. A pulsed primary indium ion gun partially ionizes the dust grains. The generated secondary ions are accelerated in an electric field and travel through a reflectron-type time-of-flight ion mass spectrometer.

  1. Natural motion around the Martian moon Phobos: the dynamical substitutes of the Libration Point Orbits in an elliptic three-body problem with gravity harmonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamaro, M.; Biggs, J. D.

    2015-07-01

    The Martian moon Phobos is becoming an appealing destination for future scientific missions. The orbital dynamics around this planetary satellite is particularly complex due to the unique combination of both small mass-ratio and length-scale of the Mars-Phobos couple: the resulting sphere of influence of the moon is very close to its surface, therefore both the classical two-body problem and circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) do not provide an accurate approximation to describe the spacecraft's dynamics in the vicinity of Phobos. The aim of this paper is to extend the model of the CR3BP to consider the orbital eccentricity and the highly-inhomogeneous gravity field of Phobos, by incorporating the gravity harmonics series expansion into an elliptic R3BP, named ER3BP-GH. Following this, the dynamical substitutes of the Libration Point Orbits (LPOs) are computed in this more realistic model of the relative dynamics around Phobos, combining methodologies from dynamical systems theory and numerical continuation techniques. Results obtained show that the structure of the periodic and quasi-periodic LPOs differs substantially from the classical case without harmonics. Several potential applications of these natural orbits are presented to enable unique low-cost operations in the proximity of Phobos, such as close-range observation, communication, and passive radiation shielding for human spaceflight. Furthermore, their invariant manifolds are demonstrated to provide high-performance natural landing and take-off pathways to and from Phobos' surface, and transfers from and to Martian orbits. These orbits could be exploited in upcoming and future space missions targeting the exploration of this Martian moon.

  2. A new 4-D dynamical modelling of the Moon orbital and rotational motion developed at POLAC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgoin, A.; Le Poncin-Lafitte, C.; Bouquillon, S.; Francou, G.; Angonin, M.-C.

    2015-12-01

    Nowadays, General Relativity (GR) is very well tested within the Solar System using observables given by the tracking of spacecraft tep{2003Natur.425..374B}, Very Long Baseline Interferometry tep{2009A&A...499..331L,2011A&A...529A..70L} and Lunar Laser Ranging -LLR- tep{2010LRR....13....7M}. These tests are mainly based on two frameworks: the Parametrized Post Newtonian (PPN) and the search for a fifth force. However other frameworks are available and can be used to look for deviations from GR. In this context, we present the ongoing work concerning LLR performed at POLAC (Paris Observatory Lunar Analysis Center) in SYRTE, Paris Observatory. We focus on a new generation of software that simulates the observable (the round trip time of photons) from a given space-time metric tep{2012CQGra..29w5027H}. This flexible approach allows to perform simulations in any alternative metric theories of gravity. The output of these software provides templates of anomalous residuals that should show up in real data if the underlying theory of gravity is not GR. Those templates can be used to give a rough estimation of the constraints on the additional parameters involved in the alternative theory. To succeed, we are building a numerical lunar ephemeris which integrates the differential equations governing the orbital and rotational motion of bodies in the Solar System. In addition, we integrate the difference between the Terrestrial Time (TT) and the Barycentric Dynamical Time (TDB) to make the ephemeris self-consistent. Special attention is paid to the computation of partial derivatives since they are integrated numerically from the variational equations.

  3. Rapid trajectory design in the Earth-Moon ephemeris system via an interactive catalog of periodic and quasi-periodic orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzzetti, Davide; Bosanac, Natasha; Haapala, Amanda; Howell, Kathleen C.; Folta, David C.

    2016-09-01

    Upcoming missions and prospective design concepts in the Earth-Moon system extensively leverage multi-body dynamics that may facilitate access to strategic locations or reduce propellant usage. To incorporate these dynamical structures into the mission design process, Purdue University and the NASA Goddard Flight Space Center have initiated the construction of a trajectory design framework to rapidly access and compare solutions from the circular restricted three-body problem. This framework, based upon a 'dynamic' catalog of periodic and quasi-periodic orbits within the Earth-Moon system, can guide an end-to-end trajectory design in an ephemeris model. In particular, the inclusion of quasi-periodic orbits further expands the design space, potentially enabling the detection of additional orbit options. To demonstrate the concept of a 'dynamic' catalog, a prototype graphical interface is developed. Strategies to characterize and represent periodic and quasi-periodic information for interactive trajectory comparison and selection are discussed. Two sample applications for formation flying near the Earth-Moon L2 point and lunar space infrastructures are explored to demonstrate the efficacy of a 'dynamic' catalog for rapid trajectory design and validity in higher-fidelity models.

  4. Laser 'Footprints' on the Moon

    NASA Video Gallery

    As the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) circles the moon, a sophisticated instrument bounces laser light off the moon's surface 28 times per second. An array of five sensors arranged in an X-shap...

  5. The transition from complex craters to multi-ring basins on the Moon: Quantitative geometric properties from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-03-01

    The morphologic transition from complex impact craters, to peak-ring basins, and to multi-ring basins has been well-documented for decades. Less clear has been the morphometric characteristics of these landforms due to their large size and the lack of global high-resolution topography data. We use data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft to derive the morphometric characteristics of impact basins on the Moon, assess the trends, and interpret the processes involved in the observed morphologic transitions. We first developed a new technique for measuring and calculating the geometric/morphometric properties of impact basins on the Moon. This new method meets a number of criteria that are important for consideration in any topographic analysis of crater landforms (e.g., multiple data points, complete range of azimuths, systematic, reproducible analysis techniques, avoiding effects of post-event processes, robustness with respect to the statistical techniques). The resulting data more completely capture the azimuthal variation in topography that is characteristic of large impact structures. These new calculations extend the well-defined geometric trends for simple and complex craters out to basin-sized structures. Several new geometric trends for peak-ring basins are observed. Basin depth: A factor of two reduction in the depth to diameter (d/Dr) ratio in the transition from complex craters to peak-ring basins may be characterized by a steeper trend than known previously. The d/Dr ratio for peak-ring basins decreases with rim-crest diameter, which may be due to a non-proportional change in excavation cavity growth or scaling, as may occur in the simple to complex transition, or increased magnitude of floor uplift associated with peak-ring formation. Wall height, width, and slope: Wall height and width increase with increasing rim-crest diameter, while wall slope decreases; decreasing ratios

  6. Geology of icy satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckinnon, W. B.

    1985-01-01

    The geology of the major icy satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune is discussed in terms of the four major processes that shape icy satellite surfaces: impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and interactions with planetary magnetospheres and solar radiation. The role of these processes in creating the differences that exist among the satellites, in particular the orderly progression of geological properties in the Jovian satellites, is emphasized. Important questions left open after the Voyager missions are summarized.

  7. Morphology and Scaling of Ejecta Deposits on Icy Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Ridolfi, Francis J.; Bredekamp, Joe (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Continuous ejecta deposits on Ganymede consist of two major units, or facies: a thick inner hummocky pedestal facies, and a relatively thin outer radially scoured facies defined also by the inner limit of the secondary crater field. Both ejecta facies have a well-defined power-law relationship to crater diameter for craters ranging from 15 to approx. 600 km across. This relationship can be used to estimate the nominal crater diameter for impact features on icy satellites (such as palimpsests and multiring basins) for which the crater rim is no longer recognizable. Ejecta deposits have also been mapped on 4 other icy satellites. Although morphologically similar to eject deposits on the Moon, ejecta deposits for smaller craters are generally significantly broader in extent on the icy satellites, in apparent defiance of predictions of self-similarity. A greater degree of rim collapse and enlargement on the Moon may explain the observed difference.

  8. Trajectory design to L4 and L5 libiration point in the Earth-Moon system using lunar gravity assistance and orbit optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, ZhengTao; Tang, Jingshi; Liu, Lin

    There has some application prospects of the stable libration point L4 and L5 of the Earth-Moon system in deep space exploration,such as VLBI.The transfer strategy is from LEO to L4 or L5 libration point with the lunar gravity assistance,which saves energy compared to the traditional Hohmann transfer strategy.The high-order analysis solution of period orbit around L4 libration point is applied to express the target orbit.Then by changing the velocity of a given point on the target orbit and doing reverse integration the probe reaches the perilune patched by a Hohmann transfer orbit from LEO with different velocity.By utilizing the global optimization method PSO and local SQP method,we optimize the transfer orbit. This powered lunar gravity assistance method is applied in the transfer from L2 to L4 and L5 libration point with invariant manifolds,which sloves the problem that the unstable manifold of L2 cannot reach L4 and L5.

  9. Interior of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee C.

    2013-01-01

    A variety of geophysical measurements made from Earth, from spacecraft in orbit around the Moon, and by astronauts on the lunar surface allow us to probe beyond the lunar surface to learn about its interior. Similarly to the Earth, the Moon is thought to consist of a distinct crust, mantle, and core. The crust is globally asymmetric in thickness, the mantle is largely homogeneous, and the core is probably layered, with evidence for molten material. This chapter will review a range of methods used to infer the Moon's internal structure, and briefly discuss the implications for the Moon's formation and evolution.

  10. Feasibility demonstration for calibrating Suomi-National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite day/night band using Dome C and Greenland under moon light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Shi; Shao, Xi; Cao, Changyong; Uprety, Sirish

    2016-01-01

    The day/night band (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) represents a major advancement in night time imaging capabilities. DNB covers almost seven orders of magnitude in its dynamic range from full sunlight to half-moon. To achieve this large dynamic range, it uses four charge-coupled device arrays in three gain stages. The low gain stage (LGS) gain is calibrated using the solar diffuser. In operations, the medium and high gain stage values are determined by multiplying the gain ratios between the medium gain stage, and LGS, and high gain stage (HGS) and LGS, respectively. This paper focuses on independently verifying the radiometric accuracy and stability of DNB HGS using DNB observations of ground vicarious calibration sites under lunar illumination at night. Dome C in Antarctica in the southern hemisphere and Greenland in the northern hemisphere are chosen as the vicarious calibration sites. Nadir observations of these high latitude regions by VIIRS are selected during perpetual night season, i.e., from April to August for Dome C and from November to January for Greenland over the years 2012 to 2013. Additional selection criteria, such as lunar phase being more than half-moon and no influence of straylight effects, are also applied in data selection. The lunar spectral irradiance model, as a function of Sun-Earth-Moon distances and lunar phase, is used to determine the top-of-atmosphere reflectance at the vicarious site. The vicariously derived long-term reflectance from DNB observations agrees with the reflectance derived from Hyperion observations. The vicarious trending of DNB radiometric performance using DOME-C and Greenland under moon light shows that the DNB HGS radiometric variability (relative accuracy to lunar irradiance model and Hyperion observation) is within 8%. Residual variability is also discussed.

  11. The Transition from Complex Crater to Peak-Ring Basin on the Moon: New Observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Kadish, Seth J.; Smith, Dave E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2012-01-01

    Impact craters on planetary bodies transition with increasing size from simple, to complex, to peak-ring basins and finally to multi-ring basins. Important to understanding the relationship between complex craters with central peaks and multi-ring basins is the analysis of protobasins (exhibiting a rim crest and interior ring plus a central peak) and peak-ring basins (exhibiting a rim crest and an interior ring). New data have permitted improved portrayal and classification of these transitional features on the Moon. We used new 128 pixel/degree gridded topographic data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, combined with image mosaics, to conduct a survey of craters >50 km in diameter on the Moon and to update the existing catalogs of lunar peak-ring basins and protobasins. Our updated catalog includes 17 peak-ring basins (rim-crest diameters range from 207 km to 582 km, geometric mean = 343 km) and 3 protobasins (137-170 km, geometric mean = 157 km). Several basins inferred to be multi-ring basins in prior studies (Apollo, Moscoviense, Grimaldi, Freundlich-Sharonov, Coulomb-Sarton, and Korolev) are now classified as peak-ring basins due to their similarities with lunar peak-ring basin morphologies and absence of definitive topographic ring structures greater than two in number. We also include in our catalog 23 craters exhibiting small ring-like clusters of peaks (50-205 km, geometric mean = 81 km); one (Humboldt) exhibits a rim-crest diameter and an interior morphology that may be uniquely transitional to the process of forming peak rings. Comparisons of the predictions of models for the formation of peak-ring basins with the characteristics of the new basin catalog for the Moon suggest that formation and modification of an interior melt cavity and nonlinear scaling of impact melt volume with crater diameter provide important controls on the development of peak rings. In particular, a power-law model of

  12. Supporting Mars exploration: BIOMEX in Low Earth Orbit and further astrobiological studies on the Moon using Raman and PanCam technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Boettger, Ute; Noetzel, Rosa de la Torre; Sánchez, Francisco J.; Grunow, Dana; Schmitz, Nicole; Lange, Caroline; Hübers, Heinz-Wilhelm; Billi, Daniela; Baqué, Mickael; Rettberg, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Reitz, Günther; Berger, Thomas; Möller, Ralf; Bohmeier, Maria; Horneck, Gerda; Westall, Frances; Jänchen, Jochen; Fritz, Jörg; Meyer, Cornelia; Onofri, Silvano; Selbmann, Laura; Zucconi, Laura; Kozyrovska, Natalia; Leya, Thomas; Foing, Bernard; Demets, René; Cockell, Charles S.; Bryce, Casey; Wagner, Dirk; Serrano, Paloma; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Joshi, Jasmin; Huwe, Björn; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ott, Sieglinde; Meessen, Joachim; Feyh, Nina; Szewzyk, Ulrich; Jaumann, Ralf; Spohn, Tilman

    2012-12-01

    The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) experiment Biology and Mars Experiment (BIOMEX) is an interdisciplinary and international space research project selected by ESA. The experiment will be accommodated on the space exposure facility EXPOSE-R2 on the International Space Station (ISS) and is foreseen to be launched in 2013. The prime objective of BIOMEX is to measure to what extent biomolecules, such as pigments and cellular components, are resistant to and able to maintain their stability under space and Mars-like conditions. The results of BIOMEX will be relevant for space proven biosignature definition and for building a biosignature data base (e.g. the proposed creation of an international Raman library). The library will be highly relevant for future space missions such as the search for life on Mars. The secondary scientific objective is to analyze to what extent terrestrial extremophiles are able to survive in space and to determine which interactions between biological samples and selected minerals (including terrestrial, Moon- and Mars analogs) can be observed under space and Mars-like conditions. In this context, the Moon will be an additional platform for performing similar experiments with negligible magnetic shielding and higher solar and galactic irradiation compared to LEO. Using the Moon as an additional astrobiological exposure platform to complement ongoing astrobiological LEO investigations could thus enhance the chances of detecting organic traces of life on Mars. We present a lunar lander mission with two related objectives: a lunar lander equipped with Raman and PanCam instruments which can analyze the lunar surface and survey an astrobiological exposure platform. This dual use of testing mission technology together with geo- and astrobiological analyses will significantly increase the science return, and support the human preparation objectives. It will provide knowledge about the Moon's surface itself and, in addition, monitor the stability of life

  13. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Dynamic Moon: Five Years of Operations in Lunar Orbit - An Overview of the Mission, Key Science Results, Data Products, and Future Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petro, N. E.; Keller, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the Moon for over five years. In that time, data from the seven instruments onboard the spacecraft have made significant advances in our understanding of the Moon and its environment. In September 2014 LRO completed its first Extended Science Mission (ESM) and began a second ESM (pending NASA approval). During the ESM and the second ESM, LRO has been in a quasi-stable, eccentric orbit of ~30 x 180 km with a periapse near the South Pole. This orbit enabled high-resolution measurements around the South Pole. LRO's seven instruments are operating nominally, and have experienced no significant degradation since beginning the ESM. The spacecraft has performed exceptionally well, with 98.4% uptime during the mission. LRO retains sufficient fuel so that its current orbit can be maintained for at least 8 years. LRO's science teams have been extremely productive, focusing on the distribution of volatiles, evidence for early differentiation, measuring the lunar impact record, and the Moon's interactions with its external environment. Three of the most exciting findings by LRO have been the identification of LRO-era impacts, global tectonic features, and the transient nature of some volatiles at the surface. These findings are areas of study for future LRO measurements. LRO's data is released to the PDS every 3 months, as of Aug. 2014 528.75 TB of data have been delivered by LRO. Many of the teams have delivered higher-level data products as part of their routine PDS deliveries (e.g., mosaics, maps, derived products). These products are intended to act as useful resources for the science community. Some higher-level LRO data products are of interest for future lunar landers. These products include illumination maps, meter-scale digital elevation models, roughness maps, and 50cm per pixel images of a range of possible landing sites. All of these products are available either from the PDS [1] or individual teams websites

  14. A permanent, asymmetric dust cloud around the Moon.

    PubMed

    Horányi, M; Szalay, J R; Kempf, S; Schmidt, J; Grün, E; Srama, R; Sternovsky, Z

    2015-06-18

    Interplanetary dust particles hit the surfaces of airless bodies in the Solar System, generating charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds that form dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but have hitherto not been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces. High-altitude Apollo 15 and 17 observations of a 'horizon glow' indicated a putative population of high-density small dust particles near the lunar terminators, although later orbital observations yielded upper limits on the abundance of such particles that were a factor of about 10(4) lower than that necessary to produce the Apollo results. Here we report observations of a permanent, asymmetric dust cloud around the Moon, caused by impacts of high-speed cometary dust particles on eccentric orbits, as opposed to particles of asteroidal origin following near-circular paths striking the Moon at lower speeds. The density of the lunar ejecta cloud increases during the annual meteor showers, especially the Geminids, because the lunar surface is exposed to the same stream of interplanetary dust particles. We expect all airless planetary objects to be immersed in similar tenuous clouds of dust. PMID:26085272

  15. A permanent, asymmetric dust cloud around the Moon.

    PubMed

    Horányi, M; Szalay, J R; Kempf, S; Schmidt, J; Grün, E; Srama, R; Sternovsky, Z

    2015-06-18

    Interplanetary dust particles hit the surfaces of airless bodies in the Solar System, generating charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds that form dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but have hitherto not been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces. High-altitude Apollo 15 and 17 observations of a 'horizon glow' indicated a putative population of high-density small dust particles near the lunar terminators, although later orbital observations yielded upper limits on the abundance of such particles that were a factor of about 10(4) lower than that necessary to produce the Apollo results. Here we report observations of a permanent, asymmetric dust cloud around the Moon, caused by impacts of high-speed cometary dust particles on eccentric orbits, as opposed to particles of asteroidal origin following near-circular paths striking the Moon at lower speeds. The density of the lunar ejecta cloud increases during the annual meteor showers, especially the Geminids, because the lunar surface is exposed to the same stream of interplanetary dust particles. We expect all airless planetary objects to be immersed in similar tenuous clouds of dust.

  16. Orbits of Saturn's Inner Moons and Other Observations Connected with the 1995-1996 Saturnian Ring Plane Crossing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Keck infrared observations of Saturn's E and G rings during Earth's 1995 Ring Plane Crossing are reported along with the NASA's Mauna Kea IR Telescope Facility (IRTF) observations of Saturn's faint outer rings and small moons in the Near-IR Astronomy Program. Observations of the rings and satellites with the 5-m Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory, following the solar crossing of Saturn's ring plane on 19 Nov. 1995, are also addressed. Images of Saturn at radio wavelengths, the data containing information on the structure and composition of the rings as well as the planet's deep atmosphere between the 1- and 10-bar pressure levels, are discussed.

  17. New observational evidence of global seismic effects of basin-forming impacts on the Moon from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreslavsky, M. A.; Head, J. W.

    2012-06-01

    New maps of kilometer-scale topographic roughness and concavity of the Moon reveal a very distinctive roughness signature of the proximal ejecta deposits of the Orientale basin (the Hevelius Formation). No other lunar impact basin, even the just-preceding Imbrium basin, is characterized by this type of signature although most have similar types of ejecta units and secondary crater structures. The preservation of this distinctive signature, and its lack in basins formed prior to Orientale, is interpreted to be the result of seismically induced smoothing caused by this latest major basin-forming event. Intense seismic waves accompanying the Orientale basin-forming event preceded the emplacement of its ejecta in time and operated to shake and smooth steep and rough topography associated with earlier basin deposits such as Imbrium. Orientale ejecta emplaced immediately following the passage of the seismic waves formed the distinctive roughness signature that has been preserved for almost 4 billion years.

  18. M2 ocean tide parameters and the deceleration of the moon's mean longitude from satellite orbit data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Felsentreger, T. L.; Marsh, J. G.; Williamson, R. G.

    1979-01-01

    An estimation is made of the principal long-period spherical harmonic parameters in the representation of the M2 ocean tide from the orbital histories of the three satellites 1967-92A, Starlette, and GEOS 3. The data used are primarily the evolution of the orbital inclinations of the satellites in conjunction with the longitude of the ascending node from GEOS 3. Analysis procedure and analytic formulation, as well as ocean tidal parameter estimation and deceleration of the lunar mean longitude are outlined. The credibility of the M2 ocean tide solution is further enhanced by the close accord between the computed value for the deceleration of the lunar mean longitude and other recently reported estimates. It is evident from the results presented that studies of close earth satellite orbits are able to provide important information about the tidal forces acting on the earth.

  19. Materials and Surface Processes at Gale Crater and the Moons of Mars Derived from High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Orbital Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraeman, Abigail Ann

    This thesis is a collection of studies that use orbital remote sensing data to investigate the composition and geologic histories of Mars' moons, Phobos and Deimos, and Mt. Sharp, the destination for the Curiosity Mars rover. A final chapter focuses on Curiosity data and terrestrial analog studies to supplement orbital predictions about Mt. Sharp. Disk-resolved hyperspectral observations of Phobos acquired at a range of lighting and viewing geometries are fit with a Hapke photometric function to solve for the single particle phase function and single scattering albedos of Phobos and also disk-resolved hyperspectral observations of Deimos. Fe2+ electronic absorptions diagnostic of olivine and pyroxene are not detected. A broad absorption centered on 0.65 microm within the red spectral units of both moons is seen, and this feature is also evident in telescopic, Pathfinder, and Phobos-2 observations of Phobos. A 2.8 μm metal-OH combination absorption on both moons is also detected, and this absorption is shallower in the Phobos blue unit than in the Phobos red unit and Deimos. The strength, position, and shape of both absorptions are similar to features seen on low-albedo primitive asteroids. Two end-member hypotheses could explain these spectral features: the presence of highly desiccated Fe-phyllosilicate minerals indigenous to the bodies, or Rayleigh scattering and absorption of small iron particles formed by exogenic space weathering processing, coupled with implantation of H from solar wind. Phobos' and Deimos' low reflectances, lack of mafic absorption features, and red spectral slopes are incompatible with even highly space weathered chondritic or basaltic compositions. These results, coupled with similarities to laboratory spectra of Tagish Lake (possible D-type asteroid analog) and CM carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, show that Phobos and Deimos have primitive compositions. If the moons formed in situ rather than by capture of primitive bodies, primitive

  20. Stability of Frozen Orbits Around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso Dos Santos, Josué; Vilhena de Moraes, R.; Carvalho, J. S.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): A planetary satellite of interest at the present moment for the scientific community is Europa, one of the four largest moons of Jupiter. There are some missions planned to visit Europa in the next years, for example, Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO, NASA) and Jupiter IcyMoon Explorer (JUICE, ESA). In this work we are formulating theories and constructing computer programs to be used in the design of aerospace tasks as regards the stability of artificial satellite orbits around planetary satellites. The studies are related to translational motion of orbits around planetary satellites considering polygenic perturbations due to forces, such as the nonspherical shape of the central body and the perturbation of the third body. The equations of motion will be developed in closed form to avoid expansions in eccentricity and inclination. For a description of canonical formalism are used the Delaunay canonical variables. The canonical set of equations, which are nonlinear differential equations, will be used to study the stability of orbits around Europa. We will use a simplified dynamic model, which considers the effects caused by non-uniform distribution of mass of Europa (J2, J3 and C22) and the gravitational attraction of Jupiter. Emphasis will be given to the case of frozen orbits, defined as having almost constant values of eccentricity, inclination, and argument of pericentre. An approach will be used to search for frozen orbits around planetary satellites and study their stability by applying a process of normalization of Hamiltonian. Acknowledges: FAPESP

  1. Moon Phases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2010-01-01

    When teaching Moon phases, the focus seems to be on the sequence of Moon phases and, in some grade levels, how Moon phases occur. Either focus can sometimes be a challenge, especially without the use of models and observations of the Moon. In this month's column, the author describes some of the lessons that he uses to teach the phases of the Moon…

  2. GLGM-3: A degree-150 lunar gravity model from the historical tracking data of NASA Moon orbiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Han, Shin-Chan; Smith, D. E.

    2010-05-01

    In preparation for the radio science experiment of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, we analyzed the available radio tracking data of previous NASA lunar orbiters. Our goal was to use these historical observations in combination with the new low-altitude data to be obtained by LRO. We performed Precision Orbit Determination on trajectory arcs from Lunar Orbiter 1 in 1966 to Lunar Prospector in 1998, using the GEODYN II program developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We then created a set of normal equations and solved for the coefficients of a spherical harmonics expansion of the lunar gravity potential up to degree and order 150. The GLGM-3 solution obtained with a global Kaula constraint (2.5 × 10-4l-2) shows good agreement with model LP150Q from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, especially over the nearside. The levels of data fit with both gravity models are very similar (Doppler RMS of ˜0.2 and ˜1-2 mm/s in the nominal and extended phases, respectively). Orbit overlaps and uncertainties estimated from the covariance matrix also agree well. GLGM-3 shows better correlation with lunar topography and admittance over the nearside at high degrees of expansion (l > 100), particularly near the poles. We also present three companion solutions, obtained with the same data set but using alternate inversion strategies that modify the power law constraint and expectation of the individual spherical harmonics coefficients. We give a detailed discussion of the performance of this family of gravity field solutions in terms of observation fit, orbit quality, and geophysical consistency.

  3. GLGM-3: A Degree-ISO Lunar Gravity Model from the Historical Tracking Data of NASA Moon Orbiters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazarico, E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Han, Shin-Chan; Smith, D. E.

    2010-01-01

    In preparation for the radio science experiment of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, we analyzed the available radio tracking data of previous NASA lunar orbiters. Our goal was to use these historical observations in combination with the new low-altitude data to be obtained by LRO. We performed Precision Orbit Determination on trajectory arcs from Lunar Orbiter 1 in 1966 to Lunar Prospector in 1998, using the GEODYN II program developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We then created a set of normal equations and solved for the coefficients of a spherical harmonics expansion of the lunar gravity potential up to degree and order 150. The GLGM-3 solution obtained with a global Kaula constraint (2.5 x 10(exp -4)/sq l) shows good agreement with model LP150Q from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, especially over the nearside. The levels of data fit with both gravity models are very similar (Doppler RMS of approx.0.2 and approx. 1-2 mm/s in the nominal and extended phases, respectiVely). Orbit overlaps and uncertainties estimated from the covariance matrix also agree well. GLGM-3 shows better correlation with lunar topography and admittance over the nearside at high degrees of expansion (l > 100), particularly near the poles. We also present three companion solutions, obtained with the same data set but using alternate inversion strategies that modify the power law constraint and expectation of the individual spherical harmonics coefficients. We give a detailed discussion of the performance of this family of gravity field solutions in terms of observation fit, orbit quality, and geophysical consistency.

  4. Tidally Heated ExoMoons (THEM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobos, V.

    2014-04-01

    More than a thousand exoplanets have been identified to date (Schneider 2014); however, moons orbiting exoplanets have not been discovered, yet. Nevertheless, it is probable that exomoons will be detected in the near future if they are not much more rare in exoplanetary systems than they are in the Solar System (Heller & Barnes 2013, Peters & Turner 2013, Kaltenegger 2010). For this reason it is important to begin to develop basic theoretical models of exomoons in advance of the first detections. Habitability is a particularly important aspect, since life might well develop on a non-planetary body if it has suitable characteristics and environmentals. Tidal forces produced by the planet which the moon orbits can induce friction inside the satellite that will have a warming effect (Peale et al. 1979). In the Solar System there are several examples for moons that have significant heating due to tidal forces. On exomoons that are too far from their central star to have habitable surface temperatures due to radiative heating, it is possible that warmth area of the surface produced by tidal heating could allow the emergence of life (Scharf 2006). This investigation focuses on tidal heating, studying the surface temperature of hypothetical exomoons for different orbital and interior parameters of the body. The aim of our research is to describe the conditions that allow the existence of water reservoirs in the liquid phase state on or near the surface. We modified and extended the public code of Heller & Barnes (2013) for the purposes of this investigation. References Heller, R., Barnes, R. 2013 Exomoon Habitability Constrained by Illumination and Tidal Heating, Astrobiology 13, 18 Kaltenegger, L. 2010 Characterizing habitable exomoons, The Astrophysical Journal Letters 712, 125 Peale, S. J., Cassen, P., Reynolds, R. T. 1979 Melting of Io by Tidal Dissipation, Science 203, 892 Peters, M. A., Turner, E. L. 2013 On the direct imaging of tidally heated exomoons, The

  5. Focus: Reaching for the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldwin, Emily; Chadha, Kulvinder Singh

    2008-05-01

    The man in the moon. Blue moon. Heavy bombardment era. Black moon. Mechanics of the moon. Perigee/apogee. Blood moon. Harvest moon. Destination moon. Wet moon. Moon Britannia. Moon rocks come down to Earth. Fairy moon.

  6. Ion pick-up near the icy Galilean satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volwerk, M.; Khurana, K. K.

    2010-12-01

    The ion pick-up near the icy Galilean satellites is studied using ion cyclotron waves. Using Galileo magnetometer data, we show evidence for the existence of ion cyclotron waves, which are generated by pick-up of freshly ionized particles. Near Europa, in the wake various kinds of ions are detected, which were already predicted to be present on the moon. Upstream of the moon there is evidence for water ion pick-up, which could facilitate the slow down of the plasma flow. Ganymede shows evidence for either water or oxygen pick up on the flanks of the magnetosphere. Callisto shows indication of hydrogen pick-up from its atmosphere.

  7. Lunar magnetism, space weathering, and icy satellite interiors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemingway, Douglas

    An enduring mystery since Apollo is that, in spite of the Moon's lack of a global magnetic field, the surface is nevertheless dotted with regional magnetic fields strong enough to be detected from orbit. Did the Moon once have an intrinsic global field that magnetized parts of the crust but has since decayed away? This is a question of fundamental importance to understanding the formation and evolution of solid planetary bodies, and yet it remains unanswered due in part to limitations in our knowledge of these crustal magnetic anomalies. Adding to the puzzle, many of these magnetic anomalies are accompanied by enigmatic optical features, known as swirls, which may hold the key to understanding "space weathering"---a process by which airless bodies change color over time due to exposure to solar wind and micrometeoroids. Here we show both that swirl morphology provides information about the structure of the underlying magnetic sources, and that the color of the lunar surface varies systematically with latitude in a way that allows us to distinguish between the effects of solar wind ion and micrometeoroid bombardment, addressing a decades-old problem in remote sensing, and aiding in the interpretation of the spectra of airless bodies throughout the solar system. The remarkable diversity of the outer solar system's satellites provides important clues about the formation and evolution of the solar system. Many of the satellites have surprisingly young surfaces, owing in some cases to on-going geologic activity. Moreover, the existence of subsurface oceans within some of the satellites raises the intriguing possibility of extant habitable environments in the outer solar system. Determining the properties of their ice shells and the structures of their deep interiors places fundamental constraints on how the icy satellites formed and evolved, and on what governs their behavior today. Using gravity and topography data from Cassini, we develop analytical models showing

  8. M2 ocean tide parameters and the deceleration of the moon's mean longitude from satellite orbit data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Felsentreger, T. L.; Marsh, J. G.; Williamson, R. G.

    1978-01-01

    An estimation was made of the principal long period spherical harmonic parameters in the representation for the M sub 2 ocean tide from the orbital histories of three satellites - 1967-92A (TRANSIT), Starlette, and GEOS-3. The data used were primarily the evolution of the orbital inclinations of the satellites, with the addition of the longitude of the ascending node from GEOS-3. The results are: (1) C sub 22 superscript + = 3.42 plus or minus 0.24 cm; (2) sub 42 superscript + = 0.97 plus or minus 0.12 cm; (3) epsilon subscript 22 superscript + = 325 D.5 plus or minus 3.D9; (4) epsilon subscript 42 superscript + = 42 = 124D.0 plus or minus 6 D.9. These values agree quite well with recent numerical models and another recent determination from satellite data. The M sub 2 parameters obtained here infer an N of -25 plus or minus 3 arc seconds/century squared, in good agreement with other investigators. The range of current determinations of N is from -24.6 to 27.2 arc second/century squared.

