Friday, December 30, 2016

Hunting for Nonice on Europa's Surface


Fischer et al


We present spatially resolved spectroscopic observations of Europa's surface at 3–4 μm obtained with the near-infrared spectrograph and adaptive optics system on the Keck II telescope. These are the highest quality spatially resolved reflectance spectra of Europa's surface at 3–4 μm. The observations spatially resolve Europa's large-scale compositional units at a resolution of several hundred kilometers. The spectra show distinct features and geographic variations associated with known compositional units; in particular, large-scale leading hemisphere chaos shows a characteristic longward shift in peak reflectance near 3.7 μm compared to icy regions. These observations complement previous spectra of large-scale chaos, and can aid efforts to identify the endogenous non-ice species.

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