Spectroscopic determination of the phase composition and temperature of nitrogen ice on Triton

Kimberly A. Tryka, Robert H. Brown, Vincent Anicich, Dale P. Cruikshank, Tobias C. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laboratory spectra of the first overtone band (2.1480 micrometers, 4655.4 reciprocal centimeters) of solid nitrogen show additional structure at 2.1618 micrometers (4625.8 reciprocal centimeters) over a limited temperature range. The spectrum of Neptune's satellite Triton shows the nitrogen overtone band as well as the temperature-sensitive component. The temperature dependence of this band may be used in conjunction with ground-based observations of Triton as an independent means of determining the temperature of surface deposits of nitrogen ice. The surface temperature of Triton is found to be 38.0-1.0 +2.0 K, in agreement with previous temperature estimates and measurements. There is no spectral evidence for the presence of α-nitrogen on Triton's surface, indicating that there is less than 10 percent carbon monoxide in solid solution with the nitrogen on the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-754
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume261
Issue number5122
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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