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  • Detection Limits for Chiral Amino Acids Using a Polarization Camera
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-16
    Claire Cook, Shane Byrne, Christian Drouet d’Aubigny, Donna Viola, Jill Mikucki and Walther Ellis

    The detection of biosignatures on a planetary surface is of high scientific interest, and enantiomeric excesses of organic molecules are one such signature. Enantiomeric excesses can be detected by their polarizing effects on transmitted light. As part of instrument development work for a microscopic imager, the Cold Lightweight Imager for Europa (C-LIFE), we assess the potential of polarization measurements

  • Colliding in the Shadows of Giants: Planetesimal Collisions during the Growth and Migration of Gas Giants
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-16
    Philip J. Carter and Sarah T. Stewart

    Giant planet migration is an important phenomenon in the evolution of planetary systems. Recent works have shown that giant planet growth and migration can shape the asteroid belt, but these works have not considered interactions between planetesimals. We have calculated the evolution of planetesimal disks, including planetesimal–planetesimal collisions, during gas giant growth and migration. The numbers

  • A Deep Search for Stable Venus Co-orbital Asteroids: Limits on the Population
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-16
    Petr Pokorný, Marc J. Kuchner and Scott S. Sheppard

    A stable population of objects co-orbiting with Venus was recently hypothesized in order to explain the existence of Venus’s co-orbital dust ring. We conducted a five days twilight survey for these objects with the Cerro-Tololo Inter-American Observatory 4 m telescope covering about 35 unique square degrees to 21 mag in the r band. Our survey provides the most stringent limit so far on the number of

  • Could the Migration of Jupiter Have Accelerated the Atmospheric Evolution of Venus?
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-03
    Stephen R. Kane, Pam Vervoort, Jonathan Horner and Francisco J. Pozuelos

    In the study of planetary habitability and terrestrial atmospheric evolution, the divergence of surface conditions for Venus and Earth remains an area of active research. Among the intrinsic and external influences on the Venusian climate history are orbital changes due to giant planet migration that have both variable incident flux and tidal heating consequences. Here, we present the results of a

  • Detection of a Satellite of the Trojan Asteroid (3548) Eurybates—A Lucy Mission Target
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-03
    K. S. Noll, M. E. Brown, H. A. Weaver, W. M. Grundy, S. B. Porter, M. W. Buie, H. F. Levison, C. Olkin, J. R. Spencer, S. Marchi and T. S. Statler

    We describe the discovery of a satellite of the Trojan asteroid (3548) Eurybates in images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. The satellite was detected on three separate epochs, two in 2018 September and one in 2020 January. The satellite has a brightness in all three epochs consistent with an effective diameter of d 2 = 1.2 ± 0.4 km. The projected separation from Eurybates was s ∼ 1700–2300

  • Changes in a Dusty Ringlet in the Cassini Division after 2010
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-09-03
    Mathew Hedman and Bill Bridges

    A dusty ringlet designated R/2006 S3, also known as the “Charming Ringlet,” is located around 119,940 km from the center of Saturn within the Laplace Gap in the Cassini Division. Prior to 2010, the ringlet had a simple radial profile and a predictable eccentric shape with two components, one forced by solar radiation pressure and the other freely precessing around the planet. However, observations

  • Barycentric Corrections for Precise Radial Velocity Measurements of Sunlight
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-25
    Jason T. Wright and Shubham Kanodia

    We provide formulae for the calculation of precise Doppler velocities of sunlight, in both the case of direct observations of the Sun and in reflection from the surfaces of solar system objects such as the Moon or asteroids. We discuss the meaning of a "barycentric correction" of measurements of these Doppler velocities, which is a different procedure from the analogous correction for starlight, and

  • Benzoic Acid as the Preferred Precursor for the Chlorobenzene Detected on Mars: Insights from the Unique Cumberland Analog Investigation
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-25
    Caroline Freissinet, Christine A. Knudson, Heather V. Graham, James M. T. Lewis, Jérémie Lasue, Amy C. McAdam, Samuel Teinturier, Cyril Szopa, Erwin Dehouck, Richard V. Morris, Charles A. Malespin and Paul R. Mahaffy

    The Cumberland drill sample from the Sheepbed mudstone in Gale Crater, Mars, revealed the first evidence of an indigenous Martian organic molecule, chlorobenzene, with the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on Curiosity. We created in the laboratory a mineralogical analog of the Cumberland sample (CBA) to aid in the understanding of the precursor organic molecule(s) that led to the detection

  • Craters on Charon: Impactors from a Collisional Cascade Among Trans-Neptunian Objects
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-25
    Scott J. Kenyon and Benjamin C. Bromley

