31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 50. Labratory Results Posters
Poster Group II, Thursday-Friday, October 14, 1999, , Kursaal Center

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[50.08] Laboratory IR Detection of H2O2 in Ion Irradiated Ice Relevant to Europa

M. H. Moore (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), R. L. Hudson (Eckerd College)

Hydrogen peroxide has been identified on Europa (Carlson et al. 1999) based in part on the 3.50 micron absorption feature observed in Galileo NIMS spectra. The observed feature was fitted with laboratory reflectance spectra of H2O + H2O2. Since condensed phase molecules on Europa (H2O, CO2, SO2, and H2O2) are bombarded with a significant flux of energetic particles (H+, On+, Sn+ and e-), we examined the proton irradiation of H2O at 80 K and the conditions for the IR detection of H2O2 near 3.5 microns. Contrary to expectations, H2O2 was not detected if pure H2O ice was irradiated at 80 K. This was an unexpected result since, H2O2 was detected if pure H2O was irradiated at 18 K. We find, however, that if H2O ice contains either O2 or CO2 then H2O2 is detected after irradiation at 80 K (Moore and Hudson, 1999). The source of O2 for the H2O ice on Europa could come from surface interactions with the tenuous oxygen atmosphere, or from the bombardment of the surface by On+.

Carlson, R. W., M. S. et al. Science 1999, 283, 2062-2064 Moore, M. H. and R. L. Hudson Icarus (submitted).

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