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Detection of Methane on Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar

Schaller, E. L. and Brown, M. E. (2007) Detection of Methane on Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 670 (1). L49-L51. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.1086/524140.

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The near-infrared spectrum of (50000) Quaoar obtained at the Keck Observatory shows distinct absorption features of crystalline water ice, solid methane, and ethane, and possibly other higher order hydrocarbons. Quaoar is only the fifth Kuiper Belt object (KBO) on which volatile ices have been detected. The small amount of methane on an otherwise water ice-dominated surface suggests that Quaoar is a transition object between the dominant volatile-poor small KBOs and the few volatile-rich large KBOs such as Pluto and Eris.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Brown, M. E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2007 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 1 (2007 November 20); received 2007 September 6; accepted for publication 2007 October 4; published 2007 October 25. We thank an anonymous referee for a helpful review. E. L. S. is supported by a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, The University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Kuiper Belt; planets and satellites: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100309-143105854
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Official Citation:Detection of Methane on Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar E. L. Schaller and M. E. Brown 2007 ApJ 670 L49-L51 doi: 10.1086/524140
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17711
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Mar 2010 18:08
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:38

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