AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 49 Future Optical/UV Astronomy from Space: Science and Mission Concepts
Topical Oral, Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 2:30-4:00 and 4:15-6:00pm, 204

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[49.05] Solar System Observations with NHST

J.T. Clarke (Boston University)

Solar system observations using HST have been tremendously successful in many scientific areas, taking advantage of the wealth of information from high angular resolution images and high sensitivity UV to IR spectra. These capabilities have led to major advances in the areas of planetary atmospheres, surfaces, aurora and magnetospheres, and planetary satellites. While solar system objects are normally considered to be bright, they are often quite faint in the UV, and much new science could be accomplished with a larger aperture, extending existing studies to the outer planets and fainter satellites, Kuiper belt objects, etc. These observations would assist in the still-incomplete inventory of solar system objects and compositions. At the same time, many solar system objects have now been visited by space missions, and characterized in greater detail than remote telescopic observations could do. In these cases, the major new scientific thrusts tend to be on temporal coverage to establish causal relationships between known and variable phenomena. Therefore, the future of solar system observations would greatly benefit from increased time coverage with a modest aperture but more observing time, in addition to other kinds of science that would be made possible with a larger aperture.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.