Report

Exposed Water Ice Deposits on the Surface of Comet 9P/Tempel 1

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5766, pp. 1453-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.1123632

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

We report the direct detection of solid water ice deposits exposed on the surface of comet 9P/Tempel 1, as observed by the Deep Impact mission. Three anomalously colored areas are shown to include water ice on the basis of their near-infrared spectra, which include diagnostic water ice absorptions at wavelengths of 1.5 and 2.0 micrometers. These absorptions are well modeled as a mixture of nearby non-ice regions and 3 to 6% water ice particles 10 to 50 micrometers in diameter. These particle sizes are larger than those ejected during the impact experiment, which suggests that the surface deposits are loose aggregates. The total area of exposed water ice is substantially less than that required to support the observed ambient outgassing from the comet, which likely has additional source regions below the surface.

View Full Text