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Published January 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open

Spatially resolved Spectroscopy of Europa's Large-scale Compositional Units at 3–4 μm with Keck NIRSPEC


We present spatially resolved spectroscopic observations of Europa's surface at 3–4 μm obtained with the near-infrared spectrograph and adaptive optics system on the Keck II telescope. These are the highest quality spatially resolved reflectance spectra of Europa's surface at 3–4 μm. The observations spatially resolve Europa's large-scale compositional units at a resolution of several hundred kilometers. The spectra show distinct features and geographic variations associated with known compositional units; in particular, large-scale leading hemisphere chaos shows a characteristic longward shift in peak reflectance near 3.7 μm compared to icy regions. These observations complement previous spectra of large-scale chaos, and can aid efforts to identify the endogenous non-ice species.

Additional Information

© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 July 6; revised 2016 October 12; accepted 2016 November 4; published 2016 December 20. This research was supported by Grant 1313461 from the National Science Foundation and by the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. K.P.H. acknowledges support from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.

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Published - Fischer_2017_AJ_153_13.pdf


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