Swedish science support for Juice/SWI
Research Project, 2020 – 2025

The Submillimetre Wave Instrument (SWI) is a spectrometer/radiometer instrument on board ESAs JUpiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) that was successfully launched 14 April 2023.

In the Swedish research community there is a broad interest in astrobiology, including questions of planetary system formation and habitability. The Swedish science goals for SWI therefore focus on obtaining better knowledge of the atmospheres (exospheres) of Jupiter's icy moons. Especially water, a main exosphere component in all three moons, may be the key to both atmosphere and moon formation: Its three-dimensional distribution will reveal how the atmospheres form and evolve, while the fraction of heavy water, the HDO/H2O, will pinpoint to what extent the moons consist of primitive materials and thus when and how they formed. Not only are these processes so far unsolved mysteries in our solar system, but the results will also be highly relevant in the context of exoplanets, of which a large fraction of the known ones are gas giants like Jupiter. Observations/detections of minor atmospheric species at the moons are also of particular interest from an astrobiology point of view, since the composition of sub-surface oceans is a crucial factor in determining their habitability: Can life exist elsewhere in the universe?

Participants

Eva Wirström (contact)

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

Funding

Swedish National Space Board

Project ID: 2023-00167
Funding Chalmers participation during 2024–2025

Swedish National Space Board

Project ID: 73/19
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2022

Swedish National Space Board

Project ID: 73/19
Funding Chalmers participation during 2021–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Basic sciences

Roots

More information

Latest update

2024-01-09