MIRO Science Objectives

The MIRO instrument will obtain spectra of the nucleus and the coma in the microwave region of millimeter wavelengths (190 GHz, ~1.6 mm) and submillimeter wavelengths (562 GHz, ~0.5 mm). This scientific investigation will:

  • Characterize the abundances of major volatile species and key isotope ratios in the nucleus ices
  • Study the processes controlling outgassing in the surface layer of the nucleus
  • Study the processes controlling the development of the inner coma
  • Globally characterize the nucleus subsurface to depths of a few centimeters or more
  • Search for low levels of gas in the asteroid environment

With the associated measurement set:

  • Measure abundances of H2O, CO, CH3OH, NH3, 17O/16O, and 18O/16O
  • Measure surface temperature and outgassing rates for water, carbon monoxide and other volatiles
  • Measure density, temperature, and kinematic velocity
  • Identify morphological features on the basis of outgassing rates and surface & sub-surface temperatures
  • Measure outgassing flux of water and carbon monoxide