The science case for an orbital mission to Uranus: Exploring the origins and evolution of ice giant planets

C. S. Arridge 1, 2 N. Achilleos 2, 3 J. Agarwal 4 C. B. Agnor 5 R. Ambrosi 6 N. André 7 S. V. Badman 8, 9 K. Baines 10, 11 D. Banfield 12 M. Barthélémy 13 M. Bisi 14 J. Blum 15 T. Bocanegra-Bahamon 16 B. Bonfond 17 C. Bracken 18 P. Brandt 19 Cyril Briand 20 Christelle Briois 21 S. Brooks 10 J. Castillo-Rogez 10 T. Cavalié 22 Christophe Benavent 23 A. Coates 1, 2 G. Collinson 24 J. F. Cooper 24 M. Costa-Sitja 25 R. Courtin 20 I. A. Daglis 26 I. de Pater 27 M. Desai 28 D. Dirkx 16 M. K. Dougherty 29 R. W. Ebert 28 G. Filacchione 30 L. N. Fletcher 31 J. Fortney 32 I. Gerth 16 D. Grassi 30 D. Grodent 17 E. Grün 33, 34 J. Gustin 17 M. Hedman 35 R. Helled 36 Pierre Henri 21 Sebastien Hess 37 J. K. Hillier 38, 39 M. H. Hofstadter 10 R. Holme 40 M. Horanyi 34 G. Hospodarsky 41 S. Hsu 34 P. Irwin 42 C. M. Jackman 43 O. Karatekin 44 S. Kempf 34 E. Khalisi 45 K. Konstantinidis 46 H. Krüger 22 W. S. Kurth 47 C. Labrianidis V. Lainey 38 L. L. Lamy 20 M. Laneuville 48 D. Lucchesi 30 A. Luntzer 49 J. Macarthur 2 A. Maier 50 A. Masters 8, 29 S. Mckenna-Lawlor 51 H. Melin 6 Anna Milillo 30 G. Moragas-Klostermeyer 52 A. Morschhauser 53 J. I. Moses 54 O. Mousis 55 N. Nettelmann 32 F. M. Neubauer 56 T. Nordheim 1, 2 B. Noyelles 57 G. S. Orton 10 M. Owens 58 R. Peron 30 C. Plainaki 30 F. Postberg 45 N. Rambaux 38, 59 K. Retherford 28 S. Reynaud 60 E. Roussos 22 C. T. Russell 61 A. M. Rymer 1 R. Sallantin 7 A. Sánchez-Lavega 62 O. Santolik J. Saur 63 K. Sayanagi 64 P. Schenk 65 J. Schubert 66 N. Sergis 67 E. C. Sittler 24 A. Smith 1 F. Spahn 68 R. Srama 45 T. Stallard 3 V. Sterken Z. Sternovsky 34 M. Tiscareno G. Tobie 69 F. Tosi 33, 70 M. Trieloff 39 D. Turrini 30 E. P. Turtle 19 S. Vinatier 20 R. Wilson 34 P. Zarka 20
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : Giant planets helped to shape the conditions we see in the Solar System today and they account for more than 99% of the mass of the Sun's planetary system. They can be subdivided into the Ice Giants (Uranus and Neptune) and the Gas Giants (Jupiter and Saturn), which differ from each other in a number of fundamental ways. Uranus, in particular is the most challenging to our understanding of planetary formation and evolution, with its large obliquity, low self-luminosity, highly asymmetrical internal field, and puzzling internal structure. Uranus also has a rich planetary system consisting of a system of inner natural satellites and complex ring system, five major natural icy satellites, a system of irregular moons with varied dynamical histories, and a highly asymmetrical magnetosphere. Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have explored Uranus, with a flyby in 1986, and no mission is currently planned to this enigmatic system. However, a mission to the uranian system would open a new window on the origin and evolution of the Solar System and would provide crucial information on a wide variety of physicochemical processes in our Solar System. These have clear implications for understanding exoplanetary systems. In this paper we describe the science case for an orbital mission to Uranus with an atmospheric entry probe to sample the composition and atmospheric physics in Uranus' atmosphere. The characteristics of such an orbiter and a strawman scientific payload are described and we discuss the technical challenges for such a mission. This paper is based on a white paper submitted to the European Space Agency's call for science themes for its large-class mission programme in 2013.
Liste complète des métadonnées
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 2:08:32 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 12, 2019 - 4:23:22 PM

Links full text



C. S. Arridge, N. Achilleos, J. Agarwal, C. B. Agnor, R. Ambrosi, et al.. The science case for an orbital mission to Uranus: Exploring the origins and evolution of ice giant planets. Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier, 2014, 104, part A, pp.122-140. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2014.08.009⟩. ⟨hal-01059416⟩



Record views