Spectroscopic determination of the phase composition and temperature of nitrogen ice on Triton

Kimberly A. Tryka, Robert H. Brown, Vincent Anicich, Dale P. Cruikshank, Tobias C. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Laboratory spectra of the first overtone band (2.1480 micrometers, 4655.4 reciprocal centimeters) of solid nitrogen show additional structure at 2.1618 micrometers (4625.8 reciprocal centimeters) over a limited temperature range. The spectrum of Neptune's satellite Triton shows the nitrogen overtone band as well as the temperature-sensitive component. The temperature dependence of this band may be used in conjunction with ground-based observations of Triton as an independent means of determining the temperature of surface deposits of nitrogen ice. The surface temperature of Triton is found to be 38.0-1.0 +2.0 K, in agreement with previous temperature estimates and measurements. There is no spectral evidence for the presence of α-nitrogen on Triton's surface, indicating that there is less than 10 percent carbon monoxide in solid solution with the nitrogen on the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-754
Number of pages4
Issue number5122
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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