  9. Origin of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, David

    2006-01-01

    Many ideas have been proposed for the origin of the Moon, but only one has stood the test of time: During the formation of Earth, about 4.5 billion years ago, our planet was hit by a projectile the size of Mars, leading to a close-in disk of molten material in earth orbit. From this material, our Moon formed in about a thousand years. I will explain how the properties of the Moon can be explained by this model and why the alternative ideas are either incorrect or highly improbable. I will also talk about some new developments in this area that come from a consideration of chemistry and isotopic measurements. Finally. I will talk about what we don't know and why the Moon is still an interesting place for further exploration.

  10. Gardening Rates on the Moon

    NASA Video Gallery

    The narrow-angle camera (LROC NAC) aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has photographed a large percentage of the moon's surface multiple times. By looking for differences between earl...

  11. Space missions orbits around small worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso dos Santos, Josué; dos Santos Carvalho, Jean Paulo; Vilhena de Moraes, Rodolpho; Bertachini de Almeida Prado, Antônio Fernando

    2015-08-01

    Space missions under study to visit icy moons and small worlds in our solar system will requires orbits with low-altitude and high inclinations. These orbits provides a better coverage to map the surface and to analyse the gravitational and magnetic fields. In this context, obtain these orbits has become important in planning of these missions. Celestial bodies like Haumea, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Enceladus, Titan and Triton are among the objects under study study to receive missions in a near future. In order to obtain low-altitude and high inclined orbits for future exploration of these bodies, this work aims to present an analytical study to describe and evaluate gravitational disturbances over a spacecraft's orbit around a minor body. An analytical model for the third-body perturbation is presented. Perturbations due to the non-sphericity of the minor body are considered. The effects on spacecraft's orbital elements are analyzed to provide the the more useful and desired orbits. The dynamic of these orbits is explored by numerical simulations. The results present good accordance with the literature.

  12. Exploring medium gravity icy planetary bodies: an opportunity in the Inner System by landing at Ceres high latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poncy, J.; Grasset, O.; Martinot, V.; Tobie, G.

    2009-04-01

    With potentially up to 25% of its mass as H2O and current indications of a differentiated morphology, 950km-wide "dwarf planet" Ceres is holding the promise to be our closest significant icy planetary body. Ceres is within easier reach than the icy moons, allowing for the use of solar arrays and not lying inside the deep gravity well of a giant planet. As such, it would represent an ideal step stone for future in-situ exploration of other airless icy bodies of major interest such as Europa or Enceladus. But when NASA's Dawn orbits Ceres and maps it in 2015, will we be ready to undertake the next logical step: landing? Ceres' gravity at its poles, at about one fifth of the Moon's gravity, is too large for rendezvous-like asteroid landing techniques to apply. Instead, we are there fully in the application domain of soft precision landing techniques such as the ones being developed for ESA's MoonNext mission. These latter require a spacecraft architecture akin to robotic lunar Landers or NASA's Phoenix, and differing from missions to comets and asteroids. If Dawn confirms the icy nature of Ceres under its regolith-covered surface, the potential presence of some ice spots on the surface would call for specific attention. Such spots would indeed be highly interesting landing sites. They are more likely to lie close to the poles of Ceres where cold temperatures should prevent exposed ice from sublimating and/or may limit the thickness of the regolith layer. Also the science and instruments suite should be fitted to study a large body that has probably been or may still be geologically active: its non-negligible gravity field combined with its high volatile mass fraction would then bring Ceres closer in morphology and history to an "Enceladus" or a frozen or near-frozen "Europa" than to a rubble-pile-structured asteroid or a comet nucleus. Thales Alenia Space and the "Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique" of the University of Nantes have carried out a preliminary

  13. Impact origin of the Moon

    SciTech Connect

    Slattery, W.L.

    1998-12-31

    A few years after the Apollo flights to the Moon, it became clear that all of the existing theories on the origin of the Moon would not satisfy the growing body of constraints which appeared with the data gathered by the Apollo flights. About the same time, researchers began to realize that the inner (terrestrial) planets were not born quietly -- all had evidences of impacts on their surfaces. This fact reinforced the idea that the planets had formed by the accumulation of planetesimals. Since the Earth`s moon is unique among the terrestrial planets, a few researchers realized that perhaps the Moon originated in a singular event; an event that was quite probable, but not so probable that one would expect all the terrestrial planets to have a large moon. And thus was born the idea that a giant impact formed the Moon. Impacts would be common in the early solar system; perhaps a really large impact of two almost fully formed planets of disparate sizes would lead to material orbiting the proto-earth, a proto-moon. This idea remained to be tested. Using a relatively new, but robust, method of doing the hydrodynamics of the collision (Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics), the author and his colleagues (W. Benz, Univ. of Arizona, and A.G.W. Cameron, Harvard College Obs.) did a large number of collision simulations on a supercomputer. The author found two major scenarios which would result in the formation of the Moon. The first was direct formation; a moon-sized object is boosted into orbit by gravitational torques. The second is when the orbiting material forms a disk, which, with subsequent evolution can form the Moon. In either case the physical and chemical properties of the newly formed Moon would very neatly satisfy the physical and chemical constraints of the current Moon. Also, in both scenarios the surface of the Earth would be quite hot after the collision. This aspect remains to be explored.

  14. The Chemist's Moon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arnold, James R.

    1973-01-01

    Summarizes chemical information about the lunar surface on the basis of experiments performed in orbit and analyses of lunar soil and rocks. Indicates that the Apollo program completes chemical mapping of about 20 percent of the Moon with 80 percent remaining to be solved in the future. (CC)

  15. The origin of the moon.

    PubMed

    Boss, A P

    1986-01-24

    The origin of the moon is considered within the theory of formation of the terrestrial planets by accumulation of planetesimals. The theory predicts the occurrence of giant impacts, suggesting that the moon formed after a roughly Mars-sized body impacted on the protoearth. The impact blasted portions of the protoearth and the impacting body into geocentric orbit, forming a prelunar disk from which the moon later accreted. Although other mechanisms for formation of the moon appear to be dynamically impossible or implausible, fundamental questions must be answered before a giant impact origin can be considered both possible and probable.

  16. THE EVOLUTION OF CIRCUMPLANETARY DISKS AROUND PLANETS IN WIDE ORBITS: IMPLICATIONS FOR FORMATION THEORY, OBSERVATIONS, AND MOON SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Shabram, Megan; Boley, Aaron C.

    2013-04-10

    Using radiation hydrodynamics simulations, we explore the evolution of circumplanetary disks around wide-orbit proto-gas giants. At large distances from the star ({approx}100 AU), gravitational instability followed by disk fragmentation can form low-mass substellar companions (massive gas giants and/or brown dwarfs) that are likely to host large disks. We examine the initial evolution of these subdisks and their role in regulating the growth of their substellar companions, as well as explore consequences of their interactions with circumstellar material. We find that subdisks that form in the context of GIs evolve quickly from a very massive state. Long-term accretion rates from the subdisk onto the proto-gas giant reach {approx}0.3 Jupiter masses kyr{sup -1}. We also find consistency with previous simulations, demonstrating that subdisks are truncated at {approx}1/3 of the companion's Hill radius and are thick, with (h/r) of {approx}> 0.2. The thickness of subdisks draws to question the use of thin-disk approximations for understanding the behavior of subdisks, and the morphology of subdisks has implications for the formation and extent of satellite systems. These subdisks create heating events in otherwise cold regions of the circumstellar disk and serve as planet formation beacons that can be detected by instruments such as ALMA.

  17. Simulations of mechanical failure in ice: Implications of terrestrial fracture models as applied to they icy satellites of the outer solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, C. C.; Bassis, J. N.

    2011-12-01

    At the South Pole of Enceladus, a small icy moon orbiting Saturn, is a heavily fractured ice plain surrounded by a nearly-circular mountain range. Remarkably, the Cassini orbiter detected jets of water emanating from the icy shell and into space, originating from 4 parallel "tiger stripe" rifts within the center of the ice plain. The tiger stripes imaged on Enceladus are morphologically similar to rifts observed to form under extensional stress regimes in terrestrial ice shelves; the putative subsurface ocean hypothesized beneath the icy shell strengthens the analogy that their formation may have similar mechanical origins. Past studies have also suggested that the tiger stripes are the result of a process similar to that of mid-ocean ridge spreading on the Earth, but it remains to be seen whether or not such motion is consistent with the mountainous features seen at the circular cliff-like boundary of the region. In an attempt to understand the formation of these tiger stripes and their relationship to the observed mountain chains, we apply a conceptual model in which the ice is considered to be less like a continuous fluid body and, instead, behaves like a granular material made up of discrete blocks of ice. The tidal forces on the small moon tug on the shell enough that it has been cracked many times over, motivating the assumption that the ice exists in a continuum between wholly intact ice and highly pre-fractured ice. We employ several experimental setups with the intention of mapping the deformation of the south polar segment of the shell, to determine the processes that may contribute to its observed morphological state. These setups range from large scale topographical models, e.g., simulating the build up of mountains and processes that lead to overall elevation differences in the region, to small-scale, and focus on the more detailed level of fracturing. We explore our ice-shelf rifting analogy by modeling both icy moon fracturing and ice shelf rifting

  18. LRO Exposes the Moon's Complex, Turbulent Youth

    NASA Video Gallery

    Using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), NASA scientists have created the first-ever comprehensive catalog of large craters on the moon. In this animation, lun...

  19. Jupiter's Moons: Family Portrait

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This montage shows the best views of Jupiter's four large and diverse 'Galilean' satellites as seen by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on the New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby of Jupiter in late February 2007. The four moons are, from left to right: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The images have been scaled to represent the true relative sizes of the four moons and are arranged in their order from Jupiter.

    Io, 3,640 kilometers (2,260 miles) in diameter, was imaged at 03:50 Universal Time on February 28 from a range of 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles). The original image scale was 13 kilometers per pixel, and the image is centered at Io coordinates 6 degrees south, 22 degrees west. Io is notable for its active volcanism, which New Horizons has studied extensively.

    Europa, 3,120 kilometers (1,938 miles) in diameter, was imaged at 01:28 Universal Time on February 28 from a range of 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles). The original image scale was 15 kilometers per pixel, and the image is centered at Europa coordinates 6 degrees south, 347 degrees west. Europa's smooth, icy surface likely conceals an ocean of liquid water. New Horizons obtained data on Europa's surface composition and imaged subtle surface features, and analysis of these data may provide new information about the ocean and the icy shell that covers it.

    New Horizons spied Ganymede, 5,262 kilometers (3,268 miles) in diameter, at 10:01 Universal Time on February 27 from 3.5 million kilometers (2.2 million miles) away. The original scale was 17 kilometers per pixel, and the image is centered at Ganymede coordinates 6 degrees south, 38 degrees west. Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, has a dirty ice surface cut by fractures and peppered by impact craters. New Horizons' infrared observations may provide insight into the composition of the moon's surface and interior.

    Callisto, 4,820 kilometers (2,995 miles) in diameter, was imaged

  20. N-BODY SIMULATIONS OF SATELLITE FORMATION AROUND GIANT PLANETS: ORIGIN OF ORBITAL CONFIGURATION OF THE GALILEAN MOONS

    SciTech Connect

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Ida, Shigeru E-mail: ida@geo.titech.ac.jp

    2012-07-01

    As the number of discovered extrasolar planets has been increasing, diversity of planetary systems requires studies of new formation scenarios. It is important to study satellite formation in circumplanetary disks, which is often viewed as analogous to formation of rocky planets in protoplanetary disks. We investigated satellite formation from satellitesimals around giant planets through N-body simulations that include gravitational interactions with a circumplanetary gas disk. Our main aim is to reproduce the observable properties of the Galilean satellites around Jupiter through numerical simulations, as previous N-body simulations have not explained the origin of the resonant configuration. We performed accretion simulations based on the work of Sasaki et al., in which an inner cavity is added to the model of Canup and Ward. We found that several satellites are formed and captured in mutual mean motion resonances outside the disk inner edge and are stable after rapid disk gas dissipation, which explains the characteristics of the Galilean satellites. In addition, owing to the existence of the disk edge, a radial compositional gradient of the Galilean satellites can also be reproduced. An additional objective of this study is to discuss orbital properties of formed satellites for a wide range of conditions by considering large uncertainties in model parameters. Through numerical experiments and semianalytical arguments, we determined that if the inner edge of a disk is introduced, a Galilean-like configuration in which several satellites are captured into a 2:1 resonance outside the disk inner cavity is almost universal. In fact, such a configuration is produced even for a massive disk {approx}> 10{sup 4} g cm{sup -2} and rapid type I migration. This result implies the inevitability of a Galilean satellite formation in addition to providing theoretical predictions for extrasolar satellites. That is, we can predict a substantial number of exomoon systems in the 2

  1. Origin of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ringwood, A. E.

    1984-01-01

    The similarities in siderophile abundances strongly suggest that the Moon was derived from the Earth's mantle after the Earth's core had formed. The energy required to remove material from the Earth's mantle and place it into geocentric orbit can be supplied most readily by impact processes during accretion of the Earth. Impacts of late-accreting, high-velocity planetismals would evaporate many times their masses of mantle material. These gases would be accompanied by a massive spray of shock-melted silicate droplets. It is suggested that the gases produced from such near-equatorial impacts were rapidly spun out into equatorial geocentric orbit. The evaporated material was selectively recondensed, and, accompanied by the shock melted, devolatilized silicate droplets, accreted to form a sediment ring of Earth-orbiting planetismals. This sediment ring also captured a significant proportion of Earth-bound planetismals. The Moon was formed by accretion from planetismals comprising the sediment ring.

  2. The Tethered Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Lupu, Roxana Elena; Dubrovolskis, A. R.

    2014-01-01

    that the Moon's orbit evolves is limited by the modest radiative cooling rate of Earth's atmosphere, which in effect tethers the Moon to the Earth. Consequently the Moon's orbit evolves orders of magnitude more slowly than in conventional models. Slow orbital evolution promotes capture by orbital resonances that may have been important in the Earth-Moon system

  3. Habitability Potential of Icy Moons: A Comparative Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomonidou, A.; Coustenis, A.; Encrenaz, Th.; Sohl, F.; Hussmann, H.; Bampasidis, G.; Wagner, F. W.; Raulin, F.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Lopes, R. M. C.

    2014-02-01

    This research focuses on the environments of the outer solar system satellites such as Titan, Enceladus, Europa and Ganymede that seem to satisfy many of the “classical” criteria for habitability with promising conditions for the development of life.

  4. Recent Formation of Saturnian Moons: Constraints from Their Cratering Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dones, Henry C. Luke; Charnoz, Sebastien; Robbins, Stuart J.; Bierhaus, Edward B.

    2015-05-01

    Charnoz et al. (2010) proposed that Saturn's small "ring moons" out to Janus and Epimetheus consist of ring material that viscously spread beyond the Roche limit and coagulated into moonlets. The moonlets evolve outward due to the torques they exert at resonances in the rings. More massive moonlets migrate faster; orbits can cross and bodies can merge, resulting in a steep trend of mass vs. distance from the planet. Canup (2010) theorized that Saturn's rings are primordial and originated when a differentiated, Titan-like moon migrated inward when the planet was still surrounded by a gas disk. The satellite's icy shell could have been tidally stripped, and would have given rise to today's rings and the mid-sized moons out to Tethys. Charnoz et al. (2011) investigated the formation of satellites out to Rhea from a spreading massive ring, and Crida and Charnoz (2012) extended this scenario to other planets. Once the mid-sized moons recede far from the rings, tidal interaction with the planet determines the rate at which the satellites migrate. Charnoz et al. (2011) found that Mimas would have formed about 1 billion years more recently than Rhea. The cratering records of these moons (Kirchoff and Schenk 2010; Robbins et al. 2015) provide a test of this scenario. If the mid-sized moons are primordial, most of their craters were created through hypervelocity impacts by ecliptic comets from the Kuiper Belt/Scattered Disk (Zahnle et al. 2003; Dones et al. 2009). In the Charnoz et al. scenario, the oldest craters on the moons would result from low-speed accretionary impacts. We thank the Cassini Data Analysis program for support.ReferencesCanup, R. M. (2010). Nature 468, 943Charnoz, S.; Salmon, J., Crida, A. (2010). Nature 465, 752Charnoz, S., et al. (2011). Icarus 216, 535Crida, A.; Charnoz, S. (2012). Science 338, 1196Dones, L., et al. (2009). In Saturn from Cassini-Huygens, p. 613Kirchoff, M. R.; Schenk, P. (2010). Icarus 206, 485Robbins, S. J.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Dones, L

  5. The Tethered Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Lupu, R.; Fegley, B.; Marley, M.; Sleep, N.; Dobrovolskis, A.

    2013-10-01

    Cosmic collisions between terrestrial planets resemble somewhat the life cycle of the phoenix: worlds collide, are consumed in flame, and after the debris has cleared, shiny new worlds emerge aglow with possibilities. And glow they do, for they are molten. How brightly they glow, and for how long, is determined by their atmospheres, and by their moons. stop. It is well known that the atmosphere's thermal blanketing effect prevents a magma ocean from cooling rapidly. Several models have considered thick H2O-CO2 atmospheres over cooling magma oceans. These models address how the magma ocean freezes, how long it takes to freeze, and how, when, and what is degassed. stop. The atmosphere over a magmasphere is very hot and so contains the geochemical volatiles that can evaporate from a magma ocean, such as sulfur, alkalis and halogens, in addition to H2O and CO2. We compute 1-D non-gray radiative-convective atmospheric structure models that include all the molecular and atomic opacity sources that would be present in equilibrium over a magma ocean. We use these to compute cooling rates for hot post-giant-impact terrestrial planets. Our model is in excellent asymptotic agreement with two recent independent calculations of the runaway greenhouse limit for H2O-CO2 atmosphere. For cooling of the magma ocean itself, we use parameterizations recommended by Solomatov. stop. Tidal heating of the Earth by the Moon is important, because it is a big term, and because it occurs mostly in mantle materials that are just beginning to freeze, which frustrates freezing. The Moon is entwined with Earth by a negative feedback between thermal blanketing and tidal heating that comes from the temperature-dependent viscosity of the magma ocean. Because of this feedback, the rate that the Moon's orbit evolves is limited by the modest radiative cooling rate of Earth's atmosphere, which in effect tethers the Moon to the Earth. Consequently the Moon's orbit evolves orders of magnitude more slowly

  6. Orbital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Robert M.

    2003-06-01

    ORBITAL requires the following software, which is available for free download from the Internet: Netscape Navigator, version 4.75 or higher, or Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5.0 or higher; Chime Plug-in, version compatible with your OS and browser (available from MDL).

  7. The tethered Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, Kevin J.; Lupu, Roxana; Dobrovolskis, Anthony; Sleep, Norman H.

    2015-10-01

    We address the thermal history of the Earth after the Moon-forming impact, taking tidal heating and thermal blanketing by the atmosphere into account. The atmosphere sets an upper bound of ∼100 W/m2 on how quickly the Earth can cool. The liquid magma ocean cools over 2-10 Myr, with longer times corresponding to high angular-momentum events. Tidal heating is focused mostly in mantle materials that are just beginning to freeze. The atmosphere's control over cooling sets up a negative feedback between viscosity-dependent tidal heating and temperature-dependent viscosity of the magma ocean. While the feedback holds, evolution of the Moon's orbit is limited by the modest radiative cooling rate of Earth's atmosphere. Orbital evolution is orders of magnitude slower than in conventional constant Q models, which promotes capture by resonances. The evection resonance is encountered early, when the Earth is molten. Capture by the evection resonance appears certain but unlikely to generate much eccentricity because it is encountered early when the Earth is molten and Q⊕ ≫Q☾. Tidal dissipation in the Earth becomes more efficient (Q⊕ ≪Q☾) later when the Moon is between ∼ 20R⊕ and ∼ 40R⊕. If lunar eccentricity grew great, this was when it did so, perhaps setting the table for some other process to leave its mark on the inclination of the Moon.

  8. The interesting case of the Iota-Cygnids (525 ICY)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreić, Željko; Šegon, Damir; Vida, Denis; Novoselnik, Filip; Skokić, Ivica

    2014-01-01

    One of the showers recently reported by the Croatian Meteor Network, the Iota-Cygnids (525 ICY), is described. From the 40 available orbits, the mean orbit of the shower and some other parameters were obtained. The Iota-Cygnids were detected from October 16 (Sol.Lon. = 203◦) to November, 19th (Sol.Lon. = 237◦), with a slightly higher activity around October 31 (Sol.Lon. = 218◦). The possible parent body is Asteroid 2001 SS287, with DSH = 0.16, indicating that 525 ICY is probably asteroidal in origin. However, a few more asteroids have DSH < 0.20, so the question of the parent body requires a more detailed study to be solved. In depth analysis of IAU MDC has found two showers that are quite similar to the 525 ICY: 83 OCG and 282 DCY. By gathering additional data outside the IAU MDC, we found out that 282 DCY is a rediscovery of 83 OCG. Also, 525 ICY is identical to 83 OCG, but this fact was not recognized before, probably due to incorrect coordinates for the 83 OCG radiant in the IAU MDC database and the lack of information about the activity period of the showers in the IAU MDC database.

  9. Sounding of Icy Galilean Satellites by Surface Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khurana, K. K.; Banerdt, W. B.; Johnson, T. V.; Russell, C. T.; Kivelson, M. G.; Davis, P. M.; Vidale, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    Several independent geological and geophysical investigations suggest that Europa and Ganymede contain subsurface oceans. Using Jupiter's rotating magnetic field as a primary signal, the magnetometer experiment onboard Galileo has measured secondary induction signals emanating from Europa, Ganymede, and surprisingly Callisto. The strong electromagnetic induction from these moons suggests that large global electrical conductors are located just below their icy crusts. A detailed analysis reveals that global salty oceans with salinity similar to the Earth's ocean and thicknesses in the range of approx. 6-100 kms can explain the induction observed by the Galileo magnetometer. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. Energetic Neutral Atoms from the Moon: Populations, physics, applications, and the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Futaana, Yoshifumi; Barabash, Stas; Wieser, Martin; Bhardwaj, Anil; Wurz, Peter

    the effective protection of the surface from the solar wind proton. Recently, we also developed a new method to obtain the electrostatic surface potential inside the anomaly from ENA observations. Improved ENA sensor will fly to Mercury by a Europe-Japan joint Mercury exploration, BepiColombo, as a part of Mercury Plasma Particle Experiment on board Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. The ENA experiment will image precipitating plasma at the surface of Mercury. Field-aligned potential in the precipitating regions is also to be derived. European Jupiter mission, JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), will also equip an ENA sensor. ENA environment of the icy moons will be addressed as well.

  11. Infrared astronomy from the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lester, Dan

    1988-01-01

    The Moon offers some remarkable opportunities for performing infrared astronomy. Although the transportation overhead can be expected to be very large compared with that for facilities in Earth orbit, certain aspects of the lunar environment should allow significant simplifications in the design of telescopes with background limited performance, at least in some parts of the thermal infrared spectrum. Why leave the Earth to perform infrared astronomy is addressed as is the reasons for going all the way to the Moon for its environment.

  12. Moon Rise

    NASA Video Gallery

    Aboard the International Space Station in May 2012, Expedition 31 astronaut Don Pettit opened the shutters covering the cupola observation windows in time to watch the moon rise. The time-lapse sce...

  13. Compositional Remote Sensing of Icy Planets and Satellites Beyond Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roush, Ted L.

    2002-01-01

    The peak of the solar energy distribution occurs at visual wavelengths and falls off rapidly in the infrared. This fact, improvements in infrared detector technology, and the low surface temperatures for most icy objects in the outer solar system have resulted in the bulk of telescopic and spacecraft observations being performed at visual and near-infrared wavelengths. Such observations, begun in the early 1970's and continuing to present, have provided compositional information regarding the surfaces of the satellites of Saturn and Uranus, Neptune's moon Triton, Pluto, Pluto's moon Charon, Centaur objects, and Kuiper belt objects. Because the incident sunlight penetrates the surface and interacts with the materials present there, the measured reflected sunlight contains information regarding the surface materials, and the ratio of the reflected to incident sunlight provides a mechanism of identifying the materials that are present.

  14. ARTEMIS Maneuvers into Lunar Orbit

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation visualizes the maneuvers required to move the ARTEMIS spacecraft from their kidney-shaped paths on each side of the moon to orbiting the moon. It took one and a half years, over 90 o...

  15. Simulating the Phases of the Moon Shortly After Its Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noordeh, Emil; Hall, Patrick; Cuk, Matija

    2014-04-01

    The leading theory for the origin of the Moon is the giant impact hypothesis, in which the Moon was formed out of the debris left over from the collision of a Marssized body with the Earth. Soon after its formation, the orbit of the Moon may have been very different than it is today. We have simulated the phases of the Moon in a model for its formation wherein the Moon develops a highly elliptical orbit with its major axis tangential to the Earth's orbit. This note describes these simulations and their pedagogical value.

  16. Focus on the Moon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrd, Deborah

    1980-01-01

    Described is the observation of the moon with binoculars. Descriptions of the thin crescent moon, three-day-old moon, five-day-old moon, first quarter moon, 10-day-old moon and the full moon are presented and characteristics of each phase are included. (DS)

  17. Low Force Icy Regolith Penetration Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metzger, P. T.; Galloway, G. M.; Mantovani, J. G.; Zacny, K.; Zacny, Kris; Craft, Jack

    2011-01-01

    Recent data from the Moon, including LCROSS data, indicate large quantities of water ice and other volatiles frozen into the soil in the permanently shadowed craters near the poles. If verified and exploited, these volatiles will revolutionize spaceflight as an inexpensive source of propellants and other consumables outside Earth's gravity well. This report discusses a preliminary investigation of a method to insert a sensor through such a soiVice mixture to verify the presence, nature, and concentration of the ice. It uses percussion to deliver mechanical energy into the frozen mixture, breaking up the ice and decompacting the soil so that only low reaction forces are required from a rover or spacecraft to push the sensor downward. The tests demonstrate that this method may be ideal for a small platform in lunar gravity. However, there are some cases where the system may not be able to penetrate the icy soil, and there is some risk ofthe sensor becoming stuck so that it cannot be retracted, so further work is needed. A companion project (ISDS for Water Detection on the Lunar Surface) has performed preliminary investigation of a dielectric/thermal sensor for use with this system.

  18. Moon (Form-Origin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiapas, Elias

    2016-04-01

    above mentioned process, the thick clouds surrounding Earth-Moon were causing heavy storms and on the outer surface of the rolling Moon, wherever small cavities - or pockets - existed, these would fill up with water. Then, due to the Moon's changing tilt, these pockets were sealed by sediments and as a result, small water tanks are scattered on the successive layers of the Moon, from its centre to its surface. . As this sphere (the Moon) continued to grow, the Earth-Moon system was displaying a double-planet image. The Moon's reverse rolling velocity increased according to the increase of its mass and volume. As the temperature on the surface of the Earth continued to fall, a larger number of bigger sized solid masses were descending from the poles towards the equator, and the Moon could no longer aggregate them. The gathering and interference of solid rocks of great mass acted as the catapult on which the Moon bounced off the Earth and was put into orbit around it.

  19. Moon (Form-Origin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiapas, Elias

    2014-05-01

    above mentioned process, the thick clouds surrounding Earth-Moon were causing heavy storms and on the outer surface of the rolling Moon, wherever small cavities - or pockets - existed, these would fill up with water. Then, due to the Moon's changing tilt, these pockets were sealed by sediments and as a result, small water tanks are scattered on the successive layers of the Moon, from its centre to its surface. . As this sphere (the Moon) continued to grow, the Earth-Moon system was displaying a double-planet image. The Moon's reverse rolling velocity increased according to the increase of its mass and volume. As the temperature on the surface of the Earth continued to fall, a larger number of bigger sized solid masses were descending from the poles towards the equator, and the Moon could no longer aggregate them. The gathering and interference of solid rocks of great mass acted as the catapult on which the Moon bounced off the Earth and was put into orbit around it..

  20. Moon (Form-Origin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiapas, Elias

    2013-04-01

    above mentioned process, the thick clouds surrounding Earth-Moon were causing heavy storms and on the outer surface of the rolling Moon, wherever small cavities - or pockets - existed, these would fill up with water. Then, due to the Moon's changing tilt, these pockets were sealed by sediments and as a result, small water tanks are scattered on the successive layers of the Moon, from its centre to its surface. As this sphere (the Moon) continued to grow, the Earth-Moon system was displaying a double-planet image. The Moon's reverse rolling velocity increased according to the increase of its mass and volume. As the temperature on the surface of the Earth continued to fall, a larger number of bigger sized solid masses were descending from the poles towards the equator, and the Moon could no longer aggregate them. The gathering and interference of solid rocks of great mass acted as the catapult on which the Moon bounced off the Earth and was put into orbit around it.

  1. Moon (Form-Origin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiapas, Elias

    2015-04-01

    above mentioned process, the thick clouds surrounding Earth-Moon were causing heavy storms and on the outer surface of the rolling Moon, wherever small cavities - or pockets - existed, these would fill up with water. Then, due to the Moon's changing tilt, these pockets were sealed by sediments and as a result, small water tanks are scattered on the successive layers of the Moon, from its centre to its surface. . As this sphere (the Moon) continued to grow, the Earth-Moon system was displaying a double-planet image. The Moon's reverse rolling velocity increased according to the increase of its mass and volume. As the temperature on the surface of the Earth continued to fall, a larger number of bigger sized solid masses were descending from the poles towards the equator, and the Moon could no longer aggregate them. The gathering and interference of solid rocks of great mass acted as the catapult on which the Moon bounced off the Earth and was put into orbit around it.

  2. New techniques in astrodynamics for moon systems exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campagnola, Stefano

    ESA and NASA scientific missions to the Jupiter and Saturn systems will answer fundamental questions on the habitability of icy worlds. The missions include unprecedented challenges, as the spacecraft will be placed in closed, stable orbits near the surface of the moons. This thesis presents methods to design trajectories that tour the moons and ultimately insert the spacecraft into orbits around them, while mitigating the mission costs and/or risks. A first technique is the endgame, a sequence of moon flyby preceding the orbit insertion. Historically, the endgame is designed with two approaches with different results: the vinfinity-leveraging transfer (VILT) approach leads to high-Deltav (hundreds of m/s), short time-of-flight (months) endgames, while the multi-body approach leads to low-Deltav (tens of m/s), long time-of-flight (years) endgames. This work analyzes and develops both approaches. We introduce a fast design method to automatically compute VILT endgames, which were previously designed in an ad-hoc manner. We also derive an important simple quadrature formula for the minimum Deltav attainable with this approach. This formula is the first important result of this work, as it provides a lower bound for assessment studies. We explain and develop the complex multi-body approach introducing the Tisserand-Poincare (T-P) graph, which is the second important result of this work. It provides a link between the two approaches, and shows the intersections between low-energy trajectories around different moons. With the T-P graph we design a five-month transfer between low-altitude orbits at Europa and Ganymede, using almost half the Deltav of the Hohmann transfer. We then focus on missions to low-mass moons, like Enceladus. We show that nontangent VILT (an extension of the traditional VILT) significantly reduce the Deltav while maintaining a satisfactory transfer time (< 4 years in the Saturn system). With a new design method we compute a 52 gravity

  3. Compositional Mapping of Planetary moons by Mass Spectrometry of Dust Ejecta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postberg, F.; Gruen, E.; Horanyi, M.; Kempf, S.; Krüger, H.; Schmidt, J.; Spahn, F.; Srama, R.; Sternovsky, Z.; Trieloff, M.

