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Surface Composition of the Galilean Satellites from Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectroscopy

  • R.W. Carlson (a1), W.D. Smythe (a1), D.L. Matson (a1), R. Lopes-Gautier (a1), J. Hui (a1), M. Segura (a1), A.C. Ocampo (a1), L.A. Soderblom (a2), H.H. Kieffer (a2), T.B. McCord (a3), F.P. Fanale (a3) and G.E. Hansen (a3)...

Abstract

The Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) is currently obtaining spectral maps of Jupiter’s moons to determine the composition and spatial distribution of minerals on the satellite surfaces. Sulfur dioxide, as a frost or ice, covers much of Io’s surface, except in hot volcanic areas. A weak spectral feature at 3.15 μm suggests the presence of an OH containing surface compound (hydroxide, hydrate, or water) and a broad absorption above 1 μm is reasonably attributed to iron-containing minerals, such as feldspars and pyrite. Water is the dominant molecule covering Europa’s surface, occurring as ice but also as a hydrate. The trailing side shows high concentrations of these hydrous minerals, whose identifications are not yet established. Ganymede’s surface exhibits water absorption bands, largely due to ice but hydrates are also present. A dark component is present, but with a smaller proportion compared to Callisto. Some of the non-ice features seen on Ganymede are similar to those found in Callisto’s spectra (see below). Among the icy Galilean satellites, Callisto shows the least amount of water ice, covering about 10% of the surface in patchy concentrations. Most of the surface is covered with unidentified (as yet) dark minerals. The exposed ice is often associated with impact craters, implying that the darker material exists as a blanket over more pure ice. Non-ice spectral features at 3.88, 4.03, 4.25, and 4.57 μm are present in Callisto’s spectra (and some of these appear in Ganymede’s spectra), each with different spatial distributions. Laboratory spectra suggest that the 4.25-μm feature is due to carbon dioxide which is trapped in the surface grains. The band at 4.03 μm may be due to sulfur dioxide, which probably originated from Io. Molecules containing CN, SH, SiH, and perhaps deuterated constituents are candidates for the other features, some of which could be derived from shock-heated and modified material from impacts, perhaps of carbonaceous composition. There is evidence for the presence of hydrated minerals on Callisto, based on water band shifts and shapes.

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References

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Surface Composition of the Galilean Satellites from Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectroscopy

  • R.W. Carlson (a1), W.D. Smythe (a1), D.L. Matson (a1), R. Lopes-Gautier (a1), J. Hui (a1), M. Segura (a1), A.C. Ocampo (a1), L.A. Soderblom (a2), H.H. Kieffer (a2), T.B. McCord (a3), F.P. Fanale (a3) and G.E. Hansen (a3)...

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