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Constraints on an exosphere at Ceres from Hubble Space Telescope observations
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0554-4691
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2422-5426
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2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 6, 2465-2472 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

We report far ultraviolet observations of Ceres obtained with the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph (COS) of the Hubble Space Telescope in the search for atomic emissions from an exosphere. The derived brightnesses at the oxygen lines at 1304 Å and 1356 Å are consistent with zero signals within the 1σ propagated statistical uncertainties. The OI 1304 Å brightness of 0.12 ± 0.20 Rayleighs can be explained by solar resonant scattering from an atomic oxygen column density of (8.2 ± 13.4) × 1010 cm-2. Assuming that O is produced by photodissociation of H2O, we derive an upper limit for H2O abundance and compare it to previous observations. Our upper limit is well above the expected O brightness for a tenuous sublimated H2O exosphere, but it suggests that H2O production with a rate higher than 4 × 1026 molecules s-1 was not present at the time of the COS observation. Additionally, we derive an extremely low geometric albedo of ∼1% in the 1300 Å to 1400 Å range.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2016. Vol. 43, no 6, 2465-2472 p.
Keyword [en]
Ceres, Dawn mission, exosphere, HST, water vapor
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187210DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067451ISI: 000374697200016ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84962626412OAI: diva2:929702

QC 20160519

Available from: 2016-05-19 Created: 2016-05-18 Last updated: 2016-06-08Bibliographically approved

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Roth, LorenzIvchenko, Nickolay
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