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Ice Giant System Exploration in the 2020s: An Introduction

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2020, 08:56 by LN Fletcher, AA Simon, MD Hofstadter, CS Arridge, I Cohen, A Masters, K Mandt, A Coustenis
The international planetary science community met in London in January 2020, united in the goal of realising the first dedicated robotic mission to the distant Ice Giants, Uranus and Neptune, as the only major class of Solar System planet yet to be comprehensively explored. Ice-Giant-sized worlds appear to be a common outcome of the planet formation process, and pose unique and extreme tests of our understanding of planetary origins, exotic water-rich planetary interiors, dynamic seasonal atmospheres, complex magnetospheric configurations, geologically-rich icy satellites (both natural and captured), and delicate planetary rings. This article introduces a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A on Ice Giant System exploration at the start of the 2020s. We review the scientific potential and existing mission design concepts for an ambitious international partnership for exploring Uranus and/or Neptune in the coming decades.

History

Citation

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, (special issue "Ice Giant Systems"), 25 December 2020 Volume 378Issue 2187

Author affiliation

School of Physics and Astronomy

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

Volume

378

Issue

2187

Publisher

The Royal Society

issn

1364-503X

eissn

1471-2962

Acceptance date

26/08/2020

Copyright date

2020

Available date

09/11/2020

Notes

13 pages, 2 figures. Introductory article (accepted) for "Ice Giant Systems" special issue of Phil. Trans. A, based on Royal Society Discussion Meeting, Jan 2020

Language

en

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