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The deep composition of Uranus and Neptune from in situ exploration and thermochemical modeling
journal contributionposted on 2020-05-06, 10:05 authored by Thibault Cavalié, Olivia Venot, Yamila Miguel, Leigh N Fletcher, Peter Wurz, Olivier Mousis, Roda Bounaceur, Vincent Hue, Jérémy Leconte, Michel Dobrijevic
The distant ice giants of the Solar System, Uranus and Neptune, have only been visited by one space mission, Voyager 2. The current knowledge on their composition remains very limited despite some recent advances. A better characterization of their composition is however essential to constrain their formation and evolution, as a significant fraction of their mass is made of heavy elements, contrary to the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. An in situ probe like Galileo would provide us with invaluable direct ground-truth composition measurements. However, some of the condensibles will remain out of the grasp of a shallow probe. While additional constraints could be obtained from a complementary orbiter, thermochemistry and diffusion modeling can further help us to increase the science return of an in situ probe.
T. Cavali ́e, O. Venot, and O. Mousis acknowledge support from CNES and the Pro-gramme National de Plan ́etologie (PNP) of CNRS/INSU.
CitationSpace Science Reviews, 2020, In Press
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)