Ices on the Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus

  • Dale P. Cruikshank
  • Robert H. Brown
  • Wendy M. Calvin
  • Ted L. Roush
  • Mary Jane Bartholomew
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 227)


Three satellites of Jupiter, seven satellites of Saturn, and five satellites of Uranus show spectroscopic evidence of H 2 O ice on their surfaces, although other details of their surfaces are highly diverse. The icy surfaces contain contaminants of unknown composition in varying degrees of concentration, resulting in coloration and large differences in albedo. In addition to H 2 O, Europa has frozen SO 2, and Ganymede has O2 in the surface; in both of these cases external causes are implicated in the deposition or formation of these trace components. Similarly O3 is found in the surface ices of Ganymede, Dione, and Rhea, probably induced by the effects of magnetospheric particles. Variations in ice exposure across the surfaces of the satellites are measured from the spectroscopic signatures. While H 2 O ice occurs on the surfaces of many satellites, the range of bulk densities of these bodies shows that its contribution to their overall compositions is highly variable from one object to another.


Spectral Reflectance Hubble Space Telescope Galilean Satellite Large Satellite Outer Solar System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale P. Cruikshank
    • 1
  • Robert H. Brown
    • 2
  • Wendy M. Calvin
    • 3
  • Ted L. Roush
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mary Jane Bartholomew
    • 5
  1. 1.NASA Ames Research CenterMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Branch of AstrogeologyU.S. Geological SurveyFlagstaffUSA
  4. 4.San Francisco State Univ.USA
  5. 5.Scientific Systems DivisionSterling SoftwareRedwood CityUSA

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