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RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting, 14 December: 30 years of Planetary Astronomy with H3+ 

Start: Dec 14, 2018 10:30 AM
End: Dec 14, 2018 03:30 PM

Location: The Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, LONDON W1J 0BQ

JUNO JIRAM infrared image of Jupiter’s southern aurora


May we draw your attention to the RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting on 'Thirty Years of Planetary Astronomy with H3+', on 14 December, organised by *Steve Miller (UCL) and Nick Achilleos (UCL).

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the serendipitous discovery of the H3+ molecular ion in Jupiter’s northern aurora. The discovery itself was the result of an impromptu collaboration between astronomical observers, telescope instrument builders, laboratory spectroscopists and molecular physicists. H3+ emission has subsequently been detected from Saturn and Uranus, of the Solar System’s giant planets, but not Neptune. As an energetic and reactive molecular ion, H3+ is now used as a tracer for energy inputs, via particle precipitation, into giant planets’ atmospheres from their enormous magnetospheres: variations in emission levels are used to monitor both shorter-term magnetospheric dynamics, caused by changes in internal (plasma density) and external (solar wind dynamic pressure) factors, and longer-term changes that may result from the solar cycle and seasonal changes in solar irradiation. The final results from Cassini – particularly the VIMS instrument – and new measurements from JUNO mean that there is a wealth of data to add to and complement that being generated from ground-based observations. All-in-all, there is a wealth of material to review and huge current interest in just how this simple molecular ion behaves and what it tells us about planets in our Solar System and beyond. 

As the meeting notice says, there are a number of really good speakers already confirmed, but there are some slots available for contributed talks - particularly from younger members of the community - and there will also be a poster session at lunch time. Please contact Steve Miller if you would like to be involved.

*s.miller@ucl.ac.uk

Image: 

JUNO JIRAM infrared image of Jupiter’s southern aurora - Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM

Page last modified on 17 sep 18 16:57 by Joanna Fabbri