    2011-12-01

    Classical methods to analyze the surface composition of planetary objects from a space craft are IR and gamma ray spectroscopy and neutron backscatter measurements. We present a complementary method to analyze rocky or icy dust particles as samples of planetary objects from where they were ejected. Such particles, generated by the ambient meteoroid bombardment that erodes the surface, are naturally present on all atmosphereless moons and planets - they are enshrouded in clouds of ballistic dust particles. In situ mass spectroscopic analysis of these grains impacting on to a detector on a spacecraft reveals their composition as characteristic samples of planetary surfaces at flybys or from an orbiter. The well established approach of dust detection by impact ionization has recently shown its capabilities by analyzing ice particles expelled by subsurface salt water on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Applying the method on micro-meteoroid ejecta of less active moons would allow for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of a huge number of samples from various surface areas, thus combining the advantages of remote sensing and a lander. Utilizing the heritage of the dust detectors onboard Ghiotto, Ulysses, Galileo, and Cassini a variety of improved, low-mass lab-models have been build and tested. They allow the chemical characterization of ice and dust particles encountered at speeds as low as 1 km/s and an accurate reconstruction of their trajectories. Depending on the sampling altitude, a dust trajectory sensor can trace back the origin of each analyzed grain with about 10 km accuracy at the surface. Since achievable detection rates are on the order of thousand per orbit, an orbiter can create a compositional map of samples taken from a greater part of the surface. Flybies allow an investigation of certain surface areas of interest. Dust impact velocities are in general sufficiently high for impact ionization at orbiters about planetary objects with a radius of at least

  4. A testable gravitational capture model for the origin of the Earth's Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malcuit, R. J.; Winters, R. R.; Mickelson, M. E.

    1984-01-01

    A gravitational capture model is proposed to explain lunar evolution. The model is divided into five orbital eras. In the first era, it is postulated that the pre-capture Moon formed as a small planetary unit on the inner edge of the Asteroid Zone. Orbital era 2 commenced when the Moon's orbit became Earth-crossing. As the Moon underwent periodic gravitational encounters with Earth in a near Earth orbit (orbital era 3), the lunar body because warmer and thus more easily capture. Era 4 saw the Moon inserted into a geocentric orbit that gradually became more circular. Following orbital circulation, the lunar orbit gradually expanded to its present dimensions (era 5).

  5. Aperture synthesis imaging from the moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O.

    1991-01-01

    Four candidate imaging aperture synthesis concepts are described for possible emplacement on the moon beginning in the next decade. These include an optical interferometer with 10 microarcsec resolution, a submillimeter array with 6 milliarcsec resolution, a moon-earth VLBI experiment, and a very low frequency interferometer in lunar orbit.

  6. Saturn's icy satellites and rings investigated by Cassini-VIMS: III - Radial compositional variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filacchione, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Ciarniello, M.; Clark, R. N.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Nicholson, P. D.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Hedman, M. M.; Buratti, B. J.; Lunine, J. I.; Soderblom, L. A.; Tosi, F.; Cerroni, P.; Brown, R. H.; McCord, T. B.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Baines, K. H.; Flamini, E.

    2012-08-01

    satellites in the visible range but show more intense 1.5-2.0 μm band depths. Although their orbits are close to the F-ring, Prometheus and Pandora are different in surface composition: Prometheus in fact appears very water ice-rich but at the same time very red at VIS wavelengths. These properties make it very similar to A-B ring particles while Pandora is bluer. Moving outwards, we see the effects of E ring particles, generated by Enceladus plumes, which contaminate satellites surfaces from Mimas out to Rhea. We found some differences between Tethys lagrangian moons, Calypso being much more water ice-rich and bluer than Telesto. Among outer satellites (Hyperion, Iapetus and Phoebe) we observe a linear trend in both water ice decrease and in reddening, Hyperion being the reddest object of the population. The correlations among spectral slopes, band depths, visual albedo and phase permit us to cluster the saturnian population in different spectral classes which are detected not only among the principal satellites and rings but among co-orbital minor moons as well. These bodies are effectively the "connection" elements, both in term of composition and evolution, between the principal satellites and main rings. Finally, we have applied Hapke's theory to retrieve the best spectral fits to Saturn's inner regular satellites (from Mimas to Dione) using the same methodology applied previously for Rhea data discussed in Ciarniello et al. (Ciarniello, M., Capaccioni, F., Filacchione, G., Clark, R.N., Cruikshank, D.P., Cerroni, P., Coradini, A., Brown, R.H., Buratti, B.J., Tosi, F., Stephan, K. [2011]. Icarus 214, 541-555).

  7. Technologies for Icy Bodies Access

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Anderson, F. S.; French, L. C.; Green, J. R.; Jones, J. A.; Lane, A. L.; Leger, P. C.; Zimmerman, W. F.

    2001-01-01

    Recent events in planetary exploration have profoundly changed the way both space scientists and the public regard the solar system and our place in it. These events include the Galileo data suggesting subsurface oceans in the Jovian system, ever stronger suggestions of near-surface water on Mars, as well as the complex structure observed for the Mars polar caps. And, of course, interest in icy cometary bodies is as old as humankind. Finally, the Mars north polar cap may conceivably cover and protect an ancient ocean floor, an obvious candidate ancient or extant habitat. In short, our interest in searching for life embraced early on the search for liquid water, and that has led us to an additional appreciation for water ice as both a commonplace partner with liquid water and as an issue to be addressed in the exploration of a host of interesting sites. In general, the spectrum of specialized technology for space exploration has not yet been broadened to include the requirements brought about by exploration of icy sites. We argue that technologies for access, operations, and science in icy solar system sites must be examined and their prioritized development initiated in order to successfully plan missions to these compelling sites over the next two decades. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. The Icy Cold Heart of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2015-11-01

    The locations of large deposits of frozen volatiles on planetary surfaces are largely coincident with areas receiving the minimum annual influx of solar energy; familiar examples include the polar caps of Earth and Mars. For planets tilted by more than 45 degrees, however, the poles actually receive more energy than some other latitudes. Pluto, with its current obliquity of 119 degrees, has minima in its average annual insolation at +/- 27 degrees latitude, with ~1.5% more energy flux going to the equator and ~15% more to the poles. Remarkably, the fraction of annual solar energy incident on different latitudes depends only on the obliquity of the planet and not on any of its orbital parameters.Over millions of years, Pluto's obliquity varies sinusoidally from 102-126 degrees, significantly affecting the latitudinal profile of solar energy deposition. Roughly 1Myr ago, the poles received 15% more energy that today while the equator received 13% less. The energy flux to latitudes between 25-35 degrees is far more stable, remaining low over the presumably billions of years since Pluto acquired its current spin properties. Like the poles at Earth, these mid latitudes on Pluto should be favored for the long-term deposition of volatile ices. This is, indeed, the location of the bright icy heart of Pluto, Sputnik Planum.Reflected light and emitted thermal radiation from Charon increases annual insolation to one side of Pluto by of order 0.02%. Although small, the bulk of the energy is delivered at night to Pluto's cold equatorial regions. Furthermore, Charon's thermal infrared radiation is easily absorbed by icy deposits on Pluto, slowing deposition and facilitating sublimation of volatiles. We argue that the slight but persistent preference for ices to form and survive in the anti-Charon Pluto's heart.

  9. Chemical Composition of Icy Satellite Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. B.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Stephan, K.; McCord, T. B.; Coustenis, A.; Carlson, R. W.; Coradini, A.

    2010-06-01

    Much of our knowledge of planetary surface composition is derived from remote sensing over the ultraviolet through infrared wavelength ranges. Telescopic observations and, in the past few decades, spacecraft mission observations have led to the discovery of many surface materials, from rock-forming minerals to water ice to exotic volatiles and organic compounds. Identifying surface materials and mapping their distributions allows us to constrain interior processes such as cryovolcanism and aqueous geochemistry. The recent progress in understanding of icy satellite surface composition has been aided by the evolving capabilities of spacecraft missions, advances in detector technology, and laboratory studies of candidate surface compounds. Pioneers 10 and 11, Voyagers I and II, Galileo, Cassini and the New Horizons mission have all made significant contributions. Dalton (Space Sci. Rev., 2010, this issue) summarizes the major constituents found or inferred to exist on the surfaces of the icy satellites (cf. Table 1 from Dalton, Space Sci. Rev., 2010, this issue), and the spectral coverage and resolution of many of the spacecraft instruments that have revolutionized our understanding (cf. Table 2 from Dalton, Space Sci. Rev., 2010, this issue). While much has been gained from these missions, telescopic observations also continue to provide important constraints on surface compositions, especially for those bodies that have not yet been visited by spacecraft, such as Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), Centaurs, the classical planet Pluto and its moon, Charon. In this chapter, we will discuss the major satellites of the outer solar system, the materials believed to make up their surfaces, and the history of some of these discoveries. Formation scenarios and subsequent evolution will be described, with particular attention to the processes that drive surface chemistry and exchange with interiors. Major similarities and differences between the

  10. Cassini Orbit Determination Performance during Saturn Satellite Tour: August 2005 - January 2006

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antreasian, Peter G.; Bordi, J. J.; Criddle, K. E.; Ionasescu, R.; Jacobson, R. A.; Jones, J. B.; MacKenzie, R. A.; Parcher, D. W.; Pelletier, F. J.; Roth, D. C.; Stauch, J. R.

    2007-01-01

    During the period spanning the second Enceladus flyby in July 2005 through the eleventh Titan encounter in January 2006, the Cassini spacecraft was successfully navigated through eight close-targeted satellite encounters. Three of these encounters included the 500 km flybys of the icy satellites Hyperion, Dione and Rhea and five targeted flybys of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. This paper will show how our refinements to Saturn's satellite ephemerides have improved orbit determination predictions. These refinements include the mass estimates of Saturn and its satellites by better than 0.5%. Also, it will be shown how this better orbit determination performance has helped to eliminate several statistical maneuvers that were scheduled to clean-up orbit determination and/or maneuver-execution errors.

  11. Where was the moon formed?

    PubMed

    Singer, S F; Bandermann, L W

    1970-10-23

    Volatile substances have a low abundance in lunar surface rocks as compared to terrestrial rocks. If this depletion is explained in terms of a late accretion of volatile materials from a solar nebula with falling temperature, then the conclusion can be drawn that the moon accumulated not in earth orbit but as a separate planet, and that it was later captured by the earth.

  12. Geochemical Exploration of the Moon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adler, Isidore

    1984-01-01

    Provides information based on explorations of the Apollo program about the geochemistry of the moon and its importance in developing an understanding of formation/evolution of the solar system. Includes description and some results of orbital remote sensing, lunar x-ray experiments, gamma-ray experiments, alpha-particle experiments, and the Apollo…

  13. Are There Oceans Under the Ice of Small Saturnian and Uranian Moons?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, C.

    2003-05-01

    Thermal analysis of the large outer-planetary moons (Titan, Callisto, Ganymede) argue strongly for substantial subsurface oceans if they are made up mostly of rock and ice, and if the rock exhibits radioactivity not too different from that of meteoric and lunar material [1]. For Titania, Rhea, Oberon and Iapetus (the TROI moons) with radii just over 700 km, the existence of oceans is less clear. In these bodies, a subsurface ocean may be likely if the rock has sunk to the center of the moon (i.e., the moon is differentiated) and (1) the radiogenic heating rate is on the higher end of that of lunar samples, (2) the bodies experience tidal heating, or (3) the oceans contain compounds such as ammonia that reduce the freezing point of the aqueous environment. A combination of these occurrences would weigh for a subsurface ocean, perhaps of substantial size. That outer-planetary moons with radii larger than about 200 km (e.g.; Enceladus at 250 km) are spherical argues for separation of light and heavy materials, especially in the larger bodies. Otherwise, the moon exhibits an irregular shape (e.g.; Hyperion at 133 km). Primordial radioactivity and collision events may have aided separation. If present-day radiogenicity is that of lunar samples, natural heating is available to maintain global aqueous environments on all of the TROI moons. The ammonia-water eutectics suggested for Titan [2] provide additional margin. The maintenance of oceans in smaller bodies depends on a balance of internal heat generation and thermal isolation by ice or other insulating material. The more important parameter may be the insulating ice, without which an outer-planetary ocean is not possible. The reduced thermal conductivity for impure ice [3] provides even more likelihood for oceans. Calculations for tidal heating within Europa due to orbital resonances [4] suggest that tidal heating amounts to over 40 times its internal radiogenic heating. A value equal only to natural radiogenic

  14. EVAPORATION OF ICY PLANETESIMALS DUE TO BOW SHOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, Kyoko K.; Yamamoto, Tetsuo; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Miura, Hitoshi; Nagasawa, Makiko; Nakamoto, Taishi

    2013-02-20

    We present the novel concept of evaporation of planetesimals as a result of bow shocks associated with planetesimals orbiting with supersonic velocities relative to the gas in a protoplanetary disk. We evaluate the evaporation rates of the planetesimals based on a simple model describing planetesimal heating and evaporation by the bow shock. We find that icy planetesimals with radius {approx}>100 km evaporate efficiently even outside the snow line in the stage of planetary oligarchic growth, where strong bow shocks are produced by gravitational perturbations from protoplanets. The obtained results suggest that the formation of gas giant planets is suppressed owing to insufficient accretion of icy planetesimals onto the protoplanet within the {approx}<5 AU disk region.

  15. Electron irradiation effects in icy regoliths: The PacMan anomalies at Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaible, Micah; Johnson, Robert E.; Zhigilei, Leo

    2016-10-01

    The anomalous regions identified on the leading hemispheres of the icy Saturnian moons, colloquially known as the 'PacMan' features, were found to have larger thermal inertia than the surrounding regions. The locations of the anomalies were shown to closely match the expected deposition profile of high energy (~ MeV) electrons moving counter rotational to the moons, suggesting an energetic source to drive their formation. Here we consider the mechanisms by which electron radiation can produce changes in the thermal conductivity of an icy regolith and compare estimates obtained from theoretical and experimental results with the measured thermal inertia and grain impact resurfacing rates on the icy moons.Electron interactions with the grains can both create and anneal defects in the crystalline lattice, and deposited energy drives molecular diffusion. Mobilized molecules accumulate in the contact region between grains due to the surface energy minimum, thus increasing the contact volume or 'sintering' the grains. Previously developed sintering rate equations and measured electron energy distributions near the icy moons were used to estimate the timescale for the energetic electrons to increase the contact volume sufficiently to produce the enhanced thermal conductivity of the anomalous regions. In order to properly constrain the sintering calculations, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of electron interactions in water ice were carried out to determine the number and diffusion length of excited molecules. Water molecules were artificially excited both in a water ice bulk and near a grain surface, and several ice polymorphs relevant to ice grain formation in outer solar system conditions were considered. Comparing the estimated sintering timescales to micrometeorite resurfacing rates indicates that grains must be small (~5um) and/or irregularly shaped with a high defect density in the contact regions. Since there is some disagreement in these grains sizes and

  16. Failure strength of icy lithospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golombek, M. P.; Banerdt, W. B.

    1987-01-01

    Lithospheric strengths derived from friction on pre-existing fractures and ductile flow laws show that the tensile strength of intact ice under applicable conditions is actually an order of magnitude stronger than widely assumed. It is demonstrated that this strength is everywhere greater than that required to initiate frictional sliding on pre-existing fractures and faults. Because the tensile strength of intact ice increases markedly with confining pressure, it actually exceeds the frictional strength at all depths. Thus, icy lithospheres will fail by frictional slip along pre-existing fractures at yeild stresses greater than previously assumed rather than opening tensile cracks in intact ice.

  17. The Impact History Of The Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, B. A.

    2010-01-01

    The bombardment history of the Earth-Moon system has been debated since the first recognition that the circular features on the Moon may be impact craters. Because the lunar impact record is the only planetary impact record to be calibrated with absolute ages, it underpins our understanding of geologic ages on every other terrestrial planet. One of the more remarkable results to come out of lunar sample analyses is the hypothesis that a large number of impact events occurred on the Moon during a narrow window in time approximately 3.8 to 4.1 billion years ago (the lunar cataclysm ). Subsequent work on the lunar and martian meteorite suites; remote sensing of the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and icy satellites; improved dynamical modeling; and investigation of terrestrial zircons extend the cataclysm hypothesis to the Earth, other terrestrial planets, and possibly the entire solar system. Renewed US and international interest in exploring the Moon offers new potential to constrain the Earth-Moon bombardment history. This paper will review the lunar bombardment record, timing and mechanisms for cataclysmic bombardment, and questions that may be answered in a new age of exploration.

  18. Simulating the Phases of the Moon Shortly after Its Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noordeh, Emil; Hall, Patrick; Cuk, Matija

    2014-01-01

    The leading theory for the origin of the Moon is the giant impact hypothesis, in which the Moon was formed out of the debris left over from the collision of a Mars sized body with the Earth. Soon after its formation, the orbit of the Moon may have been very different than it is today. We have simulated the phases of the Moon in a model for its…

  19. The dynamical evolution and origin of the Martian moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    The orbital evolution of Phobos and Deimos is considered from the standpoints of today's orbit, the semimajor axis, and eccentricity and inclination. The synchronous rotations of the moons are discussed, and attention is given to the origin (i.e., accretion and capture) of the moons.

  20. Moons Around Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    This series of 10 Hubble Space Telescope images captures several small moons orbiting Saturn. Hubble snapped the five pairs of images while the Earth was just above the ring plane and the Sun below it. The telescope captured a pair of images every 97 minutes as it circled the Earth. Moving out from Saturn, the visible rings are: the broad C Ring, the Cassini Division, and the narrow F Ring.

    The first pair of images shows the large, bright moon Dione, near the middle of the frames. Two smaller moons, Pandora (the brighter one closer to Saturn) and Prometheus, appear as if they're touching the F Ring. In the second frame, Mimas emerges from Saturn's shadow and appears to be chasing Prometheus.

    In the second image pair, Mimas has moved towards the tip of the F Ring. Rhea, another bright moon, has just emerged from behind Saturn. Prometheus, the closest moon to Saturn, has rounded the F Ring's tip and is approaching the planet. The slightly larger moon Epimetheus has appeared.

    The third image pair shows Epimetheus, as a tiny dot just beyond the tip of the F Ring. Prometheus is in the lower right corner. An elongated clump or arc of debris in the F ring is seen as a slight brightening on the far side of this thin ring.

    In the fourth image pair, Epimetheus, in the lower right corner, streaks towards Saturn. The long ring arc can be seen in both frames.

    The fifth image pair again captures Mimas, beyond the tip of the F Ring. The same ring arc is still visible.

    In addition to the satellites, a pair of stars can be seen passing behind the rings, appearing to move towards the lower left due to Saturn's motion across the sky.

    The images were taken Nov. 21, 1995 with Wide Field Planetary Camera-2.

    The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Spaced Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on

  1. Water on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendleton, Yvonne

    2015-08-01

    After years of thinking the Moon is dry, we now know there are three ways in which water appears on the Moon today:1) The hypothesized buried deposits of volatiles at the lunar poles were found at Cabeus crater. There are questions about the origin of such volatiles (i.e., in-falling comets & meteorites, migrating surficial OH/H2O, and accumulated release from the interior), but there is no doubt the water is there. This long suspected polar water was the most recent form to be confirmed on the Moon.2) Widespread, thinly- distributed, surficial OH (or H2O) is the most recently formed lunar water, and its discovery was completely unexpected. It occurs across all types of lunar terrain, but is more difficult to detect in the warmer equatorial terrain where thermal emission is strongest. The consensus is that this OH is indeed derived from solar wind H linked to O from the surface silicate rocks. Although pervasive, we don’t know how quickly it forms, nor how mobile it is.3) The amount of water present when the Moon formed is now documented in lunar materials from Apollo samples (preserved in the lunar mantle material found in volcanic glass beads). Sample analyses made during the Apollo days were not sufficiently precise to distinguish between indigenous lunar water and terrestrial contamination. Measurements with modern equipment are not only more precise (both elemental and isotopic), but can be made in a manner to constrain a host of processes (e.g. diffusion, thermal cycling) that have acted on these samples during their residence on the Moon. The mysteries associated with all these ‘water’ forms are being pursued by teams and scientists around the world. The paradigm-shifting work that reported these discoveries in recent years are from: the NASA LCROSS (lunar impact mission) team (2010), M3 team/ on the Indian Chandrayan Mission (2009), and lunar sample chemists (2008). NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, GRAIL, ESA Smart-1, Japanese Kaguya, and other

  2. The tectonics of icy satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchie, S. L.

    The formation of tectonic structures on icy satellites may have resulted from one or more of several geologic processes: global volume change due to internal temperature change, H2O-ice phase changes, or ice-silicate differentiation; mantle convection driven by thermal or compositional heterogeneities; tidal deformation; and impact-related processes including formation of fracture systems, seismic disruption of areas antipodal to impact sites, basin collapse, and global reorientation. Observed tectonic structures and their associated volcanic deposits are classified herein into six basic assemblages: (1) pervasive troughs and scarps occurring at globally coherent orientations; (2) throughgoing troughs and bands of troughs, generally associated with volcanic materials; (3) linear to curvilinear ridges; (4) volcanically modified systems of concentric and radial scarps and furrows; (5) regional volcanic and tectonic centers; and (6) grooved terrain intimately associated with light-colored volcanic deposits. Comparison of these assemblages with predicted manifestations of different geologic processes may lead to some understanding of the relationship of volcanic and tectonic features to the endogenic and exogenic processes that have affected icy satellites.

  3. ICI optical data storage tape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclean, Robert A.; Duffy, Joseph F.

    1991-01-01

    Optical data storage tape is now a commercial reality. The world's first successful development of a digital optical tape system is complete. This is based on the Creo 1003 optical tape recorder with ICI 1012 write-once optical tape media. Several other optical tape drive development programs are underway, including one using the IBM 3480 style cartridge at LaserTape Systems. In order to understand the significance and potential of this step change in recording technology, it is useful to review the historical progress of optical storage. This has been slow to encroach on magnetic storage, and has not made any serious dent on the world's mountains of paper and microfilm. Some of the reasons for this are the long time needed for applications developers, systems integrators, and end users to take advantage of the potential storage capacity; access time and data transfer rate have traditionally been too slow for high-performance applications; and optical disk media has been expensive compared with magnetic tape. ICI's strategy in response to these concerns was to concentrate its efforts on flexible optical media; in particular optical tape. The manufacturing achievements, media characteristics, and media lifetime of optical media are discussed.

  4. Experimental constraints on the chemical evolution of icy satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, H P; Williams, Q; Ryerson, F J

    2000-01-18

    The inferred internal structure of large icy satellites hinges on the degree to which their rock component has been hydrated: this is due to the low density of hydrated silicates relative to anhydrous silicates. Accordingly, interior models of icy satellites have varied greatly in their estimates of ice thickness due to uncertainties in the density of the underlying rock. Furthermore, as both H{sub 2}O (potentially liquid) and organic materials are likely to be present, icy moons have been postulated to be possible hosts for extraterrestrial life; therefore, the stability of organic material under relevant hydrothermal conditions is an important issue. For example, Ganymede, Titan, and Triton are similar in that high pressure hydrothermal processing of silicates has likely been important in their chemical evolution. With mean densities between 1.8 and 2.1 g/cm{sup 3}, compositional models of these bodies incorporate approximately 50--80% silicate minerals by weight, with ices constituting the remaining mass. Moment of inertia constraints on the internal structure of Ganymede demonstrate that differentiation between rock and ice has occurred: such differentiation has also likely occurred in Titan and Triton. During accretion and differentiation (which could be ongoing), the silicate fraction of their interiors would have interacted with aqueous fluids at moderate to high temperatures and pressures. Indeed, a strong magnetic field appears to be generated by Ganymede implying that interior temperatures are high enough (in excess of 1,000 K) to maintain a liquid iron alloy in this satellite. High temperature/pressure hydrothermal processing at rock-water interfaces would profoundly influence the bulk mineralogy and internal structure of these bodies: the degree of hydration of the rocky fraction of these bodies has been a source of ongoing uncertainty. Surprisingly few phase equilibria data exist for compositions of relevance to hydrothermal interactions on icy

  5. LRO Enters Lunar Orbit (Highlights)

    NASA Video Gallery

    After a four and a half day journey from the Earth, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, successfully entered orbit around the moon. Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbel...

  6. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Highlights

    NASA Video Gallery

    Since launch on June 18, 2009 as a precursor mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has remained in orbit around the moon, collecting vast amounts of science data in support of NASA's expl...

  7. The Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, P. H.

    2003-12-01

    Oxygen isotopic data suggest that there is a genetic relationship between the constituent matter of the Moon and Earth (Wiechert et al., 2001). Yet lunar materials are obviously different from those of the Earth. The Moon has no hydrosphere, virtually no atmosphere, and compared to the Earth, lunar materials uniformly show strong depletions of even mildly volatile constituents such as potassium, in addition to N2, O2, and H2O (e.g., Wolf and Anders, 1980). Oxygen fugacity is uniformly very low ( BVSP, 1981) and even the earliest lunar magmas seem to have been virtually anhydrous. These features have direct and far-reaching implications for mineralogical and geochemical processes. Basically, they imply that mineralogical diversity and thus variety of geochemical processes are subdued; a factor that to some extent offsets the comparative dearth of available data for lunar geochemistry.The Moon's gross physical characteristics play an important role in the more limited range of selenochemical compared to terrestrial geochemical processes. Although exceptionally large (radius=1,738 km) in relation to its parent planet, the Moon is only 0.012 times as massive as Earth. By terrestrial standards, pressures inside the Moon are feeble: the upper mantle gradient is 0.005 GPa km -1 (versus 0.033 GPa km -1 in Earth) and the central pressure is slightly less than 5 GPa. However, lunar interior pressures are sufficient to profoundly influence igneous processes (e.g., Warren and Wasson, 1979b; Longhi, 1992, 2002), and in this sense the Moon more resembles a planet than an asteroid.Another direct consequence of the Moon's comparatively small size was early, rapid decay of its internal heat engine. But the Moon's thermal disadvantage has resulted in one great advantage for planetology. Lunar surface terrains, and many of the rock samples acquired from them, retain for the most part characteristics acquired during the first few hundred million years of solar system existence. The

  8. The New Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crotts, Arlin

    2014-10-01

    Preface; 1. The importance of the Moon; 2. First steps; 3. Moon/Mars; 4. An international flotilla; 5. Moon rise from the ashes; 6. Moons past; 7. The pull of the far side; 8. False seas, real seas; 9. Inconstant Moon; 10. Moonlighting; 11. Lunar living room; 12. Lunar power; 13. Stepping stone; 14. Return to Earth; Index.

  9. The Cold and Icy Heart of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    The locations of large deposits of frozen volatiles on planetary surfaces are largely coincident with areas receiving the minimum annual influx of solar energy. Thus we have the familiar polar caps of Earth and Mars, but cold equatorial regions for planets with obliquities between 54 and 126 degrees. Furthermore, for tilts between 45-66 degrees and 114-135 degrees the minimum incident energy occurs neither at the pole nor the equator. We find that the annual average insolation is always symmetric about Pluto's equator and is fully independent of the relative locations of the planet's pericenter and equinoxes. Remarkably, this symmetry holds for arbitrary orbital eccentricities and obliquities, and so we provide a short proof in the margin of this abstract. The current obliquity of Pluto is 119 degrees, giving it minima in average annual insolation at +/- 27 degrees latitude, with ~1.5% more flux to the equator and ~15% more to the poles. But the obliquity of Pluto also varies sinusoidally from 102-126 degrees and so, over the past million years, Pluto's annual equatorial and polar fluxes have changed by +15% and -13%, respectively. Interestingly, the energy flux received by latitudes between 25-35 degrees remains nearly constant over the presumably billions of years since Pluto acquired its current orbit and spin properties. Thus these latitudes are continuously cold and should be favored for the long-term deposition of volatile ices; the bright heart of Pluto, Sputnik Planum, extends not coincidentally across these latitudes. Reflected light and emitted thermal radiation from Charon increases annual insolation to one side of Pluto by of order 0.02%. Although small, the bulk of the energy is delivered at night to Pluto's cold equatorial regions. Furthermore, Charon's thermal IR is delivered very efficiently to icy deposits. Over billions of years, ices have preferentially formed and survived in the anti-Charon hemisphere.

  10. More Surprises from the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Noah

    2011-01-01

    Even with the naked eye, the dark, extensive plains of the lunar maria can be clearly seen on the surface of the Moon. The maria formed after meteorite impacts created large craters that later filled with lava flows. Mare volcanism is the dominant type of volcanic activity on the Moon and the lavas are made up of basaltic rocks. However, non-mare volcanic deposits, though rare, have been observed on the lunar nearside. The deposits are distinguished from the maria because they are compositionally more evolved rich in silica, potassium and thorium. The deposits are limited in surface extent and it was unknown whether similar non-mare volcanism occurred at all on the Moon s farside. Writing in Nature Geoscience, Jolliff et al. report using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images and compositional data to identify the rare occurrence of more compositionally evolved volcanic deposits in an isolated area on the Moon s farside. In the 1960s and 1970s, rock and soil samples were collected by the Apollo and Luna missions, by the USA and USSR respectively. This material represents a geologic treasure trove that continues to provide a wealth of information about the Moon and its evolution, and it was a very small fraction of these samples that gave the first hint that non-mare volcanic activity might have occurred. The samples contained fragments of complex volcanic rocks that were unrelated to the maria basalts. Violent bombardment of the Moon by meteorite impacts has caused significant mixing of the rocks at its surface, so the fragments could have had a source hundreds or thousands of kilometres away. The origin of the fragments was unknown. Several decades later, the Lunar Prospector mission used a gamma-ray spectrometer to map the distribution and abundance of various elements, including thorium, on the Moon s surface. The maps identified a distinct and large area of high thorium concentration, as well as several smaller, but equally peculiar areas of high thorium

  11. Origin and Evolution of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Cuixiang

    2014-01-01

    Since the Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth, the research on the formation of the Moon can not only find out the formation mechanism of the satellites of Solar System planets but also reveal the evolution law of galaxies in the universe. Hence many hypotheses have been proposed for the Moon's formation, including fission,capture,condensation,and impact event hypothesis, but they all have problems. Recently, the author of this abstract discovered the formation mechanism of the Moon, which can be called ``evolution theory'', and described as follows: During some violent volcanic eruptions of the Earth, some rock debris such as pumice through deep rock hole could achieve a velocity no less than the first cosmic velocity (7.9 km/s) to enter an orbit around the Earth, one of the biggest debris is the young Moon. The orbit of the young Moon might be much closer to the Earth than it is today. There were a lot of ejecta from the Earth in the space. Hence, the Moon has merged these ejecta to become larger and larger, and farther and farther away from the Earth.This can be proved as follows: When the Moon moved around the Earth normally, the centrifugal force produced by the Moon's rotation around the Earth and the Earth's gravitation pull on the Moon had the same size. Let M be the mass of the Earth, m 1 be the mass of the Moon, r m be the radius of the Moon, r be the centroid distance between the Earth and the Moon, v be the tangential velocity of the Moon around the Earth, then Gm 1 M/r 2=m 1 v 2/r, therefore $v=\\sqrt{GM/r}$ . Near the orbit of the Moon, there were also many smaller prograde planetesimals moving around the Earth in circular orbits of radius r x (r-r m \\sqrt{GM/r}$ , which implies v x > v, these planetesimals would finally catch and merge with the Moon.Especially,if a planetesimals was large enough, it would impact the Moon forcefully, making the Moon's velocity increase to a larger

  12. MIGRATION OF SMALL MOONS IN SATURN's RINGS

    SciTech Connect

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J. E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu

    2013-02-20

    The motions of small moons through Saturn's rings provide excellent tests of radial migration models. In theory, torque exchange between these moons and ring particles leads to radial drift. We predict that moons with Hill radii r {sub H} {approx} 2-24 km should migrate through the A ring in 1000 yr. In this size range, moons orbiting in an empty gap or in a full ring eventually migrate at the same rate. Smaller moons or moonlets-such as the propellers-are trapped by diffusion of disk material into corotating orbits, creating inertial drag. Larger moons-such as Pan or Atlas-do not migrate because of their own inertia. Fast migration of 2-24 km moons should eliminate intermediate-size bodies from the A ring and may be responsible for the observed large-radius cutoff of r {sub H} {approx} 1-2 km in the size distribution of the A ring's propeller moonlets. Although the presence of Daphnis (r {sub H} Almost-Equal-To 5 km) inside the Keeler gap challenges this scenario, numerical simulations demonstrate that orbital resonances and stirring by distant, larger moons (e.g., Mimas) may be important factors. For Daphnis, stirring by distant moons seems the most promising mechanism to halt fast migration. Alternatively, Daphnis may be a recent addition to the ring that is settling into a low inclination orbit in {approx}10{sup 3} yr prior to a phase of rapid migration. We provide predictions of observational constraints required to discriminate among possible scenarios for Daphnis.

  13. Very High Resolution Image of Icy Cliffs on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This image, taken by the camera onboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft, is a very high resolution view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon Europa. It shows an area where icy plates have been broken apart and moved around laterally. The top of this image is dominated by corrugated plateaus ending in icy cliffs over a hundred meters (a few hundred feet) high. Debris piled at the base of the cliffs can be resolved down to blocks the size of a house. A fracture that runs horizontally across and just below the center of the Europa image is about the width of a freeway.

