Solid CN bearing material on outer solar system bodies

Dale P. Cruikshank, L. J. Allamandola, William K. Hartmann, D. J. Tholen, R. H. Brown, C. N. Matthews, J. F. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Using telescopic observations by ourselves and other observers, we have identified cyano-group containing molecules in the very dark solids on the surfaces of a few D-class asteroids, the dust of some comets, and low-albedo hemisphere of Iapetus, and the rings of Uranus, through spectroscopic detection of the 2.2-μm overtone of the CN stretching fundamental mode. The occurrence of this band on all four classes of small Solar System bodies may be diagnostic of the duration of exposure and degree of modification of surface materials, and may also establish a link between outer Solar System and interstellar materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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