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James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Guaranteed Time Observer cycle 1: Titan Climate, Composition and Clouds

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Guaranteed Time Observer cycle 1:  Titan Climate, Composition and Clouds

Start: 01/07/2022 - End: 31/12/2023

International partnership outside Europe

Coordinator(s): Sébastien Rodriguez, Conor A. Nixon

Host institution(s):
GSFC

Partner institution(s):
JPL, JHUAPL, University of Maryland, Space Science Institue (USA), University of Bristol (UK), Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Spain), LESIA (France)

Related theme(s):
Earth System Science

We focus on the extremely broad capability of the combined JWST instrument suite to advance our understanding of Titan’s gases, hazes, condensates (clouds) and surface composition. NIRSpec’s high-resolution spectral imaging (R~2700) at near-IR wavelengths (0.6-5.0 micron) in IFU mode will yield information on all of these scientific areas. The spatial resolution and multiple filter capability of JWST NIRCam will reveal the distribution of haze and clouds in the atmosphere occurring during southern winter/northern summer. MIRI will be used to measure Titan’s stratosphere to attempt new gas detections, and to measure isotopic ratios with unprecedented sensitivity. We will obtain a full-range (4.9-28.8 micron), high resolution spectral-image with MIRI in MRS mode to measure temperatures, abundances of trace gases, isotopic ratios and haze signatures. This combined suite of observations in the 2022-2023 timeframe will follow directly after Cassini (end of mission in 2017) and expand on Cassini’s science return. These observations will provide a valuable input to dynamical models, and also serve as a baseline JWST measurement that may be repeated later in the mission as Titan’s south pole emerges into summer (Titan is known to be highly variable with season).

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Planetology and Space Sciences
Planetology and Space Sciences
The planetary and space sciences group is focussed on deciphering the internal structure and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets and moons. ...
Earth System Science
Earth System Science
Measuring, understanding and modelling the functioning of our planet's surface, also called the Critical Zone.