Determination of the composition and state of icy surfaces in the outer solar system

Robert H. Brown, Dale P. Cruikshank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Telescopic data combined with data gathered by spacecraft has brought worlds as distant as Pluto and the Kuiper belt objects under increasingly close scrutiny. Of particular interest here is the progress that has been made in our understanding of the properties of the satellites of the giant planets. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to review the present understanding of the nature of icy surfaces in the outer solar system, the ongoing processes that affect the composition, distribution, and physical state of volatiles on icy surfaces, and new techniques for probing the mysteries of the origin and evolution of icy bodies in the Solar System.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-277
Number of pages35
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
StatePublished - 1997


  • Icy satellites
  • Isotopic abundances
  • Outer solar system
  • Solar-system volatiles
  • Surface composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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