    North is to the top right of the image, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. The image is centered at approximately 9 degrees north latitude and 274 degrees west longitude. The image covers an area approximately 1.7 kilometers by 4 kilometers (1 mile by 2.5 miles). The resolution is 9 meters (30 feet) per picture element. This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 900 kilometers (540 miles) by Galileo's solid state imaging system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  14. Chemical Processes in the Icy Plumes of Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boice, D. C.; Goldstein, R.

    2012-12-01

    The icy plumes from Saturn's moon Enceladus are unusual phenomena that have raised several challenging questions about the relationship of this small satellite to its surrounding environment. In addition, they offer a unique window to probe the interior structure and composition of this icy satellite. Measurements of the neutral and ion composition of the plumes by instruments aboard Cassini reveal the presence of water group species, nitrogen-bearing molecules, and other species that are the major volatiles in cometary ices. Our cometary coma model with chemistry (SUISEI) has been adapted to study this problem. SUISEI produces abundances of the gas species; velocities of the bulk gas, light atomic and molecular hydrogen with escape, and electrons; gas and electron temperatures; column densities to facilitate comparison with observations; energy budget quantities; attenuation of the solar irradiance; and other quantities that can be related readily to the in situ measurements. Likely ion-molecule chemistry and other issues are discussed to gain a perspective on our current understanding of Enceladus. Acknowledgements: We acknowledge funding and support from the SwRI Internal Research and Development Program, the NASA Cassini (CAPS) Mission, and the NSF Planetary Astronomy Program.

  15. Evolution of the Moon

    NASA Video Gallery

    From year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn't always look like this. Learn about how the moon evolved from its earl...

  16. Global Moon Coverage via Hyperbolic Flybys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, Brent; Strange, Nathan; Campagnola, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    The scientific desire for global coverage of moons such as Jupiter's Galilean moons or Saturn's Titan has invariably led to the design of orbiter missions. These orbiter missions require a large amount of propellant needed to insert into orbit around such small bodies, and for a given launch vehicle, the additional propellant mass takes away from mass that could otherwise be used for scientific instrumentation on a multiple flyby-only mission. This paper will present methods--expanding upon techniques developed for the design of the Cassini prime and extended missions--to obtain near global moon coverage through multiple flybys. Furthermore we will show with proper instrument suite selection, a flyby-only mission can provide science return similar (and in some cases greater) to that of an orbiter mission.

  17. More Saturnian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-10-01

    Saturn takes the lead Following the discovery of at least four additional moons of that planet, Saturn has again taken the lead as the planet with the greatest number of known natural satellites. A corresponding announcement was made today by an international team of astronomers [1] at a meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Pasadena (California, USA). The four new faint bodies were spotted during observations in August-September 2000 at several astronomical telescopes around the world. Subsequent orbital calculations have indicated that these objects are almost certainly new satellites of the giant planet. Two Saturnian moons found at La Silla ESO PR Photo 29a/00 ESO PR Photo 29a/00 [Preview - JPEG: 263 x 400 pix - 26k] [Normal - JPEG: 525 x 800 pix - 93k] ESO PR Photo 29b/00 ESO PR Photo 29b/00 [Preview - JPG: 289 x 400 pix - 43k] [Normal - JPG: 578 x 800 pix - 432k] ESO PR Photo 29c/00 ESO PR Photo 29c/00 [Animated GIF: 330 x 400 pix - 208k] Captions : The photos show the discovery images of two new Saturnian moons, as registered on August 7, 2000, with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) camera at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory. Photo PR 29a/00 displays the faint image of the newly discovered moon S/2000 S 1 in the lower right corner of the field. A spiral galaxy is seen in the upper left corner of this photo. The other objects are (background) stars in the Milky Way. Photo PR 29b/00 is a combination of three successive WFI exposures of the second moon, S/2000 S 2 . Because of its motion, there are three images (to the left). Photo PR 29c/00 is an animated GIF image of the same three exposures that demonstrates this motion. Technical details are found below. The observations of the first two objects are described on a Circular of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that was issued today [2]. The images of these new moons were first registered on exposures made on August 7, 2000

  18. The origin of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wasson, J. T.; Warren, P. H.

    1984-01-01

    Bulk density alone shows that the Moon is depleted in metallic FeNi relative to the Earth or to chondritic meteorites. This depletion implies that the Moon formed not from chondrites but from differentiated material. Origin of the Moon by fission from the Earth offers a simple explanation for its depletion in FeNi, but this mechanism seems unlikely because of associated dynamical difficulties. Lunar volatile element depletions were invoked in support of fission, but volatile contents of eucritic meteorites are similarly low and the eucrites did not form by Earth fission. A more plausible origin of the Moon is accretion from the circumterrestrial swarm. The low FeNi content of the Moon is understood if the mean size of interplanetary silicate particles was much smaller than that for metal particles, since this would have led to preferential capture of silicates into Earth orbit, but the question arises whether the mean particle size of the metallic particles was great enough to prevent their capture into the swarm.

  19. Tracing water ice and chromophores across Saturn's moons and rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filacchione, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Ciarniello, M.; Nicholson, P. D.; Clark, R. N.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Hedman, M. M.; Buratti, B. J.; Cerroni, P.; Tosi, F.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Brown, R. H.

    2012-12-01

    accumulation of exogenic material and by interaction with magnetospheric particles; 2) the low reddening seen in the spectra of the satellites orbiting within the E-ring environment (from Mimas to Tethys) caused by the layering of Enceladus' plumes particles; 3) the spectral similarities seen among Prometheus, Pandora and A-B ring particles which point to a possible common origin; 4) the spectral differences observed between Tethys' lagrangian moons, with Calypso much more water ice-rich than Telesto; 5) Similarly Helene, one of Dione's lagrangian moons, appears bluer and hence more water ice-rich than Dione; 6) carbon dioxide ice and organics are mainly identified on the three outermost satellites, Hyperion, Iapetus, Phoebe; 7) faint absorption bands caused by aliphatic stretch of CH2 in the 3.42-3.52 micron interval are detected across A-B rings. Such comparative analysis and radial trends could help us to decipher the origins, histories and evolutionary processes of rings and satellites orbiting in Saturn's system. This research is supported by an Italian Space Agency (ASI) grant.

  20. Discovery of five irregular moons of Neptune.

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Kavelaars, J J; Grav, Tommy; Gladman, Brett J; Fraser, Wesley C; Milisavljevic, Dan; Nicholson, Philip D; Burns, Joseph A; Carruba, Valerio; Petit, Jean-Marc; Rousselot, Philippe; Mousis, Oliver; Marsden, Brian G; Jacobson, Robert A

    2004-08-19

    Each giant planet of the Solar System has two main types of moons. 'Regular' moons are typically larger satellites with prograde, nearly circular orbits in the equatorial plane of their host planets at distances of several to tens of planetary radii. The 'irregular' satellites (which are typically smaller) have larger orbits with significant eccentricities and inclinations. Despite these common features, Neptune's irregular satellite system, hitherto thought to consist of Triton and Nereid, has appeared unusual. Triton is as large as Pluto and is postulated to have been captured from heliocentric orbit; it traces a circular but retrograde orbit at 14 planetary radii from Neptune. Nereid, which exhibits one of the largest satellite eccentricities, is believed to have been scattered from a regular satellite orbit to its present orbit during Triton's capture. Here we report the discovery of five irregular moons of Neptune, two with prograde and three with retrograde orbits. These exceedingly faint (apparent red magnitude m(R) = 24.2-25.4) moons, with diameters of 30 to 50 km, were presumably captured by Neptune.

  1. Discovery of five irregular moons of Neptune.

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Kavelaars, J J; Grav, Tommy; Gladman, Brett J; Fraser, Wesley C; Milisavljevic, Dan; Nicholson, Philip D; Burns, Joseph A; Carruba, Valerio; Petit, Jean-Marc; Rousselot, Philippe; Mousis, Oliver; Marsden, Brian G; Jacobson, Robert A

    2004-08-19

    Each giant planet of the Solar System has two main types of moons. 'Regular' moons are typically larger satellites with prograde, nearly circular orbits in the equatorial plane of their host planets at distances of several to tens of planetary radii. The 'irregular' satellites (which are typically smaller) have larger orbits with significant eccentricities and inclinations. Despite these common features, Neptune's irregular satellite system, hitherto thought to consist of Triton and Nereid, has appeared unusual. Triton is as large as Pluto and is postulated to have been captured from heliocentric orbit; it traces a circular but retrograde orbit at 14 planetary radii from Neptune. Nereid, which exhibits one of the largest satellite eccentricities, is believed to have been scattered from a regular satellite orbit to its present orbit during Triton's capture. Here we report the discovery of five irregular moons of Neptune, two with prograde and three with retrograde orbits. These exceedingly faint (apparent red magnitude m(R) = 24.2-25.4) moons, with diameters of 30 to 50 km, were presumably captured by Neptune. PMID:15318214

  2. Cost-Effective Icy Bodies Exploration using Small Satellite Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jonsson, Jonas; Mauro, David; Stupl, Jan; Nayak, Michael; Aziz, Jonathan; Cohen, Aaron; Colaprete, Anthony; Dono-Perez, Andres; Frost, Chad; Klamm, Benjamin; McCafferty, Julian; McKay, Chris; Sears, Derek; Soulage, Michael; Swenson, Jason; Weston, Sasha; Yang Yang, Fan

    2015-01-01

    It has long been known that Saturn's moon Enceladus is expelling water-rich plumes into space, providing passing spacecraft with a window into what is hidden underneath its frozen crust. Recent discoveries indicate that similar events could also occur on other bodies in the solar system, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. These plumes provide a possible giant leap forward in the search for organics and assessing habitability beyond Earth, stepping stones toward the long-term goal of finding extraterrestrial life. The United States Congress recently requested mission designs to Europa, to fit within a cost cap of $1B, much less than previous mission designs' estimates. Here, innovative cost-effective small spacecraft designs for the deep-space exploration of these icy worlds, using new and emerging enabling technologies, and how to explore the outer solar system on a budget below the cost horizon of a flagship mission, are investigated. Science requirements, instruments selection, rendezvous trajectories, and spacecraft designs are some topics detailed. The mission concepts revolve around a comparably small-sized and low-cost Plume Chaser spacecraft, instrumented to characterize the vapor constituents encountered on its trajectory. In the event that a plume is not encountered, an ejecta plume can be artificially created by a companion spacecraft, the Plume Maker, on the target body at a location timed with the passage of the Plume Chaser spacecraft. Especially in the case of Ceres, such a mission could be a great complimentary mission to Dawn, as well as a possible future Europa Clipper mission. The comparably small volume of the spacecraft enables a launch to GTO as a secondary payload, providing multiple launch opportunities per year. Plume Maker's design is nearly identical to the Plume Chaser, and fits within the constraints for a secondary payload launch. The cost-effectiveness of small spacecraft missions enables the

  3. THE FATE OF MOONS OF CLOSE-IN GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Namouni, Fathi

    2010-08-20

    We show that the fate of moons of a close-in giant planet is mainly determined by the migration history of the planet in the protoplanetary disk. As the planet migrates in the disk from beyond the snow line toward a multi-day period orbit, the formed and forming moons become unstable as the planet's sphere of influence shrinks. Disk-driven migration is faster than the moons' tidal orbital evolution. Moons are eventually ejected from around close-in exoplanets or forced into collision with them before tides from the planet affect their orbits. If moons are detected around close-in exoplanets, they are unlikely to have been formed in situ, instead they were captured from the protoplanetary disk on retrograde orbits around the planets.

  4. The optimal launching of a space vehicle from the surface of the moon to a fixed point on the circular orbit of its artificial satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigor'ev, K. G.; Zapletina, E. V.; Zapletin, M. P.

    1992-06-01

    The paper presents an analysis and results of a numerical solution, based on the maximum principle, of three types of problems concerning the optimal launching of a space vehicle with a high-thrust rocket engine from the lunar surface to a fixed point on the circular orbit of a lunar artificial satellite. Attention is given to the problems of the fastest possible launching time, launching with minimal mass expenditure, and minimal trade-off functional (a compromise between expenditures for launch time and mass). The shooting method is used to obtain exact numerical solutions for the appropriate maximum principle boundary problems.

  5. Modeling Radar Scatter from Icy and Young Rough Lunar Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Thomas (Tommy); Ustinov, Eugene; Spudis, Paul; Fessler, Brian

    2012-01-01

    For lunar orbital synthetic aperture radars, such as the Chandrayaan Mini-RF operating at S- band (13-cm) wavelength and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mini-RF operating at S- band and X-band (3-cm) wavelengths, it is important to understand the radar backscattering characteristics of the icy and young, rough craters. Assuming a mixing model consisting of diffuse and quasi-specular scattering components, we have modeled the opposite-sense circular (OC) and same-sense circular (SC) backscattering characteristics. The specular component, consisting of only OC echoes, represents the echoes from the surface and subsurface layers that are oriented perpendicular to the radar's line-of-sight. The diffuse component, consisting of both SC and OC echoes, represents the echoes associated with either rocks or ice. Also, diffuse echoes have backscatter that is proportional to the cosine of the incidence angle. We modeled how these two (specular and diffuse) radar scattering components could be modulated by factors such as surface roughness associated with young craters. We also modeled how ice radar scattering components could be modulated by a thin regolith covering, and/or by the situation where ice occupies small patches within a larger radar pixel. We tested this modeling by examining 4 nonpolar craters and 12 polar craters using LRO Mini-RF data. Results indicate that icy and young rough craters can be distinguished based upon their SC enhancements (Alpha) and OC enhancements (Gamma). In addition, we also examined the craters that have unusual circular polarization ratios (CPRs) that likely result from a double bounce mode of scattering. Blocky fresh craters, icy craters, and craters exhibiting double bounce scattering can be separated based on the values of Alpha, Gamma, the ratio of Alpha/Gamma and the weighted sum of Alpha and Gamma.

  6. Emergence of Habitable Environments in Icy World Interiors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neveu, Marc

    2016-07-01

    Finding habitable worlds is a key driver of solar system exploration. Many solar system missions seek environments providing liquid water, energy, and nutrients, the three ingredients necessary to sustain life [1]. Such environments include hydrothermal systems, spatially confined systems where hot aqueous fluid circulates through rock by convection. Hydrothermal activity may be widespread in the solar system. Most solar system worlds larger than 200 km in radius are icy moons and dwarf planets, likely composed of an icy, cometary mantle surrounding a rocky, chondritic core [2]. By improving an icy world evolution code [3] to include the effects of core fracturing and hydrothermal circulation, I show that several icy moons and dwarf planets likely have undergone extensive water-rock interaction [4,5]. This supports observations of aqueous products on their surfaces [6,7]. I simulated the alteration of chondritic rock [8] by pure water or fluid of cometary composition [9] to show that aqueous alteration feeds back on geophysical evolution: it modifies the fluid antifreeze content, affecting its persistence over geological timescales; and the distribution of radionuclides, whose decay is a chief heat source on dwarf planets [10]. Hydrothermal circulation also efficiently transports heat from the core into the ocean, thereby increasing ocean persistence [4]. Thus, these coupled geophysical-geochemical models provide a comprehensive picture of icy world evolution and the emergence of liquid environments in chemical disequilibrium with underlying rock in their interiors. Habitable settings also require a suitable supply of bioessential elements; but what constitutes "suitable"? I sought to quantify the bulk elemental composition of hydrothermal microbial communities, collected in hot spring sediments and mats at Yellowstone National Park, USA. To do so, one must minimize the contribution of non-biological material to the samples analyzed. This was achieved using a

  7. The second ring-moon system of Uranus: discovery and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Showalter, Mark R; Lissauer, Jack J

    2006-02-17

    Deep exposures of Uranus taken with the Hubble Space Telescope reveal two small moons and two faint rings. All of them orbit outside of Uranus's previously known (main) ring system but are interior to the large, classical moons. The outer new moon, U XXVI Mab, orbits at roughly twice the radius of the main rings and shares its orbit with a dust ring. The second moon, U XXVII Cupid, orbits just interior to the satellite Belinda. A second ring falls between the orbits of Portia and Rosalind, in a region with no known source bodies. Collectively, these constitute a densely packed, rapidly varying, and possibly unstable dynamical system. PMID:16373533

  8. The second ring-moon system of Uranus: discovery and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Showalter, Mark R; Lissauer, Jack J

    2006-02-17

    Deep exposures of Uranus taken with the Hubble Space Telescope reveal two small moons and two faint rings. All of them orbit outside of Uranus's previously known (main) ring system but are interior to the large, classical moons. The outer new moon, U XXVI Mab, orbits at roughly twice the radius of the main rings and shares its orbit with a dust ring. The second moon, U XXVII Cupid, orbits just interior to the satellite Belinda. A second ring falls between the orbits of Portia and Rosalind, in a region with no known source bodies. Collectively, these constitute a densely packed, rapidly varying, and possibly unstable dynamical system.

  9. The Second Ring-Moon System of Uranus: Discovery and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Showalter, M. R.; Lissauer, J. J.

    2005-01-01

    Deep exposures of Uranus taken with the Hubble Space Telescope reveal two small moons and two faint rings. All orbit outside of Uranus's previously known (main) ring system, but interior to the large, classical moons. The outer new moon, U XXVI Mab, orbits at roughly twice the radius of the main rings and shares its orbit with a dust ring. The second moon, U XXVII Cupid, orbits just interior to the satellite Belinda. A second ring falls between the orbits of Portia and Rosalind, in a region with no known source bodies. Collectively, these constitute a densely-packed, rapidly varying and possibly unstable dynamica1 system.

  10. Plume Collection Strategies for Icy World Sample Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neveu, M.; Glavin, D. P.; Tsou, P.; Anbar, A. D.; Williams, P.

    2015-01-01

    Three icy worlds in the solar system display evidence of pluming activity. Water vapor and ice particles emanate from cracks near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The plume gas contains simple hydrocarbons that could be fragments of larger, more complex organics. More recently, observations using the Hubble and Herschel space telescopes have hinted at transient water vapor plumes at Jupiter's moon Europa and the dwarf planet Ceres. Plume materials may be ejected directly from possible sub-surface oceans, at least on Enceladus. In such oceans, liquid water, organics, and energy may co-exist, making these environments habitable. The venting of habitable ocean material into space provides a unique opportunity to capture this material during a relatively simple flyby mission and return it to Earth. Plume collection strategies should enable investigations of evidence for life in the returned samples via laboratory analyses of the structure, distribution, isotopic composition, and chirality of the chemical components (including biomolecules) of plume materials. Here, we discuss approaches for the collection of dust and volatiles during flybys through Enceladus' plume, based on Cassini results and lessons learned from the Stardust comet sample return mission. We also highlight areas where sample collector and containment technology development and testing may be needed for future plume sample return missions.

  11. Russian Scientific Project: "The Moon - 2012+"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, A.; Petrova, N.

    2006-08-01

    The realization of the modern long-time programs of comprehensive investigation of the Moon in the framework: "SMART-1" (ESA, 2003+), "SELENE" (JAXA, 2007), "Chandrayaan" (India, 2007), "CHANG'E-I" (CNSA, 2007), "LRO" (NASA, 2008), and "Luna Glob" (Russia, 2012) are aimed at obtaining of broad information about lunar gravity field, precision position in the inertial coordinate system, geometrical and dynamical figure and lunar interior: qualitative parameter Q, Love number k[2], core's radius R[c], core's density etc. Russian scientific project "The Moon - 2012+" is directed on the decision of fundamental problems of celestial mechanics, selenodesy and geophysics of the Moon connected to carrying out of complex theoretical researches and computer modelling: 1. Spin-orbital long-time evolution and physical librations the multilayered Moon: ?) construction of the analytical theory of rotation of the two/ three-layer Moon and reception on its basis of physical libration tables for their application at processing precision supervisions; construction of a lunar annual book. b) The analysis of spin-orbital evolution of the early Moon, an estimation of internal energy dissipation, modelling of the long-term mechanism of maintenance free librations the Moon. 2. Geodynamics of a lunar core: the analysis of differentiation of a lunar core, detailed elaboration of plume-tectonics of a mantle and a core of the early Moon, evolution of a boundary layer a core - mantle, reconstruction of gravitational and viscous - mechanical interaction of a lunar core and a mantle, resonant dissipation of internal energy, calculation free and forced nutations a lunar core, free fluctuations of system a core - mantle. 3. Selenodesy of lunar far - side: the decision of a return problem lunar gravimetry, construction of geodynamic model of a lunar crust, a mantle and a core, border Moho, reconstruction initial mascons on the Moon, creation precision topographical and gravitational models of the

  12. More Saturnian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-10-01

    Saturn takes the lead Following the discovery of at least four additional moons of that planet, Saturn has again taken the lead as the planet with the greatest number of known natural satellites. A corresponding announcement was made today by an international team of astronomers [1] at a meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Pasadena (California, USA). The four new faint bodies were spotted during observations in August-September 2000 at several astronomical telescopes around the world. Subsequent orbital calculations have indicated that these objects are almost certainly new satellites of the giant planet. Two Saturnian moons found at La Silla ESO PR Photo 29a/00 ESO PR Photo 29a/00 [Preview - JPEG: 263 x 400 pix - 26k] [Normal - JPEG: 525 x 800 pix - 93k] ESO PR Photo 29b/00 ESO PR Photo 29b/00 [Preview - JPG: 289 x 400 pix - 43k] [Normal - JPG: 578 x 800 pix - 432k] ESO PR Photo 29c/00 ESO PR Photo 29c/00 [Animated GIF: 330 x 400 pix - 208k] Captions : The photos show the discovery images of two new Saturnian moons, as registered on August 7, 2000, with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) camera at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory. Photo PR 29a/00 displays the faint image of the newly discovered moon S/2000 S 1 in the lower right corner of the field. A spiral galaxy is seen in the upper left corner of this photo. The other objects are (background) stars in the Milky Way. Photo PR 29b/00 is a combination of three successive WFI exposures of the second moon, S/2000 S 2 . Because of its motion, there are three images (to the left). Photo PR 29c/00 is an animated GIF image of the same three exposures that demonstrates this motion. Technical details are found below. The observations of the first two objects are described on a Circular of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that was issued today [2]. The images of these new moons were first registered on exposures made on August 7, 2000

  13. ARTEMIS Lunar Orbit Insertion and Science Orbit Design Through 2013

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Broschart, Stephen B.; Sweetser, Theodore H.; Angelopoulos, Vassilis; Folta, David; Woodard, Mark

    2015-01-01

    As of late-July 2011, the ARTEMIS mission is transferring two spacecraft from Lissajous orbits around Earth-Moon Lagrange Point #1 into highly-eccentric lunar science orbits. This paper presents the trajectory design for the transfer from Lissajous orbit to lunar orbit insertion, the period reduction maneuvers, and the science orbits through 2013. The design accommodates large perturbations from Earth's gravity and restrictive spacecraft capabilities to enable opportunities for a range of heliophysics and planetary science measurements. The process used to design the highly-eccentric ARTEMIS science orbits is outlined. The approach may inform the design of future planetary moon missions.

  14. Observing the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    North, Gerald

    2014-03-01

    Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. 'Magnificent desolation'; 2. The moon through the looking glass; 3. Telescopes and drawing boards; 4. The Moon in camera; 5. Stacking up the Moon; 6. The physical Moon; 7. Lunarware; 8. 'A to Z' of selected lunar landscapes; 9. TLP or not TLP?; Appendix 1. Telescope collimation; Appendix 2. Field-testing a telescope's optics; Appendix 3. Polar alignment; Index.

  15. Martian Moon, Phobos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-362, 16 May 2003

    Mars has two satellites, Phobos and Deimos. In August and September, 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) had four opportunities for close fly-bys of the inner moon, Phobos. This spectacular view, taken from the MOC archives of over 123,000 images, shows the large crater, Stickney, toward the upper right. Grooves, or troughs, radiate outward from Stickney and are known from Viking and Mariner 9 images to be prevalent all over the surface of Phobos. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper right. Another view of Phobos from 1998 can be seen in: MOC2-66, 11 September 1998, 'Phobos.'

  16. MOA-2011-BLG-262Lb: A sub-Earth-mass moon orbiting a gas giant primary or a high velocity planetary system in the galactic Bulge

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, D. P.; Batista, V.; Bond, I. A.; Ling, C. H.; Bennett, C. S.; Suzuki, D.; Koshimoto, N.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Udalski, A.; Donatowicz, J.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Fukunaga, D.; Itow, Y.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Muraki, Y.; Botzler, C. S.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.; Collaboration: MOA Collaboration; PLANET Collaboration; μFUN Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; and others

    2014-04-20

    We present the first microlensing candidate for a free-floating exoplanet-exomoon system, MOA-2011-BLG-262, with a primary lens mass of M {sub host} ∼ 4 Jupiter masses hosting a sub-Earth mass moon. The argument for an exomoon hinges on the system being relatively close to the Sun. The data constrain the product M{sub L} π{sub rel} where M{sub L} is the lens system mass and π{sub rel} is the lens-source relative parallax. If the lens system is nearby (large π{sub rel}), then M{sub L} is small (a few Jupiter masses) and the companion is a sub-Earth-mass exomoon. The best-fit solution has a large lens-source relative proper motion, μ{sub rel} = 19.6 ± 1.6 mas yr{sup –1}, which would rule out a distant lens system unless the source star has an unusually high proper motion. However, data from the OGLE collaboration nearly rule out a high source proper motion, so the exoplanet+exomoon model is the favored interpretation for the best fit model. However, there is an alternate solution that has a lower proper motion and fits the data almost as well. This solution is compatible with a distant (so stellar) host. A Bayesian analysis does not favor the exoplanet+exomoon interpretation, so Occam's razor favors a lens system in the bulge with host and companion masses of M{sub host}=0.12{sub −0.06}{sup +0.19} M{sub ⊙} and m{sub comp}=18{sub −10}{sup +28} M{sub ⊕}, at a projected separation of a{sub ⊥}=0.84{sub −0.14}{sup +0.25} AU. The existence of this degeneracy is an unlucky accident, so current microlensing experiments are in principle sensitive to exomoons. In some circumstances, it will be possible to definitively establish the mass of such lens systems through the microlensing parallax effect. Future experiments will be sensitive to less extreme exomoons.

  17. ICI/BASF PP for acrylics swap

    SciTech Connect

    Alperowicz, N.

    1993-01-27

    ICI (London) and BASF (Ludwigshafen) have announced their long-awaited polypropylene (PP) for acrylics swap deal. ICI is buying BASF's European acrylic resin business, and the German firm will acquire ICI's European PP operations. The deal is due for completion by mid-1993, subject to regulatory approvals. BASF, hitherto a small-scale PP producer, doubles capacity to 600,000 m.t./year and moves up the European PP league to number three, behind Himont and Shell. BASF, whose process is used in the plants, secures a foothold in the UK PP market, where Shell - planning a merger with Himont - is the only other producer, with 170,000 m.t./year. ICI's purchase involves BASF's Resart GmbH and Critesa SA subsidiaries, located at Mainz, Germany and near Barcelona, Spain, respectively. The business - which will add about [Brit pounds]60 million ($93 million) to ICI Acrylics [Brit pounds]300-million revenues - employs 400 people, who will transfer to ICI.

  18. Cryovolcanism on the icy satellites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kargel, J.S.

    1994-01-01

    Evidence of past cryovolcanism is widespread and extremely varied on the icy satellites. Some cryovolcanic landscapes, notably on Triton, are similar to many silicate volcanic terrains, including what appear to be volcanic rifts, calderas and solidified lava lakes, flow fields, breached cinder cones or stratovolcanoes, viscous lava domes, and sinuous rilles. Most other satellites have terrains that are different in the important respect that no obvious volcanoes are present. The preserved record of cryovolcanism generally is believed to have formed by eruptions of aqueous solutions and slurries. Even Triton's volcanic crust, which is covered by nitrogen-rich frost, is probably dominated by water ice. Nonpolar and weakly polar molecular liquids (mainly N2, CH4, CO, CO2, and Ar), may originate by decomposition of gas-clathrate hydrates and may have been erupted on some icy satellites, but without water these substances do not form rigid solids that are stable against sublimation or melting over geologic time. Triton's plumes, active at the time of Voyager 2's flyby, may consist of multicomponent nonpolar gas mixtures. The plumes may be volcanogenic fumaroles or geyserlike emissions powered by deep internal heating, and, thus, the plumes may be indicating an interior that is still cryomagmatically active; or Triton's plumes may be powered by solar heating of translucent ices very near the surface. The Uranian and Neptunian satellites Miranda, Ariel, and Triton have flow deposits that are hundreds to thousands of meters thick (implying highly viscous lavas); by contrast, the Jovian and Saturnian satellites generally have plains-forming deposits composed of relatively thin flows whose thicknesses have not been resolved in Voyager images (thus implying relatively low-viscosity lavas). One possible explanation for this inferred rheological distinction involves a difference in volatile composition of the Uranian and Neptunian satellites on one hand and of the Jovian and

  19. Cryovolcanism on the icy satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    1994-01-01

    Evidence of past cryovolcanism is widespread and extremely varied on the icy satellites. Some cryovolcanic landscapes, notably on Triton, are similar to many silicate volcanic terrains, including what appear to be volcanic rifts, calderas and solidified lava lakes, flow fields, breached cinder cones or stratovolcanoes, viscous lava domes, and sinuous rilles. Most other satellites have terrains that are different in the important respect that no obvious volcanoes are present. The preserved record of cryovolcanism generally is believed to have formed by eruptions of aqueous solutions and slurries. Even Triton's volcanic crust, which is covered by nitrogen-rich frost, is probably dominated by water ice. Nonpolar and weakly polar molecular liquids (mainly N2, CH4, CO, CO2, and Ar), may originate by decomposition of gas-clathrate hydrates and may have been erupted on some icy satellites, but without water these substances do not form rigid solids that are stable against sublimation or melting over geologic time. Triton's plumes, active at the time of Voyager 2's flyby, may consist of multicomponent nonpolar gas mixtures. The plumes may be volcanogenic fumaroles or geyserlike emissions powered by deep internal heating, and, thus, the plumes may be indicating an interior that is still cryomagmatically active; or Triton's plumes may be powered by solar heating of translucent ices very near the surface. The Uranian and Neptunian satellites Miranda, Ariel, and Triton have flow deposits that are hundreds to thousands of meters thick (implying highly viscous lavas); by contrast, the Jovian and Saturnian satellites generally have plains-forming deposits composed of relatively thin flows whose thicknesses have not been resolved in Voyager images (thus implying relatively low-viscosity lavas). One possible explanation for this inferred rheological distinction involves a difference in volatile composition of the Uranian and Neptunian satellites on one hand and of the Jovian and

  20. Origin and evolution of the earth-moon system.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alfven, H.; Arrhenius, G.

    1972-01-01

    The general problem of formation of secondary bodies around a central body is studied, and comparison is made with other satellite systems (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus). The normal satellite systems of Neptune and the earth are reconstructed. The capture theory, the tidal evolution of the lunar orbit, destruction of a normal satellite system, asteroids and the earth-moon system, and accretion and heat structure of the moon are discussed. It is concluded that the moon originated as a planet accreted in a jet stream near the orbit of the earth, and was probably captured in a retrograde orbit.

  1. Evolution of the Earth-Moon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Touma, Jihad; Wisdom, Jack

    1994-01-01

    The tidal evolution of the Earth-Moon system is reexamined. Several models of tidal friction are first compared in an averaged Hamiltonian formulation of the dynamics. With one of these models, full integrations of the tidally evolving Earth-Moon system are carried out in the complete, fully interacting, and chaotically evolving planetary system. Classic results on the history of the lunar orbit are confirmed by our more general model. A detailed history of the obliquity of the Earth which takes into account the evolving lunar orbit is presented.

  2. Organics Analyzer for Sampling Icy Surfaces: A liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer for future in situ small body missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Getty, Stephanie A.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Martin, Mildred; Zheng, Yun; Balvin, Manuel; Southard, Adrian E.; Feng, Steven; Ferrance, Jerome; Kotecki, Carl; Malespin, Charles; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an important laboratory technique for the detection and analysis of organic molecules with high sensitivity and selectivity. This approach has been especially fruitful in the analysis of nucleobases, amino acids, and measuring amino acid enantiomeric ratios in extraterrestrial materials. We are developing OASIS, Organics Analyzer for Sampling Icy Surfaces, for in situ analysis on future landed missions to astrochemically important icy bodies, such as asteroids, comets, and icy moons. The OASIS design employs a microfabricated, on-chip analytical column to chromatographically separate liquid analytes using known LC stationary phase chemistries. The elution products are then interfaced through spray ionization and analyzed by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS). A particular advantage of our design is its suitability for microgravity environments, such as for a primitive small body.

