Spectroscopy of Pluto and Triton at 3-4 Microns: Possible Evidence for Wide Distribution of Nonvolatile Solids

  title={Spectroscopy of Pluto and Triton at 3-4 Microns: Possible Evidence for Wide Distribution of Nonvolatile Solids},
  author={William M. Grundy and Marc W. Buie and John R. Spencer},
  journal={The Astronomical Journal},
  pages={2273 - 2278}
We present new albedo spectra of Triton and Pluto-Charon, covering the 2.8–4.1 μm wavelength range at a spectral resolution of ∼60. The new data reveal three strong CH4 ice absorption bands, as well as additional absorption around 2.9 and 4.1 μm in the spectra of both bodies, which we tentatively attribute to widely distributed H2O ice, along with CO2 and/or SO2 ices. Since these species are nonvolatile at typical Triton and Pluto surface temperatures, widespread distribution of any of them in… 


Spectra of Triton between 1.8 and 5.5 μm, obtained in 2007 May and 2009 November, have been analyzed to determine the global surface composition. The spectra were acquired with the grism and the

Near-infrared laboratory spectra of H2O trapped in N2, CH4, and CO: hints for trans-Neptunian objects' observations

Context. Recent mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of Pluto and Triton suggest a wide distribution of H2O ice into surface regions containing more volatile species such as N2 ,C H4, and CO. This

Surface characterization of Pluto and Charon by L and M band spectra

Context. One of the main scientific objectives of NASA's New Horizons mission is to map the icy surface compositions of Pluto and its moon Charon. The encounter will be in 2015. Meanwhile remote

Triton Haze Analogs: The Role of Carbon Monoxide in Haze Formation

Triton is the largest moon of the Neptune system and possesses a thin nitrogen atmosphere with trace amounts of carbon monoxide and methane, making it of similar composition to that of the dwarf

Observations and Laboratory Data of Planetary Organics

Interpretations of telescopic observations show that H2O ice is ubiquitous on surfaces throughout many regions of the outer Solar System. Additionally, carbon-bearing molecular material is emerging

Search for Nonmethane Hydrocarbons on Pluto

We have carried out infrared high-resolution spectroscopy of the Pluto-Charon system in the L band with the adaptive optics system on the Subaru telescope. The spectrum is dominated by the strong and

Triton, Pluto, Centaurs, and Trans-Neptunian Bodies

The diverse populations of icy bodies of the outer Solar System (OSS) give critical information on the composition and structure of the solar nebula and the early phases of planet formation. The two



Spatial and Compositional Constraints on Non-ice Components and H2O on Pluto's Surface

We present four new near-infrared spectra of Pluto, measured separately from its satellite Charon during four HST/NICMOS observations in 1998, timed to sample four evenly spaced longitudes on Pluto.

Infrared spectroscopy of Triton and Pluto ice analogs: the case for saturated hydrocarbons.

It is shown that excess absorption in the surface spectra of Triton and Pluto, i.e., absorption not explained by present models incorporating molecules already identified on these bodies, may be due to alkanes (C(n)H2n+2) and related molecules frozen in the nitrogen.

Water Ice on Triton

We discuss the spectroscopic detection of H2O ice on Triton, evidenced by the broad absorption bands in the near infrared at 1.55 and 2.04 μm. The detection of water ice on Triton reconfirms earlier

Distribution and Evolution of CH4, N2, and CO Ices on Pluto's Surface: 1995 to 1998

Abstract We present new near-infrared spectra of the planet Pluto obtained at Lowell Observatory on 83 nights during 1995–1998. The dense temporal sampling of our observations enables us to measure

The Distribution and Physical State of H2O on Charon

We present new 1.4- to 2.5-μm geometric albedo spectra of Charon taken with HST/NICMOS in 1998. These new data provide global coverage of the surface with four spectra at evenly spaced longitudes.

Surface Ices and the Atmospheric Composition of Pluto

Observations of the 1.4- to 2.4-micrometer spectrum of Pluto reveal absorptions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices and confirm the presence of solid methane. Frozen nitrogen is more abundant than

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Simple Hydrocarbons and Carbon Oxides Diluted in Solid N2and as Pure Ices: Implications for Triton and Pluto

In this paper are presented near-infrared laboratory spectra of pure ices of CH4, C2H4, C2H6, CO, and CO2, as well as a systematic study of changes in their spectral behavior when isolated in a

Composition, Physical State, and Distribution of Ices at the Surface of Triton

This paper presents the analysis of near-infrared observations of the icy surface of Triton, recorded on 1995 September 7, with the cooled grating spectrometer CGS4 at the United Kingdom Infrared

Near-Infrared Spectra of Icy Outer Solar System Surfaces: Remote Determination of H2O Ice Temperatures

We present new 1.20 to 2.35 μm spectra of satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and the rings of Saturn, obtained in 1995 and 1998 at Lowell Observatory. For most of the target objects, our data