About this Research Topic
Future missions, such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), Europa Clipper and BepiColombo, as well as plans to perform a comprehensive exploration of Earth’s moon through the Gateway space station and various lander modules, include a strong planetary science perspective in their science goals through the inclusion of extended space plasma physics payloads. The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Voyage-2050 senior committee recommendations, argue that among the agency’s primary future targets, namely the robotic exploration of Jupiter’s or Saturn’s moons, “The study of the connection of interior and the near-surface environments […] in the overall moon-planet system (including the planet’s magnetosphere)” should be addressed.
We welcome a wide range of article types including Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, and Perspective articles. The desired themes include, but are not limited to, contributions that discuss exciting new research results toward highlighting the importance of planetary science through space physics and identifying future targets, instruments and missions in our solar system that could greatly benefit from research methodologies involving space plasma physics measurements. Studies following a reverse approach, e.g. using planets, moons, rings and the perturbations they induce as tools to better understand the physics of their surrounding plasma or magnetospheric environments, are also welcome.
For example, topics may include:
- Radiation Belts and material interactions with moons, rings, neutral tori, atmospheres.
- Moon magnetosphere interactions via measurements and/or Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) modeling (subsurface oceans, plumes, exospheres).
- Icy moon surface weathering, planetary and moon radiation environment.
- Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) imaging of planetary moons.
- Cross-discipline science between heliophysics and planetary physics.
- Planetary space weather and instrumentation (next generation of particle detectors for planetary science applications).
- Moon microsignatures/macrosignatures used to infer diffusion rates or electric fields in a magnetosphere.
- Use of cosmogenic nuclides as a function of depth in moon samples to reconstruct solar activity.
Cover image adapted from NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute and NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio/JPL NAIF .
Keywords: planetary science, plasma physics, space science, magnetospheres, planetary moons, comets, space mission data, planetary atmospheres, planetary ionospheres, planetary rings
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.