Ices on the Surface of Triton

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Science  06 Aug 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5122, pp. 742-745
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5122.742


The near-infrared spectrum of Triton reveals ices of nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, of which nitrogen is the dominant component. Carbon dioxide ice may be spatially segregated from the other more volatile ices, covering about 10 percent of Triton's surface. The absence of ices of other hydrocarbons and nitriles challenges existing models of methane and nitrogen photochemistry on Triton.