Posts Tagged water ice

Recent Postings from water ice

Heavy ion irradiation of crystalline water ice

Under cosmic irradiation, the interstellar water ice mantles evolve towards a compact amorphous state. Crystalline ice amorphisation was previously monitored mainly in the keV to hundreds of keV ion energies. We experimentally investigate heavy ion irradiation amorphisation of crystalline ice, at high energies closer to true cosmic rays, and explore the water-ice sputtering yield. We irradiated thin crystalline ice films with MeV to GeV swift ion beams, produced at the GANIL accelerator. The ice infrared spectral evolution as a function of fluence is monitored with in-situ infrared spectroscopy (induced amorphisation of the initial crystalline state into a compact amorphous phase). The crystalline ice amorphisation cross-section is measured in the high electronic stopping-power range for different temperatures. At large fluence, the ice sputtering is measured on the infrared spectra, and the fitted sputtering-yield dependence, combined with previous measurements, is quadratic over three decades of electronic stopping power. The final state of cosmic ray irradiation for porous amorphous and crystalline ice, as monitored by infrared spectroscopy, is the same, but with a large difference in cross-section, hence in time scale in an astrophysical context. The cosmic ray water-ice sputtering rates compete with the UV photodesorption yields reported in the literature. The prevalence of direct cosmic ray sputtering over cosmic-ray induced photons photodesorption may be particularly true for ices strongly bonded to the ice mantles surfaces, such as hydrogen-bonded ice structures or more generally the so-called polar ices.

Photodesorption of H2O, HDO, and D2O ice and its impact on fractionation

The HDO/H2O ratio in interstellar gas is often used to draw conclusions on the origin of water in star-forming regions and on Earth. In cold cores and in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks, gas-phase water comes from photodesorption of water ice. We present fitting formulae for implementation in astrochemical models using photodesorption efficiencies for all water ice isotopologues obtained using classical molecular dynamics simulations. We investigate if the gas-phase HDO/H2O ratio reflects that present in the ice or whether fractionation can occur during photodesorption. Probabilities for the top four monolayers are presented for photodesorption of X (X=H,D) atoms, OX radicals, and X2O and HDO molecules following photodissociation of H2O, D2O, and HDO in H2O amorphous ice at temperatures from 10-100 K. Isotope effects are found for all products: (1) H atom photodesorption probabilities from H2O ice are larger than those for D atom photodesorption from D2O ice by a factor of 1.1; the ratio of H and D photodesorbed upon HDO photodissociation is a factor of 2. This process will enrich the ice in deuterium atoms over time; (2) the OD/OH photodesorption ratio upon D2O and H2O photodissociation is on average a factor of 2, but the ratio upon HDO photodissociation is almost constant at unity for all temperatures; (3) D atoms are more effective in kicking out neighbouring water molecules than H atoms. However, the ratio of the photodesorbed HDO and H2O molecules is equal to the HDO/H2O ratio in the ice, therefore, there is no isotope fractionation upon HDO and H2O photodesorption. Nevertheless, the enrichment of the ice in D atoms due to photodesorption can over time lead to an enhanced HDO/H2O ratio in the ice, and, when photodesorbed, also in the gas. The extent to which the ortho/para ratio of H2O can be modified by the photodesorption process is also discussed. (Abridged)

Saturn's Great Storm of 2010-2011: Evidence for ammonia and water ices from analysis of VIMS spectra

Our analysis of Cassini/VIMS near-infrared spectra of Saturn’s Great Storm of 2010-2011 reveals a multi-component aerosol composition comprised primarily of ammonia ice, with a significant component of water ice. The most likely third component is ammonium hydrosulfide or some weakly absorbing material similar to what dominates visible clouds outside the storm region. Horizontally heterogeneous models favor ammonium hydrosulfide as the third component, while horizontally uniform models favor the weak absorber. Both models rely on water ice absorption to compensate for residual spectral gradients produced by ammonia ice from 3.0 microns to 3.1 microns and need the third component to fill in the sharp ammonia ice absorption peak near 2.96 microns. The best heterogeneous model has spatial coverage fractions of 55% ammonia ice, 22% water ice, and 23% ammonium hydrosulfide. The best homogeneous model has an optically thin layer of weakly absorbing particles above an optically thick layer of water ice particles coated by ammonia ice. This is the first spectroscopic evidence of water ice in Saturn’s atmosphere, found near the level of Saturn’s visible cloud deck where it could only be delivered by powerful convection originating from ~200 km deeper in the atmosphere.

Correlations of atmospheric water ice and dust in the Martian Polar regions

We report on the interannual variability of the atmospheric ice/dust cycle in the Martian polar regions for Mars Years 28-30. We used CRISM emission phase function measurements to derive atmospheric dust optical depths and data from the MARCI instrument to derive atmospheric water ice optical depths. We have used autocorrelation and cross correlation functions in order to quantify the degree to which dust and ice are correlated throughout both polar regions during Mars Years 28-29. We find that in the south polar region, dust has the tendency to "self clear", demonstrated by negative autocorrelation around the central peak. This does not occur in the north polar region. In the south polar region, dust and ice are temporally and spatially anti correlated. In the north polar region, this relationship is reversed, however temporal correlation of northern dust and ice clouds is weak – 6 times weaker than the anticorrelation in the south polar region. Our latitudinal autocorrelation functions allow us to put average spatial sizes of event cores and halos. Dust events in the south are largest, affecting almost the entire pole, whereas dust storms are smaller in the north. Ice clouds in north are similar in latitudinal extent to those in the south (both have halos < 10{\deg}). Using cross-correlation functions of water ice and dust, we find that dust events temporally lag ice events by 35-80 degrees of solar longitude in the north and south poles, which is likely due to seasonality of dust and ice events.

