Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AuroraMHD (Constraints on Io's and Europa's atmospheres and interiors from modeling of the satellites' aurora)
Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-07-31
Furthermore, we performed a series of simulations of Europa's plasma interaction with different models of Europa's atmosphere and atmospheric plumes (see Figure 1a) and compared the results with in-situ measurements from the Galileo spacecraft in order to derive constraints on Europa’s atmosphere. During the project we established a collaboration with H. Huybrighs, a research fellow from ESTEC-ESA, to work on the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) data from Galileo spacecraft flybys. Therefore, he applied our MHD simulation results of Europa's plasma interaction with different atmospheres and plumes and performed further simulations of the flux of energetic protons using a Monte Carlo particle tracing method and analyzed the EPD data by comparing the data with his simulation results.
Exploitation and dissemination of the results were achieved by presentations on large international as well as small focused national conferences and meetings, and seminars in research institutions. The project was presented, e.g. at AGU fall meeting 2019 in San Francisco (USA), the MOP meeting 2019 in Sendai (Japan), or Svenska rymdforskares samarbetsgrupp (SRS) meeting 2019 in Göteborg (Sweden). The studies on Europa's and Io's plasma interaction led to two scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals and two collaboration papers in preparation. The last half year of the project was strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic through a series of cancellations of meetings and workshops as well as official travel restrictions.
The outcome of the project in collaboration with ESTEC increased the evidence for existing water vapor plumes erupting of Europa's surface with a new data set and resulted in a new method which is useful to derive constraints on the moon's atmosphere and atmospheric inhomogeneities. Further analysis with this method and the simulation results from our model applied to Europa and Io are still ongoing.
The acquired data which was created from simulations during the fellowship will continue to achieve impact in ongoing collaborations and in upcoming projects related to the effect of different atmospheric distributions on the moons' plasma interaction.