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Irradiation Products On Dwarf Planet Makemake

Brown, M. E. and Schaller, E. L. and Blake, G. A. (2015) Irradiation Products On Dwarf Planet Makemake. Astronomical Journal, 149 (3). Art. No. 105. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/149/3/105.

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The dark, reddish tinged surfaces of icy bodies in the outer solar system are usually attributed to the long term irradiation of simple hydrocarbons leading to the breaking of C–H bonds, loss of hydrogen, and the production of long carbon chains. While the simple hydrocarbon methane is stable and detected on the most massive bodies in the Kuiper Belt, evidence of active irradiation chemistry is scant except for the presence of ethane on methane-rich Makemake and the possible detections of ethane on more methane-poor Pluto and Quaoar. We have obtained deep high signal-to-noise spectra of Makemake from 1.4 to 2.5 μm in an attempt to trace the radiation chemistry in the outer solar system beyond the initial ethane formation. We present the first astrophysical detection of solid ethylene and evidence for acetylene and high-mass alkanes—all expected products of the continued irradiation of methane, and use these species to map the chemical pathway from methane to long-chain hydrocarbons.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Brown, M. E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Blake, G. A.0000-0003-0787-1610
Additional Information:© 2015 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 November 10; accepted 2015 January 8; published 2015 February 19.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Subject Keywords: Kuiper belt objects: individual (Makemake); planets and satellites: surfaces; radiation mechanisms: general
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150507-132628794
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Official Citation:Irradiation Products On Dwarf Planet Makemake M. E. Brown et al. 2015 The Astronomical Journal 149 105
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57340
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 May 2015 20:38
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:11

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