Publication archive

Publication archive

Prepared by:
Joint Jupiter Science Definition Team
NASA/ESA Study Team

The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) is a joint endeavour by ESA and NASA.

This Joint Summary Report (JSR) is intended to provide a high-level description of the following: the science rationale and goals; the mission concept; the NASA and ESA responsibilities and interdependencies; the role of other space agencies; and the costs, schedule, and management approach. The JSR also describes the membership and roles of the JSDT and the engineering study teams that supported them and provides a guide to the extensive documentation that has been developed for the mission concept.

Published: 20 January 2009
Prepared by:
Joint Titan Saturn System Mission Science Definition Team,
ESA Study Team,
NASA Study Team

The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) is a joint endeavour by ESA and NASA.

This Joint Summary Report (JSR) is intended to provide a high level description of the science rationale and goals; the mission concept; the NASA and ESA responsibilities and interdependencies; the role of other space agencies; and the costs, schedule and management approach. It also describes the membership and roles of the JSDT and the engineering study teams that supported them and a guide to the extensive documentation that has been developed for the mission concept.

Published: 19 January 2009
AAS Meeting #213, #426.10

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is a multipurpose imager, coronagraph, and spectrometer for the James Webb Space Telescope. It provides wavelength coverage from 5 through 28 microns and is an integral contributor to all four of JWST's primary science themes. MIRI is being developed as a partnership between NASA and ESA, with JPL providing the Focal Plane System (FPS, consisting of the detectors, control electronics, and flight software) and the cooler, and a consortium of European astronomical institutes providing the optical bench and structure. The flight FPS is being prepared for delivery to the European Consortium for its integration into the optical bench, while the cooler is nearing its Critical Design Review. We describe the capabilities of the FPS and cooler, present test results and the predicted sensitivity performance of the FPS, and update the current status of each these systems. The research described in this poster was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Published: 15 January 2009
AAS Meeting #213, #426.12

The recycling of matter between the interstellar medium (ISM) and stars are key evolutionary drivers of a galaxy's baryonic matter. The Spitzer and JWST/MIRI wavelengths provide a sensitive probe of circumstellar and interstellar dust and hence, allow us to study the physical processes of the ISM, the formation of new stars and the injection of mass by evolved stars and their relationships on the galaxy-wide scale. We have performed a uniform and unbiased imaging survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC, 7x7 degrees), using the IRAC (3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8 microns) and MIPS (24, 70, and 160 microns) instruments on board the Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer) in order to survey the agents of a galaxy's evolution (SAGE): the ISM, young stellar objects (YSOs) and dusty evolved stars (Meixner et al. 2006). Initial results from SAGE have revealed >1000 new YSOs (Whitney et al. 2008), a detailed map of the dust and ISM mass (Bernard et al. 2008) and estimates of the dusty mass-loss return (Srinivsan et al., submitted) of the 30,000 dusty evolved stars (Blum et al. 2006). Here we describe how the powerful capabilities of the JWST MIRI can be used to followup these new discoveries of SAGE-LMC and also how SAGE-like studies can be extended to nearby galaxies.

The SAGE Project is supported by NASA/Spitzer grant 1275598 and MIRI science team work is supported by NASA NAG5-12595.