  3. Discovery of a Makemakean Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Alex H.; Buie, Marc W.; Grundy, Will M.; Noll, Keith S.

    2016-07-01

    We describe the discovery of a satellite in orbit about the dwarf planet (136472) Makemake. This satellite, provisionally designated S/2015 (136472) 1, was detected in imaging data collected with the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 on UTC 2015 April 27 at 7.80 ± 0.04 mag fainter than Makemake and at a separation of 0.″57. It likely evaded detection in previous satellite searches due to a nearly edge-on orbital configuration, placing it deep within the glare of Makemake during a substantial fraction of its orbital period. This configuration would place Makemake and its satellite near a mutual event season. Insufficient orbital motion was detected to make a detailed characterization of its orbital properties, prohibiting a measurement of the system mass with the discovery data alone. Preliminary analysis indicates that if the orbit is circular, its orbital period must be longer than 12.4 days and must have a semimajor axis ≳21,000 km. We find that the properties of Makemake’s moon suggest that the majority of the dark material detected in the system by thermal observations may not reside on the surface of Makemake, but may instead be attributable to S/2015 (136472) 1 having a uniform dark surface. This “dark moon hypothesis” can be directly tested with future James Webb Space Telescope observations. We discuss the implications of this discovery for the spin state, figure, and thermal properties of Makemake and the apparent ubiquity of trans-Neptunian dwarf planet satellites.

  4. Icy Satellites of Saturn: Impact Cratering and Age Determination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dones, L.; Chapman, C. R.; McKinnon, William B.; Melosh, H. J.; Kirchoff, M. R.; Neukum, G.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-01-01

    Saturn is the first giant planet to be visited by an orbiting spacecraft that can transmit large amounts of data to Earth. Crater counts on satellites from Phoebe inward to the regular satellites and ring moons are providing unprecedented insights into the origin and time histories of the impacting populations. Many Voyager-era scientists concluded that the satellites had been struck by at least two populations of impactors. In this view, the Population I impactors, which were generally judged to be comets orbiting the Sun, formed most of the larger and older craters, while Population II impactors, interpreted as Saturn-orbiting ejecta from impacts on satellites, produced most of the smaller and younger craters. Voyager data also implied that all of the ring moons, and probably some of the midsized classical moons, had been catastrophically disrupted and reaccreted since they formed. We examine models of the primary impactor populations in the Saturn system. At the present time, ecliptic comets, which likely originate in the Kuiper belt/scattered disk, are predicted to dominate impacts on the regular satellites and ring moons, but the models require extrapolations in size (from the observed Kuiper belt objects to the much smaller bodies that produce the craters) or in distance (from the known active Jupiter family comets to 9.5 AU). Phoebe, Iapetus, and perhaps even moons closer to Saturn have been struck by irregular satellites as well. We describe the Nice model, which provides a plausible mechanism by which the entire Solar System might have experienced an era of heavy bombardment long after the planets formed. We then discuss the three cratering chronologies, including one based upon the Nice model, that have been used to infer surface ages from crater densities on the saturnian satellites. After reviewing scaling relations between the properties of impactors and the craters they produce, we provide model estimates of the present-day rate at which comets impact

  5. Modelling Ocean Dissipation in Icy Satellites: A Comparison of Linear and Quadratic Friction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hay, H.; Matsuyama, I.

    2015-12-01

    Although subsurface oceans are confirmed in Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and strongly suspected in Enceladus and Titan, the exact mechanism required to heat and maintain these liquid reservoirs over Solar System history remains a mystery. Radiogenic heating can supply enough energy for large satellites whereas tidal dissipation provides the best explanation for the presence of oceans in small icy satellites. The amount of thermal energy actually contributed to the interiors of these icy satellites through oceanic tidal dissipation is largely unquantified. Presented here is a numerical model that builds upon previous work for quantifying tidally dissipated energy in the subsurface oceans of the icy satellites. Recent semi-analytical models (Tyler, 2008 and Matsuyama, 2014) have solved the Laplace Tidal Equations to estimate the time averaged energy flux over an orbital period in icy satellite oceans, neglecting the presence of a solid icy shell. These models are only able to consider linear Rayleigh friction. The numerical model presented here is compared to one of these semi-analytical models, finding excellent agreement between velocity and displacement solutions for all three terms to the tidal potential. Time averaged energy flux is within 2-6% of the analytical values. Quadratic (bottom) friction is then incorporated into the model, replacing linear friction. This approach is commonly applied to terrestrial ocean dissipation studies where dissipation scales nonlinearly with velocity. A suite of simulations are also run for the quadratic friction case which are then compared to and analysed against recent scaling laws developed by Chen and Nimmo (2013).

  6. Laboratory Reference Spectroscopy of Icy Satellite Candidate Surface Materials (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. B.; Jamieson, C. S.; Shirley, J. H.; Pitman, K. M.; Kariya, M.; Crandall, P.

    2013-12-01

    Pitman, 2012). We will report on recent results, including spectra of sulfate hydrates, simple organic molecules, and volatile ices measured at PICL in support of past, present and planned missions. We gratefully acknowledge the support of JPL's Research and Technology Development and Strategic Hire Programs, and of the NASA Outer Planets Research and Planetary Geology and Geophysics programs. Dalton, III, J.B., Spectroscopy of icy moon surface materials, Space Sci. Rev. 153:219-247, 2010. Dalton, III, J.B., and Pitman, K.M., Low temperature optical constants of some hydrated sulfates relevant to planetary surfaces, J. Geophys. Res. 117:E09001, doi:10.1029/2011JE004036, 2012. Hapke, B.W., Bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy I. Theory, J. Geophys. Res. 86, 3039-3054, 1981. Shkuratov, Y., L. Starukhina, H. Hoffmann, and G. Arnold, A model of spectral albedo of particulate surfaces: Implications for optical properties of the Moon, Icarus 137, 235-246, 1999.

  7. UV-IR Spectra of the Icy Saturnian Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Filacchione, G.; Schenk, P.; Clark, R. N.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Noll, K. S.; Spencer, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Cassini's multi-instrument suite allows simultaneous observations of the icy satellites of Saturn over a wide range of wavelengths. We present composite UV-IR spectra (0.1-5 microns) of the leading and trailing hemispheres of the icy moons using data from Cassini supplemented with spectra from Hubble Space Telescope (STIS). We use data of Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione and Rhea from the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS), the Imaging Subsystem (ISS) and the Visual-Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) taken during simultaneous measurements, or using similar observational geometries. The well-studied phase curve behaviors of the satellites are utilized to readily combine Earth-based STIS data with the Cassini datasets to create composite spectra. Focusing primarily on the UV-visible region so far, we find that the spectra of all satellites are bright and spectrally relatively flat at visible wavelengths longer than 500-600 nm; shortward of 500-600 nm the surfaces become absorbing with wavelength, resulting in reddish spectra. The satellites exhibit flattish-to-bowl-shaped spectra in the ~200-350 nm range and demonstrate the 165 nm water ice absorption edge, in varying strengths. These composite spectra are used to study the system-wide surface compositions of the satellites to understand large-scale exogenic effects (e.g., E-ring grain bombardment and radiolytic processing) at a variety of regolith sensing depths, and in particular to study implications for the presence and distribution of organics, ammonia, and other non-H2O-ice species in the system.

  8. Origin of Martian Moons from Binary Asteroid Dissociation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Lyons, Valerie J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The origin of the Martian moons Deimos and Phobos is controversial. A common hypothesis for their origin is that they are captured asteroids, but the moons show no signs of having been heated by passage through a (hypothetical) thick martian atmosphere, and the mechanism by which an asteroid in solar orbit could shed sufficient orbital energy to be captured into Mars orbit has not been previously elucidated. Since the discovery by the space probe Galileo that the asteroid Ida has a moon 'Dactyl', a significant number of asteroids have been discovered to have smaller asteroids in orbit about them. The existence of asteroid moons provides a mechanism for the capture of the Martian moons (and the small moons of the outer planets). When a binary asteroid makes a close approach to a planet, tidal forces can strip the moon from the asteroid. Depending on the phasing, either or both can then be captured. Clearly, the same process can be used to explain the origin of any of the small moons in the solar system.

  9. Relative astrobiological potential of irradiated icy bodies in the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, John

    A common factor uniting icy moons with either putative subsurface oceans or evident cryo-volcanic activity is that these reside in the magnetospheres of the giant planets. Interestingly, the two known active moons, Enceladus and Triton, are not in the giant planet magnetosphere with the most extreme radiation, that of Jupiter. Either such radiation has little connection to activity, or else it might have an inhibiting effect at extreme levels such as at Europa. The astrobiological potential of Europa is generally thought to be the highest of the three Galilean icy moons, mainly since the putative global ocean would be closest to the surface, and yet there is little evidence for any significant abundance of organics at the surface. In contrast, ac-tive Enceladus clearly does have easily detectable abundances of simple hydrocarbons and may also have subsurface liquid water. The relatively shorter lifetimes with respect to radilolytic destruction might explain absence of surface organics on Europa, but the lack of gas-driven activity there also suggests absence of redox chemistry important to life as we know it. In the context of a model for gas produced by oxidation processes from radiolytic oxidants, Cooper et al. (Plan. Sp. Sci., 2009) earlier suggested that Europa, enveloped in a surface-bound oxygen atmosphere not detectably present at Enceladus, could be in an extreme state of oxidation to the limit that organics could not survive anywhere in the outer ice crust or underlying ocean. Could that mean that astrobiological potential is higher on Enceladus and even on Triton than on Europa? It is also noted that bright large Kuiper Belt Objects such as Eris may have icy surfaces continually replenished by cryovolcanism and hence might also have potentially significant astrobiological potential.

  10. Comparing Vesta's Surface Roughness to the Moon Using Bistatic Radar Observations by the Dawn Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, E. M.; Heggy, E.; Kofman, W. W.; Moghaddam, M.

    2015-12-01

    The first orbital bistatic radar (BSR) observations of a small body have been conducted opportunistically by NASA's Dawn spacecraft at Asteroid Vesta using the telecommunications antenna aboard Dawn to transmit and the Deep Space Network 70-meter antennas on Earth to receive. Dawn's high-gain communications antenna continuously transmitted right-hand circularly polarized radio waves (4-cm wavelength), and due to the opportunistic nature of the experiment, remained in a fixed orientation pointed toward Earth throughout each BSR observation. As a consequence, Dawn's transmitted radio waves scattered from Vesta's surface just before and after each occultation of the Dawn spacecraft behind Vesta, resulting in surface echoes at highly oblique incidence angles of greater than 85 degrees, and a small Doppler shift of ~2 Hz between the carrier signal and surface echoes from Vesta. We analyze the power and Doppler spreading of Vesta's surface echoes to assess surface roughness, and find that Vesta's area-normalized radar cross section ranges from -8 to -17 dB, which is notably much stronger than backscatter radar cross section values reported for the Moon's limbs (-20 to -35 dB). However, our measurements correspond to the forward scattering regime--such that at high incidence, radar waves are expected to scatter more weakly from a rough surface in the backscatter direction than that which is scattered forward. Using scattering models of rough surfaces observed at high incidence, we report on the relative roughness of Vesta's surface as compared to the Moon and icy Galilean satellites. Through this, we assess the dominant processes that have influenced Vesta's surface roughness at centimeter and decimeter scales, which are in turn applicable to assisting future landing, sampling and orbital missions of other small bodies.

  11. Pluto's Spinning Moons

    NASA Video Gallery

    Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet; this animation shows that certainly isn’t the case with the small moons of Pluto, which behave like spinning ...

  12. The Fatigue of Water Ice: Insight into the Tectonic Resurfacing of Tidally Deformed Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, N. P.; Barr, A. C.; Hirth, G.; Cooper, R. F.

    2015-12-01

    Fatigue is a process that causes materials to weaken during cyclic loading and experience brittle failure at much lower applied stresses. We perform laboratory experiments to study the fatigue behavior of water ice at conditions relevant to the surfaces of icy satellites, to test the hypothesis that the lithospheres of some icy satellites are weakened by fatigue. Many icy moons of the outer solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus, experience cyclic stresses driven by tidal forces from their parent planet. Stresses generated by tides and other physical processes, such as solid-state convection of the ice shell, are weak compared to laboratory derived yield stress values of ice. The surface geology on many icy moons, however, suggests that these processes are capable of deforming the surface, suggesting that their surfaces may have been weakened. During fatigue, microcracks slowly grow under the action of cyclic loads. Cracks grow until the stress intensity reaches a critical value and the sample fractures. The rate of microcrack growth varies with material, temperature, and loading frequency, but under most conditions the growth rate can be characterized by Paris' Law. We use a servo-hydraulic loading machine to perform cyclic 4-point bending tests on polycrystalline ice samples to measure the rate of fatigue crack growth. Ice samples are formed using the standard ice method in a sample mold with dimensions of 10x4x2 cm with an average grain size of 1.2 mm. An initial flaw is cut into the sample and loaded such that the flaw experiences the maximum tensile stress in the sample. Our initial experiments were performed at T=223 K, loading frequencies of 0.5 Hz, and stress intensities ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 of the plane-strain fracture toughness. Sample compliance is used to estimate crack length according to analytical solutions [1]. Experiments show an increase in compliance with time, consistent with substantial subcritical crack growth. Future experiments will

  13. Ultraviolet Photometric Parameters of the Icy Galilean Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hendrix, Amanda R.; Domingue, Deborah L.; King, Kimberly

    2002-01-01

    The Galilean satellites are each phase-locked with Jupiter, so that one hemisphere (the Jovian hemisphere centered on 0 deg longitude) is always facing Jupiter. The leading hemisphere is centered on 90 deg W longitude, while the central longitude of the trailing hemisphere is 270 deg W. Because Jupiter's magnetosphere corotates at a rate faster than the orbital speed of the moons, the satellites' trailing hemispheres are affected by magnetospheric particle bombardment. Some effects are implantation of magnetospheric ions, sputtering, erosion and grain size alteration. The leading hemispheres of these moons are more dominantly affected by micrometeorite bombardment, while the Jovian hemispheres may be affected by dust and/or neutral wind particles streaming out radially from Io and its torus.

  14. The Global Contribution of Secondary Craters on the Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoogenboom, T.; Johnson, K. E.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

    At present, surface ages of bodies in the Outer Solar System are determined only from crater size-frequency distributions (a method dependent on an understanding of the projectile populations responsible for impact craters in these planetary systems). To derive accurate ages using impact craters, the impactor population must be understood. Impact craters in the Outer Solar System can be primary, secondary or sesquinary. The contribution of secondary craters to the overall population has recently become a "topic of interest." Our objective is to better understand the contribution of dispersed secondary craters to the small crater populations, and ultimately that of small comets to the projectile flux on icy satellites in general. We measure the diameters of obvious secondary craters (determined by e.g. irregular crater shape, small size, clustering) formed by all primary craters on Ganymede for which we have sufficiently high resolution data to map secondary craters. Primary craters mapped range from approximately 40 km to 210 km. Image resolution ranges from 45 to 440 m/pixel. Bright terrain on Ganymede is our primary focus. These resurfaced terrains have relatively low crater densities and serve as a basis for characterizing secondary populations as a function of primary size on an icy body for the first time. Although focusing on Ganymede, we also investigate secondary crater size, frequency, distribution, and formation, as well as secondary crater chain formation on icy satellites throughout the Saturnian and Jovian systems principally Rhea. We compare our results to similar studies of secondary cratering on the Moon and Mercury. Using Galileo and Voyager data, we have identified approximately 3,400 secondary craters on Ganymede. In some cases, we measured crater density as a function of distance from a primary crater. Because of the limitations of the Galileo data, it is necessary to extrapolate from small data sets to the global population of secondary craters

  15. China's moon project change: Stratagem and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Sibing

    2003-06-01

    Underlying China's decision to explore the Moon is the assumption that space powers will soon contend for strategic resources on the lunar surface and China does not want to lag behind in the new Moon race. According to the 3-stage plan, a lunar orbiter based on DFH-3 Earth communications satellite platform could be launched by CZ-3A rocket from Xichang in three years to obtain 3-D topographic maps of the Moon and investigate the global distribution of resources through remote sensing. A soft landing mission is scheduled for 2010 to start the second stage of exploration using robotic rovers to survey the lunar surface. Sample return missions will follow. It will take more than ten years to complete the 3-step plan. Human missions to the Moon are not China's near-term goals although principal lunar scientists envision an international lunar base in 2030.

  16. The Earth, the Moon and Conservation of Momentum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunt, Marjorie; Brunt, Geoff

    2013-01-01

    We consider the application of both conservation of momentum and Newton's laws to the Moon in an assumed circular orbit about the Earth. The inadequacy of some texts in applying Newton's laws is considered.

  17. Radiation Synthesis of New Molecules on Jupiter's Icy Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, M. H.; Hudson, R. L.; Carlson, R. W.

    2003-01-01

    Spectra of Jupiter's icy satellites reveal surfaces dominated by water-ice, minor amounts of SO2 and CO2, and (for Europa) H2O2 along with hydrated materials. Jovian magnetospheric ions (protons, sulfur, and oxygen) and electrons significantly modify the chemical composition of these moons' surfaces in times ranging from a few years for Europa to thousands of years for Callisto at micrometer depths. Appropriate laboratory studies examining relevant volatile and non-volatile materials under low-temperature radiation conditions can provide information on likely radiation chemical mechanisms, on the stability and evolution of species, and on new species awaiting detection. Although the molecules detected on the icy moons are relatively simple, predicting their responses to radiation in space remains difficult. One problem is that there is a dearth of fundamental data examining solid-phase reactions. Our laboratory experiments have focused on infrared studies (2.5 to 25 microns) of a few simple irradiated ices. We have measured the spectra of proton-irradiated H2O ice containing SO2, H2S, and/or CO2. Ices with H2O/SO2 or H2O/H2S ratios of 3 and 30 have been irradiated at 86 K, 110 K, and 132 K. In irradiated H2O + SO2 ices new ions have been identified: SO4(-2), HSO4(-) and H3O(+). After warming to 260 K the residual spectrum is similar to that of H2SO4. Ices with H2O + H2S form SO2. After warming to 175 K, the residual sample matches the spectrum of hydrated H2SO4. H2O + CO2 ice forms carbonic acid, H2CO3 which is stable to temperatures near 230 K. In addition, OCS has been detected in irradiated ices containing H2O + SO2 + CO2. The radiation half-life of SO2 and H2S in H2O has been calculated. Our results give compelling evidence for the presence of new species awaiting detection. Future experiments will examine the signatures of these ices and hydrated materials in the 1 to 5 micron region, where possible weaker overtone bands may occur. In addition, absolute

  18. Perceptions about Moon Phases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rider, Steven

    2002-01-01

    Presents research on different techniques to determine the level of understanding among middle school students regarding the phases of the moon. Quotes student responses to provide some insight into students' level of understanding of general knowledge about the moon, moon phases, and modeling the phases. Presents implications for teachers. (KHR)

  19. Look to the Moon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Gerald Wm.

    1996-01-01

    Presents a strategy that helps students visualize and comprehend moon phase changes through activities that use an Earth-centered point of view along with direct observations of the moon. Describes activities that parents can use at home to help children become familiar with observing moon phases. (JRH)

  20. The Moon's Origin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cadogan, Peter

    1983-01-01

    Presents findings and conclusions about the origin of the moon, favoring the capture hypothesis of lunar origin. Advantage of the hypothesis is that it allows the moon to have been formed elsewhere, specifically in a hotter part of the solar nebula, accounting for chemical differences between earth and moon. (JN)

  1. Pluto's Intriguing Moons

    NASA Video Gallery

    We talk a lot about Charon, Pluto's largest moon that's about half the size of its host planet. But what about Pluto’s other moons? They're strange, to say the least. Pluto’s four smaller moons —...

  2. Conference on the Origin of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Various topics relating to lunar evolution are discussed. The Moon's ancient orbital history, geophysical and geochemical constraints favoring the capture hypothesis, the site of the lunar core, chemical and petrological constraints, dynamical constraints, and mathematical models are among the topics discussed.

  3. Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    A new study examines the possibility that Marss two moons formed after a large body slammed into Mars, creating a disk of debris. This scenario might be the key to reconciling the moons orbital properties with their compositions.Conflicting EvidenceThe different orbital (left) and spectral (right) characteristics of the Martian moons in the three different formation scenarios. Click for a better look! Phobos and Deimoss orbital characteristics are best matched by formation around Mars (b and c), and their physical characteristics are best matched by formation in the outer region of an impact-generated accretion disk (rightmost panel of c). [Ronnet et al. 2016]How were Marss two moons, Phobos and Deimos, formed? There are three standing theories:Two already-formed, small bodies from the outer main asteroid belt were captured by Mars, intact.The bodies formed simultaneously with Mars, by accretion from the same materials.A large impact on Mars created an accretion disk of material from which the two bodies formed.Our observations of the Martian moons, unfortunately, provide conflicting evidence about which of these scenarios is correct. The physical properties of the moons low albedos, low densities are consistent with those of asteroids in our solar system, and are not consistent with Marss properties, suggesting that the co-accretion scenario is unlikely. On the other hand, the moons orbital properties low inclination, low eccentricity, prograde orbits are consistent with bodies that formed around Mars rather than being captured.In a recent study,a team of scientists led by Thomas Ronnet and Pierre Vernazza (Aix-Marseille University, Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has attempted to reconcile these conflictingobservations by focusing on the third option.Moons After a Large ImpactIn the thirdscenario, an impactor of perhaps a few percent of Marss mass smashed into Mars, forming a debris disk of hot material that encircled Mars. Perturbations in the disk then

  4. Galileo's Medicean Moons (IAU S269)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbieri, Cesare; Chakrabarti, Supriya; Coradini, Marcello; Lazzarin, Monica

    2010-11-01

    Preface; 1. Galileo's telescopic observations: the marvel and meaning of discovery George V. Coyne, S. J.; 2. Popular perceptions of Galileo Dava Sobel; 3. The slow growth of humility Tobias Owen and Scott Bolton; 4. A new physics to support the Copernican system. Gleanings from Galileo's works Giulio Peruzzi; 5. The telescope in the making, the Galileo first telescopic observations Alberto Righini; 6. The appearance of the Medicean Moons in 17th century charts and books. How long did it take? Michael Mendillo; 7. Navigation, world mapping and astrometry with Galileo's moons Kaare Aksnes; 8. Modern exploration of Galileo's new worlds Torrence V. Johnson; 9. Medicean Moons sailing through plasma seas: challenges in establishing magnetic properties Margaret G. Kivelson, Xianzhe Jia and Krishan K. Khurana; 10. Aurora on Jupiter: a magnetic connection with the Sun and the Medicean Moons Supriya Chakrabarti and Marina Galand; 11. Io's escaping atmosphere: continuing the legacy of surprise Nicholas M. Schneider; 12. The Jovian Rings Wing-Huen Ip; 13. The Juno mission Scott J. Bolton and the Juno Science Team; 14. Seeking Europa's ocean Robert T. Pappalardo; 15. Europa lander mission: a challenge to find traces of alien life Lev Zelenyi, Oleg Korablev, Elena Vorobyova, Maxim Martynov, Efraim L. Akim and Alexander Zakahrov; 16. Atmospheric moons Galileo would have loved Sushil K. Atreya; 17. The study of Mercury Louise M. Prockter and Peter D. Bedini; 18. Jupiter and the other giants: a comparative study Thérèse Encrenaz; 19. Spectroscopic and spectrometric differentiation between abiotic and biogenic material on icy worlds Kevin P. Hand, Chris McKay and Carl Pilcher; 20. Other worlds, other civilizations? Guy Consolmagno, S. J.; 21. Concluding remarks Roger M. Bonnet; Posters; Author index; Object index.

  5. Icy Collisions - Planet Building beyond the snowline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaertner, Sabrina; Hill, Catherine; Heisselmann, Daniel; Blum, Juergen; Fraser, Helen

    2015-11-01

    Collisions of small icy and dust particles beyond the “snow-line” are a key step in planet formation. Whilst the physical forces that underpin the aggregation of the smallest grains (van der Waals) and the largest planetessimals (gravity) are well understood, the processes involving mm - cm sized particles remain a mystery.In a unique set of experiments, we investigated low velocity collisions of dust and icy particles in this size range under microgravity conditions - utilizing parabolic flight (e.g. Salter 2009, Hill 2015 (a) & (b)). Experiments were performed at cryogenic temperatures (below 140 K) for icy aggregates and ambient as well as cryogenic temperatures (80 - 220 K) for dust aggregates.The kinetic analysis of the observed collisions of different aggregate types in different shapes and sizes revealed astonishing results - as the collisional properties of all investigated particles differ strongly from the usual assumptions in models of planet formation.Here, we present a summary of the results on the collisions of icy particles as well as first results on the collisions of dust aggregates. Focus will be on the coefficient of restitution, which measures the loss of translational energy in bouncing collisions and is a key parameter in models of planet formation.

  6. A proposed space mission around the Moon to measure the Moon Radio-Quiet Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonietti, N.; Pagana, G.; Pluchino, S.; Maccone, C.

    In a series of papers published since 2000 mainly in Acta Astronautica the senior author Maccone dealt with the advantages of the Farside of the Moon for future utilization Clearly the Moon Farside is free from RFI Radio Frequency Interference produced in larger and larger amounts by the increasing human exploitation of radio technologies That author suggested that crater Daedalus located at the center of the Farside was the best possible location to build up in the future one or more radiotelescopes or phased arrays to achieve the maximum sensitivity in radioastronomical and SETI searches Also a radio-quiet region of space above the Farside of the Moon exists and is called the Quiet Cone The Quiet Cone actual size however is largely unknown since it depends on the orbits of radio-emitting satellites around the Earth that are themselves largely unknown due to the military involvements In addition diffraction of electromagnetic waves grazing the surface of the Moon causes further changes in the geometrical shape of the Quiet Cone This riddle can be solved only by direct measurements of the radio attenuation above the Farside of the Moon performed by satellites orbiting the Moon itself In this paper we propose to let one or more low cost radiometers be put into orbit around the Moon to measure the RFI attenuation at different frequencies and altitudes above the Moon The opportunity of adding more payload s such as an ion detector and or a temperature sensor is evaluated also In this regard we present in this paper the experience gained by

  7. Lunar Prospector Orbit Determination Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beckman, Mark; Concha, Marco

    1998-01-01

    The orbit support for Lunar Prospector (LP) consists of three main areas: (1) cislunar orbit determination, (2) rapid maneuver assessment using Doppler residuals, and (3) routine mapping orbit determination. The cislunar phase consisted of two trajectory correction maneuvers during the translunar cruise followed by three lunar orbit insertion burns. This paper will detail the cislunar orbit determination accuracy and the real-time assessment of the cislunar trajectory correction and lunar orbit insertion maneuvers. The non-spherical gravity model of the Moon is the primary influence on the mapping orbit determination accuracy. During the first two months of the mission, the GLGM-2 lunar potential model was used. After one month in the mapping orbit, a new potential model was developed that incorporated LP Doppler data. This paper will compare and contrast the mapping orbit determination accuracy using these two models. LP orbit support also includes a new enhancement - a web page to disseminate all definitive and predictive trajectory and mission planning information. The web site provides definitive mapping orbit ephemerides including moon latitude and longitude, and four week predictive products including: ephemeris, moon latitude/longitude, earth shadow, moon shadow, and ground station view periods. This paper will discuss the specifics of this web site.

  8. On the possibility of a 'cuckoo-effect' in the earth-moon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pauwels, T.

    In this paper an investigation is made of the possibility that the moon could have depleted the earth satellite system of all natural satellites by a combination of orbit-orbit resonances and tidal evolution. Simulations show that for a satellite closer than 150 earth radii, avoiding all resonances is definitely impossible, but it can be captured in a stable resonant orbit as well as in a resonant orbit leading to a close approach to the moon.

  9. Smart-1 Moon Impact Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ayala, Andres; Rigger, Ralf

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the operations to control the Moon impact of the 3-axis stabilized spacecraft SMART-1 in September 2006. SMART-1 was launched on 27/09/2003. It was the first ESA mission to use an Electric Propulsion (EP) engine as the main motor to spiral out of the Earth gravity field and reach a scientific moon orbit [1]. During September 2005 the last EP maneuvers were performed using the remaining Xenon, in order to compensate for the 3rd body perturbations of the Sun and Earth. These operations extended the mission for an additional year. Afterwards the EP performance became unpredictable and low, so that no meaningful operation for the moon impact could be done. To move the predicted impact point on the 16/8/2006 into visibility from Earth an alternative Delta-V strategy was designed. Due to their alignment, the attitude thrusters could not be used directly to generate the Delta-V, so this strategy was based on controlled angular momentum biasing. Firing along the velocity vector around apolune, the remaining Hydrazine left from the attitude control budget was used, to shift the impact to the required coordinates.

  10. Condensing the Moon from a MAD Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lock, S. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Petaev, M. I.; Leinhardt, Z. M.; Mace, M.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Cuk, M.

    2015-12-01

    The favored theory for lunar origin is the giant impact hypothesis, where a protoplanet collides with the growing Earth and creates an orbiting disk of material that forms the Moon. However, the astonishing isotopic similarity between the Earth and Moon cannot be explained by current giant impact models without appealing to highly specific circumstances. Here, we demonstrate that a condensation model for lunar origin, achieved via a previously unrecognized class of post-impact states, produces the Moon's major characteristics. The required class of post-impact states is defined by (i) a high degree of vaporization and (ii) rapid rotation. When these two criteria are met, the mantle, atmosphere and disk (MAD) form a dynamically and thermodynamically continuous structure that quickly mixes, thereby diluting initial compositional heterogeneities. Then, partial condensation from the pressure-supported mass beyond the Roche limit produces a Moon that is isotopically similar to the bulk silicate Earth and depleted in volatile and moderately volatile elements. Initially, the condensed liquid is composed of silicates. As the structure cools, metal exsolves in the accreting Moon and moonlets. We calculate ~2wt% metal is exsolved from a bulk silicate Earth composition, which is consistent with estimates of the mass of the lunar core. Thus, similar tungsten isotopes are established in the Earth and Moon as metal is exsolved in both bodies after mixing. In our model, the criterion for lunar origin shifts, away from specific impact parameters that inject terrestrial material into orbit, to any collision that transforms the Earth into a rapidly rotating and substantially vaporized MAD planet. Impacts that can transform the Earth are common during the end stages of planet formation. Therefore, the characteristics of our Moon are a natural consequence of forming the Earth.

  11. The Radial Distribution Of Water Ice And Reddening Material Across Saturn's Icy Satellites And Rings Retrieved From Cassini Vims Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filacchione, Gianrico; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Clark, R. N.; Brown, R. H.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Buratti, B. J.; Coradini, A.; Tosi, F.; Ciarniello, M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Jaumann, R.; Nicholson, P. D.; Stephan, K.; Baines, K. H.

    2010-10-01

    In the past few years we have retrieved the amount of water ice and red contaminant materials distributed across the Saturnian Icy satellites surfaces and Ring regions using Cassini-VIMS observations. These measurements highlight very striking differences among the Saturn system objects, which vary from the almost uncontaminated and water ice-rich surfaces of Enceladus and Calypso to the metal/organic-rich and red surfaces of Iapetus leading hemisphere and Phoebe. In this framework we have developed a method to compare surface composition versus radial distance from Saturn and satellites' densities. In the F ring environment, the inner minor satellites (Prometheus, Pandora, Janus and Epimetheus) have in average surface water ice abundance similar to C ring and Cassini division particles but with much less reddening contaminant. Although their orbits are close to the F-ring, Prometheus and Pandora have very striking differences in surface composition, Prometheus being very water ice-rich but at the same time very red at VIS wavelengths. These properties make it very similar to A-B ring particles while Pandora is bluer. Moving outwards, we see the effects of E ring particles generated by Enceladus plumes contaminated surfaces from Mimas up to Rhea. We found some differences between Tethys’ lagrangian moons, Calypso being much more water ice-rich and bluer with respect to Telesto. Among outer satellites (Hyperion, Iapetus and Phoebe) we observe a linear trend in both water ice decrease and in reddening, Hyperion being the reddest object of the population. This research is supported by an Italian Space Agency Grant.

