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Record 16 of 1316
Interpretation of the Near-IR Spectra of the Kuiper Belt Object
External Online Source: doi:10.1029/2007JE002892
Author and Affiliation:
Eluszkiewicz, Janusz(Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, MA, United States)
Cady-Pereira, Karen(Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, MA, United States)
Brown, Michael E.(California Inst. of Tech., Div. of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, CA, United States)
Stansberry, John A.(Arizona Univ., Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ, United States)
Abstract: Visible and near-IR observations of the Kuiper Belt Object (136472) 2005 FY(9) have indicated the presence of unusually long (1 cm or more) optical path lengths in a layer of methane ice. Using microphysical and radiative transfer modeling, we show that even at the frigid temperatures in the outer reaches of the solar system, a slab of low porosity methane ice can indeed form by pressureless sintering of micron-sized grains, and it can qualitatively reproduce the salient features of the measured spectra. A good semiquantitative match with the near-IR spectra can be obtained with a realistic slab model, provided the spectra are scaled to a visible albedo of 0.6, at the low end of the values currently estimated from Spitzer thermal measurements. Consistent with previous modeling studies, matching spectra scaled to higher albedos requires the incorporation of strong backscattering effects. The albedo may become better constrained through an iterative application of the slab model to the analysis of the thermal measurements from Spitzer and the visible/near-IR reflectance spectra. The slab interpretation offers two falsifiable predictions (1) Absence of an opposition surge, which is commonly attributed to the fluffiness of the optical surface. This prediction is best testable with a spacecraft, as Earth-based observations at true opposition will not be possible until early next century. (2) Unlikelihood of the simultaneous occurrence of very long spectroscopic path lengths in both methane and nitrogen ice on the surface of any Kuiper Belt Object, as the more volatile nitrogen would hinder densification in methane ice.
Publication Date: Jun 15, 2007
Document ID:
20090001861
(Acquired Jan 08, 2009)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION
Document Type: Journal Article
Publication Information: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets; (ISSN 0148-0227); Volume 112
Publisher Information: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NNH04CC40C
Financial Sponsor: NASA; Washington, DC, United States
Organization Source: Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.; Lexington, MA, United States
Description: 9p; In English; Original contains color and black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: KUIPER BELT; INFRARED SPECTRA; DWARF PLANETS; OPTICAL PATHS; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; METHANE; ICE; PLANETOLOGY; GRAINS; GRAIN SIZE; SINTERING; PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES; PLANETARY SURFACES; PLANETARY COMPOSITION; ALBEDO; BACKSCATTERING; SPECTRAL REFLECTANCE
Availability Source: Other Sources
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