Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 3 - SIRTF.
Display session, Monday, January 13
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[3.06] Community Use of SIRTF III: Solar System Observations

D. P. Cruikshank (NASA/Ames), M. S. Hanner (JPL/Caltech), Sswg

SIRTF will be a valuable tool for addressing a number of contemporary Solar System questions. Important advances in the study of debris disks, with or without entrained planets, around other stars will also be possible. The Solar System Working Group (SSWG) has identified three programs that appear suitable for Legacy Science surveys. 1. Core sample through the Solar System - A deep field survey of one square degree would give a "slice" through the Solar System from the asteroid belt to the Kuiper Belt, to study the size distribution of small asteroids, Trojan asteroids, comet trails, zodiacal cloud, Kuiper Belt planetesimals, and Oort Cloud comets. 2. Dust structures in the Solar System - IRAS revealed that the zodiacal dust cloud has considerable structure. SIRTF observations of the fine structure in carefully chosen directions will allow detailed modeling of the physical processes creating these dust structures. Accurate subtraction of zodiacal emission is necessary to study faint diffuse radiation beyond the Solar System. 3. Dust disks around stars - Nearby systems can be imaged, yielding disk orientation, morphology and inner dust-depleted (planetary?) regions. A photometric survey of the 200 G stars within 200 pc would allow measuring the SED, modeling the radial temperature distribution, thus dust size and spatial distribution, and determining properties vs. system age. Silicates, organics, and ices have key spectral features in the 10-100 \mum spectrophotometry range. Other important science includes the study of comets and observations of the major planets and their satellites. A particularly high priority is the study of Titan, surrounded by a nitrogen/methane atmosphere. At 20 \mum, the surface may be detectable. Neptune's satellite Triton is time-variable in color, brightness, and near-IR spectrum and its ices can be studied spectroscopically by SIRTF. The activity of distant comets can be observed. IR spectral features of cometary ices and organics can be detected and related to IS grains. Comet Wirtanen, target of the Rosetta mission, should be monitored.

Program listing for Monday