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Spectral Properties of Hydrated Salts at Low Temperature: Implications for Europa Mission Spectrometer DesignKnowledge of the surface composition of Europa is critical for modeling of surface and interior processes and especially for evaluation of astrobiological potential. While much information has been derived from the Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) investigation, some breakthroughs have created more questions than answers. Any future Europa mission will attempt to capitalize on lessons learned from NIMS and try to answer these questions. At present, the surface composition appears to be a mixture of water ice, hydrated salts, sulfur compounds, radiolysis products (such as hydrogen peroxide and possibly simple organics like formaldehyde) and some as yet unidentified component. The small spatial scale of heterogeneity in Europa's surface geology poses additional challenges for orbiting spectrometers due to spectral mixing effects.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dalton, J. Brad
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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