Published: 15 January 2009
This study presents the molecular conductance measurement of a labyrinth seal introduced for the Contamination Control Cover which is protecting the cryogenic optical surfaces of the mid-infrared instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope against molecular contaminants from the environment. The conductance has been measured in the molecular pressure regime between 10-7 and 10-3 mbar within a temperature range of 300 K and 10 K for several typical omponents of the expected residual gas such as H2O, NH3, CO2, H2, NO, alcohols and hydrocarbons as well as standard gases such as N2 and He. The measurements have been repeated with a thin orifice to verify the systematics. The results are well consistent with numerically derived values and demonstrate a robust understanding of the design and performance of the labyrinth seal.
Published: 15 January 2009
Blue stragglers in globular clusters are abnormally massive stars that should have evolved off the stellar main sequence long ago. There are two known processes that can create these objects: direct stellar collisions and binary evolution. However, the relative importance of these processes has remained unclear. In particular, the total number of blue stragglers found in a given cluster does not seem to correlate with the predicted collision rate, providing indirect support for the binary-evolution model. Yet the radial distributions of blue stragglers in many clusters are bimodal, with a dominant central peak: this has been interpreted as an indication that collisions do dominate blue straggler production, at least in the high-density cluster cores. Here we report that there is a clear, but sublinear, correlation between the number of blue stragglers found in a cluster core and the total stellar mass contained within it. From this we conclude that most blue stragglers, even those found in cluster cores, come from binary systems. The parent binaries, however, may themselves have been affected by dynamical encounters. This may be the key to reconciling all of the seemingly conflicting results found to date.
Published: 15 January 2009
The Earth constantly loses matter, mostly in the form of H+ and O+ ions, through various outflow processes from the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Most of these ions are cold (below 1 eV in thermal energy), but can still escape and travel farther out along the magnetic field lines into the magnetospheric tail lobes. The outflow has previously been measured close to the Earth. To understand what fraction does not return but instead escapes, the measurements should be conducted at larger geocentric distances. However, at high altitudes the cold ions are normally invisible to spacecraft measurements, because the potential of a sunlit spacecraft exceeds the equivalent energy of the ions. Here we show that cold ions dominate in both flux and density in the distant magnetotail lobes, using a new measurement technique on the Cluster spacecraft. The total loss of cold hydrogen ions from the planet is inferred to be of the order of 1026 s-1, which is larger than the previously observed more energetic outflow. Quantification and insight of the loss processes of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere are also important for understanding the evolution of atmospheres on other celestial bodies.
Published: 01 January 2009
ESA's report to the 37th COSPAR meeting (13-20 July 2008) covers the missions of the Science Programme of ESA. This section contains the report on the Cosmic Vision candidate, TandEM.
Published: 02 April 2008
ESA's report to the 37th COSPAR meeting (13-20 July 2008) covers the missions of the Science Programme of ESA. This section contains the report on the Cosmic Vision candidate, Laplace.
Published: 02 April 2008
ESA's report to the 37th COSPAR meeting (13-20 July 2008) covers the missions of the Science Programme of ESA. This section contains the report on the Cosmic Vision candidate, Euclid.
Published: 11 May 2008
We demonstrate from observations that kinetic Alfvén waves may play an important role in facilitating magnetic reconnection. These waves radiate outwards from the diffusion region oblique to the magnetic field in a conelike pattern delimited by the X line separatrices with outward energy fluxes equivalent to that contained in the outstreaming ions. It is shown that the wave vectors reverse across the X and symmetry lines and have a large out of plane component. We estimate that these waves drive significant transport through the diffusion region.
Published: 08 January 2009
The Earth constantly loses matter, mostly in the form of H+ and O+ ions, through various outflow processes from the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Most of these ions are cold (below 1 eV in thermal energy), but can still escape and travel farther out along the magnetic field lines into the magnetospheric tail lobes. The outflow has previously been measured close to the Earth. To understand what fraction does not return but instead escapes, the measurements should be conducted at larger geocentric distances. However, at high altitudes the cold ions are normally invisible to spacecraft measurements, because the potential of a sunlit spacecraft exceeds the equivalent energy of the ions. Here we show that cold ions dominate in both flux and density in the distant magnetotail lobes, using a new measurement technique on the Cluster spacecraft. The total loss of cold hydrogen ions from the planet is inferred to be of the order of 1026 s-1, which is larger than the previously observed more energetic outflow. Quantification and insight of the loss processes of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere are also important for understanding the evolution of atmospheres on other celestial bodies.
Published: 01 January 2009
After several decades of planning, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched in 1990 as the first of NASA's Great Observatories. After a rocky start arising from an error in the fabrication of its main mirror, it went on to change forever many fields of astronomy, and to capture the public's imagination with its images. An ongoing programme of servicing missions has kept the telescope on the cutting edge of astronomical research. Here I review the advances made possible by the HST over the past 18 years.
Published: 01 January 2009
We study the acceleration of energetic electrons during magnetotail reconnection by using Cluster simultaneous measurements of three-dimensional electron distribution functions, electric and magnetic fields, and waves in a thin current sheet. We present observations of two consecutive current sheet crossings where the flux of electrons 35-127 keV peaks within an interval of tailward flows. The first crossing shows the signatures of a tailward moving flux rope. The observed magnetic field and density indicate that the flux rope was very dynamic, and a comparison with numerical simulation suggests a crossing right after coalescence of smaller flux ropes. The second crossing occurs within the ion diffusion region. The flux of electrons is largest within the flux rope where they are mainly directed perpendicular to the magnetic field. At the magnetic separatrices, the fluxes are smaller, but the energy spectra are harder and electrons are mainly field aligned. Reconnection electric fields EY ~ 7 mV/m are observed within the diffusion region, whereas in the flux rope, EY are much smaller. Waves around lower hybrid frequency do not show a clear correlation with energetic electrons. We interpret the field-aligned electrons at the separatrices as directly accelerated by the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region, whereas we interpret the perpendicular electrons as trapped within the flux rope and accelerated by a combination of betatron acceleration with nonadiabatic pitch-angle scattering. Our observations indicate that thin current sheets during dynamic reconnection are important for in situ production of energetic electrons and that simultaneous measurements of electrons and electromagnetic fields within thin sheets are crucial to understand the acceleration mechanisms.
Published: 27 December 2008
We have made a deep and wide imaging survey with all nine AKARI/IRC bands from 2 to 24 micron within a half degree of the North Ecliptic Pole. The survey covered acircular area of 0.38deg2 centered at RA = 17h56m, Dec = 66°37' where a deep optical multi-band survey has been conducted by Subaru/Suprime-Cam. The 5-sigma sensitivity of the survey for point sources is 11.0, 48, 117, and 275 microJansky at wavelengths 3, 7, 15, and 24 micron, respectively. The survey is limited by sky noise at wavelengths from 7 to 24 micron, and limited by source confusion from 2 to 4 micron. We have also made a point source catalog at each band, consisting of more than 5000 sources with a 50% completeness limit of 93 microJansky at 15 micron. Our results are consistent with the pilot survey at faint fluxes and has better statistical significance at the bright fluxes. This is the first near- and mid-infrared sub-milliJansky extragalactic survey with contiguous wavelength coverage from 2 to 24 micron and a large band-merged catalogue. It will provide powerful and unique diagnostics of obscured star-formation and AGN activities in the galaxies up to z = 2.
Published: 25 December 2008
We have identified a spatially extended electron current sheet (ECS) and its adjacent magnetic island during a magnetotail reconnection event with no appreciable guide field. This finding is based on data from the four Cluster spacecraft and is enabled by detailed maps of electron distribution functions and DC electric fields within the diffusion region. The maps are developed using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations with a mass ratio mi/me = 800. One spacecraft crossed the ECS earthward of the reconnection null and, together with the other three spacecraft, registered the following properties: (1) The ECS is colocated with a layer of bipolar electric fields normal to the ECS, pointing toward the ECS, and with a half width less than 8 electron skin depths. (2) In the inflow region up to the ECS and separatrices, electrons have a temperature anisotropy (Te parallel/Te perp. > 1), and the anisotropy increases toward the ECS. (3) Within about 1 ion skin depth (di) above and below the ECS, the electron density decreases toward the ECS by a factor of 3-4, reaching a minimum at edges of the ECS, and has a local distinct maximum at the ECS center. (4) A di-scale magnetic island is attached to the ECS, separating it from another reconnection layer. Our simulations established that the electric field normal to the ECS is due to charge imbalance and is of the ECS scale, and ions exhibit electron-scale structures in response to this electric field.
Published: 06 January 2009
Aram Chaos is a crater 280 km in diameter centered at 2.5°N, 338.5°E. It is filled by chaotic terrains overlain by a dome-shaped, layered 900 m thick formation displaying spectral signatures of ferric oxides on Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, L'Eau, les Glaces et L'Activite (OMEGA) medium spatial resolution data. We describe in detail the mineralogical composition, structure, and morphology of this crater fill using high-resolution data (OMEGA, Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, Mars Orbiter Camera, TES, Thermal Emission Imaging System, and High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment). We infer the following formation scenario: the crater was first filled by a geological formation, the composition of which remains unclear because it is covered by dust. Widespread fracturing of this formation led to the development of chaotic terrains. Later, a second layered formation, presently dome shaped, was emplaced unconformably on the chaotic terrains. This younger unit is composed of a bright, poorly consolidated material that contains both monohydrated sulfates and ferric oxides according to OMEGA data. The surface of this formation is partially covered by dust and displays landforms indicating that the bright material has been mobilized by wind during or after its deposition. After its emplacement, this formation has been grooved down to various depths by large eolian erosion corridors. In these corridors, eolian removal of the bright material with a sulfate-rich matrix has left debris fans, sand sheets, and dunes, which display some of the strongest spectral signatures of ferric oxides on Mars. Similar residual deposits enriched in ferric oxides, overlying a layered formation containing both ferric oxides and sulfates, have been observed by the Opportunity rover in Meridiani Planum, suggesting a common formation process.
Published: 09 December 2008

