Space Science Reviews

, Volume 153, Issue 1–4, pp 299–315 | Cite as

Radiolysis and Photolysis of Icy Satellite Surfaces: Experiments and Theory

  • T. Cassidy
  • P. Coll
  • F. Raulin
  • R. W. Carlson
  • R. E. Johnson
  • M. J. Loeffler
  • K. P. Hand
  • R. A. Baragiola
Article

Abstract

The transport and exchange of material between bodies in the outer solar system is often facilitated by their exposure to ionizing radiation. With this in mind we review the effects of energetic ions, electrons and UV photons on materials present in the outer solar system. We consider radiolysis, photolysis, and sputtering of low temperature solids. Radiolysis and photolysis are the chemistry that follows the bond breaking and ionization produced by incident radiation, producing, e.g., O2 and H2 from irradiated H2O ice. Sputtering is the ejection of molecules by incident radiation. Both processes are particularly effective on ices in the outer solar system. Materials reviewed include H2O ice, sulfur-containing compounds (such as SO2 and S8), carbon-containing compounds (such as CH4), nitrogen-containing compounds (such as NH3 and N2), and mixtures of those compounds. We also review the effects of ionizing radiation on a mixture of N2 and CH4 gases, as appropriate to Titan’s upper atmosphere, where radiolysis and photolysis produce complex organic compounds (tholins).

Keywords

Radiolysis Photolysis Sputtering Tholins Ices 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Cassidy
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Coll
    • 3
  • F. Raulin
    • 4
  • R. W. Carlson
    • 5
  • R. E. Johnson
    • 2
    • 6
  • M. J. Loeffler
    • 7
  • K. P. Hand
    • 5
  • R. A. Baragiola
    • 8
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Engineering Physics ProgramUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes AtmosphériquesUniversité Paris 7 - Denis DiderotCréteilFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, UMR 7583, Université Paris 7 et Paris 12CNRSCréteilFrance
  5. 5.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  6. 6.Physics Dept.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Astrochemistry LaboratoryNASA Goddard Spaceflight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  8. 8.Laboratory for Atomic and Surface PhysicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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