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See detailThe 19 Feb. 2016 Outburst of Comet 67P/CG: An ESA Rosetta Multi-Instrument Study
Grün, E.; Agarwal, J.; Altobelli, N. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016)

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ... [more ▼]

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ranging from UV over visible to microwave wavelengths, in-situ gas, dust and plasma instruments, and one dust collector. At 9:40 a dust cloud developed at the edge of an image in the shadowed region of the nucleus. Over the next two hours the instruments recorded a signature of the outburst that significantly exceeded the background. The enhancement ranged from 50% of the neutral gas density at Rosetta to factors >100 of the brightness of the coma near the nucleus. Dust related phenomena (dust counts or brightness due to illuminated dust) showed the strongest enhancements (factors >10). However, even the electron density at Rosetta increased by a factor 3 and consequently the spacecraft potential changed from ˜-16 V to -20 V during the outburst. A clear sequence of events was observed at the distance of Rosetta (34 km from the nucleus): within 15 minutes the Star Tracker camera detected fast particles (˜25 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) while 100 μm radius particles were detected by the GIADA dust instrument ˜1 hour later at a speed of ~6 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. The slowest were individual mm to cm sized grains observed by the OSIRIS cameras. Although the outburst originated just outside the FOV of the instruments, the source region and the magnitude of the outburst could be determined. [less ▲]

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See detailThe EChO science case
Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2015), 1502

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general ... [more ▼]

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need addressing are therefore: What are exoplanets made of? Why are planets as they are? What causes the exceptional diversity observed as compared to the Solar System? EChO (Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory) has been designed as a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large and diverse planet sample within its four-year mission lifetime. EChO can target the atmospheres of super-Earths, Neptune-like, and Jupiter-like planets, in the very hot to temperate zones (planet temperatures of 300K-3000K) of F to M-type host stars. Over the next ten years, several new ground- and space-based transit surveys will come on-line (e.g. NGTS, CHEOPS, TESS, PLATO), which will specifically focus on finding bright, nearby systems. The current rapid rate of discovery would allow the target list to be further optimised in the years prior to EChO's launch and enable the atmospheric characterisation of hundreds of planets. Placing the satellite at L2 provides a cold and stable thermal environment, as well as a large field of regard to allow efficient time-critical observation of targets randomly distributed over the sky. A 1m class telescope is sufficiently large to achieve the necessary spectro-photometric precision. The spectral coverage (0.5-11 micron, goal 16 micron) and SNR to be achieved by EChO, thanks to its high stability and dedicated design, would enable a very accurate measurement of the atmospheric composition and structure of hundreds of exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

Conference (2012)

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

in EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 (2011, October 01)

Here, temporally simultaneous and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. The pointing is fixed at a constant local time of 04:55, covering ... [more ▼]

Here, temporally simultaneous and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. The pointing is fixed at a constant local time of 04:55, covering latitudes between 64°S and 82°S and longitudes between 127° and 186°. The spatial resolution is high, with 1 mrad covering ˜300 km, such that only a small part of the pre-dawn aurora is observed. Ultraviolet auroral H and H2 emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H+3 emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs - H, H2 and H+3 are morphologically identical in the bright main auroral oval (˜73°S), but there is an equatorward arc that is seen predominantly in H (˜70°S), and a poleward arc (˜74°S) that is seen mainly in H2 and H+3 . These observations indicate that, for the main auroral oval, the UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H+3 morphology (and vice versa), but for emission either poleward or equatorward this is no longer true. Hence, given the highly dynamic nature of the aurora of Saturn, simultaneous UV/IR observations are crucial for completing the picture of how the atmosphere interacts with the magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H2 and H3+ at a high spatial resolution
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2011), 38

Here, for the first time, temporally coincident and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. Ultraviolet auroral H and H[SUB]2[/SUB] emissions ... [more ▼]

Here, for the first time, temporally coincident and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. Ultraviolet auroral H and H[SUB]2[/SUB] emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs - H, H[SUB]2[/SUB] and H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] are morphologically identical in the bright main auroral oval (˜73°S), but there is an equatorward arc that is seen predominantly in H (˜70°S), and a poleward arc (˜74°S) that is seen mainly in H[SUB]2[/SUB] and H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]. These observations indicate that, for the main auroral oval, UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] morphology (and vice versa), but for emission either poleward or equatorward this is no longer true. Hence, simultaneous UV/IR observations are crucial for completing the picture of how the atmosphere interacts with the magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectral morphology of the X-ray emission from Jupiter's aurorae
Branduardi-Raymont, G.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Galand, M. et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research (2008), 113(A2),

Simultaneous Chandra X-ray and Hubble Space Telescope FUV observations of Jupiter's aurorae carried out in February 2003 have been re-examined to investigate the spatial morphology of the X-ray events in ... [more ▼]

Simultaneous Chandra X-ray and Hubble Space Telescope FUV observations of Jupiter's aurorae carried out in February 2003 have been re-examined to investigate the spatial morphology of the X-ray events in different energy bands. The data clearly show that in the Northern auroral region (in the main auroral oval and the polar cap) events with energy > 2 keV are located at the periphery of those with energy < 2 keV and coincide with FUV bright features. In addition, X-ray spectra extracted from the areas where the two event distributions are concentrated possess different shapes. We associate the > 2 keV events (similar to 45 MW emitted power) with the electron bremsstrahlung component recently revealed by XMM-Newton in the spectra of Jupiter's aurorae, and the < 2 keV emission (similar to 230 MW) with the product of ion charge exchange, now established as the likely mechanism responsible for the soft X-ray Jovian aurora. We suggest that the same population of energetic electrons may be responsible for both, the X-ray bremsstrahlung and the FUV emission of Jupiter's aurorae. Comparison of the > 2 keV X-ray and FUV (340 GW) powers measured during the observations shows that they are broadly consistent with the predicted emissions from a population of energetic electrons precipitating in the planet's atmosphere, thus supporting our interpretation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe morphology of the X-ray emission above 2 keV from Jupiter's aurorae
Elsner, R. F.; Branduardi-Raymont, G.; Galand, M. et al

Conference (2007, June 25)

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