Several different classes of bodies within the Solar System are “active", and emit dust into space: comets, asteroids and planetary moons. This module covers the processes leading to dust formation, the mechanisms by which the dust is emitted and finally the methods by which it is detected and analysed in situ.
The course will begin with a basic overview of heating processes, including tidal heating and insolation. The internal structures of active moons, and the resulting cryovolcanism and volcanism, leading to dust emission into space, will be discussed, with particular focus on case studies of Jupiter's moon Io, Saturn's moon Enceladus and comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
In the second part of the course, the methods and instrumentation by which cosmic dust is detected and analysed in space will be reviewed, including a history of cosmic dust detectors and summaries of recent results from the Cassini, Stardust and Rosetta missions. The advantages and disadvantages of different mission types will be explained in the context of basic spacecraft and mission design.