Water ice crystallinity and grain sizes on Dione

Sarah F. Newman, B. J. Buratti, R. H. Brown, R. Jaumann, J. Bauer, T. Momary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Saturn's satellite Dione is becoming an increasingly important object in the outer Solar System, as evidence for its current activity accumulates. Infrared observations of the surface can provide clues to the history of the body and currently active processes. Using data from the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), we perform three sets of analyses that are sensitive to the ice state, temperature, thermal history, grain size and composition of surface ice. These are calculation of a "crystallinity factor", spectral ratios and water ice band depths. In our analysis, we focus on the dichotomy between the wispy and dark terrain on Dione's trailing hemisphere, to better understand the source of the different materials and their current properties. Our results suggest two different scenarios: (1) the ice from the wispy region has a higher crystallinity and water ice content than the dark region or (2) the wispy region contains larger grains. Both of these models imply recent geologic activity on Dione.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Geological processes
  • IR spectroscopy
  • Ices
  • Satellites
  • Saturn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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