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P.A. Gerakines (UAB and NRC/NASA-GSFC), M.H. Moore (Astrochemistry Branch, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center), R.L. Hudson (Department of Chemistry, Eckerd College)
Carbon suboxide (C3O2) is a well-known laboratory source of atomic carbon and may account for extended CO and C emission seen in the comae of comets such as Halley. Processed C3O2 in comet Halley's nucleus may also account for its low albedo. We have investigated the formation rates of carbon suboxide from CO and CO2 as a result of both proton irradiation and UV photolysis in laboratory ices at 18-20 K. Its stability in an H2O-dominated ice under energetic conditions has also been measured. For the purposes of identification in planetary ice spectra, mid-IR spectra from 2-25 microns are obtained for C3O2 when diluted in molecules of astrophysical interest (N2, CO, CO2, and H2O). Infrared band strengths ("A-values"), and vapor pressures from 110-125 K are also measured.
This work was performed in part while PAG held a NAS-NRC/NASA-GSFC research associateship.
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