Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS spectroscopy of Charon's leading and trailing hemispheres

Christophe Dumas, Richard J. Terrile, Robert H. Brown, Glenn Schneider, Bradford A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We used the near-infrared camera and multiobject spectrometer NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain 1.1-2.4 μm, low-resolution (R ∼ 200) slitless grism spectrophotometry of the individual members of the Pluto-Charon system. Water ice is present in its crystalline state on both the leading and trailing hemispheres of Charon. A 2.21 μm absorption band, possibly due to the presence of ammonia hydrate in surface, is detected in the reflectance spectrum of its leading side only. Geological activity on Charon or implantation of ions escaped from Pluto's atmosphere could account for the formation of species such as NH3 · H2O locally on the satellite. We also measured a slightly higher geometric albedo for Charon than reported from the mid-1980s observations of the mutual events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1170
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2001

Fingerprint

Charon
Pluto
hemispheres
Hubble Space Telescope
spectroscopy
spectrophotometry
albedo
Pluto atmosphere
reflectance
near infrared
spectrometer
ammonia
Pluto (planet)
ice
ion
atmosphere
hydrates
implantation
cameras
spectrometers

Keywords

  • Planets and satellites: individual (Charon)
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS spectroscopy of Charon's leading and trailing hemispheres. / Dumas, Christophe; Terrile, Richard J.; Brown, Robert H.; Schneider, Glenn; Smith, Bradford A.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 121, No. 2, 02.2001, p. 1163-1170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dumas, Christophe ; Terrile, Richard J. ; Brown, Robert H. ; Schneider, Glenn ; Smith, Bradford A. / Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS spectroscopy of Charon's leading and trailing hemispheres. In: Astronomical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 121, No. 2. pp. 1163-1170.
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