More than 25 spacecraft from the United States and the Soviet Union visited Venus in the 20th century, but in spite of the many successful measurements they made, a great number of fundamental problems in the physics of the planet remained unsolved [Taylor, 2006; Titov et al., 2006]. In particular, a systematic and long-term survey of the atmosphere was missing, and most aspects of atmospheric behavior remained puzzling. After the Magellan radar mapping mission ended in 1994, there followed a hiatus of more than a decade in Venus research, until the European Space Agency took up the challenge and sent its own spacecraft to our planetary neighbor. The goal of this mission, Venus Express, is to carry out a global, long-term remote and in situ investigation of the atmosphere, the plasma environment, and some aspects of the surface of Venus from orbit [Titov et al., 2001; Svedhem et al., 2007].

Venus Express continues and extends the investigations of earlier missions by providing detailed monitoring of processes and phenomena in the atmosphere and near-space environment of Venus. Radio, solar, and stellar occultation, together with thermal emission spectroscopy, sound the atmospheric structure in the altitude range from 150 to 40 km with vertical resolution of few hundred meters, revealing strong temperature variations driven by radiation and dynamical processes.

- The remainder of the abstract is truncated -

Published: 17 December 2008

Presentation of the IXO mission concept at the IXO Coordination Group meeting on 20 November 2008.

Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. IXO mission requirements
  3. IXO mission analysis
  4. IXO configuration
  5. IXO instrument module
  6. IXO service module
  7. IXO mirror assembly
  8. Options
  9. Conclusion

Published: 16 December 2008
Contents:
  • Hubble Status
  • The Hubble Cache
  • Footprint Finder
  • HLA ACS Grism Data
  • Scisoft 7.2
Published: 15 December 2008
14-Jul-2020 13:01 UT

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