Colloquium: From Juno, to JWST, to the Ice Giants
Giant planet atmospheres provide global-scale laboratories for studying dynamics, meteorology, and chemistry in environments that are completely different to those found on terrestrial worlds. Today, NASA’s Juno spacecraft is been revealing unique insights into the workings of Jupiter’s ‘bottomless’ atmosphere, deeper below the banded clouds than any previous mission. In the coming years, a programme of infrared observations from JWST will investigate the circulation and chemistry in the stratospheres of all four giants, including the first-ever global thermal maps of the distant Ice Giants, Uranus and Neptune. We’ll discuss the motivations for the programme, how it builds on the discoveries of Voyager, Cassini, and Juno, and look ahead to ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), and forthcoming opportunities for an ambitious new mission to the Ice Giants.