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The Compositions of Kuiper Belt Objects

Brown, Michael E. (2012) The Compositions of Kuiper Belt Objects. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 40 . pp. 467-494. ISSN 0084-6597. doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105352.

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Objects in the Kuiper belt are difficult to study in detail, even with the best telescopes available. Therefore, for many years, studies of the compositions of these objects were relegated to collections of moderate-quality spectroscopic and photometric data that remained difficult to interpret. Much early effort was put into simple correlations of surface colors and identifications of spectral features, but connecting these observations to a larger understanding of the region remained elusive. The past decade, however, has seen a blossoming in our understanding, a product of the discoveries of larger—and thus easier to study—objects, continued collection of high-quality photometric and spectroscopic observations, and continued work at the laboratory and theoretical levels. Today, we now know of many processes that affect these objects’ surface compositions, including atmospheric loss, differentiation and cryovolcanism, radiation processing, the effects of giant impacts, and the early dynamical excitation of the Kuiper belt. I review the large quantity of data now available and attempt to build a comprehensive framework for understanding the compositions and their causes.

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Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2012 by Annual Reviews. First published online as a Review in Advance on March 8, 2012. The preparation of this review was supported by grant NNX09AB49G from the NASA Planetary Astronomy program.
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Subject Keywords:chemistry, ice, planet formation, outer solar system
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120927-112850393
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34501
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Sep 2012 19:42
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:08

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