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Laboratory Studies of Ethane Ice Relevant to Outer Solar System SurfacesOort Cloud comets, as well as TNOs Makemake (2045 FYg), Quaoar, and Pluto, are known to contain ethane. However, even though this molecule is found on several outer Solar System objects relatively little information is available about its amorphous and crystalline phases. In new experiments, we have prepared ethane ices at temperatures applicable to the outer Solar System, and have heated and ion-irradiated these ices to study phase changes and ethane's radiation chemistry using mid-IR spectroscopy (2.2 - 16.6 microns). Included in our work is the meta-stable phase that exists at 35 - 55 K. These results, including newly obtained optical constants, are relevant to ground-based observational campaigns, the New Horizons mission, and supporting laboratory work. An improved understanding of solid-phase ethane may contribute to future searches for this and other hydrocarbons in the outer Solar System.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Moore, Marla H.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Hudson, Reggie
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Raines, Lily
(Eckerd Coll. Saint Petersburg, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
October 5, 2009
Subject Category
Meeting Information
41st annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society(Fajardo)
Distribution Limits
No Preview Available