Quantification of summertime water ice deposition on the Martian north polar ice cap

We use observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of the north polar cap during late summer for two Martian years, to monitor the complete summer cycle of albedo and water ice grain size in order to place quantitative limits of the amount of water ice deposited in late summer. We establish here for the first time the complete spring to summer cycle of water ice grain sizes on the north polar cap. The apparent grain sizes grow until Ls=132, when they appear to shrink again, until they are obscured at the end of summer by the north polar hood. Under the assumption that the shrinking of grain sizes is due to the deposition of find grained ice, we quantify the amount of water ice deposited per Martian boreal summer, and estimate the amount of water ice that must be transported equatorward. Interestingly, we find that the relative amount of water ice deposited in the north cap during boreal summer (0.7-7 microns) is roughly equivalent to the average amount of water ice deposited on the south polar cap during austral summer (0.6-6 microns).

Collisions of small ice particles under microgravity conditions (II): Does the chemical composition of the ice change the collisional properties?

Context: Understanding the collisional properties of ice is important for understanding both the early stages of planet formation and the evolution of planetary ring systems. Simple chemicals such as methanol and formic acid are known to be present in cold protostellar regions alongside the dominant water ice; they are also likely to be incorporated into planets which form in protoplanetary disks, and planetary ring systems. However, the effect of the chemical composition of the ice on its collisional properties has not yet been studied. Aims: Collisions of 1.5 cm ice spheres composed of pure crystalline water ice, water with 5% methanol, and water with 5% formic acid were investigated to determine the effect of the ice composition on the collisional outcomes. Methods: The collisions were conducted in a dedicated experimental instrument, operated under microgravity conditions, at relative particle impact velocities between 0.01 and 0.19 m s^-1, temperatures between 131 and 160 K and a pressure of around 10^-5 mbar. Results: A range of coefficients of restitution were found, with no correlation between this and the chemical composition, relative impact velocity, or temperature. Conclusions: We conclude that the chemical composition of the ice (at the level of 95% water ice and 5% methanol or formic acid) does not affect the collisional properties at these temperatures and pressures due to the inability of surface wetting to take place. At a level of 5% methanol or formic acid, the structure is likely to be dominated by crystalline water ice, leading to no change in collisional properties. The surface roughness of the particles is the dominant factor in explaining the range of coefficients of restitution.

Short-term variability on the surface of (1) Ceres. A changing amount of water ice? [Replacement]

Context: The dwarf planet (1) Ceres – next target of the NASA Dawn mission – is the largest body in the asteroid main belt; although several observations of this body have been performed so far, the presence of surface water ice is still questioned. Aims: Our goal is to better understand the surface composition of Ceres, and to constrain the presence of exposed water ice. Methods: We acquired new visible and near-infrared spectra at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG, La Palma, Spain), and reanalyzed literature spectra in the 3-$\mu$m region. Results: We obtained the first rotationally-resolved spectroscopic observations of Ceres at visible wavelengths. Visible spectra taken one month apart at almost the same planetocentric coordinates show a significant slope variation (up to 3 %/10$^3\AA$). A faint absorption centered at 0.67 $\mu$m, possibly due to aqueous alteration, is detected in a subset of our spectra. The various explanations in the literature for the 3.06-$\mu$m feature can be interpreted as due to a variable amount of surface water ice at different epochs. Conclusions: The remarkable short-term temporal variability of the visible spectral slope, and the changing shape of the 3.06-$\mu$m band, can be hints of different amounts of water ice exposed on the surface of Ceres. This would be in agreement with the recent detection by the Herschel Space Observatory of localized and transient sources of water vapour over this dwarf planet.

Short-term variability over the surface of (1) Ceres. A changing amount of water ice?

Context: The dwarf planet (1) Ceres – next target of the NASA Dawn mission – is the largest body in the asteroid main belt; although several observations of this body have been performed so far, the presence of surface water ice is still questioned. Aims: Our goal is to better understand the surface composition of Ceres, and to constrain the presence of exposed water ice. Methods: We acquired new visible and near-infrared spectra at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG, La Palma, Spain), and reanalyzed literature spectra in the 3-$\mu$m region. Results: We obtained the first rotationally-resolved spectroscopic observations of Ceres at visible wavelengths. Visible spectra taken one month apart at almost the same planetocentric coordinates show a significant slope variation (up to 3 %/10$^3\AA$). A faint absorption centered at 0.67 $\mu$m, possibly due to aqueous alteration, is detected in a subset of our spectra. The various explanations in the literature for the 3.06-$\mu$m feature can be interpreted as due to a variable amount of surface water ice at different epochs. Conclusions: The remarkable short-term temporal variability of the visible spectral slope, and the changing shape of the 3.06-$\mu$m band, can be hints of different amounts of water ice exposed on the surface of Ceres. This would be in agreement with the recent detection by the Herschel Space Observatory of localized and transient sources of water vapour over this dwarf planet.

Detections of trans-Neptunian ice in protoplanetary disks

We present Herschel Space Observatory PACS spectra of T Tauri stars, in which we detect amorphous and crystalline water ice features. Using irradiated accretion disk models, we determine the disk structure and ice abundance in each of the systems. Combining a model-independent comparison of the ice feature strength and disk size with a detailed analysis of the model ice location, we estimate that the ice emitting region is at disk radii >30AU, consistent with a proto-Kuiper belt. Vertically, the ice emits most below the photodesorption zone, consistent with Herschel observations of cold water vapor. The presence of crystallized water ice at a disk location a) colder than its crystallization temperature and b) where it should have been re-amorphized in ~1 Myr suggests that localized generation is occurring; the most likely cause appears to be micrometeorite impact or planetesimal collisions. Based on simple tests with UV models and different ice distributions, we suggest that the SED shape from 20 to 50 micron may probe the location of the water ice snow line in the disk upper layers. This project represents one of the first extra-solar probes of the spatial structure of the cometary ice reservoir thought to deliver water to terrestrial planets.

