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A newly developed database is key to the compositional analysis of ocean worlds

News from Sep 15, 2022

Some of the icy moons in the Outer Solar System harbor potentially habitable oceans, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Mass spectral data recorded by spacecraft in the vicinity of these moons deliver insight into the ocean’s compositions. A detailed analysis of these data requires calibration experiments conducted in a laboratory at Freie Universität Berlin. After recording thousands of laboratory mass spectra, a comparison with data from space became more and more challenging. Members of the Planetary Science and Remote Sensing group developed a comprehensive database to remedy this problem. The database contains all laboratory mass spectra and allows filtering the stored data for a wide range of parameters. This, in turn, significantly eases and improves analysis of mass spectra returned from spaceborne instruments, such as the SUrface Dust Analyzer on board NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission. A validated subset of the database is available for community use via https://lilbid-db.planet.fu-berlin.de. The study by Klenner et al. has recently been published in Earth and Space Science.

Publication link: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022EA002313

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