36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 14 Future Missions
Poster I, Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 4:00-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[14.06] X-MIME: An imaging x-ray spectrometer for detailed study of Jupiter's icy moons and the planet's x-ray aurora.

R. F. Elsner, B. D. Ramsey (NASA MSFC), J. H. Waite (U. Mich.), P. Rehak (BNL), R. E. Johnson (U. Virginia), J. F. Cooper (Raytheon/NASA GSFC), D. A. Swartz (USRA/NASA MSFC)

Remote observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton Observatory have shown that the Jovian system is a source of x-rays with a rich and complicated structure.  The planet's polar auroral zones and its disk are powerful sources of x-ray emission.  Chandra observations revealed x-ray emission from the Io Plasma Torus and from the Galilean moons Io, Europa, and possibly Ganymede.  The emission from the moons is due to bombardment of their surfaces by highly energetic magnetospheric protons, oxygen and sulfur ions.  These ions excite atoms in their surfaces leading to fluorescent x-ray emission lines.  Although the x-ray emission from the Galilean moons is faint when observed from Earth orbit, an imaging x-ray spectrometer in orbit around these moons, operating at 200 eV and above with 150 eV energy resolution, would provide a detailed mapping of the elemental composition in their surfaces. Here we describe the physical processes leading to x-ray emission from the surfaces of Jupiter's moons and the instrumental properties required to map the elemental composition of their surfaces.  We describe the characteristics of X-MIME, an imaging x-ray spectrometer undergoing a feasibility study for the JIMO mission, with the ultimate goal of providing unprecedented x-ray studies of the elemental composition of the surfaces of Jupiter's icy moons and Io, as well as of Jupiter's auroral x-ray emission.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.