Saturn's satellites: Nuar-infrared spectrophotometry (0.6-2.5 μm) of the leading and trailing sides and compositional implications

Roger N. Clark, Robert H. Brown, Pamela D. Owensby, Alex Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Near-infrared spectra, 0.65-2.5 μm, are presented for Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Iapetus, and Hyperion. Water ice absorptions at 2.0, 1.5, and 1.25 μm are seen in the spectra of all five objects (except the 1.25-μm band was not detected in spectra of Hyperion) and the weak 1.04-μm ice absorption is detected on the leading and trailing sides of Rhea, and the trailing side of Dione. Upper limits to the 1.04-μm ice band depth are <0.3% for the leading side of Dione; <0.7% for the leading side of Iapetus, and the trailing side of Tethys; <1% on the trailing side of Iapetus; and <5% on the leading side of Tethys. The leading-trailing side ice band depth differences on Saturn's satellites are similar to those for the Galilean satellites, indicating possible surface modification by magnetospheric charged particle bombardment. Limits are determined for the amount of particulates, trapped gases, and amonium hydroxide on the surface. The surfaces of Saturn's satellites (except the dark side of Iapetus) are nearly pure water ice, with probably less than about 1 wt% particulate minerals. The ice could be clathrates with as much as a few weight percent trapped gases. The upper limit of amonium hydroxide depends on the spectral data precision and varies from ∼ 1 wt% NH3 for the leading side of Rhea to ∼ 10 wt% NH3 for Dione.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-281
Number of pages17
JournalIcarus
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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