Hydrogen Peroxide on the Surface of Europa

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Science  26 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5410, pp. 2062-2064
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5410.2062

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Spatially resolved infrared and ultraviolet wavelength spectra of Europa's leading, anti-jovian quadrant observed from the Galileo spacecraft show absorption features resulting from hydrogen peroxide. Comparisons with laboratory measurements indicate surface hydrogen peroxide concentrations of about 0.13 percent, by number, relative to water ice. The inferred abundance is consistent with radiolytic production of hydrogen peroxide by intense energetic particle bombardment and demonstrates that Europa's surface chemistry is dominated by radiolysis.

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