Recently in the Moons and Icy Worlds Category


An engineering lab at Dartmouth has been awarded two grants totaling $1.25 million to conduct planetary science research relating to the geophysics and astrobiology of icy planets in our solar system.

Ground-based spectroscopy of Ganymede's surface has revealed the surprising presence of dense-phase molecular oxygen (O2) via weak absorptions at visible wavelengths. To date, the state and stability of this O2 at the temperatures and pressures of Ganymede's surface are not understood.

Magnetic investigations of icy moons have provided some of the most compelling evidence available confirming the presence of subsurface, liquid water oceans.

Ganymede's atmosphere is produced by charged particle sputtering and sublimation of its icy surface.

While scientists have amassed considerable knowledge of the rocky planets in our solar system, like Earth and Mars, much less is known about the icy water-rich planets, Neptune and Uranus.

The Galileo mission to Jupiter discovered magnetic signatures associated with hidden sub-surface oceans at the moons Europa and Callisto using the phenomenon of magnetic induction. These induced magnetic fields originate from electrically conductive layers within the moons and are driven by Jupiter's strong time-varying magnetic field.

The structure of the icy shells of ocean worlds is important for understanding the stability of their underlying oceans as it controls the rate at which heat can be transported outward and radiated to space.

The 27 satellites of Uranus are enigmatic, with dark surfaces coated by material that could be rich in organics.

A technique for scanning Mars rocks for microscopic fossils of ancient life is also being developed to hunt for microbes in the deep ice of Enceladus, Titan, and Europa.

The NASA-funded Seismometer to Investigate Ice and Ocean Structure (SIIOS) performed well in seismic experiments conducted in snowy summer Greenland, according to a new study by the SIIOS team led by the University of Arizona published this week in Seismological Research Letters.