  12. Moon Farside, Quiet Cone and the "RLI" Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccone, C.

    The Farside of the Moon is a unique place. Radio emissions coming from the Earth, and notably the from Telecommunication Satellites orbiting the Earth, don't get there since shielded by the Moon's spherical body. A radio telescope placed inside Crater Daedalus (just at the center of the Farside) would thus sense no man-made RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) and would be ideal for all radio astronomical and SETI searches. Above the Farside, a conical region extends into space, the ``Quiet Cone'', tangent to the Moon surface and with apex a few thousands of kilometers above the Moon. The size of the Quiet Cone, however, is only vaguely known, and changes in time, because the orbits of secret military satellites around the Earth are of course unknown. The only way to know the current, actual size of the Quiet Cone is to send a radiometer into orbit around the Moon and find out where the RFI coming from the Earth is actually shielded and where it is not. The RLI Experiment (RLI is an acronym for ``Radiometro Lunare Italiano'', i.e. Italian Moon Radiometer), is currently under construction by an Italian team coordinated by this author as Principal Investigator. The RLI is hopefully going to be put into orbit around the Moon before 2007. This will be done by placing the RLI radiometer aboard the ``Trailbalzer'', the first American commercial Moon spacecraft, built by TransOrbital Inc.. The RLI Experiment will take direct measurements of the intensity of man-made RFI around two frequencies: The band in between 10.7 and 11.8 GHz (main frequency band of European TV transmissions and, in part, also of American TV transmissions) and The band in between 10 Hz and 10 kHz, to get a Fourier spectrum of the very thin Moon atmosphere. A scientific and technical description of the RLI mission is given in this paper.

  13. Thickness Constraints on the Icy Shells of the Galilean Satellites from a Comparison of Crater Shapes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul M.

    2002-01-01

    A thin outer ice shell on Jupiter's large moon Europa would imply easy exchange between the surface and any organic or biotic material in its putative subsurface ocean. The thickness of the outer ice shell is poorly constrained, however, with model-dependent estimates ranging from a few kilometers of depths of impact craters on Europa, Ganymede and Callisto that reveal two anomalous transitions in crater shape with diameter. The first transition is probably related to temperature-dependent ductility of the crust at shallow depths (7-8 km on Europa). The second transition is attributed to the influence of subsurface oceans on all three satellites, which constrains Europa's icy shell to be at least 19 km thick. The icy lithospheres of Ganymede and Callisto are equally ice-rich, but Europa's icy shell has a thermal structure about 0.25-0.5 times the thickness of Ganymede's or Callisto's shells, depending on epoch. The appearances of the craters on Europa are inconsistent with thin-ice-shell models and indicate that exchange of oceanic and surface material could be difficult.

  14. The Moon in the UV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrix, Amanda

    2014-11-01

    While the Moon has been observed in the UV for decades, the real utility of this spectral region for unlocking some of the Moon’s secrets has only recently been understood. Previously the domain of atmospheric studies, the UV has now emerged as an important spectral region for studying surfaces. The ultraviolet regime is very sensitive to both space weathering effects and composition, including hydration. This presentation will cover a review of early UV lunar observations (e.g., Apollo 17, International Ultraviolet Explorer), as well as early laboratory studies that first shone a light on the importance of this spectral region. The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) instrument, currently in orbit on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft, is providing critical mapping capabilities of UV signatures, including signals from the permanently shadowed regions of the poles. I will discuss some of these exciting results, and extend these to implications for other airless bodies in the solar system.

  15. Observing the new Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, Roy E.

    2003-04-01

    The first appearance of the new Moon has been used throughout history and is still used today to determine religious calendars. Many methods for predicting the Moon's appearance have been proposed throughout history and new models are still being developed. All these models have to be tested against observations to test their validity. To this end, ancient and modern astronomers have collected observations of new and old crescent Moons. Here we present the results of 539 observations of the Moon made over several years by many experienced observers in good weather conditions. In addition to determining whether or not the Moon was seen, the times of its first and last appearance were also carefully recorded. The addition of the appearance time means that even an easily visible Moon, recorded when it can barely be seen, may be compared with a visibility criterion. The observational data base greatly expands on previously published reports.

  16. Martian Moon Eclipses Sun, in Stages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This panel illustrates the transit of the martian moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

  17. ON THE DYNAMICS AND ORIGIN OF HAUMEA'S MOONS

    SciTech Connect

    Ćuk, Matija; Ragozzine, Darin; Nesvorný, David

    2013-10-01

    The dwarf planet Haumea has two large satellites, Namaka and Hi'iaka, which orbit at relatively large separations. Both moons have significant eccentricities and inclinations in a pattern that is consistent with a past orbital resonance. Based on our analysis, we find that the present system is not consistent with satellite formation close to the primary and tidal evolution through mean-motion resonances. We propose that Namaka experienced only limited tidal evolution, leading to the mutual 8:3 mean-motion resonance which redistributed eccentricities and inclinations between the moons. This scenario requires that the original orbit of Hi'iaka was mildly eccentric; we propose that this eccentricity was either primordial or acquired through encounters with other trans-Neptunian objects. Both dynamical stability and our preferred tidal evolution model imply that the moons' masses are only about one-half of previously estimated values, suggesting high albedos and low densities. Because the present orbits of the moons strongly suggest formation from a flat disk close to their present locations, we conclude that Hi'iaka and Namaka may be second-generation moons, formed after the breakup of a larger past moon, previously proposed as the parent body of the Haumea family. We derive plausible parameters of that moon, consistent with the current models of Haumea's formation. An interesting implication of this hypothesis is that Hi'iaka and Namaka may orbit retrograde with respect to Haumea's spin. Retrograde orbits of Haumea's moons would be in full agreement with available observations and our dynamical analysis, and could provide a unique confirmation of the ''disrupted satellite'' scenario for the origin of the family.

  18. Lunar orbiting prospector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    One of the prime reasons for establishing a manned lunar presence is the possibility of using the potential lunar resources. The Lunar Orbital Prospector (LOP) is a lunar orbiting platform whose mission is to prospect and explore the Moon from orbit in support of early lunar colonization and exploitation efforts. The LOP mission is divided into three primary phases: transport from Earth to low lunar orbit (LLO), operation in lunar orbit, and platform servicing in lunar orbit. The platform alters its orbit to obtain the desired surface viewing, and the orbit can be changed periodically as needed. After completion of the inital remote sensing mission, more ambitious and/or complicated prospecting and exploration missions can be contemplated. A refueled propulsion module, updated instruments, or additional remote sensing packages can be flown up from the lunar base to the platform.

  19. Distinct Aqueous and Hydrocarbon Cryovolcanism on Titan and Other Icy Satellites (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.; Furfaro, R.; Candelaria, P.

    2010-12-01

    Almost as soon as low-temperature solar nebula condensation sequences were first computed, it was realized that icy satellites have an internal heat source in long-lived radioactivities and could undergo differentiation; furthermore, freezing-point depressants, such as ammonia, and apolar gases, such as methane, could enable icy satellites to undergo aqueous cryovolcanism. The subsequent recognition of tidal and gravitational potential energy sources increased expectations for cryovolcanism. Voyager imaging and discovery of apparent cryovolcanic landforms—best exhibited by Triton, more ambiguous elsewhere-- motivated studies of the phase relations, phase densities and other thermodynamic properties, solid- and liquid-state rheologies, and possible cryovolcanic eruptive behaviors and landform characteristics. Ironically, the closer we examined Jovian icy moons with Galileo, the rarer cryovolcanic landforms appeared to be, with only a few compelling and very well characterized cases found mainly on Europa. Compelling examples of effusive cryovolcanism mainly occupied local topographic lows, whereas cases not in low spots tended to exhibit signs of explosive emplacement. Spectacular evidence of explosive cryovolcanism or geyser-like behavior was found by Cassini on Enceladus, but most other icy Saturnian moons did not reveal any compelling indicators of eruptions. Titan has so far been a mixed case, where some indicators of cryovolcanism have been reported, but there is scant compelling evidence for the process. We think that the sparseness of compelling effusive cryovolcanic features on icy satellites is because free, unreacted ammonia is less common than previously thought, and the main aqueous liquids are salt-water solutions denser than ice I; hence, they tend not to erupt, or they erupt only if driven by gas exsolution; even then, a thin ice shell and high heat flow is needed to allow aqueous liquids near enough to the surface to erupt. On satellites with thick

  20. CIRCUMBINARY CHAOS: USING PLUTO'S NEWEST MOON TO CONSTRAIN THE MASSES OF NIX AND HYDRA

    SciTech Connect

    Youdin, Andrew N.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2012-08-10

    The Pluto system provides a unique local laboratory for the study of binaries with multiple low-mass companions. In this paper, we study the orbital stability of P4, the most recently discovered moon in the Pluto system. This newfound companion orbits near the plane of the Pluto-Charon (PC) binary, roughly halfway between the two minor moons Nix and Hydra. We use a suite of few body integrations to constrain the masses of Nix and Hydra, and the orbital parameters of P4. For the system to remain stable over the age of the solar system, the masses of Nix and Hydra likely do not exceed 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg and 9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg, respectively. These upper limits assume a fixed mass ratio between Nix and Hydra at the value implied by their median optical brightness. Our study finds that stability is more sensitive to their total mass and that a downward revision of Charon's eccentricity (from our adopted value of 0.0035) is unlikely to significantly affect our conclusions. Our upper limits are an order of magnitude below existing astrometric limits on the masses of Nix and Hydra. For a density at least that of ice, the albedos of Nix and Hydra would exceed 0.3. This constraint implies they are icy, as predicted by giant impact models. Even with these low masses, P4 only remains stable if its eccentricity e {approx}< 0.02. The 5:1 commensurability with Charon is particularly unstable, combining stability constraints with the observed mean motion places the preferred orbit for P4 just exterior to the 5:1 resonance. These predictions will be tested when the New Horizons satellite visits Pluto. Based on the results for the PC system, we expect that circumbinary, multi-planet systems will be more widely spaced than their singleton counterparts. Further, circumbinary exoplanets close to the three-body stability boundary, such as those found by Kepler, are less likely to have other companions nearby.

  1. Atmospheric/Exospheric Characteristics of Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coustenis, A.; Tokano, T.; Burger, M. H.; Cassidy, T. A.; Lopes, R. M.; Lorenz, R. D.; Retherford, K. D.; Schubert, G.

    2010-06-01

    The atmospheres/exospheres of icy satellites greatly vary from one to the next in terms of density, composition, structure or steadiness. Titan is the only icy satellite with a dense atmosphere comparable in many ways to that of the Earth’s atmosphere. Titan’s atmosphere prevents the surface from direct interaction with the plasma environment, but gives rise to Earth-like exchanges of energy, matter and momentum. The atmospheres of other satellites are tenuous. Enceladus’ atmosphere manifests itself in a large water vapor plume emanating from surface cracks near the south pole. Io’s SO2 atmosphere originates from volcanoes. Europa’s tenuous O2 atmosphere is produced by intense radiation bombardment. This chapter reviews the characteristics of the atmospheres of Titan, Enceladus, Io and Europa based on observations.

  2. Thermal Conductivity Measurements on Icy Satellite Analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Javeed, Aurya; Barmatz, Martin; Zhong, Fang; Choukroun, Mathieu

    2012-01-01

    With regard to planetary science, NASA aspires to: "Advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system, the potential for life elsewhere, and the hazards and resources present as humans explore space". In pursuit of such an end, the Galileo and Cassini missions garnered spectral data of icy satellite surfaces implicative of the satellites' structure and material composition. The potential for geophysical modeling afforded by this information, coupled with the plausibility of life on icy satellites, has pushed Jupiter's Europa along with Saturn's Enceladus and Titan toward the fore of NASA's planetary focus. Understanding the evolution of, and the present processes at work on, the aforementioned satellites falls squarely in-line with NASA's cited goal.

  3. Laboratory permittivity measurements of icy planetary analogs in the millimeter and submillimeter domains, in relation with JUICE mission.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brouet, Y.; Jacob, K.; Murk, A.; Poch, O.; Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    The European Space Agency's JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft is planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2030. It will observe the planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. One instrument on the JUICE spacecraft is the Sub-millimeter Wave Instrument (SWI), which will measure brightness temperatures from Jupiter's stratosphere and troposphere, and from subsurfaces of Jupiter's icy moons. In the baseline configuration SWI consists of two tunable sub-millimeter wave receivers operating from 530 to 625 GHz. As an alternative one of the receivers could cover the range of 1080 and 1275 GHz. Inversion models are strongly dependent on the knowledge of the complex relative permittivity (hereafter permittivity) of the target material to retrieve the physical properties of the subsurface (e.g. [1][2]). We set up a laboratory experiment allowing us to perform reproducible measurements of the complex scattering parameters S11 and S21 in the ranges of 70 to 110 GHz, of 100 to 160 GHz, of 140 to 220 GHz, of 140 to 220 GHz and of 510 to 715 GHz. These scattering parameters can be used to retrieve the permittivity of icy analogs of the surfaces and subsurfaces of Jupiter's icy moons in order to prepare the data interpretation of SWI [3]. The measurements are performed under laboratory conditions with a quasi-optical bench (Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern). The icy analogs that we prepare in the Laboratory for Outflow Studies of Sublimating Materials (LOSSy, Physics Institute, University of Bern), include two different porous water ice samples composed of fine-grained ice particles with a size range of 4 to 6 microns and ice particles with a size range of 50 to 100 microns [4][5]; and possibly CO2 ice. We will present the general experimental set-up and the first results in the context to prepare the data interpretation of SWI. [1] Ulaby, F. T., Long, D. G., 2014. Microwave radar and radiometric remote

  4. New `Moons' of Saturn May Be Transient Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    ADONIS Observes Pandora, S/1995 S6 and Others How many moons has Saturn, the second-largest planet in the solar system ? Until recently, the best answer was eighteen, ranging from innermost Pan that circles the planet 75,000 km above the cloud tops in a little less than 14 hours, to distant Phoebe , 13 million km away in a reverse (`retrograde') 550-day orbit [1]. Now the situation is less clear. New observations have become available which raise some questions about the actual number and nature of small `moons' near this planet. In particular, there is now evidence that some of the recent sightings may in fact refer to temporary condensations of material (dust clouds) in the inner rings rather than solid bodies. Most of these observations have been made with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), but important supplementary data [2] was also obtained with the high-resolution ADONIS camera at the ESO 3.6-m telescope. When the Sun and Earth Cross the Plane of the Rings Saturn is surrounded by a spectacular ring system in which a large number of small (probably cm- to m-size) icy bodies are moving. Soon after the invention of the telescope in the early 17th century, it was found to consist of an inner B- and an outer A-ring, separated by the dark `Cassini division'. The faint F-ring was discovered further out by the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979; it is separated from the A-ring by the 3000-km wide `Pioneer division'. All of these rings are very flat and quite thin. They are apparently no more than 2 kilometres thick in a global sense, and probably much less locally (10 - 100 metres). They all lie in the same plane which is inclined by 26.7 degrees, relative to the planet's orbital plane. One revolution of Saturn around the Sun lasts 29.455 years and twice during each orbital period, i.e. once about every 15 years, the Sun is situated exactly in this ring plane. This happened most recently on November 19, 1995. Astronomers refer to these relatively rare events as solar

  5. Space Environmental Erosion of Polar Icy Regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, William M.; Killen, R. M.; Vondrak, R. R.; Hurley, D. M.; Stubbs, T. J.; Delory, G. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Zimmerman, M. I.

    2011-01-01

    While regions at the floors of permanently shadowed polar craters are isolated from direct sunlight, these regions are still exposed to the harsh space environment, including the interplanetary Lyman-a background, meteoric impacts, and obstacle-affected solar wind. We demonstrate that each of these processes can act to erode the polar icy regolith located at or near the surface along the crater floor. The Lyman-a background can remove/erode the icy-regolith via photon stimulated desorption [1], meteoric impacts can vaporize the regolith [2], and redirected solar wind ions can sputter the ice-regolith mix [3]. As an example we shall examine in detail the inflow of solar wind ions and electrons into polar craters, One might expect such ions to flow horizontally over the crater top (see Figure). However, we find that plasma ambipolar processes act to deflect passing ions into the craters [3]. We examine this plasma process and determine the ion flux as a function of position across a notional crater floor. We demonstrate that inflowing solar wind ions can indeed create sputtering along the crater floor, effectively eroding the surface. Erosion time scales rrom sputtering will be presented. We shall also consider the effect of impact vaporization on buried icy-regolith regions. There will also be a discussion of solar wind electrons that enter into the PSR, demonstrating that these also have the ability rree surface-bound atoms via electron stimulated desorption processes [l].

  6. 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

  7. A Holographic Microscope for Detection of Microorganisms on Icy Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindensmith, C. A.; Nadeau, J. L.; Deming, J. W.; Showalter, G. M.; Rider, S.; Bedrossian, M.

    2015-12-01

    Holography is a well-established imaging technique that uses the interference of light to record and reproduce three-dimensional images of objects. Its use began in the 1960s with the invention of the laser. Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) has several advantages over ordinary imaging microscopy which make it ideal for field and astrobiology use, including no need for focus or scanning so that instruments are readily made autonomous. DHM can produce simultaneous bright-field and quantitative phase-contrast images of the same field, providing additional information about transparent objects, e.g., refractive index and/or thickness; thus it inherently supports effective label-free imaging. We have built a fieldable DHM for detection of microorganisms in bodies of water and in brines collected from sea ice. Ice that appears solid to the eye contains interconnected brine-filled microscopic pores and veins which are occupied by populations of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The presence of life in "solid" ice has important implications for exploration of icy worlds, where it is unlikely that the first missions will be able to access the subsurface oceans. Using this new instrument, we examined several dozen samples from three different sites around Nuuk, Greenland. In all samples, mixed populations of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms were observed. Many of the organisms were motile immediately upon extraction from sea ice, and others became motile after warming or addition of sugars and/or amino acids. Meaningful motility was readily distinguished from turbulence or fluid flow. The spatial resolution of the instrument was better than 1 μm, leading to unambiguous recognition of subcellular structures in eukaryotes, including nuclei and chloroplasts. We present mission scenrios for both orbiters and landers in which DHM may be used as a valuable complement to chemical-based life detection techniques for discovery of cellular life on icy worlds.

  8. Automated Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment at Mars and the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berry, David; Guinn, Joseph; Tarzi, Zahi; Demcak, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Conjunction assessment and collision avoidance are areas of current high interest in space operations. Most current conjunction assessment activity focuses on the Earth orbital environment. Several of the world's space agencies have satellites in orbit at Mars and the Moon, and avoiding collisions there is important too. Smaller number of assets than Earth, and smaller number of organizations involved, but consequences similar to Earth scenarios.This presentation will examine conjunction assessment processes implemented at JPL for spacecraft in orbit at Mars and the Moon.

  9. Exploration of Moon and Mars: ISRO Plans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murty Sripada, V. S.

    Subsequent to the announcement of the first Moon mission ‘Chandrayaan-1', the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has chalked out a road map for planetary exploration through the year 2020. This includes a follow up mission to Moon, ‘Chandrayaan-2', an orbiter to Mars, a mission to an asteroid and a technology demonstration mission, in preparation to the exploration of outer solar system objects. Chandrayaan-2 will be an orbiter along with a lander/rover. The orbiter will carry payloads intended for chemical/mineral/terrain mapping of lunar surface at greater spatial and spectral resolution than the previously achieved. The lander/rover will carry out in situ investigations of a selected geologic location on Moon that can provide definitive answers to some long standing issues relating to lunar science and lunar resources. One of the important efforts will be to detect water in the shadowed regions, either on the surface or sub-surface layers. Other payloads under consideration will be utilizing nuclear and optical techniques such as APXE and LIBS for in situ and surrounding chemical characterisation, mass spectrometric study of volatiles released by pyrolysing samples etc. The Mars orbiter will mainly be focussing to study Mars aeronomy in addition to geologic mapping and chemical mapping through optical and ˜-spectrometry respectively. The plans a and preparations will be discussed in detail at the meeting.

  10. Overview of the Project Prometheus Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burdick, G. M.

    2003-01-01

    This presentation will give an overview of the Project Prometheus Program (PPP, formerly the Nuclear Systems Initiative, NSI) and the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) Project (a component of PPP), a mission to the three icy Galilean moons of Jupiter.

  11. Phoebe and the Icy Saturnian Satellites: Implications for Satellite Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosqueira, I.; Estrada, P. R.

    2004-11-01

    Phoebe's retrograde, eccentric and inclined orbit marks it as an object captured from heliocentric orbit. Accordingly, its composition may be indicative of its origin in the solar nebula. Analogous arguments have been made extensively in connection with the origin of Pluto-Charon (see, e.g., McKinnon et al. 1997) as well as Triton (McKinnon and Mueller 1989). Indeed, the demarcation between nebula and subnebula objects has led a number of workers (see, e.g., Johnson et al. 1987; Lunine et al. 1993; Podolak et al. 1993) to argue that the regular satellites of the giant planets did not derive the bulk of their material directly from heliocentric orbit. The recent Cassini flyby of Phoebe has yielded a mass for this object of GM = 0.5527 ± 0.001 km3/s2 Jacobson et al. 2004 (this conference). Its density of 1.6 g/cm3 indicates a rock to ice ratio of at least 50 % (Porco et al. 2004; Science, to be submitted). Phoebe's high rock/ice ratio when compared to the icy Saturnian satellites reinforces the argument that Phoebe is an object that formed in heliocentric orbit and became captured. Yet, given that it may be misleading to lump together satellites with quite different formation histories, we refine the comparison on the basis of models for regular satellite formation. Because it derives condensables directly from heliocentric orbit and fails to consider planetesimals, the model of Canup and Ward (2002) does not provide a context for understanding such compositional differences. We will therefore discuss two models of satellite formation we are developing, which differ mainly in their treatment of turbulence (decaying vs steady). In both models the inner (located inside Titan's orbit), icy Saturnian satellites represent a second generation of objects. Mosqueira and Estrada (2003a,b) has these satellites forming 104-10^5 years after Titan as the disk became optically thin and water rich due to preferential gas drag loss of silicates as Saturn cooled. On the other hand

  12. Phoebe and the Icy Saturnian Satellites: Implications for Satellite Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosqueira, I.; Estrada, P. R.

    2004-12-01

    Phoebe's retrograde, eccentric and inclined orbit marks it as an object captured from heliocentric orbit. Accordingly, its composition may be indicative of its origin in the solar nebula. Analogous arguments have been made extensively in connection with the origin of Pluto-Charon (see, e.g., McKinnon et al. 1997) as well as Triton (McKinnon and Mueller 1989). Indeed, the demarcation between nebula and subnebula objects has led a number of workers (see, e.g., Johnson et al. 1987; Lunine et al. 1993; Podolak et al. 1993) to argue that the regular satellites of the giant planets did not derive the bulk of their material directly from heliocentric orbit. The recent Cassini flyby of Phoebe has yielded a mass for this object of GM = 0.5527 ± 0.001 km3/s2 Jacobson et al. 2004. Its density of 1.6 g/cm3 indicates a rock to ice ratio of at least 50 % (Porco et al. 2004; Science, to be submitted). Phoebe's high rock/ice ratio when compared to the icy Saturnian satellites reinforces the argument that Phoebe is an object that formed in heliocentric orbit and became captured. Yet, given that it may be misleading to lump together satellites with quite different formation histories, we refine the comparison on the basis of models for regular satellite formation. Because it derives condensables directly from heliocentric orbit and fails to consider planetesimals, the model of Canup and Ward (2002) does not provide a context for understanding such compositional differences. We will therefore discuss two models of satellite formation we are developing, which differ mainly in their treatment of turbulence (decaying vs steady). In both models the inner (located inside Titan's orbit), icy Saturnian satellites represent a second generation of objects. Mosqueira and Estrada (2003a,b) has these satellites forming 104-10^5 years after Titan as the disk became optically thin and water rich due to preferential gas drag loss of silicates as Saturn cooled. On the other hand, the gas

  13. The free librations of a dissipative moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoder, C. F.

    1981-12-01

    It is noted that dissipation in the moon produces a small offset (approximately 0.23 arcsec) of the moon's rotation axis from the plane defined by the ecliptic and lunar orbit normals. Both solid body tidal friction and viscous fluid friction at a core-mantle interface are thought to be plausible mechanisms. The merits of both are discussed, and it is found that solid friction requires a low lunar tidal Q (approximately 28), whereas turbulent fluid friction requires a core with a radius of approximately 330 km to cause the signature observed by lunar laser ranging. Large (approximately 0.4-8.0 arcsec) free librations of the lunar figure have also been detected through laser ranging. Both a very recent impact on the moon and fluid turbulence in the lunar core are considered plausible mechanisms for generating these librations.

  14. Cassini's Grand Finale: The Final Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spilker, Linda; Edgington, Scott

    2016-04-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission, a joint collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency, is approaching its last year of operations after nearly 12 years in orbit around Saturn. Cassini will send back its final bits of unique data on September 15th, 2017 as it plunges into Saturn's atmosphere, vaporizing and satisfying planetary protection requirements. Before that time Cassini will continue its legacy of exploration and discovery with 12 close flybys of Titan in 2016 and 2017 that will return new science data as well as sculpt the inclinations and periods of the final orbits. Even though all of our close icy satellite flybys, including those of Enceladus, are now completed, numerous Voyager-class flybys (<100,000 km) of Mimas and Enceladus remain as well as some of our best flybys of the tiny ring moons. Cassini will also continue to study seasonal and temporal changes in the system as northern summer solstice approaches. In November 2016 Cassini will transition to a series of orbits with peripases just outside Saturn's F ring. These 20 orbits will include close flybys of some tiny ring moons and excellent views of the F ring and outer A ring. The 126th and final close flyby of Titan will propel Cassini across Saturn's main rings and into its final orbits. Cassini's Grand Finale, starting in April 2017, is comprised of 22 orbits at an inclination of 63 degrees. Cassini will repeatedly dive between the innermost rings and the upper atmosphere of the planet providing insights into fundamental questions unattainable during the rest of the mission. Cassini will be the first spacecraft to explore this region. These close orbits provide the highest resolution observations of both the rings and Saturn, and direct in situ sampling of the ring particles, composition, plasma, Saturn's exosphere and the innermost radiation belts. Saturn's gravitational field will be measured to unprecedented accuracy, providing information on the interior structure of the planet

  15. Towards A Moon Village: Vision and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foing, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    . Building on previous studies (EuroMoon, lunar polar lander) ESA should develop a mid-class lunar lander (affordable in cost 300 Meu class), demonstrating the expertise at system level for a platform, that could carry innovative competitive robotic payload contributed and already with advance development from member states and international or commercial partners. With teleoperations from Earth and cis-lunar orbit, this will advance progress towards the next steps of Moon Village and beyond. Recommendations: The participants encourage the design and operations of a Moon base simulation at EAC with facility and activities in the context of SpaceShip EAC, with the support of EAC, DLR, ESTEC, ISU and other partners, and collaborations with other Lunar Research Parks worldwide. It was also proposed to have an "ESTEC Moon Village pilot project" where 20 young professional in-terns could be hosted to work concurrently on various aspects (technology, science, instruments platforms, Moon base design, human factors, programmatics, outreach, community events) with links and support activities from ESTEC senior experts, and interactions with colleagues in member states, academia and industries . The workshop finalized with some hands-on experiments, organized with some students demonstrating their work on a lunar lander with tele-operated instruments and systems, and on the measuring spectra of Moon-Mars analogue minerals. The day ended with a refreshing lunar music session, and a networking event on ESTEC ESCAPE where the last informal conversations marked a great wrap up of such exciting day. Follow up Moon Village events are planned in 2016 at ESTEC, EAC and at international community venues. New means of outreach, communications and social media must be developed. You can follow Moon Village tweets, using #MoonVillage, and contribute to the virtual discussions. ESA is really looking forward to engage all stakeholders into the discussion, no matter of their background, nationality

  16. China targets the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-08-01

    China has already launched two spacecraft to the Moon and wants to send rovers and astronauts there as well - and to eventually build its own lunar base. Ziuyan Ouyang, chief scientist of China's lunarprogramme, talks about the country's ambitious Moon plans.

  17. Moon: Old and New

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1970-01-01

    This video presents the moon as studied by man for more than 20 centuries. It reviews the history of lunar studies before the first moon landing, the major things learned since Apollo 11, and closes with a resume of lunar investigations scientists would like to undertake in the future.

  18. Two Moons and the Pleiades from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Inverted image of two moons and the Pleiades from Mars

    Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky. In this view, the Pleiades, a star cluster also known as the 'Seven Sisters,' is visible in the lower left corner. The bright star Aldebaran and some of the stars in the constellation Taurus are visible on the right. Spirit acquired this image the evening of martian day, or sol, 590 (Aug. 30, 2005). The image on the right provides an enhanced-contrast view with annotation. Within the enhanced halo of light is an insert of an unsaturated view of Phobos taken a few images later in the same sequence.

    On Mars, Phobos would be easily visible to the naked eye at night, but would be only about one-third as large as the full Moon appears from Earth. Astronauts staring at Phobos from the surface of Mars would notice its oblong, potato-like shape and that it moves quickly against the background stars. Phobos takes only 7 hours, 39 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That is so fast, relative to the 24-hour-and-39-minute sol on Mars (the length of time it takes for Mars to complete one rotation), that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. Earth's moon, by comparison, rises in the east and sets in the west. The smaller martian moon, Deimos, takes 30 hours, 12 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That orbital period is longer than a martian sol, and so Deimos rises, like most solar system moons, in the east and sets in the west.

    Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with the panoramic camera, using the camera's broadband filter, which

  19. Ion processing of ices and the origin of SO2 and O3 on the icy surfaces of the icy jovian satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boduch, P.; Brunetto, R.; Ding, J. J.; Domaracka, A.; Kaňuchová, Z.; Palumbo, M. E.; Rothard, H.; Strazzulla, G.

    2016-10-01

    We present new experimental results relative to 144 keV S9+ or Ar9+ ion implantation in targets made of oxygen rich frozen gases (O2, CO2) and mixtures with water ice. Spectra in the UV (200-400 nm) range have been obtained before and after implantation. The targets have been selected because they can be representative of the parent molecules from which SO2 and O3, observed to be present on the surfaces of Jupiter's icy Moons, could be formed due to radiolysis induced by the abundant magnetospheric ions. The results indicate that sulfur dioxide is not detectable after sulfur implantation in oxygen bearing species. Ozone is formed after argon and sulfur ion implantation. Sulfur implantation in O2 and CO2 targets also induces the formation of a band centered at about 255 nm (that we tentatively attribute to SO3- radicals). In the mixtures with water the band appears initially at the same wavelength and shifts to about 247 nm at higher ion fluences possibly indicating the formation of sulfite (HSO3-) ions. An absorption band observed on Ganymede is well fitted by using three components: ozone, sulfite ions and a not identified component having an absorption band centered at 298 nm. In all of the studied cases ion implantation produces a spectral reddening over the investigated spectral range (200-400 nm) that well mimics the observed spectral slopes of Jupiter's icy satellites.

  20. Compositions of Oceans on Icy Solar System Bodies (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolotov, M. Y.

    2010-12-01

    Interior oceans may exist on at least several solar system bodies: Europa, Enceladus, Ganymede, Titan and Triton. Compositions of the oceans could reflect bulk chemistries on the bodies, degree and timing of differendentition, current temperature and pressure conditions, and chemical exchanges between icy shells, liquid layers, and suboceanic solids (rocks, sediments, ices and clathrates). Observational signs are sparse and modeling is the major approach to evaluate oceanic compositions. On Europa, a presence of S(VI) species and CO2 at endogenic surface features [1] suggests sulfates and C species (organic and/or inorganic) in the ocean. The detection of NaCl and Na2CO3/NaHCO3-bearing grains emitted from Enceladus [2] implies the dominance of Na, Cl and carbonate/bicarbonate ions in the past and/or present alkaline fluids in the interior. These observations are consistent with independent models for water-rock interaction [3]. Evaluated low contents of other elements (Mg, Fe, Ca, K, S, P, etc.) in initial oceanic waters [3] are accounted for by low solubilities of minerals deposited from water solutions (serpentine, saponite, magnetite, carbonates, sulfides and phosphates). Oceanic redox states are affected by the composition of accreted ices and rocks, hydrogen production through oxidation of solids (mainly Fe-Ni metal) by water and an efficiency of H2 escape. Formation of a sulfate-bearing ocean (as on Europa) through oxidation of sulfides could have been driven by radiolytically-formed oxidants (H2O2, O2), high-temperature (>500 K) hydrothermal activity and H2 escape. Formation of sulfate facilitates leaching of Mg from minerals leading to the Mg-SO4-Na-Cl ocean. Although some of these factors could have played roles on the Galilean satellites, formation of sulfate-bearing oceans beyond Jupiter is unlikely. Accretion of cometary-type ices on moons allows an existence of water-methanol-ammonia liquids at ~153 K, although ammonia could have been sequestered in

  1. Lageos orbit and solar eclipses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, D. P.

    1984-01-01

    The objective was to assess the importance of solar eclipses on Lageos' orbit. Solar radiation pressure perturbs the orbit of the Lageos satellite. The GEODYN orbit determination computer program includes solar radiation pressure as one of the forces operating on the satellite as it integrates the orbit. GEODYN also takes into account the extinction of sunlight when Lageos moves into the Earth's shadow. The effect of solar eclipses on the semimajor axis of Lageos' orbit was computed analytically by assuming Lageos to be in a circular orbit, the Sun and the Moon to be in the plane of the orbit, and the Moon to be stationary in the sky in front of the Sun. Also, the magnitude of the radiation pressure is assumed to be linearly related to the angular separation of the Sun and Moon, and that Lageos is a perfect absorber of radiation. The computation indicates that an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon as seen by Lageos can affect the semimajor axis at the 1 centimeter (1 cm) level. Such a change is significant enough to include in GEODYN, in order to get an accurate orbit for Lageos.