The D/H Ratio of Water Ice at Low Temperatures

We present the modeling results of deuterium fractionation of water ice, H2, and the primary deuterium isotopologues of H3+ adopting physical conditions associated with the star and planet formation process. We calculated the deuterium chemistry for a range of gas temperatures (T_gas ~ 10 – 30 K), molecular hydrogen density (n(H2)~ 10^4 – 10^7), and ortho/para ratio (opr) of H2 based on state-to-state reaction rates and explore the resulting fractionation including the formation of a water ice mantle coating grain surfaces. We find that the deuterium fractionation exhibits the expected temperature dependence of large enrichments at low gas temperature. More significantly the inclusion of water ice formation leads to large D/H ratios in water ice (>= 10^-2 at 10 K) but also alters the overall deuterium chemistry. For T < 20 K the implantation of deuterium into ices lowers the overall abundance of HD which reduces the efficiency of deuterium fractionation at high density. In agreement with an earlier study, under these conditions HD may not be the primary deuterium reservoir in the cold dense interstellar medium and H3+ will be the main charge carrier in the dense centers of pre-stellar cores and the protoplanetary disk midplane.

Collisions of small ice particles under microgravity conditions

Planetisimals are thought to be formed from the solid material of a protoplanetary disk by a process of dust aggregation. It is not known how growth proceeds to kilometre sizes, but it has been proposed that water ice beyond the snowline might affect this process. To better understand collisional processes in protoplanetary disks leading to planet formation, the individual low velocity collisions of small ice particles were investigated. The particles were collided under microgravity conditions on a parabolic flight campaign using a purpose-built, cryogenically cooled experimental setup. The setup was capable of colliding pairs of small ice particles (between 4.7 and 10.8 mm in diameter) together at relative collision velocities of between 0.27 and 0.51 m s ^-1 at temperatures between 131 and 160 K. Two types of ice particle were used: ice spheres and irregularly shaped ice fragments. Bouncing was observed in the majority of cases with a few cases of fragmentation. A full range of normalised impact parameters (b/R = 0.0-1.0) was realised with this apparatus. Coefficients of restitution were evenly spread between 0.08 and 0.65 with an average value of 0.36, leading to a minimum of 58% of translational energy being lost in the collision. The range of coefficients of restitution is attributed to the surface roughness of the particles used in the study. Analysis of particle rotation shows that up to 17% of the energy of the particles before the collision was converted into rotational energy. Temperature did not affect the coefficients of restitution over the range studied.

The stickiness of micrometer-sized water-ice particles

Water ice is one of the most abundant materials in dense molecular clouds and in the outer reaches of protoplanetary disks. In contrast to other materials (e.g., silicates) water ice is assumed to be stickier due to its higher specific surface energy, leading to faster or more efficient growth in mutual collisions. However, experiments investigating the stickiness of water ice have been scarce, particularly in the astrophysically relevant micrometer-size region and at low temperatures. In this work, we present an experimental setup to grow aggregates composed of $\mathrm{\mu}$m-sized water-ice particles, which we used to measure the sticking and erosion thresholds of the ice particles at different temperatures between $114 \, \mathrm{K}$ and $260 \, \mathrm{K}$. We show with our experiments that for low temperatures (below $\sim 210 \, \mathrm{K}$), $\mathrm{\mu}$m-sized water-ice particles stick below a threshold velocity of $9.6 \, \mathrm{m \, s^{-1}}$, which is approximately ten times higher than the sticking threshold of $\mathrm{\mu}$m-sized silica particles. Furthermore, erosion of the grown ice aggregates is observed for velocities above $15.3 \, \mathrm{m \, s^{-1}}$. A comparison of the experimentally derived sticking threshold with model predictions is performed to determine important material properties of water ice, i.e., the specific surface energy and the viscous relaxation time. Our experimental results indicate that the presence of water ice in the outer reaches of protoplanetary disks can enhance the growth of planetesimals by direct sticking of particles.

How to link the relative abundances of gas species in coma of comets to their initial chemical composition ?

The chemical composition of comets is frequently assumed to be directly provided by the observations of the abundances of volatile molecules in the coma. The present work aims to determine the relationship between the chemical composition of the coma, the outgassing profile of volatile molecules and the internal chemical composition, and water ice structure of the nucleus, and physical assumptions on comets. To do this, we have developed a quasi 3D model of a cometary nucleus which takes into account all phase changes and water ice structures (amorphous, crystalline, clathrate, and a mixture of them); we have applied this model to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the target of the Rosetta mission. We find that the outgassing profile of volatile molecules is a strong indicator of the physical and thermal properties (water ice structure, thermal inertia, abundances, distribution, physical differentiation) of the solid nucleus. Day/night variations of the rate of production of species helps to distinguish the clathrate structure from other water ice structures in nuclei, implying different thermodynamic conditions of cometary ice formation in the protoplanetary disc. The relative abundance (to H2O) of volatile molecules released from the nucleus interior varies by some orders of magnitude as a function of the distance to the sun, the volatility of species, their abundance and distribution between the trapped and condensed states, the structure of water ice, and the thermal inertia and other physical assumptions (dust mantle, …) on the nucleus.

Pore evolution in interstellar ice analogues: simulating the effects of temperature increase

Context. The level of porosity of interstellar ices – largely comprised of amorphous solid water (ASW) – contains clues on the trapping capacity of other volatile species and determines the surface accessibility that is needed for solid state reactions to take place. Aims. Our goal is to simulate the growth of amorphous water ice at low temperature (10 K) and to characterize the evolution of the porosity (and the specific surface area) as a function of temperature (from 10 to 120 K). Methods. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations are used to mimic the formation and the thermal evolution of pores in amorphous water ice. We follow the accretion of gas-phase water molecules as well as their migration on surfaces with different grid sizes, both at the top growing layer and within the bulk. Results. We show that the porosity characteristics change substantially in water ice as the temperature increases. The total surface of the pores decreases strongly while the total volume decreases only slightly for higher temperatures. This will decrease the overall reaction efficiency, but in parallel, small pores connect and merge, allowing trapped molecules to meet and react within the pores network, providing a pathway to increase the reaction efficiency. We introduce pore coalescence as a new solid state process that may boost the solid state formation of new molecules in space and has not been considered so far.

