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Weak absorption features in the visible reflectance spectrum of Jupiter's satellite Ganymede have been correlated to those observed in the spectrum of molecular oxygen. We examine the spectral characteristics of these absorption features in all phases of O2 and conclude that the molecular oxygen is most likely present at densities similar to the liquid or solid ??-phase. The contribution of O2 to spectral features observed on Ganymede in the near-infrared wavelength region affects the previous estimates of photon pathlength in ice. The concentration of the visible absorption features on the trailing hemisphere of Ganymede suggests an origin due to bombardment by magneto-spheric ions. We derive an approximate O2 formation rate from this mechanism and consider the state of O2 within the surface.
Additional Publication Details
O2 on ganymede: Spectral characteristics and plasma formation mechanisms