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In the current paradigm, Oort cloud comets formed in the giant planets' region of the solar nebula, where temperatures and other conditions varied greatly. The measured compositions of four such comets (Halley, Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp, and Lee) are consistent with formation from interstellar ices in the cold nebular region beyond Uranus. The composition of(More)
The New Horizons spacecraft observed Jupiter's icy satellites Europa and Ganymede during its flyby in February and March 2007 at visible and infrared wavelengths. Infrared spectral images map H2O ice absorption and hydrated contaminants, bolstering the case for an exogenous source of Europa's "non-ice" surface material and filling large gaps in(More)
Several observations of Jupiter's atmosphere made by instruments on the New Horizons spacecraft have implications for the stability and dynamics of Jupiter's weather layer. Mesoscale waves, first seen by Voyager, have been observed at a spatial resolution of 11 to 45 kilometers. These waves have a 300-kilometer wavelength and phase velocities greater than(More)
The Pluto system was recently explored by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, making closest approach on 14 July 2015. Pluto's surface displays diverse landforms, terrain ages, albedos, colors, and composition gradients. Evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, surface ice convection, wind streaks, volatile transport, and(More)
  • J R Spencer, S A Stern, A F Cheng, H A Weaver, D C Reuter, K Retherford +11 others
  • 2007
Jupiter's moon Io is known to host active volcanoes. In February and March 2007, the New Horizons spacecraft obtained a global snapshot of Io's volcanism. A 350-kilometer-high volcanic plume was seen to emanate from the Tvashtar volcano (62 degrees N, 122 degrees W), and its motion was observed. The plume's morphology and dynamics support nonballistic(More)
The New Horizons spacecraft mapped colors and infrared spectra across the encounter hemispheres of Pluto and Charon. The volatile methane, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen ices that dominate Pluto's surface have complicated spatial distributions resulting from sublimation, condensation, and glacial flow acting over seasonal and geological time scales. Pluto's(More)
The New Horizons mission has provided resolved measurements of Pluto's moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. All four are small, with equivalent spherical diameters of ~40 kilometers for Nix and Hydra and ~10 kilometers for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of ~2. All four moons have high albedos (~50 to(More)
A unique feature of Pluto's large satellite Charon is its dark red northern polar cap. Similar colours on Pluto's surface have been attributed to tholin-like organic macromolecules produced by energetic radiation processing of hydrocarbons. The polar location on Charon implicates the temperature extremes that result from Charon's high obliquity and long(More)
The New Horizons (NH) spacecraft observed Io's aurora in eclipse on four occasions during spring 2007. NH Alice ultraviolet spectroscopy and concurrent Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet imaging in eclipse investigate the relative contribution of volcanoes to Io's atmosphere and its interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere. Auroral brightness and morphology(More)
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