External Photoevaporation of the Solar Nebula: Jupiter's Noble Gas Enrichments

We present a model explaining elemental enrichments in Jupiter’s atmosphere, particularly the noble gases Ar, Kr, and Xe. While He, Ne and O are depleted, seven other elements show similar enrichments ($\sim$3 times solar, relative to H). Being volatile, Ar is difficult to fractionate from ${\rm H}_{2}$. We argue that external photoevaporation by far ultraviolet (FUV) radiation from nearby massive stars removed ${\rm H}_{2}$, He, and Ne from the solar nebula, but Ar and other species were retained because photoevaporation occurred at large heliocentric distances where temperatures were cold enough ($\lt 30$ K) to trap them in amorphous water ice. As the solar nebula lost H it became relatively and uniformly enriched in other species. Our model improves on the similar model of Guillot \& Hueso (2006). We recognize that cold temperatures alone do not trap volatiles; continuous water vapor production also is necessary. We demonstrate that FUV fluxes that photoevaporated the disk generated sufficient water vapor, in regions $\lt 30$ K, to trap gas-phase species in amorphous water ice, in solar proportions. We find more efficient chemical fractionation in the outer disk: whereas the model of Guillot \& Hueso (2006) predicts a factor of 3 enrichment when only $< 2\%$ of the disk mass remains, we find the same enrichments when 30\% of the disk mass remains. Finally, we predict the presence of $\sim 0.1 \, M_{\oplus}$ of water vapor in the outer solar nebula and in protoplanetary disks in H II regions.

A Precise Water Abundance Measurement for the Hot Jupiter WASP-43b

The water abundance in a planetary atmosphere provides a key constraint on the planet’s primordial origins because water ice is expected to play an important role in the core accretion model of planet formation. However, the water content of the Solar System giant planets is not well known because water is sequestered in clouds deep in their atmospheres. By contrast, short-period exoplanets have such high temperatures that their atmospheres have water in the gas phase, making it possible to measure the water abundance for these objects. We present a precise determination of the water abundance in the atmosphere of the 2 $M_\mathrm{Jup}$ short-period exoplanet WASP-43b based on thermal emission and transmission spectroscopy measurements obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. We find the water content is consistent with the value expected in a solar composition gas at planetary temperatures (0.4-3.5x solar at 1 $\sigma$ confidence). The metallicity of WASP-43b’s atmosphere suggested by this result extends the trend observed in the Solar System of lower metal enrichment for higher planet masses.

The ancient heritage of water ice in the solar system

Identifying the source of Earth’s water is central to understanding the origins of life-fostering environments and to assessing the prevalence of such environments in space. Water throughout the solar system exhibits deuterium-to-hydrogen enrichments, a fossil relic of low-temperature, ion-derived chemistry within either (i) the parent molecular cloud or (ii) the solar nebula protoplanetary disk. Utilizing a comprehensive treatment of disk ionization, we find that ion-driven deuterium pathways are inefficient, curtailing the disk’s deuterated water formation and its viability as the sole source for the solar system’s water. This finding implies that if the solar system’s formation was typical, abundant interstellar ices are available to all nascent planetary systems.

Water in Low-Mass Star-Forming Regions with Herschel: The Link Between Water Gas and Ice in Protostellar Envelopes

Aims: Our aim is to determine the critical parameters in water chemistry and the contribution of water to the oxygen budget by observing and modelling water gas and ice for a sample of eleven low-mass protostars, for which both forms of water have been observed. Methods: A simplified chemistry network, which is benchmarked against more sophisticated chemical networks, is developed that includes the necessary ingredients to determine the water vapour and ice abundance profiles in the cold, outer envelope in which the temperature increases towards the protostar. Comparing the results from this chemical network to observations of water emission lines and previously published water ice column densities, allows us to probe the influence of various agents (e.g., FUV field, initial abundances, timescales, and kinematics). Results: The observed water ice abundances with respect to hydrogen nuclei in our sample are 30-80ppm, and therefore contain only 10-30% of the volatile oxygen budget of 320ppm. The keys to reproduce this result are a low initial water ice abundance after the pre-collapse phase together with the fact that atomic oxygen cannot freeze-out and form water ice in regions with T(dust)>15 K. This requires short prestellar core lifetimes of less than about 0.1Myr. The water vapour profile is shaped through the interplay of FUV photodesorption, photodissociation, and freeze-out. The water vapour line profiles are an invaluable tracer for the FUV photon flux and envelope kinematics. Conclusions: The finding that only a fraction of the oxygen budget is locked in water ice can be explained either by a short pre-collapse time of less than 0.1 Myr at densities of n(H)~1e4 cm-3, or by some other process that resets the initial water ice abundance for the post-collapse phase. A key for the understanding of the water ice abundance is the binding energy of atomic oxygen on ice.

Absorption of crystalline water ice in the far infrared at different temperatures

The optical properties of ice in the far infrared are important for models of protoplanetary and debris disks. In this report we derive a new set of data for the absorption (represented by the imaginary part of the refractive index $\kappa$) of crystalline water ice in this spectral range, including a detailed inspection of the temperature dependence, which had not been done in such detail before. We measured the transmission of three ice layers with different thickness at wavelengths $\lambda=45…1000$ microns at temperatures $\vartheta = 10…250$ K. We found a change in the spectral dependence of $\kappa$ at a wavelength of $175 \pm 6$ microns. At shorter wavelengths, $\kappa$ exhibits a constant flat slope and no significant temperature dependence. Long-ward of that wavelength, the slope gets steeper and has a clear, approximately linear temperature dependence. This change in the behaviour is probably caused by a characteristic absorption band of water ice. The measured data were fitted by a power-law model that analytically describes the absorption behaviour at an arbitrary temperature. This model can readily be applied to any object of interest, for instance a protoplanetary or a debris disk. To illustrate how the model works, we simulated the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the resolved, large debris disk around the nearby solar-type star HD 207129. Replacing our ice model by another, commonly used data set for water ice results in a different SED slope at longer wavelengths. This leads to changes in the characteristic model parameters of the disk, such as the inferred particle size distribution, and affects the interpretation of the underlying collisional physics of the disk.

