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Cassini's Final Year: Science Highlights and Discoveries

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Last updated:
8 December 2017
The final year of the Cassini mission at Saturn provided highest resolution observations of both the rings and Saturn, and in-situ sampling of the ring particle composition, Saturn’s atmosphere, plasma particles and innermost radiation belts.  The gravitational field was measured to unprecedented accuracy, and the magnetic field provided insight into the nature of the magnetic dynamo and structure of the internal magnetic field.   Fields and particles instruments directly sampled the environment between the rings and planet.  Science highlights and new discoveries from the Ring Grazing and Grand Finale phases of the Cassini mission will be published.

Early Results: Juno at Jupiter

Last updated:
11 September 2017
Early results from Juno's mission at Jupiter including approach to Jupiter and the first perijove pass (PJ1).  Juno's scientific objectives include the study of Jupiter's interior, atmosphere and polar magnetosphere with the goal of understanding Jupiter's origin, formation and evolution.  This collection of papers provides early results from Juno's measurements of the gravity and magnetic fields, deep atmospheric microwave sounding, infrared, visible and ultraviolet images/spectra and an array of fields and particles instruments as well as context for the early results with respect to current theory and models of Jupiter's formation and evolution.  Topics include both Juno - Jupiter related theoretical models and data analysis as well as collaborative observations made from Earth based assets.


Watch a rebroadcast as scientists from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter discuss their first in-depth science results at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

Early Results: Juno at Jupiter from Science

Bolton, S.J., A. Adriani, V. Adumitroaie, et al. (2017) Jupiter’s interior and deep atmosphere: the first pole-to-pole pass with the Juno spacecraft, Science, DOI:10.1126/science.aal2108

Connerney, J. E. P., A. Adriani, F. Allegrini, et al. (2017), Jupiter's magnetosphere and aurorae observed by the Juno spacecraft during its first polar orbits, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5928.

First Results from the MAVEN Mission to Mars

Last updated:
4 November 2015

The MAVEN Mars orbiter has been gathering information on the Mars upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and solar and solar-wind interactions since its orbit insertion in September 2014. MAVEN's science goals are to understand processes driving the escape of atmospheric gases to space at the present epoch, and their variations with solar and local heliospheric conditions together with geographical and seasonal influences. This collection provides a selection of key results obtained up to the time of writing, including measurements of the overall geometry and variability of the Martian magnetosphere, upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and their responses to interplanetary coronal mass ejections and solar-energetic-particle influxes. The ultimate goal is to use these results to determine the integrated loss to space through time and its role in overall Mars atmosphere evolution.

Readers are encouraged to also check out Major Results from the MAVEN Mission to Mars, a JGR Space Physics special collection by clicking here.

Effects of the Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) meteor shower in 2014 on Mars atmosphere and ionosphere: Observations from MAVEN, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Last updated:
16 June 2015

When comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed nearby Mars in 2014, it offered an unprecedented opportunity to observe the interaction between the dust tail of the comet and the atmosphere of Mars. This collection reports observations from three satellites fortuitously orbiting Mars at the appropriate time (MAVEN, MEX, and MRO). These observations reveal high velocity ablation and ionization of metals from the comet, the diffusion and transport processes that operated in Mars' atmosphere, and the abundance of these metals in the comet.

Titan's Plasma Environment During Cassini's T9 Flyby

Published:
1 December 2007

Dust Devils on Earth and Mars

Published:
1 October 2006
R. Greeley
This section, which grew out of a NASA-sponsored workshop in September 2005, describes research on the formation and dynamics of dust devils on Earth and Mars. Dust devils reflect the interaction of the atmosphere with the surface and are effective in raising fine-grained particles into atmospheric suspension. Following their discovery on Mars from orbit, they were subsequently seen from landed spacecraft; currently, more than 500 active dust devils have been documented in data from the Mars Exploration Rovers.

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Featured Special Collection

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades 

The atmosphere varies naturally on all length scales from millimeters to thousands of kilometers, and on all time scales from seconds to decades and longer.  This special collection of Geophysical Research Letters synthesizes and summarizes that variability through a phenomenological census.  The collection brings together some of the most influential and definitive papers to have been published in this journal in recent years.  The topics covered include turbulence on time scales of seconds and minutes, gravity waves on time scales of hours, weather systems on time scales of days, atmospheric blocking on time scales of weeks, the Madden–Julian Oscillation on time scales of months, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation on time scales of years, and the North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, Pacific Decadal, and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillations on time scales of decades.  The collection is accompanied by a Commentary article, which provides an authoritative, concise, and accessible point of reference for the most important modes of atmospheric variability.

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades