Amorphous Ice on Saturnian Rings and on Icy Satellites: Its Formation, Stability, and Observability

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Science  01 Sep 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4358, pp. 809-811
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4358.809


Saturnian rings and icy satellites may be covered with amorphous rather than crystalline ice. Its likely source is water molecules sputtered by particles in the radiation belts, it may be stable, and its presence could be deduced from the rate of temperature drop in a shadow. Observation of this effect is, however, difficult, especially for the rings. A possible relation to the brightness anisotropy of ring A is pointed out.