Absorption of crystalline water ice in the far infrared at different temperatures [Replacement]

The optical properties of ice in the far infrared are important for models of protoplanetary and debris disks. In this report we derive a new set of data for the absorption (represented by the imaginary part of the refractive index $\kappa$) of crystalline water ice in this spectral range, including a detailed inspection of the temperature dependence, which had not been done in such detail before. We measured the transmission of three ice layers with different thicknesses at temperatures $\vartheta = 10…250$K and present data at wavelengths $\lambda=80…625$ microns. We found a change in the spectral dependence of $\kappa$ at a wavelength of $175 \pm 6$ microns. At shorter wavelengths, $\kappa$ exhibits a constant flat slope and no significant temperature dependence. Long-ward of that wavelength, the slope gets steeper and has a clear, approximately linear temperature dependence. This change in the behaviour is probably caused by a characteristic absorption band of water ice. The measured data were fitted by a power-law model that analytically describes the absorption behaviour at an arbitrary temperature. This model can readily be applied to any object of interest, for instance a protoplanetary or a debris disk. To illustrate how the model works, we simulated the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the resolved, large debris disk around the nearby solar-type star HD 207129. Replacing our ice model by another, commonly used data set for water ice results in a different SED slope at longer wavelengths. This leads to changes in the characteristic model parameters of the disk, such as the inferred particle size distribution, and affects the interpretation of the underlying collisional physics of the disk.

Lately Exposed Amorphous Water Ice on Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux [Replacement]

Comet 49P/ Arend-Rigaux, thought to be a low activity comet since the 1980′s was found to be active in its recent apparitions. Recent analysis of the data obtained from Spitzer observation of the comet in 2006 compared with laboratory spectra has revealed amorphous water ice on the surface. In addition, in 2012 a jet was found to appear during its subsequent perihelion passage as witnessed during an observation carried out on 26th March 2012 using the PRL telescope at Mt. Abu. This confirms recent activity of Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux due to the volatile subsurface materials exposed after several passages close to the Sun. Our result confirms the subsurface ices on cometary nuclei and insists for more observations for a better understanding.

Lately Exposed Amorphous Water Ice on Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux

Comet 49P/ Arend-Rigaux, thought to be a low activity comet since the 1980′s was found to be active in its recent apparitions. Recent analysis of the data obtained from Spitzer observation of the comet in 2006 compared with laboratory spectra has revealed amorphous water ice on the surface. In addition, in 2012 a jet was found to appear during its subsequent perihelion passage as witnessed during an observation carried out on 26th March 2012 using the PRL telescope at Mt. Abu. This confirms recent activity of Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux due to the volatile subsurface materials exposed after several passages close to the Sun. Our result confirms the subsurface ices on cometary nuclei and insists for more observations for a better understanding.

Lately Exposed Amorphous Water Ice on Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux [Replacement]

Comet 49P/ Arend-Rigaux, thought to be a low activity comet since the 1980′s was found to be active in its recent apparitions. Recent analysis of the data obtained from Spitzer observation of the comet in 2006 compared with laboratory spectra has revealed amorphous water ice on the surface. In addition, in 2012 a jet was found to appear during its subsequent perihelion passage as witnessed during an observation carried out on 26th March 2012 using the PRL telescope at Mt. Abu. This confirms recent activity of Comet 49P/Arend-Rigaux due to the volatile subsurface materials exposed after several passages close to the Sun. Our result confirms the subsurface ices on cometary nuclei and insists for more observations for a better understanding.

Diffusion-desorption ratio of adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ice

Diffusion of atoms and molecules is a key process for the chemical evolution in the star forming regions of the interstellar medium. Accurate data on the mobility of many important interstellar species is however often not available and this provides a serious limitation for the reliability of models describing the physical and chemical processes in molecular clouds. Here we aim to provide the astrochemical modeling community with reliable data on the ratio between the energy barriers for diffusion and desorption for adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ices. To this end, we use a fully atomistic, off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo technique to generate dynamical trajectories of CO and CO$_2$ molecules on the surface of crystalline ice at temperatures relevant for the interstellar medium. The diffusion to desorption barrier ratios are determined to be 0.31 for CO and 0.39 for CO$_2$ . These ratios can be directly used to improve the accuracy of current gas-grain chemical models.

Diffusion-desorption ratio of adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ice [Replacement]

Diffusion of atoms and molecules is a key process for the chemical evolution in the star forming regions of the interstellar medium. Accurate data on the mobility of many important interstellar species is however often not available and this provides a serious limitation for the reliability of models describing the physical and chemical processes in molecular clouds. Here we aim to provide the astrochemical modeling community with reliable data on the ratio between the energy barriers for diffusion and desorption for adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ices. To this end, we use a fully atomistic, off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo technique to generate dynamical trajectories of CO and CO$_2$ molecules on the surface of crystalline ice at temperatures relevant for the interstellar medium. The diffusion to desorption barrier ratios are determined to be 0.31 for CO and 0.39 for CO$_2$ . These ratios can be directly used to improve the accuracy of current gas-grain chemical models.

Diffusion-desorption ratio of adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ice [Replacement]

Diffusion of atoms and molecules is a key process for the chemical evolution in the star forming regions of the interstellar medium. Accurate data on the mobility of many important interstellar species is however often not available and this provides a serious limitation for the reliability of models describing the physical and chemical processes in molecular clouds. Here we aim to provide the astrochemical modeling community with reliable data on the ratio between the energy barriers for diffusion and desorption for adsorbed CO and CO$_2$ on water ices. To this end, we use a fully atomistic, off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo technique to generate dynamical trajectories of CO and CO$_2$ molecules on the surface of crystalline ice at temperatures relevant for the interstellar medium. The diffusion to desorption barrier ratios are determined to be 0.31 for CO and 0.39 for CO$_2$ . These ratios can be directly used to improve the accuracy of current gas-grain chemical models.

