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Galileo's Multiinstrument Spectral View of Europa's Surface Composition

Icarus

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1006/icar.1999.6117

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Abstract

We have combined spectral reflectance data from the Solid State Imaging (SSI) experiment, the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and the Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) in an attempt to determine the composition and implied genesis of non-H2O components in the optical surface of Europa. We have considered four terrains: (1) the "dark terrains" on the trailing hemisphere, (2) the "mottled terrain," (3) the linea on the leading hemisphere, and (4) the linea embedded in the dark terrain on the trailing hemisphere. The darker materials in these terrains exhibit remarkably similar spectra in both the visible and near infrared. In the visible, a downturn toward shorter wavelengths has been attributed to sulfur. The broad concentrations of dark material on the trailing hemisphere was originally thought to be indicative of exogenic sulfur implantation. While an exogenic cause is still probable, more recent observations by the UVS team at higher spatial resolution have led to their suggestions that the role of the bombardment may have primarily been to sputter away overlying ice and to reveal underlying endogenic non-H2O contaminants. If so, this might explain why the spectra in all these terrains are so similar despite the fact that the contaminants in the linea are clearly endogenic and those in the mottled terrain are almost certainly so. In the near infrared, all these terrains exhibit much more asymmetrical bands at 1.4 and 2.0 ??m at shorter wavelengths than spectra from elsewhere on Europa. It has been argued that this is because the water molecules are bound in hydrated salts. However, this interpretation has been challenged and it has also been argued that pure coarse ice can exhibit such asymmetric bands under certain conditions. The nature of this controversy is briefly discussed, as are theoretical and experimental studies bearing on this problem. ?? 1999 Academic Press.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Galileo's Multiinstrument Spectral View of Europa's Surface Composition
Series title:
Icarus
DOI:
10.1006/icar.1999.6117
Volume
139
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Icarus
First page:
179
Last page:
188