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Title: Ice chemistry on outer solar system bodies: Carboxylic acids, nitriles, and urea detected in refractory residues produced from the UV photolysis of N{sub 2}:CH{sub 4}:CO-containing ices

Radiation processing of the surface ices of outer solar system bodies may result in the production of new chemical species even at low temperatures. Many of the smaller, more volatile molecules that are likely produced by the photolysis of these ices have been well characterized by laboratory experiments. However, the more complex refractory material formed in these experiments remains largely uncharacterized. In this work, we present a series of laboratory experiments in which low-temperature (15-20 K) N{sub 2}:CH{sub 4}:CO ices in relative proportions 100:1:1 are subjected to UV irradiation, and the resulting materials are studied with a variety of analytical techniques including infrared spectroscopy, X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, and high-resolution mass spectroscopy. Despite the simplicity of the reactants, these experiments result in the production of a highly complex mixture of molecules from relatively low-mass volatiles (tens of daltons) to high-mass refractory materials (hundreds of daltons). These products include various carboxylic acids, nitriles, and urea, which are also expected to be present on the surface of outer solar system bodies, including Pluto and other transneptunian objects. If these compounds occur in sufficient concentrations in the ices of outer solar system bodies, their characteristic bandsmore » may be detectable in the near-infrared spectra of these objects.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-6, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000 (United States)
  2. Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356607
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; ABSORPTION SPECTROSCOPY; CARBON MONOXIDE; CARBOXYLIC ACIDS; GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY; ICE; INFRARED SPECTRA; MASS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; METHANE; MOLECULES; NITRILES; PHOTOLYSIS; PLUTO PLANET; PROCESSING; SOLAR SYSTEM; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; X RADIATION