Fragmentation of colliding planetesimals with water content

We investigate the outcome of collisions of Ceres-sized planetesimals composed of a rocky core and a shell of water ice. These collisions are not only relevant for explaining the formation of planetary embryos in early planetary systems, but also provide insight into the formation of asteroid families and possible water transport via colliding small bodies. Earlier studies show characteristic collision velocities exceeding the bodies’ mutual escape velocity which – along with the distribution of the impact angles – cover the collision outcome regimes ‘partial accretion’, ‘erosion’, and ‘hit-and-run’ leading to different expected fragmentation scenarios. Existing collision simulations use bodies composed of strengthless material; we study the distribution of fragments and their water contents considering the full elasto-plastic continuum mechanics equations also including brittle failure and fragmentation.

The gas-ice chemical interplay during cloud evolution [Replacement]

During the evolution of diffuse clouds to molecular clouds, gas-phase molecules freeze out on surfaces of small dust particles to form ices. On dust surfaces, water is the main constituent of the icy mantle in which a complex chemistry is taking place. We aim to study the formation pathways and the composition of the ices throughout the evolution of diffuse clouds. For this purpose, we use time-dependent rate equations to calculate the molecular abundances in both gas phase and on solid surfaces (onto dust grains). We fully consider the gas-dust interplay by including the details of freeze-out, chemical and thermal desorption, as well as the most important photo-processes on grain surfaces. The difference in binding energies of chemical species on bare and icy surfaces is also incorporated into our equations. Using the numerical code FLASH, we perform a hydrodynamical simulation of a gravitationally bound diffuse cloud and follow its contraction. We find that while the dust grains are still bare, water formation is enhanced by grain surface chemistry which is subsequently released into the gas phase, enriching the molecular medium. The CO molecules, on the other hand, tend to freeze out gradually on bare grains. This causes CO to be well mixed and strongly present within the first ice layer. Once one monolayer of water ice has formed, the binding energy of the grain surface changes significantly and an immediate and strong depletion of gas-phase water and CO molecules occur. While hydrogenation converts solid CO into formaldehyde (H$_2$CO) and methanol (CH$_3$OH), water ice becomes the main constituent of the icy grains. Inside molecular clumps formaldehyde is more abundant than water and methanol in the gas phase owing its presence mainly to chemical desorption.

Interplay of gas and ice during cloud evolution [Replacement]

During the evolution of diffuse clouds to molecular clouds, gas-phase molecules freeze out on surfaces of small dust particles to form ices. On dust surfaces, water is the main constituent of the icy mantle in which a complex chemistry is taking place. We aim to study the formation pathways and the composition of the ices throughout the evolution of diffuse clouds. For this purpose, we use time-dependent rate equations to calculate the molecular abundances in both gas phase and on solid surfaces (onto dust grains). We fully consider the gas-dust interplay by including the details of freeze-out, chemical and thermal desorption, as well as the most important photo-processes on grain surfaces. The difference in binding energies of chemical species on bare and icy surfaces is also incorporated into our equations. Using the numerical code FLASH, we perform a hydrodynamical simulation of a gravitationally bound diffuse cloud and follow its contraction. We find that while the dust grains are still bare, water formation is enhanced by grain surface chemistry which is subsequently released into the gas phase, enriching the molecular medium. The CO molecules, on the other hand, tend to freeze out gradually on bare grains. This causes CO to be well mixed and strongly present within the first ice layer. Once one monolayer of water ice has formed, the binding energy of the grain surface changes significantly and an immediate and strong depletion of gas-phase water and CO molecules occur. While hydrogenation converts solid CO into formaldehyde (H$_2$CO) and methanol (CH$_3$OH), water ice becomes the main constituent of the icy grains. Inside molecular clumps formaldehyde is more abundant than water and methanol in the gas phase owing its presence in part to chemical desorption.

The gas-ice chemical interplay during cloud evolution

During the evolution of diffuse clouds to molecular clouds, gas-phase molecules freeze out on surfaces of small dust particles to form ices. On dust surfaces, water is the main constituent of the icy mantle in which a complex chemistry is taking place. We aim to study the formation pathways and the composition of the ices throughout the evolution of diffuse clouds. For this purpose, we use time-dependent rate equations to calculate the molecular abundances in both gas phase and on solid surfaces (onto dust grains). We fully consider the gas-dust interplay by including the details of freeze-out, chemical and thermal desorption, as well as the most important photo-processes on grain surfaces. The difference in binding energies of chemical species on bare and icy surfaces is also incorporated into our equations. Using the numerical code FLASH, we perform a hydrodynamical simulation of a gravitationally bound diffuse cloud and follow its contraction. We find that while the dust grains are still bare, water formation is enhanced by grain surface chemistry which is subsequently released into the gas phase, enriching the molecular medium. The CO molecules, on the other hand, tend to freeze out gradually on bare grains. This causes CO to be well mixed and strongly present within the first ice layer. Once one monolayer of water ice has formed, the binding energy of the grain surface changes significantly and an immediate and strong depletion of gas-phase water and CO molecules occur. While hydrogenation converts solid CO into formaldehyde (H$_2$CO) and methanol (CH$_3$OH), water ice becomes the main constituent of the icy grains. Inside molecular clumps formaldehyde is more abundant than water and methanol in the gas phase owing its presence mainly to chemical desorption.

The irradiation of water ice by C$^+$ ions in the cosmic environment

We present a first principles molecular dynamics (FPMD) study of the interaction of low energy, positively charged, carbon (C+) projectiles with amorphous solid water clusters at 30 K. Reactions involving the carbon ion at an initial energy of 11 eV and 1.7 eV with 30-molecule clusters have been investigated. Simulations indicate that the neutral isoformyl radical, COH, and carbon monoxide, CO, are the dominant products of these reactions. All these reactions are accompanied by the transfer of a proton from the reacting water molecule to the ice, where it forms a hydronium ion. We find that COH is formed either via a direct, "knock-out", mechanism following the impact of the C+ projectile upon a water molecule or by creation of a COH_2^+ intermediate. The direct mechanism is more prominent at higher energies. CO is generally produced following the dissociation of COH. More frequent production of the formyl radical, HCO, is observed here than in gas phase calculations. A less commonly occurring product is the dihydroxymethyl, CH(OH)_2, radical. Although a minor result, its existence gives an indication of the increasing chemical complexity which is possible in such heterogeneous environments.

