Observing Planetary Rings with JWST: Science Justification and Observation Requirements

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014


Matthew S. Tiscareno, Joseph A. Burns, Jeffrey N. Cuzzi, Imke de Pater, Douglas P. Hamilton, Matthew M. Hedman, Philip D. Nicholson, Mark R. Showalter, Daniel Tamayo, Anne J. Verbiscer

(Submitted on 26 Mar 2014)

The rings that adorn the four giant planets are of prime importance as accessible natural laboratories for disk processes, as clues to the origin and evolution of planetary systems, and as shapers as well as detectors of their planetary environments. The retinue of small moons accompanying all known ring systems are intimately connected as both sources and products, as well as shepherds and perturbers, of the rings. Leading sources of data on ring systems include spacecraft such as Cassini and Voyager, but also space telescopes such as Hubble and Spitzer as well as ground-based telescopes. 

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is being prepared for launch in 2018 to begin a planned five-year mission. JWST will have the capability to observe solar system objects as close as Mars. Although most of the hardware is already designed and under construction if not completed, work continues on the development of operations guidelines and software and the completion of calibration tasks. The purpose of this white paper is to identify observations of planetary rings that might be undertaken by JWST and to describe what is required for JWST to accomplish those goals.

Comments:4 pages, no figures; White paper submitted to the JWST Project. More information about JWST Solar System observations is available at this http URL

Subjects:Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1403.6849 [astro-ph.EP]

 (or arXiv:1403.6849v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Matthew S. Tiscareno 

[v1] Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:31:34 GMT (15kb)


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