SYMPA, a dedicated instrument for Jovian seismology. I. Principle and performance

Schmider, F. X.; Gay, J.; Gaulme, P.; Jacob, C.; Abe, L.; Alvarez, M.; Belmonte, J. A.; Fossat, E.; Gelly, B.; Guillot, T.; Jeanneaux, F.; Mosser, B.; Valtier, J.-C.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 474, Issue 3, November II 2007, pp.1073-1080

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Aims:The detection and measurement of acoustic modes on the giant planets of the solar system is of great interest for the study of the internal structure and evolution of the giant planets, as well as the study of the solar system formation. Such observations require a dedicated instrument and observing procedure. Methods: We describe the principle and the performance of an instrument dedicated to seismology of giant planets. In this first paper, we describe the principle and the optical scheme, and derive the theoretical performances. As for the Sun, it is possible to measure modes with spatial resolution, but a larger collecting area is necessary. As for asteroseismology in general, continuity in the observation is also required. Results: From results obtained at the laboratory, we derive the actual performance of the instrument and estimate its capabilities in network observations. Conclusions: We demonstrate that the proposed instrument and strategy is adapted for the seismology of giant planets. In a second paper, we will present the first data set obtained with it, explain the data reduction procedure, and present preliminary results.