A common column density threshold for scattering at 3.6 mum and water-ice in molecular clouds

Context: Observations of scattered light in the 1-5 $\mu$m range have revealed dust grains in molecular cores with sizes larger than commonly inferred for the diffuse interstellar medium. It is currently unclear whether these grains are grown within the molecular cores or are an ubiquitous component of the interstellar medium. Aims: We investigate whether the large grains necessary for efficient scattering at 1-5 mum are associated with the abundance of water-ice within molecular clouds and cores. Methods: We combined water-ice abundance measurements for sight lines through the Lupus IV molecular cloud complex with measurements of the scattered light at 3.6 mum for the same sight lines. Results: We find that there is a similar threshold for the cores in emission in scattered light at 3.6 mum (tau_9.7=0.15pm0.05, A_K=0.4pm0.2 as water-ice (tau_9.7=0.11pm0.01, A_K=0.19pm0.04) and that the scattering efficiency increases as the relative water-ice abundance increases. The ice layer increases the average grain size, which again strongly increases the albedo. Conclusions: The higher scattering efficiency is partly due to layering of ice on the dust grains. Although the layer can be relatively thin it can enhance the scattering substantially.

Photometric and spectroscopic evidence for a dense ring system around Centaur Chariklo

In this work we aim to study if the variability in the absolute magnitude of Chariklo and the temporal variation of the spectral ice feature, even its disappearance in 2007, can be explained by an icy ring system whose aspect angle changes with time. We modeled the light reflected by a system as the one described above to explain the variations on the absolute magnitude of Chariklo and its rings. Using X-Shooter at VLT we obtained a new reflectance spectra, here we compared this new set of data with the ones available in the literature. We showed how the water ice feature is visible in 2013 in accordance with the ring configuration, which had an opening angle of nearly 34$^o$ in 2013. Finally we also used models of the scattering of light to fit the visible and near-infrared spectra showing different characteristic to obtain information on the composition of Chariklo and its rings. {We showed that past absolute photometry of Chariklo from the literature and new photometric data that we obtained in 2013 can be explained by a ring of particles whose opening angle changes as a function of time. We used the two possible pole solutions for the ring system and found that only one of them, $\alpha$=151.30$\pm0.5$, $\delta=41.48\pm0.2$ $^o$ ($\lambda=137.9\pm0.5$, $\beta=27.7\pm0.2$ $^o$) provides the right variation of the aspect angle with time to explain the photometry, whereas the other possible pole solution fails to explain the photometry. From spectral modeling, using the result on the pole solution, we derived the composition of Chariklo surface and of that of the rings. Chariklo surface is composed by nearly 60% of amorphous carbon, 30% of silicates and 10\% of organics, no water ice was found on the surface. Whereas the ring contains 20% of water ice, 40-70% of silicates and 10-30% of tholins and small quantities of amorphous carbon.

Photometric and spectroscopic evidence for a dense ring system around Centaur Chariklo [Replacement]

In this work we aim to study if the variability in the absolute magnitude of Chariklo and the temporal variation of the spectral ice feature, even its disappearance in 2007, can be explained by an icy ring system whose aspect angle changes with time. We modeled the light reflected by a system as the one described above to explain the variations on the absolute magnitude of Chariklo and its rings. Using X-Shooter at VLT we obtained a new reflectance spectra, here we compared this new set of data with the ones available in the literature. We showed how the water ice feature is visible in 2013 in accordance with the ring configuration, which had an opening angle of nearly 34$^o$ in 2013. Finally we also used models of the scattering of light to fit the visible and near-infrared spectra showing different characteristic to obtain information on the composition of Chariklo and its rings. {We showed that past absolute photometry of Chariklo from the literature and new photometric data that we obtained in 2013 can be explained by a ring of particles whose opening angle changes as a function of time. We used the two possible pole solutions for the ring system and found that only one of them, $\alpha$=151.30$\pm0.5$, $\delta=41.48\pm0.2$ $^o$ ($\lambda=137.9\pm0.5$, $\beta=27.7\pm0.2$ $^o$) provides the right variation of the aspect angle with time to explain the photometry, whereas the other possible pole solution fails to explain the photometry. From spectral modeling, using the result on the pole solution, we derived the composition of Chariklo surface and of that of the rings. Chariklo surface is composed by nearly 60% of amorphous carbon, 30% of silicates and 10\% of organics, no water ice was found on the surface. Whereas the ring contains 20% of water ice, 40-70% of silicates and 10-30% of tholins and small quantities of amorphous carbon.

Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l’Mineralogie, l’Eau les Glaces et l’Activite (OMEGA) (Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap (Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a ‘minimum apparent’ amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2mm (with 70 percent porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6-6 percent of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our ‘minimal apparent’ quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

Interactions of adsorbed CO$_2$ on water ice at low temperatures

We present a computational study into the adsorption properties of CO$_2$ on amorphous and crystalline water surfaces under astrophysically relevant conditions. Water and carbon dioxide are two of the most dominant species in the icy mantles of interstellar dust grains and a thorough understanding of their solid phase interactions at low temperatures is crucial for understanding the structural evolution of the ices due to thermal segregation. In this paper, a new H$_2$O-CO$_2$ interaction potential is proposed and used to model the ballistic deposition of CO$_2$ layers on water ice surfaces, and to study the individual binding sites at low coverages. Contrary to recent experimental results, we do not observe CO$_2$ island formation on any type of water substrate. Additionally, density functional theory calculations are performed to assess the importance of induced electrostatic interactions.