  2. Division of Icy Bodies into Groups Based on Surface Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, Bradley E.; Rabinowitz, D. L.; Tourtellottte, S. W.

    2008-09-01

    We propose the division of the icy bodies in the outer Solar System into five groups based on their surface properties. This division can be equivalently made by three definitions involving: size/orbit/color; measured surface properties; the physical mechanisms that reprocess the surfaces. Our first group is the Small/Red bodies (including the red Centaurs, Kuiper Belt Objects, and Scattered Disk Objects) which are 1.5 mag. These surfaces all have albedo <16; percent, and have lost their volatile ices by Jeans escape with cosmic rays reddening the remaining ices. Our second group is the Small/Gray bodies (including the gray Centaurs, Scattered Disk Objects, and Trojans) which are <800; km in diameter and with B-R<1.5 mag. These surfaces all have very low albedo (<6; percent) because their surface ices have been lost due to heating by the Sun at some time in their past orbital history leaving only their original rocky material to cover the surface. Our third group is the Intermediate bodies (Quaoar, Orcus, and Charon) with diameters 800-1400 km. Their surfaces have lost some of the volatile ices (methane and nitrogen in particular) to Jeans escape, while the remaining ices contain ammonia and crystalline water ice with some cryovolcanism. Our fourth group is the Large bodies (Pluto, Eris, Sedna, Triton, and 2005 FY9) with diameters >1400; km. These bodies are large enough to support active cryovolcanism plus seasonal frost formation/sublimation and are large enough so that the methane and nitrogen ices dominate because they have not been lost to Jeans escape. Our fifth group is the Collisional bodies (including the 2003 EL61 collisional family) which all have similar orbits. Their surfaces all have very neutral colors, low opposition surges, and relatively high albedos, because the volatile ices were all lost during the collision leaving a young surface with only water ice.

  3. Physical librations and possible homogeneity of natural moons from astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lainey, Valery; Cooper, Nicholas; Murray, Carl; Noyelles, Benoît; Pasewladt, Andreas; Robert, Vincent; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Thuillot, William

    2016-10-01

    Astrometry is the discipline that aims to provide positions of celestial objects in space with the highest accuracy. Thanks to recent space missions like Mars Express and Cassini, astrometric measurements of moons have allowed the probing of the gravity environment of their systems with unprecedented resolution. Here we focus on the possible determination of physical librations on the rotation of the moons, by modelling their effects on the moons' orbits. Assuming a homogeneous density, a theoretical expectation of the main libration can be computed and compared with possible observed values obtained indirectly from the orbit. In this work, we obtain for Phobos a physical libration of 1.04 +/- 0.02 degrees, in agreement with a homogeneous interior. The case of some of the inner moons of Saturn will be addressed, also.

  4. Looking for planetary moons in the spectra of distant Jupiters.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Knacke, R F

    2004-01-01

    More than 100 nearby stars are known to have at least one Jupiter-sized planet. Whether any of these giant gaseous planets has moons is unknown, but here we suggest a possible way of detecting Earth-sized moons with future technology. The planned Terrestrial Planet Finder observatory, for example, will be able to detect objects comparable in size to Earth. Such Earth-sized objects might orbit their stars either as isolated planets or as moons to giant planets. Moons of Jovian-sized planets near the habitable zones of main-sequence stars should be noticeably brighter than their host planets in the near-infrared (1-4 microm) if their atmospheres contain methane, water, and water vapor, because of efficient absorption of starlight by these atmospheric components. By taking advantage of this spectral contrast, future space observatories will be able to discern which extrasolar giant planets have Earth-like moons capable of supporting life. PMID:15383243

  5. Looking for planetary moons in the spectra of distant Jupiters.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Knacke, R F

    2004-01-01

    More than 100 nearby stars are known to have at least one Jupiter-sized planet. Whether any of these giant gaseous planets has moons is unknown, but here we suggest a possible way of detecting Earth-sized moons with future technology. The planned Terrestrial Planet Finder observatory, for example, will be able to detect objects comparable in size to Earth. Such Earth-sized objects might orbit their stars either as isolated planets or as moons to giant planets. Moons of Jovian-sized planets near the habitable zones of main-sequence stars should be noticeably brighter than their host planets in the near-infrared (1-4 microm) if their atmospheres contain methane, water, and water vapor, because of efficient absorption of starlight by these atmospheric components. By taking advantage of this spectral contrast, future space observatories will be able to discern which extrasolar giant planets have Earth-like moons capable of supporting life.

  6. The Moon Village Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messina, Piero; Foing, Bernard H.; Hufenbach, Bernhard; Haignere, Claudie; Schrogl, Kai-Uwe

    2016-07-01

    The "Moon Village" concept Space exploration is anchored in the International Space Station and in the current and future automatic and planetary automatic and robotic missions that pave the way for future long-term exploration objectives. The Moon represents a prime choice for scientific, operational and programmatic reasons and could be the enterprise that federates all interested Nations. On these considerations ESA is currently elaborating the concept of a Moon Village as an ensemble where multiple users can carry out multiple activities. The Moon Village has the ambition to serve a number of objectives that have proven to be of interest (including astronomy, fundamental research, resources management, moon science, etc. ) to the space community and should be the catalyst of new alliances between public and private entities including non-space industries. Additionally the Moon Village should provide a strong inspirational and education tool for the younger generations . The Moon Village will rely both on automatic, robotic and human-tendered structures to achieve sustainable moon surface operations serving multiple purposes on an open-architecture basis. This Europe-inspired initiative should rally all communities (across scientific disciplines, nations, industries) and make it to the top of the political agendas as a the scientific and technological undertaking but also political and inspirational endeavour of the XXI century. The current reflections are of course based on the current activities and plans on board the ISS and the discussion held in international fora such as the ISECG. The paper will present the status of these reflections, also in view of the ESA Council at Ministerial Level 2016, and will give an overview of the on-going activities being carried out to enable the vision of a Moon Village.

  7. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shivers, C. Herbert

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the planned launching to the Moon, and Mars. It is important to build beyond the capacity to ferry astronauts and cargo to low Earth orbit. NASA is starting to design new vehicles using the past lessons to minimize cost, and technical risks. The training and education of engineers that will continue the work of designing, testing and flying the vehicles is important to NASA.

  8. Return to the Moon: Lunar robotic science missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Lawrence A.

    1992-02-01

    There are two important aspects of the Moon and its materials which must be addressed in preparation for a manned return to the Moon and establishment of a lunar base. These involve its geologic science and resource utilization. Knowledge of the Moon forms the basis for interpretations of the planetary science of the terrestrial planets and their satellites; and there are numerous exciting explorations into the geologic science of the Moon to be conducted using orbiter and lander missions. In addition, the rocks and minerals and soils of the Moon will be the basic raw materials for a lunar outpost; and the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of lunar materials must be considered in detail before any manned return to the Moon. Both of these fields -- planetary science and resource assessment -- will necessitate the collection of considerable amounts of new data, only obtainable from lunar-orbit remote sensing and robotic landers. For over fifteen years, there have been a considerable number of workshops, meetings, etc. with their subsequent 'white papers' which have detailed plans for a return to the Moon. The Lunar Observer mission, although grandiose, seems to have been too expensive for the austere budgets of the last several years. However, the tens of thousands of man-hours that have gone into 'brainstorming' and production of plans and reports have provided the precursor material for today's missions. It has been only since last year (1991) that realistic optimism for lunar orbiters and soft landers has come forth. Plans are for 1995 and 1996 'Early Robotic Missions' to the Moon, with the collection of data necessary for answering several of the major problems in lunar science, as well as for resource and site evaluation, in preparation for soft landers and a manned-presence on the Moon.

  9. Return to the Moon: Lunar robotic science missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Lawrence A.

    1992-01-01

    There are two important aspects of the Moon and its materials which must be addressed in preparation for a manned return to the Moon and establishment of a lunar base. These involve its geologic science and resource utilization. Knowledge of the Moon forms the basis for interpretations of the planetary science of the terrestrial planets and their satellites; and there are numerous exciting explorations into the geologic science of the Moon to be conducted using orbiter and lander missions. In addition, the rocks and minerals and soils of the Moon will be the basic raw materials for a lunar outpost; and the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of lunar materials must be considered in detail before any manned return to the Moon. Both of these fields -- planetary science and resource assessment -- will necessitate the collection of considerable amounts of new data, only obtainable from lunar-orbit remote sensing and robotic landers. For over fifteen years, there have been a considerable number of workshops, meetings, etc. with their subsequent 'white papers' which have detailed plans for a return to the Moon. The Lunar Observer mission, although grandiose, seems to have been too expensive for the austere budgets of the last several years. However, the tens of thousands of man-hours that have gone into 'brainstorming' and production of plans and reports have provided the precursor material for today's missions. It has been only since last year (1991) that realistic optimism for lunar orbiters and soft landers has come forth. Plans are for 1995 and 1996 'Early Robotic Missions' to the Moon, with the collection of data necessary for answering several of the major problems in lunar science, as well as for resource and site evaluation, in preparation for soft landers and a manned-presence on the Moon.

  10. Icy Schwedeneck field may provide reference

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-05-01

    Situated in an icy region of the Baltic Sea, Germany's first offshore field may provide the nation with the reference needed to encroach the arctic market. Production began last winter from one platform in the Schwedeneck-See field, located about three miles off the Baltic Coast. Total reserves have been estimated at more than 18 million bbl. Yearly production by the end of 1986 has been estimated at 294,000 bbl. The first two production platforms were installed in late 1983 in water depths ranging from 50 to 80 ft. Because of the ice hazards inherent in the Baltic, the platforms are concrete designed with steel decks.

  11. Origin of earth's moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    The major geochemical properties of the moon are briefly considered along with the significant facts of the moon's geologic history, and then the three current hypotheses regarding the moon's origin, namely, fission, capture, and binary accretion, are reviewed. The individual merits and improbabilities associated with each mechanism are taken into consideration. Special attention is given to the binary accretion model as the most promising one. In the variants of this model, of crucial importance is the nature of the more general hypothesis assumed for planetary formation from the solar nebula. The two main models differ considerably in the amount of chemical fractionation they allow to accompany planetary formation.

  12. Pluto's moons named

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-07-01

    In the end, it did not matter that the name Vulcan came in first place by a landslide in a nonbinding public vote to suggest names for the fourth and fifth known moons of Pluto. Despite the independent vote conducted by the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., on behalf of the team that discovered the moons, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) did not select the name for a Plutonian moon. The decision came much to the dismay of actor William Shatner (who played Captain Kirk in Star Trek). Shatner had pushed for the name Vulcan to honor the home planet of Star Trek character Dr. Spock.

  13. Why the Moon?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaier, James R.

    2009-01-01

    In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed a new set of goals for NASA which have since been formalized by Congress as the revised United States Space Policy. A major goal is to return humans to the moon by 2020. This prompted a world-wide discussion about what our goals in space ought to be. In 2006 NASA surveyed potential stakeholders asking the question, "Why the Moon?" Responses were received from over 1000 entities including business, industry, academia, and 13 other space agencies. This presentation reports the responses to that questionnaire, as well as current plans for how the return to the moon will be accomplished.

  14. Steps to the moon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; Dale, Alvin E.

    1976-01-01

    On July 20, 1969, man walked on the surface of the Moon and began a new chapter of his studies that will eventually disclose the geologic nature of the Earth's nearest neighbor. Although he has finally reached the Moon and sampled its substance, much work and study remain before he will know the full scientific significance of the first landing. This booklet briefly summarizes the steps man has taken to understand the Moon and what he thinks he has learned to date as a result of his centuries-long speculations and studies.

  15. ISA accelerometer and Moon science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iafolla, Valerio; Peron, Roberto; Santoli, Francesco; Fiorenza, Emiliano; Lefevre, Carlo; Nozzoli, Sergio; Reale, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    In recent years the Moon has become again a target for exploration activities, as shown by many performed, ongoing or foreseen missions. The reason for this new wave are manifold. The knowledge of formation and evolution of the Moon to current state is important in order to trace the overall history of Solar System. An effective driving factor is the possibility of building a human settlement on its surface, with all the related issues of environment characterization, safety, resources, communication and navigation. Our natural satellite is also an important laboratory for fundamental physics: Lunar Laser Ranging is continuing to provide important data that constrain possible theories of gravitation. All these topics are providing stimulus and inspirations for new experiments. ISA (Italian Spring Accelerometer) can provide an important tool for lunar studies. Thanks to its structure (three one-dimensional sensors assembled in a composite structure) it works both in-orbit and on-ground, with the same configuration. It therefore can be used onboard a spacecraft, as a support to a radio science mission, and on the surface of the Moon, as a seismometer. The first option has been explorated in the context of MAGIA (Missione Altimetrica Gravimetrica geochImica lunAre), a proposal for an exploration mission with a noteworthy part dedicated to gravimetry and fundamental physics. The second option is candidate to be hosted on NASA ILN (International Lunar Network) and ESA First Lunar Lander. After a description of the instrument, both of them will be described and discussed, giving emphasis on the integration of the instrument with the other components of the respective experiments.

  16. TRANSIT MODEL OF PLANETS WITH MOON AND RING SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana E-mail: avalio@craam.mackenzie.br

    2011-12-10

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons and planetary rings around a planet. The moon's orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, moon, and rings can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The result of the simulation is a light curve with a planetary transit. White noise may also be added to the light curves to produce curves similar to those obtained by the CoRoT and Kepler space telescopes. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons and/or ring systems using photometry. The results show that it is possible to detect moons with radii as little as 1.3 R{sub Circled-Plus} with CoRoT and 0.3 R{sub Circled-Plus} with Kepler.

  17. Analysis of medium-energy transfers to the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshima, Kenta; Topputo, Francesco; Campagnola, Stefano; Yanao, Tomohiro

    2016-09-01

    This study analyzes a recently discovered class of exterior transfers to the Moon. These transfers terminate in retrograde ballistic capture orbits, i.e., orbits with negative Keplerian energy and angular momentum with respect to the Moon. Yet, their Jacobi constant is relatively low, for which no forbidden regions exist, and the trajectories do not appear to mimic the dynamics of the invariant manifolds of the Lagrange points. This paper shows that these orbits shadow instead lunar collision orbits. We investigate the dynamics of singular, lunar collision orbits in the Earth-Moon planar circular restricted three-body problem, and reveal their rich phase space structure in the medium-energy regime, where invariant manifolds of the Lagrange point orbits break up. We show that lunar retrograde ballistic capture trajectories lie inside the tube structure of collision orbits. We also develop a method to compute medium-energy transfers by patching together orbits inside the collision tube and those whose apogees are located in the appropriate quadrant in the Sun-Earth system. The method yields the novel family of transfers as well as those ending in direct capture orbits, under particular energetic and geometrical conditions.

  18. Survivability of bacteria ejected from icy surfaces after hypervelocity impact.

    PubMed

    Burchell, Mark J; Galloway, James A; Bunch, Alan W; Brandão, Pedro F B

    2003-02-01

    Both the Saturnian and Jovian systems contain satellites with icy surfaces. If life exists on any of these icy bodies (in putative subsurface oceans for example) then the possibility exists for transfer of life from icy body to icy body. This is an application of the idea of Panspermia, wherein life migrates naturally through space. A possible mechanism would be that life, here taken as bacteria, could become frozen in the icy surface of one body. If a high-speed impact occurred on that surface, ejecta containing the bacteria could be thrown into space. It could then migrate around the local region of space until it arrived at a second icy body in another high-speed impact. In this paper we consider some of the necessary steps for such a process to occur, concentrating on the ejection of ice bearing bacteria in the initial impact, and on what happens when bacteria laden projectiles hit an icy surface. Laboratory experiments using high-speed impacts with a light gas gun show that obtaining icy ejecta with viable bacterial loads is straightforward. In addition to demonstrating the viability of the bacteria carried on the ejecta, we have also measured the angular and size distribution of the ejecta produced in hypervelocity impacts on ice. We have however been unsuccessful at transferring viable bacteria to icy surfaces from bacteria laden projectiles impacting at hypervelocities. PMID:12967273

  19. Survivability of bacteria ejected from icy surfaces after hypervelocity impact.

    PubMed

    Burchell, Mark J; Galloway, James A; Bunch, Alan W; Brandão, Pedro F B

    2003-02-01

    Both the Saturnian and Jovian systems contain satellites with icy surfaces. If life exists on any of these icy bodies (in putative subsurface oceans for example) then the possibility exists for transfer of life from icy body to icy body. This is an application of the idea of Panspermia, wherein life migrates naturally through space. A possible mechanism would be that life, here taken as bacteria, could become frozen in the icy surface of one body. If a high-speed impact occurred on that surface, ejecta containing the bacteria could be thrown into space. It could then migrate around the local region of space until it arrived at a second icy body in another high-speed impact. In this paper we consider some of the necessary steps for such a process to occur, concentrating on the ejection of ice bearing bacteria in the initial impact, and on what happens when bacteria laden projectiles hit an icy surface. Laboratory experiments using high-speed impacts with a light gas gun show that obtaining icy ejecta with viable bacterial loads is straightforward. In addition to demonstrating the viability of the bacteria carried on the ejecta, we have also measured the angular and size distribution of the ejecta produced in hypervelocity impacts on ice. We have however been unsuccessful at transferring viable bacteria to icy surfaces from bacteria laden projectiles impacting at hypervelocities.

  20. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.; Wade, R. A.

    1997-01-01

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere.

  1. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F; Wade, R A

    1997-01-16

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere.

  2. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F; Wade, R A

    1997-01-16

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere. PMID:9000072

  3. Flow and fracture of ices, with application to icy satellites (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durham, W. B.; Stern, L. A.; Pathare, A.; Golding, N.

    2013-12-01

    large icy moons; flow of very low melting temperature, weakly bonded solids such as N2, CH4, and CO2; and the behavior of ice-rich, large exoplanets. We will review recent results on the rheological behavior of water ice I in the regime of combined flow by grain size sensitive and grain size insensitive mechanisms of deformation, and in particular the possibility that grain size is not a free variable when ice I deforms over large strains for long periods of time, but rather is defined by stress and temperature. Existing rheological laws suggest that viscosity of an ice-I-rich outer layer on a large icy moon, including a moon as small as Enceladus, may be strongly grain size dependent. We will also review developments in two-phase flow, with implications for geysers on Enceladus and methane in Titan's atmosphere.

  4. Composition of the Moon's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2004-12-01

    In 1997, PSRD first reported on the trailblazing efforts to map the abundance and distribution of titanium and iron on the entire lunar surface based on Clementine orbital remote sensing data [see PSRD article: Moonbeams and Elements]. Researchers calibrated the remote sensing data with the best ground-truth standards available: lunar soil and rock samples. Since the initial mapping, planetary scientists have been striving to improve the calibration of the remote sensing data to correct for over or under estimates of the global concentrations of primary elements. This work is important because it prevents us from getting erroneous ideas about the Moon's composition and origin. New calibrations to Lunar Prospector and Clementine data by Jeff Gillis (previously at Washington University in St. Louis and now at the University of Hawaii), Brad Jolliff, and Randy Korotev (both at Washington University in St. Louis) have resulted in updated global maps for thorium (Th), potassium (K), and iron oxide (FeO) that are more consistent with the compositions of lunar samples and lunar meteorites, and allow a better understanding of the Moon's formation and evolution.

  5. Taking Europe To The Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-03-01

    The first step in this ESA initiated programme is a unique project called 'Euromoon 2000' which is currently being studied by ESA engineers/ scientists and key European Space Industries. The project is intended to celebrate Europe's entry into the New Millennium; and to promote public awareness and interest in science, technology and space exploration. Euromoon 2000 has an innovative and ambitious implementation plan. This includes a 'partnership with industry' and a financing scheme based on raising part of the mission's budget from sponsorship through a dynamic public relations strategy and marketing programme. The mission begins in earnest with the small (approx. 100 kg) LunarSat orbiter satellite, to be designed and built by 50 young scientists and engineers from across Europe. Scheduled for launch in 2000 as a secondary payload on a European Ariane 5 rocket, it will then orbit the Moon, mapping the planned landing area in greater detail in preparation of the EuroMoon Lander in 2001. The Lander's 40 kg payload allocation will accommodate amongst others scientific instrumentation for in-situ investigation of the unique site. Elements of specific support to the publicity and fund-raising campaign will also be considered. The Lander will aim for the 'Peak of Eternal Light' on the rim of the 20 km-diameter, 3 km-deep Shackleton South Pole crater - a site uniquely suited for establishing a future outpost. This location enjoys almost continuous sunlight thus missions can rely on solar power instead of bulky batteries or costly and potentially hazardous nuclear power generation. As a consequence of the undulating South Pole terrain there are also permanently shadowed areas - amongst the coldest in the Solar System resulting in conditions highly favourable for the formation of frozen volatiles (as suggested by the Clementine mission in 1994). Earlier this year (7th January 1998), NASA launched its Lunar Prospector satellite which is currently performing polar lunar

  6. What's New on the Moon?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, Bevan M.

    This document presents an overview of knowledge gained from the scientific explorations of the moon between 1969 and 1972 in the Apollo Program. Answers are given to questions regarding life on the moon, surface composition of rocks on the moon, the nature of the moon's interior, characteristics of lunar "soil," the age, history and origin of the…

  7. Geometry and Moon Phases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Kenneth W.; Harrell, Marvin E.

    1997-01-01

    Describes an activity, designed to comply with the National Science Education Standards, that integrates science and mathematics concepts. Mathematical modeling of the moon's phases is employed to show students the role of mathematics in describing scientific phenomena. (DKM)

  8. Off to the Moon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loud, Gwyneth E.

    1986-01-01

    Describes an activity which simulates a trip to the moon. Explains the preparations, procedures, and tests involved in this culminating activity of an astronomy unit for the third grade student. Examples of student's assignments during the exercise are included. (ML)

  9. The Moon: Biogenic elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Chang, Sherwood

    1992-01-01

    The specific objectives of the organic chemical exploration of the Moon involve the search for molecules of possible biological or prebiological origin. Detailed knowledge of the amount, distribution, and exact structure of organic compounds present on the Moon is extremely important to our understanding of the origin and history of the Moon and to its relationship to the history of the Earth and solar system. Specifically, such knowledge is essential for determining whether life on the Moon exists, ever did exist, or could develop. In the absence of life or organic matter, it is still essential to determine the abundance, distribution, and origin of the biogenic elements (e.g., H, C, O, N, S, P) in order to understand how the planetary environment may have influenced the course of chemical evolution. The history and scope of this effort is presented.

  10. Two Moons and the Pleiades from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    the surface of Mars would notice its oblong, potato-like shape and that it moves quickly against the background stars. Phobos takes only 7 hours, 39 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That is so fast, relative to the 24-hour-and-39-minute sol on Mars (the length of time it takes for Mars to complete one rotation), that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. Earth's moon, by comparison, rises in the east and sets in the west. The smaller martian moon, Deimos, takes 30 hours, 12 minutes to complete one orbit of Mars. That orbital period is longer than a martian sol, and so Deimos rises, like most solar system moons, in the east and sets in the west.

    Scientists will use images of the two moons to better map their orbital positions, learn more about their composition, and monitor the presence of nighttime clouds or haze. Spirit took the five images that make up this composite with the panoramic camera, using the camera's broadband filter, which was designed specifically for acquiring images under low-light conditions.

  11. The moon and SETI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1992-04-01

    The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is discussed focusing on the unique position of the earth-moon as double planet. The presence of moon is considered to have had profound effects on the evolution of the earth and life upon it. It is hypothesized that the nearest civilization may be tens of thousands of light years away from the Galaxy, and SETI may be more successful in contacting civilizations in nearby galaxies than in the Milky Way.

  12. Porosity and the ecology of icy satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croft, Steven K.

    1993-01-01

    The case for a significant role for porosity in the structure and evolution of icy bodies in the Solar System has been difficult to establish. We present a relevant new data set and a series of structure models including a mechanical compression, not thermal creep, model for porosity that accounts satisfactorily for observed densities, moments of inertia, geologic activity, and sizes of tectonic features on icy satellites. Several types of observational data sets have been used to infer significant porosity, but until recently, alternative explanations have been preferred. Our first area of concern is the occurrence of cryovolcanism as a function of satellite radius; simple radiogenic heating models of icy satellites suggest minimum radii for melting and surface cryovolcanism to be 400 to 500 km, yet inferred melt deposits are seen on satellites half that size. One possible explanation is a deep, low conductivity regolith which lowers conductivity and raises internal temperatures, but other possibilities include tidal heating or crustal compositions of low conductivity. Our second area of concern is the occurrence and magnitude of tectonic strain; tectonic structures have been seen on icy satellites as small as Mimas and Proteus. The structures are almost exclusively extensional, with only a few possible compression Al features, and inferred global strains are on the order of 1 percent expansion. Expansions of this order in small bodies like Mimas and prevention of late compressional tectonics due to formation of ice mantles in larger bodies like Rhea are attained only in structure models including low-conductivity, and thus possibly high porosity, crusts. Thirdly, inferred moments of inertia less than 0.4 in Mimas and Tethys can be explained by high-porosity crusts, but also by differentiation of a high density core. Finally, the relatively low densities of smaller satellites like Mimas and Miranda relative to larger neighbors can be explained by deep porosity

  13. Galilean Moons, Kepler's Third Law, and the Mass of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Alan

    2013-10-01

    Simulations of physical systems are widely available online, with no cost, and are ready to be used in our classrooms. ,2 Such simulations offer an accessible tool that can be used for a range of interactive learning activities. The Jovian Moons Applet2 allows the user to track the position of Jupiter's four Galilean moons with a variety of viewing options. For this activity, data are obtained from the orbital period and orbital radii charts. Earlier experiments have used telescopes to capture the orbital motion of the Galilean moons,3 although observation of astronomical events and the measurement of quantities may be difficult to achieve due to a combination of cost, training, and observing conditions. The applet allows a suitable set of data to be generated and data analysis that verifies Kepler's third law of planetary motion, which leads to a calculated value for the mass of Jupiter.

  14. Properties of the solar nebula and the origin of the moon.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, A. G. W.

    1973-01-01

    The basic geochemical model of the structure of the moon proposed by Anderson, in which the moon is formed by differentiation of the calcium, aluminium, and titanium-rich inclusions in the Allende meteorite, is accepted, and the conditions for formation of this moon within the solar nebula models of Cameron and Pine are discussed. The basic material condenses while iron remains in the gaseous phase, which places the formation of the moon slightly inside the orbit of Mercury. Some condensed metallic iron is likely to enter the moon in this position, and since the moon is assembled at a very high temperature, it is likely to have been fully molten, so that the iron can remove the iridium from the silicate material and carry it down to form a small core. Interactions between the moon and Mercury lead to the present rather eccentric Mercury orbit and to a much more eccentric orbit for the moon, reaching past the orbit of the earth, establishing conditions which are necessary for capture of the moon by the earth.

  15. Cuckoo in the Nest: The Fate of the Original Moons of Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuk, Matija; Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2016-10-01

    Neptune's moon Triton is the largest captured satellite in the solar system, as indicated by its inclined retrograde orbit. The most likely mechanism for its capture is binary disruption, which ejected its former binary companion and placed Triton on a large, eccentric orbit around Neptune (Agnor and Hamilton 2006). While the tides would in principle circularize Triton's orbit (Goldreich et al. 1989), Triton's early orbit would have evolved much faster through interactions with preexisting moons of Neptune (Cuk and Gladman 2005). Assuming that the pre-existing moons of Neptune were similar to those of Uranus, analytical estimates are unclear on which outcome is most likely during moon-moon scattering. Cuk and Gladman (2005) suggested that collisions among the regular moons happen first, while Nogueira et al. (2011) find that collisions between Triton and an old moon, or an ejection should happen first. Here we use the general purpose (T+U) symplectic integrator to explore this short-lived epoch of orbit crossing in the Neptunian system. Our preliminary results indicate that Triton might have collided with one of the preexisting moons of Neptune before the regular satellites could have been destroyed in mutual collisions. Goldreich et al. (1989) claimed that a collision with a moon larger than Miranda would destroy Triton and therefore could be ruled out. However, using modern collisional disruption estimated from Stewart and Leinhardt (2012), we find that Triton could have accreted a 1000-km moon at relevant velocities without being disrupted. The product of this merger would have a much tighter orbit as the accreted moon would not have been retrograde like Triton. At the meeting we will present a more detailed exploration of possible post-capture configurations, and report quantitative probabilities for different outcomes of this exciting and violent episode of Triton's history.

  16. High-powered Radar Sounders for the Investigation of Jupiter's Icy Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safaeinili, A.; Rodriguez, E.; Edelstein, Wendy

    2003-01-01

    This talk will address the main drivers in the design of a radar sounder for the JIMO mission and provide a potential solution that will optimize the chances of success in the detection of ice/water interface and sub-surface stratigraphy.

  17. JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE): An ESA L-Class Mission Candidate to the Jupiter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, M.; Grasset, O.; Erd, C.; Titov, D.; Bunce, E.; Coustenis, A.; Blanc, M.; Coates, A.; Drossart, P.; Fletcher, L.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Krupp, N.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Tortora, P.; Tosi, F.; van Hoolst, T.

    2012-03-01

    JUICE is the next step for an in-depth exploration of the geophysical and environmental characteristics of Ganymede and exploration of Callisto and Europa, and will provide an in-depth understanding of Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetosphere.

  18. IPPF Co-operative Information Service (ICIS). November 1977.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Planned Parenthood Federation, London (England).

    This ICIS bulletin replaces the formal Library Bulletin of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). It represents the integration of a bibliographic information network. Entries in ICIS are classified according to the following nine categories: (0) General Reference; (1) IPPF; (2) Family Planning and Health Care; (3) Biomedical…

  19. IPPF Co-operative Information Service (ICIS). May 1977.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Planned Parenthood Federation, London (England).

    The pooling of documentation service resources has resulted in the creation of an International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) integrated bibliographic information system. Thus, the former Library Bulletin has become IPPF Cooperative Information Service (ICIS). This is the first such publication. Entries in ICIS are classified according to…

  20. Radiation Induced Chemistry of Icy Surfaces: Laboratory Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gudipati, Murthy S.; Lignell, Antti; Li, Irene; Yang, Rui; Jacovi, Ronen

    2011-01-01

    We will discuss laboratory experiments designed to enhance our understanding the chemical processes on icy solar system bodies, enable interpretation of in-situ and remote-sensing data, and help future missions to icy solar system bodies, such as comets, Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus etc.

  1. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Orbit Determination Accuracy Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slojkowski, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    LRO definitive and predictive accuracy requirements were easily met in the nominal mission orbit, using the LP150Q lunar gravity model. center dot Accuracy of the LP150Q model is poorer in the extended mission elliptical orbit. center dot Later lunar gravity models, in particular GSFC-GRAIL-270, improve OD accuracy in the extended mission. center dot Implementation of a constrained plane when the orbit is within 45 degrees of the Earth-Moon line improves cross-track accuracy. center dot Prediction accuracy is still challenged during full-Sun periods due to coarse spacecraft area modeling - Implementation of a multi-plate area model with definitive attitude input can eliminate prediction violations. - The FDF is evaluating using analytic and predicted attitude modeling to improve full-Sun prediction accuracy. center dot Comparison of FDF ephemeris file to high-precision ephemeris files provides gross confirmation that overlap compares properly assess orbit accuracy.

