Long time base observations of the outer planets are critical in understanding the atmospheric dynamics and evolution of the gas giants. We propose yearly monitoring of each giant planet for the remainder of Hubble's lifetime to provide a lasting legacy of increasingly valuable data for time-domain studies. The Hubble Space Telescope is a unique asset to planetary science, allowing high spatial resolution data with absolute photometric knowledge. For the outer planets, gas/ice giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, many phenomena happen on timescales of years to decades, and the data we propose are beyond the scope of a typical GO program. Hubble is the only platform that can provide high spatial resolution global studies of cloud coloration, activity, and motion on a consistent time basis to help constrain the underlying mechanics.
- Pub Date:
- November 2018