Detection of a Deep 3-µm Absorption Feature in the Spectrum of Amalthea (JV)

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Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2224-2227
DOI: 10.1126/science.1105427

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Near-infrared spectra of Jupiter's small inner satellites Amalthea and Thebe are similar to those of D-type asteroids in the 0.8- to 2.5-micrometer wavelength range. A deep absorption feature is detected at 3 micrometers in the spectra of the trailing side of Amalthea, which is similar to that of the non-ice components of Callisto and can be attributed to hydrous minerals. These surface materials cannot be explained if the satellite formed at its present orbit by accreting from a circumjovian nebula. Amalthea and Thebe may be the remnants of Jupiter's inflowing building blocks that formed in the outer part or outside of the circumjovian nebula.

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