  2. Semi-brittle behavior of a multi-phase crust and its influence on the tectonics of icy satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, Christine; Cooper, Reid F.

    2010-05-01

    -ductile transition by 55% and reduce the strength in both the plastic and the brittle regimes, thereby blunting the ends of a lithospheric strength envelope, effectively reducing the failure limit for contractional surface features from 10MPa to ~6MPa. Our study thus provides a potential explanation for zones of weakness, such as folds and buckling, observed in the crusts of icy satellites. We have derived a constitutive equation for the eutectic aggregates that includes eutectic-colony boundary sliding, intracolony flow and cavitation. The stress-strain relationships we have obtained will improve our understanding of tectonics and surface features on icy moons of the outer solar system.

  3. State and velocity distributions of Cl atoms produced in the photodissociation of ICI at 237 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Chi-Kung; Flynn, George W.

    1993-07-01

    Photofragment spectroscopy of ICI molecules photodissociated at 237 nm is studied by 2 + 1 resonance-enhanced multi-photon ionization and time of flight techniques. Doppler profiles of the chlorine atom fragments in two spin—orbit states show that chlorine atoms in the ground state, 2P 3/2, are produced from a perpendicular dissociative transition, and chlorine atoms in the excited state, 2P 1/2, arise from a parallel transition. The possible electronically excited states leading to dissociation in both the perpendicular and parallel cases are considered.

  4. Triton Explorer - Neptune Orbiter Mission Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, T. S.; Shirley, J. H.

    2005-12-01

    Triton is larger than the planet Pluto, and its highly inclined, retrograde orbit suggests that it may be a captured object that initially formed somewhere else in the solar system. Its composition (and its inventory of organic materials) is thus of considerable interest. Triton possesses an appreciable atmosphere, and its circulation, like that of Mars, is one of seasonal condensation flow between the southern and northern hemispheres. Although the surface pressure is only ~ 16 microbar, winds of 5-15 m / sec flow toward the equator from the sunlit hemisphere. Voyager 2 detected a number of plumes extending from the surface to approximately 8 km elevation within the atmosphere. Triton exhibits a variety of puzzling surface features; among these are structural features that suggest extensive faulting in the past, together with ice volcanism, and dark streaks that may be associated with the plumes. The Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey (NRC, 2003) lists a Neptune Orbiter / Triton Explorer as a "Deferred High-Priority Flight Mission" that may be considered for the second decade of this century. Likely science objectives for a Triton Lander mission would include a more complete characterization of the composition and circulation of the atmosphere; investigation of the physical processes responsible for plume formation; surface composition measurements; and geophysical monitoring, including seismological measurements that could potentially constrain the physics of plume eruptions. We describe here a conceptual dual-Lander mission to explore Triton's surface. Each of the two Landers would be powered by a standard multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG). These Landers could operate on the surface of Triton for several years. A companion Neptune Orbiter would provide telecommunication links between the Landers and the Earth, and would be instrumented to observe both Triton and Neptune. Although a Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) follow-on mission

  5. Precision Navigation of Cassini Images Using Rings, Icy Satellites, and Fuzzy Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Robert S.; Showalter, Mark R.; Gordon, Mitchell K.

    2016-10-01

    Before images from the Cassini spacecraft can be analyzed, errors in the published pointing information (up to ~110 pixels for the Imaging Science Subsystem Narrow Angle Camera) must be corrected so that the line of sight vector for each pixel is known. This complicated and labor-intensive process involves matching the image contents with known features such as stars, rings, or moons. Metadata, such as lighting geometry or ring radius and longitude, must be computed for each pixel as well. Both steps require mastering the SPICE toolkit, a highly capable piece of software with a steep learning curve. Only after these steps are completed can the actual scientific investigation begin.We have embarked on a three-year project to perform these steps for all 400,000+ Cassini ISS images as well as images taken by the VIMS, UVIS, and CIRS instruments. The result will be a series of SPICE kernels that include accurate pointing information and a series of backplanes that include precomputed metadata for each pixel. All data will be made public through the PDS Ring-Moon Systems Node (http://www.pds-rings.seti.org). We expect this project to dramatically decrease the time required for scientists to analyze Cassini data.In a previous poster (French et al. 2014, DPS #46, 422.01) we discussed our progress navigating images using stars, simple ring models, and well-defined icy bodies. In this poster we will report on our current progress including the use of more sophisticated ring models, navigation of "fuzzy" bodies such as Titan and Saturn, and use of crater matching on high-resolution images of the icy satellites.

  6. Low Force Penetration of Icy Regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Galloway, G. M.; Zacny, K.

    2016-01-01

    A percussive cone penetrometer measures the strength of granular material by using percussion to deliver mechanical energy into the material. A percussive cone penetrometer was used in this study to penetrate a regolith ice mixture by breaking up ice and decompacting the regolith. As compared to a static cone penetrometer, percussion allows low reaction forces to push a penetrometer probe tip more easily into dry regolith in a low gravity environment from a planetary surface rover or a landed spacecraft. A percussive cone penetrates icy regolith at ice concentrations that a static cone cannot penetrate. In this study, the percussive penetrator was able to penetrate material under 65 N of down-force which could not be penetrated using a static cone under full body weight. This paper discusses using a percussive cone penetrometer to discern changes in the concentration of water-ice in a mixture of lunar regolith simulant and ice to a depth of one meter. The rate of penetration was found to be a function of the ice content and was not significantly affected by the down-force. The test results demonstrate that this method may be ideal for a small platform in a reduced gravity environment. However, there are some cases where the system may not be able to penetrate the icy regolith, and there is some risk of the probe tip becoming stuck so that it cannot be retracted. It is also shown that a percussive cone penetrometer could be used to prospect for water ice in regolith at concentrations as high as 8 by weight.

  7. Moon - False Color Mosaic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This false-color photograph is a composite of 15 images of the Moon taken through three color filters by Galileo's solid-state imaging system during the spacecraft's passage through the Earth-Moon system on December 8, 1992. When this view was obtained, the spacecraft was 425,000 kilometers (262,000 miles) from the Moon and 69,000 kilometers (43,000 miles) from Earth. The false-color processing used to create this lunar image is helpful for interpreting the surface soil composition. Areas appearing red generally correspond to the lunar highlands, while blue to orange shades indicate the ancient volcanic lava flow of a mare, or lunar sea. Bluer mare areas contain more titanium than do the orange regions. Mare Tranquillitatis, seen as a deep blue patch on the right, is richer in titanium than Mare Serenitatis, a slightly smaller circular area immediately adjacent to the upper left of Mare Tranquillitatis. Blue and orange areas covering much of the left side of the Moon in this view represent many separate lava flows in Oceanus Procellarum. The small purple areas found near the center are pyroclastic deposits formed by explosive volcanic eruptions. The fresh crater Tycho, with a diameter of 85 kilometers (53 miles), is prominent at the bottom of the photograph, where part of the Moon's disk is missing.

  8. Ice on the Bone Dry Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spudis, Paul D.

    2003-01-01

    An abundant supply of water on the Moon would make establishment of a self-sustaining lunar colony much more feasible and less expensive than presently thought. Study of lunar samples revealed that the interior of the Moon is essentially devoid of water, so no underground supplies could be used by lunar inhabitants. However, the lunar surface is bombarded with water-rich objects such as comets, and scientists have suspected that some of the water in these objects could migrate to permanently dark areas at the lunar poles, perhaps accumulating to useable quantities. Analysis of data returned from a radio-wave experiment performed in 1994 while the Clementine spacecraft was orbiting the Moon reveals that deposits of ice exist in permanently dark regions near the south pole of the Moon. Initial estimates suggest that the volume of small lake exists, 1 billion cubic meters. For comparison, this amount of water would be equivalent to the fuel (hydrogen and oxygen) used for more than a million launches of the Space Shuttle from Cape Canaveral!

  9. Changing Perspectives on Mercury and the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denevi, Brett W.

    2015-11-01

    Airless, cratered, and not so different in size, the Moon and Mercury form a natural pair in the inner Solar System. For decades after the 1974 and 1975 Mariner 10 flybys of Mercury, with little compositional information, no concrete evidence for volcanism, and images of less than half of the planet, it was thought that Mercury’s surface may be similar to the lunar highlands: an ancient anorthositic flotation crust subsequently shaped mainly by impact cratering. However, observations from the recently completed MESSENGER mission to Mercury have upended our view of the innermost planet, revealing, for example, a crust that may be rich in graphite and that has been extensively resurfaced by volcanic activity, and geologic activity that may continue today to produce enigmatic “hollows” - a crust very different from that of the Moon. Meanwhile, the Moon has undergone its own revolution, as data from recent spacecraft such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal sites of silicic volcanism indicative of complex differentiation in the mantle, tectonic activity that may be ongoing, recent volcanic activity that alters the paradigm that volcanism died on the Moon over a billion years ago, and evidence that the early chronology of the inner Solar System may not be as well known as once thought. As our views of these two bodies evolve, a new understanding of their differences informs our knowledge of the variety of processes and styles of planetary evolution, and their similarities point to commonalities among all airless bodies.

  10. Tidal dissipation in the large icy satellites: implications for their thermal evolution.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobie, G.; Mocquet, A.; Sotin, C.

    2003-04-01

    Tidal dissipation is a large heat source that controls the thermal evolution of several bodies of the Solar system, notably Europa and Titan. In order to investigate how tidal heating affects the present and past thermal states of these icy satellites, we perform numerical calculations of tidal dissipation distribution for different internal structures and different viscoelastic properties of their interiors. The numerical method is developed after the elastic formulation of free spheroidal oscillations of a compressible self-gravitating planet and adapted to a tidally forced viscoelastic response of the body. We test systematically the dependence of tidal dissipation on the rheological parameters namely, the viscosity eta, the shear modulus μ, and the bulk modulus K, as well as on the orbital parameters, i.e. the eccentricity e and the forcing frequency ω. The effects of tidal dissipation on heat balance in the outer icy layers are investigated with a 2D thermal convection model. We show that the tidal dissipation in the icy layers of Europa and Titan is very large, and that it allows for the long-term existence of a subsurface ocean below a convective ice I layer. We are also investigating thermal evolution models of the rocky core to address the question of tidal dissipation in the silicates. Although tidal dissipation in the rocky core is not required for an ocean to exist, it may provide an additional heating source for seafloor volcanism to occur. In addition, we show that the tidal dissipation in a floating icy layer mainly depends on its viscous structure and that the lateral viscosity variations modify the local dissipation and the value of the global dissipation up to 30%.

  11. Frozen Orbital Plane Solutions for Satellites in Nearly Circular Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulivieri, Carlo; Circi, Christian; Ortore, Emiliano; Bunkheila, Federico; Todino, Francesco

    2013-08-01

    This paper deals with the determination of the initial conditions (right ascension of the ascending node and inclination) that minimize the orbital plane variation for nearly circular orbits with a semimajor axis between 3 and 10 Earth radii. An analysis of two-line elements over the last 40 years for mid-, geostationary-, and high-Earth orbits has shown, for initially quasi-circular orbits, low eccentricity variations up to the geostationary altitude. This result makes the application of mathematical models based on satellite circular orbits advantageous for a fast prediction of long-term temporal evolution of the orbital plane. To this purpose, a previous model considering the combined effect due to the Earth's oblateness, moon, and sun (both in circular orbit) has been improved in terms of required computational time and accuracy. The eccentricity of the sun and moon and the equinoctial precession have been taken into account. Resonance phenomena with the lunar plane motion have been found in mid-Earth orbit. Dynamical properties concerning the precession motions of the orbital pole have been investigated, and frozen solutions for geosynchronous and navigation satellites have been proposed. Finally, an accurate model validation has also been carried out by comparing the obtained results with two-line elements of abandoned geostationary-Earth orbit and mid-Earth orbit satellites.

  12. Santa and the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthel, P.

    2012-05-01

    This article reflects on the use of illustrations of the Moon in images of Santa Claus, on Christmas gift-wrapping paper and in children's books, in two countries which have been important in shaping the image of Santa Claus and his predecessor Sinterklaas: the USA and the Netherlands. The appearance of the Moon in Halloween illustrations is also considered. The lack of either knowledge concerning the physical origin of the Moon's phases, or interest in understanding them, is found to be widespread in the Netherlands, but is also clearly present in the USA, and is quite possibly global. Certainly incomplete, but surely representative, lists that compile occurrences of both scientifically correct and scientifically incorrect gift- wrapping paper and children's books are also presented.

  13. Why do We See the Man in the Moon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aharonson, O.; Goldreich, P.; Sari, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Moon's current spin-orbit resonance results in it continuously pointing the same side towards the Earth. This is the side largely covered by dense, dark mare basalts, the pattern of which, to some, resembles the shape of a man's face. For dynamical stability, the Moon must spin about its axis of maximum moment of inertia, and point its axis of minimum inertia in direction of the Earth, leaving two options of facing the current near-side or far-side towards us. While both configurations are local potential energy minima, we show that under certain conditions, breaking and locking into resonance from a state of rapid rotation preferentially selects one configuration over the other. We analytically and numerically simulate the locking of the Moon into resonance and consider the dependence on the relevant geophysical parameters at the time of last resonance locking. The probability of each configuration depends upon the gravitational potential energy asymmetry dominated by the octupole moment of the Moon, and by the energy dissipated per tidal cycle dominated by the internal properties of the Moon. If these energies are widely separated, the two configurations are equally likely. If these energies are comparable, interesting dynamical behavior results. For example, we find that in the current orbit with the current best-estimated parameters, the Moon is more likely to fall into the higher of the two energy configurations facing the near-side towards the Earth with a preference of ~3:1.

  14. The Early Shape of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrick-Bethell, I.; Perera, V.; Nimmo, F.; Zuber, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    The origin and nature of the long-wavelength shape of the Moon has been a puzzle for at least 100 years [1-5]. Understanding its origin would provide insight into the patterns of mare volcanism, early thermal evolution, the history of the Moon's orientation, and the Moon's orbital evolution. Previously, we explained the shape and structure of the lunar farside highlands with a model of early tidal heating in the crust [6]. However, we left open the problem of the rest of the Moon's low-order shape, and we did not consider the lunar gravity field together with topography. To address these problems, and further assess the tidal-rotation (spherical harmonic degree-2) origins of the lunar shape, we consider three effects: the Moon's degree-1 spherical harmonics, the Moon's largest basins and mascons, and the choice of reference frame in which we analyze topography. We find that removing the degree-1 terms from a topography map helps illustrate the Moon's degree-2 shape, since the degree-1 harmonics have relatively high power. More importantly, however, when we fit spherical harmonics to topography outside of the largest lunar basins (including South-Pole Aitken, Imbrium, Serenitatis, Nectaris, and Orientale), the degree-2 coefficient values change significantly. When these best-fit harmonics are rotated into a reference frame that only contains the C2,0 and C2,2 harmonics (equivalent to the frame that would have once faced the Earth if the early Moon's shape controlled the moments of inertia), we find that gravity and topography data together imply a mixture of compensated and uncompensated degree-2 topography components. The compensated topography component can be explained by global-scale tidal heating in the early crust, while the uncompensated component can be explained by a frozen 'fossil bulge' that formed at a semi-major axis of about 32 Earth radii. To check these explanations, we can examine the ratios of the C2,0 and C2,2 harmonics for each component. We find

  15. Estimations on the Interior of Small Icy Bodies in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taubner, Ruth-Sophie; Leitner, Johannes J.; Firneis, Maria G.; Hitzenberger, Regina

    2014-05-01

    During the last decade small icy bodies have become more and more important for the search for potential habitats in the Solar System. This development was primarily attributable to the indications for Europa's subsurface ocean (e.g., Carr et al., 1998) and the detection of Enceladus' plume (Porco et al., 2006). These observations showed that liquid water can exist under certain circumstances even far beyond the classical habitable zone (Kasting et al., 1993). Additionally, the subsurface water reservoirs may contain a significant amount of ammonia which causes the fluid to stay liquid even below 0°C. If liquid water is in contact with the rocky layer, erosion or similar interaction processes will take place and enrich the water with possible nutrients for potential life forms in this habitat. Therefore, especially the water/rock boundary zone seems highly interesting for astrobiological studies. We developed a three and four layer model for the interior of small icy bodies, i.e. icy moons, TNOs, and asteroids as small as 200 km in radius. The simulations are based on three different scenarios which consider the diverse interior structures of three selected prototype satellites (Io, Europa, and Titan). On average, the water layer represents approximately 20 % of the bodies' radii for the Europa- and Titan-like model. In contrast, for the Io-like scenario, in which we do not include a global subsurface ocean, just Io, the Moon, Vesta, and Hygiea fit into the model. This may indicate that water/ice-regions or even liquid water shells are far more common in the Solar System than previously assumed. Furthermore, we estimate the bodies' dimensionless moment of inertia and compare our results to observed values as far as they are available. Moreover, the physical conditions at the bottom of the bodies' potential subsurface ocean and the thickness of each layer will be estimated. This study will give us a good overview about the distribution of potential liquid water

  16. Future Astronomical Observatories on the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O. (Editor); Mendell, Wendell W. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    Papers at a workshop which consider the topic astronomical observations from a lunar base are presented. In part 1, the rationale for performing astronomy on the Moon is established and economic factors are considered. Part 2 includes concepts for individual lunar based telescopes at the shortest X-ray and gamma ray wavelengths, for high energy cosmic rays, and at optical and infrared wavelengths. Lunar radio frequency telescopes are considered in part 3, and engineering considerations for lunar base observatories are discussed in part 4. Throughout, advantages and disadvantages of lunar basing compared to terrestrial and orbital basing of observatories are weighted. The participants concluded that the Moon is very possibly the best location within the inner solar system from which to perform front-line astronomical research.

  17. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shivers, C. Herbert

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the planned launching to the Moon, and Mars. It is important to build beyond the capacity to ferry astronauts and cargo to low Earth orbit. NASA is starting to design new vehicles using the past lessons to minimize cost, and technical risks. The training and education of engineers that will continue the work of designing, testing and flying the vehicles is important to NASA. The following questions were addressed: 1) What is NASA's mission? 2) Why do we explore? 3) What is our timeline? 4) Why the Moon first? 5) What will the vehicles look like? 5) What progress have we made? 6) Who will be doing the work? and 7) What are the benefits of space exploration?

  18. 10 years of mapping the icy saturnian satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roatsch, Thomas; Kersten, Elke; Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Porco, Carolyn

    2014-05-01

    The Cassini spacecraft started its tour through the Saturnian system in July 2004. The Imaging Science Subsystem onboard the orbiter con-sists of a high-resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) with a focal length of 2000 mm and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) with a focal length of 200 mm [1]. One of the main objectives of the Cassini mission is to investigate the icy Saturnian satellites. These satellites were imaged in many flybys during the no-minal mission between 2004 and 2008. The imaging campaign continued during the first extended mission (''Equinox mission'') between 2008 and 2010 and continues during the current second extended mission (''Solstice mission''). It is now possible to image also the Northern parts of the Icy satellites which were not illuminated during the nominal mission. Mosaicking: The image data processing chain con-sists of the same steps as described in [2]: radiometric calibration, geometric correction, map projection, and mosaicking. Spacecraft position and camera pointing data are available in the form of SPICE kernels (http://naif.jpl.nasa.gov). While the orbit information is sufficiently accurate to be used directly for mapping purposes, the pointing information must be corrected using limb fits (semi-controlled mosaics) or by photo-grammetric bundle adjustment (controlled mosaics). The coordinate system adopted by the Cassini mis-sion for satellite mapping is the IAU ''planetographic'' system, consisting of planetographic latitude and posi-tive West longitude. The surface position of the prime meridian as defined by the IAU cartography working group [3] is defined by small craters. New values for the rotational parameter W0 which defines the location of the prime meridian at January 1, 2000 were calcula-ted based on the high-resolution mosaics to be consis-tent with this definition [4] and approved by the IAU [3]. Cartographic maps: Three different quadrangle schemes were used for the generation of the maps and the atlases [5]: • A

  19. Origin of the moon: New data from old rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, B. M.

    1972-01-01

    Knowledge of the moon is reviewed, particularly that obtained from Apollo 11 and 12 samples, to provide a framework for the geological results from the Apollo 15 mission. The three main theories that have resulted from the Apollo data are briefly discussed, and a review of modern lunar exploration is presented. The knowledge acquired from the Apollo missions is summarized and includes: (1) The rocks of the maria are from 3.3 to 3.7 billion years old, and the highlands are probably 4.6 billion years old. (2) Only small moonquakes are detected, and these appear related to tidal stresses produced by moon swings in its orbit. (3) The moon has a very weak magnetic field. (4) The moon was once hot enough to melt its interior.

  20. Launching to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumrall, John P.

    2007-01-01

    America is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission today, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. Unlike the Apollo program of the 1960s, this phase of exploration will be a journey, not a race. In 1966, the NASA's budget was 4 percent of federal spending. Today, with 6/10 of 1 percent of the budget, NASA must incrementally develop the vehicles, infrastructure, technology, and organization to accomplish this goal. Fortunately, our knowledge and experience are greater than they were 40 years ago. NASA's goal is a return to the Moon by 2020. The Moon is the first step to America's exploration of Mars. Many questions about the Moon's history and how its history is linked to that of Earth remain even after the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment. The Moon also will serve as a training ground in several respects before embarking on the longer, more perilous trip to Mars. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Lunar Surface Access Module. The architecture for the lunar missions will use one launch to ferry the crew into orbit on the Ares I and a second launch to orbit the lunar lander and the Earth Departure Stage to send the lander and crew vehicle to the Moon. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on proven hardware and decades of experience derived from

  1. MAJIS (Moons and Jupiter Imaging Spectrometer): the VIS-NIR imaging spectrometer of the JUICE mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langevin, Yves; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Dumesnil, Cydalise; Filacchione, Gianrico; Poulet, Francois; MAJIS team

    2016-10-01

    MAJIS is the VIS-NIR imaging spectrometer of JUICE. This ambitious mission of ESA's « cosmic vision » program will investigate Jupiter and its system with a specific focus on Ganymede. After a tour of more than 3 years including 2 fly-bys of Europa and up to 20 flybys of Ganymede and Callisto, the end of the nominal mission will be dedicated to an orbital phase around Ganymede with 120 days in a near-circular, near-polar orbit at an altitude of 5000 km and 130 days in a circular near-polar orbit at an altitude of 500 km. MAJIS will adress 17 of the 19 primary science objectives of JUICE, investigating the surface and exosphere of the Galilean satellites (Ganymede during the orbital phase, Europa and Callisto during close flybys, Io from a minimum distance of 570,000 km), the atmosphere / exosphere of Jupiter, small satellites and rings, and their role as sources and sinks of particles in the Jupiter magnetosphere.The main technical characteristics are the following:Spectral range : 0.5 – 5.7 µm with two overlapping channels (VIS-NIR : 0.5 – 2.35 µm ; IR : 2.25 – 5.7 µm)Spatial resolution : 0.125 to 0.15 mradSpectral sampling (VIS-NIR channel) : 2.9 to 3.45 nmSpectral sampling (IR channel) : 5.4 to 6.45 nmThe spectral and spatial resolution will be finalized in october 2016 after the selection of the MAJIS detectors.Passive cooling will provide operating temperatures < 130 K (VIS-NIR) and < 90 K (IR) so as to limit the impact of dark current on performances.The SNR as determined from the photometric model and the noise model will be larger than 100 over most of the spectral range except for high resolution observations of icy moons at low altitude due to limitations on the integration time even with motion compensation provided by a scanner and for exospheric observations due to intrinsic low signal levels.

  2. The moon as a site for astronomy and space science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foing, B. H.

    1994-06-01

    Lunar based telescopes and observatories can provide a long term multi-wavelength window on the Universe. Here we discuss some basic constraints and specific facts regarding the use of the Moon as a site for astronomy and space science. We assess for this use the effects of gravity, rotation period, surface curvature, the seismic and tidal stability, as well as the tenuous atmosphere, temperature variations, weak magnetic fields on the Moon, micro meteorites flux and the properties of the regolith. We discuss the thermal and electromagnetic environments on the Moon and the properties of the dark lunar sites for astronomical instruments. The interest of polar lunar observatories (with eventual ice existence), the coldest sites in the solar system, is also presented. We then summarise the respective advantages and drawbacks of Moon-based astronomy and space science in relation to ground based and near-Earth orbit astronomy. Finally, we discuss the science of the Moon. We argue for the renewed interest of lunar exploration using advanced technologies for understanding the Earth/Moon history. The Moon is described as a test-bed for solar system exploration. It allows both remote and in-situ measurements for ground-truth validation of the understanding of other solar-system bodies.

  3. Germany's Option for a Moon Satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quantius, Dominik

    The German non-profit amateur satellite organisation AMSAT-Deutschland successfully de-signed, built and launched four HEO satellites in the last three decades. Now they are going to build a satellite to leave the Earth orbit based on their flight-proven P3-D satellite design. Due to energetic constraints the most suitable launch date for the planned P5-A satellite to Mars will be in 2018. To efficiently use the relatively long time gap until launch a possible prior Moon mission came into mind. In co-operation with the DLR-Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, Germany, two studies on systems level for a first P5 satellite towards Moon and a following one towards Mars have been performed. By using the DLR's Concurrent Engineering Facility (CEF) two consistent satellite concepts were designed including mission analysis, configuration, propulsion, subsystem dimensioning, payload selection, budgeting and cost. The present paper gives an insight in the accomplished design process and the results of the performed study towards Moon. The developed Moon orbiter is designed to carry the following four main instruments besides flexible communication abilities: • slewable HDTV camera combined with a high gain antenna that allows receiving lunar television using a commercially available satellite TV dish on Earth • sensor imaging infrared spectrometer for mineralogy of lunar silicates and lunar surface temperature measurements • camera for detection and monitoring of impact flashes in visible light (VIS) on lunar night side caused by meteoroid impact events • camera technology test for interplanetary navigation and planetary approach navigation. This study presents a non-industrial satellite concept that could be launched as piggyback load on Ariane 5 into GTO. Due to the fact, that the satellite would be built by the private sector, the mission costs would remain low. Otherwise the scientific and public output would be high using that satellite bus for the instruments

  4. Water on the moon?

    PubMed

    Anders, E

    1970-09-25

    If the planets formed at falling temperatures with volatile substances accreting last, the low abundance of lead, bismuth, indium, and thallium in lunar rocks implies an initial water content of no more than 370 grams per square centimeter, and probably much less. The depletion of volatile substances might be expected a priori if the moon accreted as an original satellite of the earth.

  5. The Moon Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trundle, Kathy Cabe; Willmore, Sandra; Smith, Walter S.

    2006-01-01

    What Australia, Alaska, Qatar, Indiana, and Ohio have in common is the authentic writing More Observations Of Nature (MOON) project. In this unique project, teachers from these disparate geographic locations teamed up to instruct children in grades four through eight via the internet on a nearly universally challenging subject for teachers in the…

  6. [The moon and delivery].

    PubMed

    Romero Martínez, Jorge; Guerrero Guijo, Inmaculada; Artura Serrano, Antonio

    2004-11-01

    In different cultures and mythologies, the moon is related with fertility, pregnancy and delivery. Professional obstetricians also notice an increase in care demands on the days when the moon is full. Many studies have been made which try to correlate delivery processes to the phases of the moon with contradictory results. The authors plan to try to find any basis in fact which support these popular beliefs and to discover if lunar phases bear an influence on the distribution of deliveries. They carried out a descriptive transversal study on a total of 1715 unassisted deliveries over the course of ten complete lunar cycles. The authors have carried out a descriptive and inferential analysis, a one way ANOVA and a Kruskal Wallis test on their three data bases which are general, primipara and multipara in which they contemplated the total number of deliveries per phase, the mean of each phase, as well as the central day in each phase of the lunar cycle. The differences found in the distribution of deliveries over the four lunar phases, along with the comparison of the means and the comparison of the number of deliveries on the central day in each phase are not statistically significant. The different phases in the lunar cycle and especially the full moon do not appear to have any influence over the distribution of deliveries in this study.

  7. Astrophysics from the moon.

    PubMed

    Burke, B F

    1990-12-01

    The surface of the moon would be an excellent location for astronomical telescopes, and, if a lunar base were to be established, the construction and maintenance of instruments would become feasible. The prospects are reviewed, with particular attention given to large optical aperturesynthesis instruments analogous to the Very Large Array of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Typical parameters for a particular system are presented.

  8. Galileo Earth Moon Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1992-12-01

    This video has five sections. The first is a live discussion of the information that scientists hope to gain by the Galileo flyby of the Moon. This section has no introduction. There is a great deal of the discussion about the lunar craters and lunar volcanism. There is also some discussion of the composition of the far side of the moon. The second section is a short animation that shows the final step to Jupiter with particular emphasis on the gravitational assisted velocity boost, which was planned to give the spacecraft the requisite velocity to make the trip to Jupiter. The next section is an update of the status of the flyby of the Moon, and the Earth, with an explanation of the trajectory around the earth, and the moon. A photograph of the tracking station in Canberra, Australia is included. The next section is a tour of a full-scale model of the spacecraft. The last section is a discussion with the person charged with the procurement of the instrumentation aboard the spacecraft; the importance of the lunar flyby to assist in the calibration of the instruments is discussed.

  9. The Moon Challenge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzsimmons, Pat; Leddy, Diana; Johnson, Lindy; Biggam, Sue; Locke, Suzan

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a first-grade research project that incorporates trade books and challenges misconceptions. Educators see the power of their students' wonder at work in their classrooms on a daily basis. This wonder must be nourished by students' own experiences--observing the moon on a crystal clear night--as well as by having…

  10. Does the Moon Spin?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Robert; Simpson, Frances

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors explore the question, "Does the Moon spin?", and show how the question is investigated. They emphasise the importance of the process by which people work out what they know, by "learning from the inside out." They stress that those involved in science education have to challenge current conceptions and ideas, making…

  11. Touching the Moon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLinden, Mike

    1995-01-01

    The Progressive Tactile Timetable was developed to enable pupils with visual impairments and severe learning difficulties to progress from use of concrete symbols (objects of reference) to the abstract tactile Moon code (a simplified raised line version of the Roman print alphabet). A case study illustrates its application with an adolescent with…

  12. Simulating the librational behaviour of propeller moons in Saturn's rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seiler, M.; Seiß, M.; Hoffmann, H.; Moldenhawer, T.; Spahn, F.

    2015-10-01

    Since its arrival at Saturn in 2004 the observations by the spacecraft Cassini have revolutionised the understanding of the dynamics in planetary rings. One of the tremendous discoveries of the Cassini space mission has been the detection of small disk-embedded moons in the dense rings of the Saturnian system. These small disk-embedded objects (moonlets) are not directly observable by the cameras aboard the spacecraft Cassini and cause S-shaped density variations in the surrounding ring material and therefore are called propellers. Recurrent observations of the same propeller structures in Saturn's A ring allowed the reconstruction of their orbital motion from the Cassini ISS images and revealed a systematic sinusoidal excess motion from the expected Keplerian orbit of several 100 km in azimuthal direction [1]. Many attempts have been started to explain this librational behaviour, but none of them has been able to successfully explain all of the observed features [4, 2, 3, 6]. Resonant moon-moon interactions are well known phenomena in the Saturnian system and result in the same systematic librational behaviour as observed for the propellers [5, 1]. Therefore, here, we discuss the possibility that the observed periodical excess motion of the propellers is caused by the gravitational interaction with the moons of Saturn. We present results of N-body simulations where we integrate the orbital evolution of a moonlet - treated as a test particle - under the gravitaional influence of one or more perturbing moons. We examine the resulting librational excess motion of the moonlet and identify a set of moons, which explains the observed libration frequencies and amplitudes. In our simulations we account for interactions between all relevant moons of the Saturnian system which automatically allows the consideration of many-body resonances.

  13. To guide a probe to the Moon with light pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, L.

    2001-02-01

    In the dynamical model of circular restricted three-body problem and for launching a lunar probe from parking orbit, the minimum initial velocity should satisfy the condition that the Jacobian constant C is smaller than C2 (in the Earth-Moon system, C2=3.20034491). Then the probe may be accelerated to a speed of Vp>10.8746 km/s at perigee (some 200 km high). However, this is only the necessary condition for the probe to fly to the moon and the voyage time is too long. If a Hohmann transfer orbit is adopted, a more impulse for the orbit transfer will be required, and in a sense more power will be consumed. If it is needed to c