Space Science Reviews

, Volume 153, Issue 1–4, pp 155–184

Atmospheric/Exospheric Characteristics of Icy Satellites

  • A. Coustenis
  • T. Tokano
  • M. H. Burger
  • T. A. Cassidy
  • R. M. Lopes
  • R. D. Lorenz
  • K. D. Retherford
  • G. Schubert
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11214-009-9615-5

Cite this article as:
Coustenis, A., Tokano, T., Burger, M.H. et al. Space Sci Rev (2010) 153: 155. doi:10.1007/s11214-009-9615-5

Abstract

The atmospheres/exospheres of icy satellites greatly vary from one to the next in terms of density, composition, structure or steadiness. Titan is the only icy satellite with a dense atmosphere comparable in many ways to that of the Earth’s atmosphere. Titan’s atmosphere prevents the surface from direct interaction with the plasma environment, but gives rise to Earth-like exchanges of energy, matter and momentum. The atmospheres of other satellites are tenuous. Enceladus’ atmosphere manifests itself in a large water vapor plume emanating from surface cracks near the south pole. Io’s SO2 atmosphere originates from volcanoes. Europa’s tenuous O2 atmosphere is produced by intense radiation bombardment. This chapter reviews the characteristics of the atmospheres of Titan, Enceladus, Io and Europa based on observations.

Keywords

Atmospheres Exospheres Icy satellites Titan Io Enceladus Europa 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Coustenis
    • 1
  • T. Tokano
    • 2
  • M. H. Burger
    • 3
  • T. A. Cassidy
    • 4
  • R. M. Lopes
    • 5
  • R. D. Lorenz
    • 6
  • K. D. Retherford
    • 7
  • G. Schubert
    • 8
  1. 1.LESIAObservatoire de Paris-MeudonMeudonFrance
  2. 2.Institut für Geophysik und MeteorologieUniversität zu KölnKölnGermany
  3. 3.University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  4. 4.Astronomy DepartmentUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA
  6. 6.Applied Physics LaboratoryJohns Hopkins UniversityLaurelUSA
  7. 7.Southwest Research InstituteSan AntonioUSA
  8. 8.Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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