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Spectrophotometry using the Galileo/NIMS database

Presentation #315.04 in the session Icy Satellites: Surfaces, Ice Shell, and Interior (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Spectrophotometry using the Galileo/NIMS database

The NASA Galileo spacecraft explored the Jupiter system between 1995 and 2003. The mission was equipped with the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer instrument (NIMS), able to probe the Jupiter’s atmosphere and the icy moons’ surface composition in the near-infrared with its 17 detectors operating between 0.7 to 5.2 microns [1]. Depending on the instrument mode used to collect data, and on the instrument own health status, infrared spectra were collected with a varying spectral sampling (between 15 and 408 wavelengths), and absolute wavelength calibration over the course of the mission. Data were collected during flybys, which resulted in diverse data cubes viewing geometries and spatial resolutions. Despite its heterogeneity and complexity of use, the Galileo/NIMS data set represents, to date, one of the most valuable data set for modeling and mapping the surface composition of Jupiter’s moons, which are the prime targets of the Europa Clipper [2] and ESA JUICE [3] missions in this decade.

We are currently re-investigating the spectroscopic and photometric properties of the Jovian moons using the Galileo/NIMS data set publicly available on the PDS Imaging Node (g-cubes) and decomposed into a MySQL relational database. Radiance factors (I/F) spectral data can be retrieved from the database using queries on metadata, such as the viewing geometry (incidence, emission, phase, and azimuth), and the location (pixel geographic latitudes and longitudes, spatial resolution, target), integrated over the entire NIMS data set in a matter of seconds. This allows the rapid extraction of phase curves and spectra as prime inputs to spectrophotometric data modeling studies [4, 5, 6]. We will present examples of applications of such framework to the study of Jupiter’s icy moons surface properties.


[1] Carlson et al., Space Science Reviews, 60, 457-502, 1992. [2] Howell and Pappalardo, Nat Commun 11, 1311, 2020. [3] Grasset et al., Plan Spac Sci 78, 1-21, 2013. [4] Cruz Mermy et al., Icarus 394, 115379, 2023. [5] Belgacem et al., EPSC, 2022. [6] Andrieu et al., EPSC 2022.

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