    We consider whether equilibrium size distributions from collisional cascades match the frequency of impactors derived from New Horizons crater counts on Charon. Using an analytic model and a suite of numerical simulations, we demonstrate that collisional cascades generate wavy size distributions; the morphology of the waves depends on the binding energy of solids ##IMG## [http://ej.iop.org/images/

  • Oxidation of the Interiors of Carbide Exoplanets
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-25
    H. Allen-Sutter, E. Garhart, K. Leinenweber, V. Prakapenka, E. Greenberg and S.-H. Shim

    Astrophysical measurements have shown that some stars have sufficiently high carbon-to-oxygen ratios such that the planets they host would be mainly composed of carbides instead of silicates. We studied the behavior of silicon carbide in the presence of water under the high pressure–temperature conditions relevant to planetary interiors in the laser-heated diamond-anvil cell. When reacting with water

  • A Volatile-poor Formation of LHS 3844b Based on Its Lack of Significant Atmosphere
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-18
    Stephen R. Kane, Rachael M. Roettenbacher, Cayman T. Unterborn, Bradford J. Foley and Michelle L. Hill

    Exoplanet discoveries have reached into the realm of terrestrial planets that are becoming the subject of atmospheric studies. One such discovery is LHS 3844b, a 1.3 Earth radius planet in a 0.46 day orbit around an M4.5-5 dwarf star. Follow-up observations indicate that the planet is largely devoid of substantial atmosphere. This lack of significant atmosphere places astrophysical and geophysical

  • Distinguishing between Shock-darkening and Space-weathering Trends in Ordinary Chondrite Reflectance Spectra
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-18
    Tomas Kohout, Antti Penttilä, Paul Mann, Ed Cloutis, Jan Čuda, Jan Filip, Ondrej Malina, Vishnu Reddy, Victor I. Grokhovsky, Grigoriy A. Yakovlev, Patricie Halodova and Jakub Haloda

    space-weathering as well as shock effects can darken meteorite and asteroid reflectance spectra. We present a detailed comparative study on shock-darkening and space-weathering using different lithologies of the Chelyabinsk LL5 chondrite. Compared to space-weathering, the shock processes do not cause significant spectral slope changes and are more efficient in attenuating the orthopyroxene 2 μ m absorption

  • 138175 (2000 EE104) and the Source of Interplanetary Field Enhancements
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-13
    David Jewitt

    We present the first optical observations taken to characterize the near-Earth object 138175 (2000 EE104). This body is associated with interplanetary field enhancements (IFEs), thought to be caused by interactions between the solar wind magnetic field and solid material trailing in the orbit of the parent body. Based on optical photometry, the radius (in meters) and mass (in kilograms) of an equal-area

  • Tidal Currents Detected in Kraken Mare Straits from Cassini VIMS Sun Glitter Observations
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-13
    Michael F. Heslar, Jason W. Barnes, Jason M. Soderblom, Benoît Seignovert, Rajani D. Dhingra and Christophe Sotin

    We present Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observations of sun glitter—wave-induced reflections from a liquid surface offset from a specular point—on Kraken Mare. sun glitter reveals rough sea surfaces around Kraken Mare, namely the coasts and narrow straits. The sun glitter observations indicate wave activity driven by the winds and tidal currents in Kraken Mare during northern

  • Citlalmitl: A Laser-based Device for Meteoritical Sample Fabrication with Arbitrary Thermal Histories
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-08-13
    Patricia Hernández-Reséndiz, Héctor Cruz-Ramírez, Alfred B. U'Ren, Karina Elizabeth Cervantes-de la Cruz and Antígona Segura

    We present Citlalmitl (the word for meteorite in the Nahuatl language), a new experimental device designed and built to simulate high-temperature processes relevant for meteoritics, including chondrule formation and the atmospheric entry of micrometeorites (MMs). The main component of Citlalmitl is a 50 W CO 2 laser, used to melt samples that simulate the precursors of meteoritical materials. As examples

  • Spatio-temporal Variation of Bright Ephemeral Features on Titan's North Pole
    Planet. Sci. J. Pub Date : 2020-07-27
    Rajani D. Dhingra, Jason W. Barnes, Michael F. Heslar, Robert H. Brown, Bonnie J. Buratti, Christophe Sotin, Jason M. Soderblom, Sebastien Rodriguez, Stéphane Le Mouélic, Philip D. Nicholson, Kevin H. Baines, Roger N. Clark and Ralf Jaumann

    We identify and document the instances of bright ephemeral features (BEF)—bright areas that appear, disappear, and shift from flyby to flyby on Titan's north pole, using the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer data set, thereby developing a sense of their spatial distribution and temporal frequency. We find that BEFs have differing geographic location and spatial extents. However, they

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