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Astro2020 Science White Paper: Triggered High-Priority Observations of Dynamic Solar System Phenomena

Chanover, Nancy and Wong, Michael H. and Greathouse, Thomas and Trilling, David and Conrad, Al and Pater, Imke de and Gaidos, Eric and Cartwright, Richard and Lucas, Michael and Meech, Karen and Orton, Glenn and Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi and Sayanagi, Kunio and Schwamb, Megan E. and Tiscareno, Matthew and Veillet, Christian and Holler, Bryan and de Kleer, Katherine and Hammel, Heidi and Hendrix, Amanda and Otarola, Angel and Nixon, Conor and Benecchi, Susan and Simon, Amy and Mandt, Kathleen and Verbiscer, Anne and Giles, Rohini and Retherford, Kurt and Fry, Patrick and Bell, James F. and Milam, Stefanie and Rivkin, Andy and Luszcz-Cook, Statia (2019) Astro2020 Science White Paper: Triggered High-Priority Observations of Dynamic Solar System Phenomena. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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Unexpected dynamic phenomena have surprised solar system observers in the past and have led to important discoveries about solar system workings. Observations at the initial stages of these events provide crucial information on the physical processes at work. We advocate for long-term/permanent programs on ground-based and space-based telescopes of all sizes - including Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) - to conduct observations of high-priority dynamic phenomena, based on a predefined set of triggering conditions. These programs will ensure that the best initial dataset of the triggering event are taken; separate additional observing programs will be required to study the temporal evolution of these phenomena. While not a comprehensive list, the following are notional examples of phenomena that are rare, that cannot be anticipated, and that provide high-impact advances to our understandings of planetary processes. Examples include: new cryovolcanic eruptions or plumes on ocean worlds; impacts on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune; extreme eruptions on Io; convective superstorms on Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune; collisions within the asteroid belt or other small-body populations; discovery of an interstellar object passing through our solar system (e.g. 'Oumuamua); and responses of planetary atmospheres to major solar flares or coronal mass ejections.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
de Kleer, Katherine0000-0002-9068-3428
Group:Astronomy Department
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190424-142121489
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94943
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Apr 2019 21:32
Last Modified:20 Apr 2020 08:47

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