Water Ice and Dust in the Innermost Coma of Comet 103P/Hartley 2

On November 4th, 2010, the Deep Impact eXtended Investigation (DIXI) successfully encountered comet 103P/Hartley 2, when it was at a heliocentric distance of 1.06 AU. Spatially resolved near-IR spectra of comet Hartley 2 were acquired in the 1.05-4.83 micron wavelength range using the HRI-IR spectrometer. We present spectral maps of the inner ~10 kilometers of the coma collected 7 minutes and 23 minutes after closest approach. The extracted reflectance spectra include well-defined absorption bands near 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0 micron consistent in position, bandwidth, and shape with the presence of water ice grains. Using Hapke’s radiative transfer model, we characterize the type of mixing (areal vs. intimate), relative abundance, grain size, and spatial distribution of water ice and refractories. Our modeling suggests that the dust, which dominates the innermost coma of Hartley 2 and is at a temperature of 300K, is thermally and physically decoupled from the fine-grained water ice particles, which are on the order of 1 micron in size. The strong correlation between the water ice, dust, and CO2 spatial distribution supports the concept that CO2 gas drags the water ice and dust grains from the nucleus. Once in the coma, the water ice begins subliming while the dust is in a constant outflow. The derived water ice scale-length is compatible with the lifetimes expected for 1-micron pure water ice grains at 1 AU, if velocities are near 0.5 m/s. Such velocities, about three order of magnitudes lower than the expansion velocities expected for isolated 1-micron water ice particles [Hanner, 1981; Whipple, 1951], suggest that the observed water ice grains are likely aggregates.

Cold Water Vapor in the Barnard 5 Molecular Cloud

After more than 30 years of investigations, the nature of gas-grain interactions at low temperatures remains an unresolved issue in astrochemistry. Water ice is the dominant ice found in cold molecular clouds, however, there is only one region where cold (~10 K) water vapor has been detected – L1544. This study aims to shed light on ice desorption mechanisms under cold cloud conditions by expanding the sample. The clumpy distribution of methanol in dark clouds testifies to transient desorption processes at work — likely to also disrupt water ice mantles. Therefore, the Herschel HIFI instrument was used to search for cold water in a small sample of prominent methanol emission peaks. We report detections of the ground-state transition of o-H2O (J = 1_10 – 1_01) at 556.9360 GHz toward two positions in the cold molecular cloud Barnard 5. The relative abundances of methanol and water gas support a desorption mechanism which disrupts the outer ice mantle layers, rather than causing complete mantle removal.

Thermal desorption of circumstellar and cometary ice analogs

Thermal annealing of interstellar ices takes place in several stages of star formation. Knowledge of this process comes from a combination of astronomical observations and laboratory simulations under astrophysically relevant conditions. For the first time we present the results of temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments with pre-cometary ice analogs composed of up to five molecular components: H2 O, CO, CO2, CH3 OH, and NH3 . The experiments were performed with an ultra-high vacuum chamber. A gas line with a novel design allows the controlled preparation of mixtures with up to five molecular components. Volatiles desorbing to the gas phase were monitored using a quadrupole mass spectrometer, while changes in the ice structure and composition were studied by means of infrared spectroscopy. The TPD curves of water ice containing CO, CO2, CH3 OH, and NH3 present desorption peaks at temperatures near those observed in pure ice experiments, volcano desorption peaks after water ice crystallization, and co-desorption peaks with water. Desorption peaks of CH3 OH and NH3 at temperatures similar to the pure ices takes place when their abundance relative to water is above 3%, approx., in the ice matrix. We found that CO, CO2, and NH3 also present co-desorption peaks with CH3 OH, which cannot be reproduced in experiments with binary water-rich ice mixtures. These are extensively used in the study of thermal desorption of interstellar ices. These results reproduce the heating of circumstellar ices in hot cores and can be also applied to the late thermal evo- lution of comets. In particular, TPD curves represent a benchmark for the analysis of the measurements that mass spectrometers on board the ESA-Rosetta cometary mission will perform on the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which will be active before the arrival of Rosetta according to our predictions.

Disintegration of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Shortly Before Perihelion: Evidence from Independent Data Sets

As an Oort Cloud object with a record small perihelion distance of 2.7 Rsun and discovered more than a year before its encounter with the Sun, comet C/2012 S1 is a subject of considerable scientific interest. Its activity along the orbit’s inbound leg evolved through a series of cycles. Two remarkable events preserved in SOHO’s and/or STEREO’s near-perihelion images of its tail were an early massive production of gravel at heliocentric distances of up to ~100 AU(!), evidently by the annealing of amorphous water ice on and near the nucleus’ surface; and, about a week before perihelion, a rapid series of powerful explosions, from the comet’s interior, of water with dust at extremely high rates, causing precipitous fragmentation of the nucleus, shattering it into a vast number of sublimating boulders, and ending up, a few days later, with a major, sudden drop in gas emission. The disintegration of the comet was completed by about 3.5 hours before perihelion, at a heliocentric distance of 5.2 Rsun, when C/2012 S1 ceased to exist as an active comet. The orbital motion in this period of time was subjected to progressively increasing outgassing-driven perturbations. A comprehensive orbital analysis results in successfully fitting the comet’s observed motion from 2011 to ~7 hours before perihelion.

Disintegration of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Shortly Before Perihelion: Evidence from Independent Data Sets [Replacement]

As an Oort Cloud object with a record small perihelion distance of 2.7 Rsun and discovered more than a year before its encounter with the Sun, comet C/2012 S1 is a subject of considerable scientific interest. Its activity along the orbit’s inbound leg evolved through a series of cycles. Two remarkable events preserved in SOHO’s and/or STEREO’s near-perihelion images of its tail were an early massive production of gravel at heliocentric distances of up to ~100 AU, evidently by the annealing of amorphous water ice on and near the nucleus’ surface; and, about a week before perihelion, a rapid series of powerful explosions, from the comet’s interior, of water with dust at extremely high rates, causing precipitous fragmentation of the nucleus, shattering it into a vast number of sublimating boulders, and ending up, a few days later, with a major, sudden drop in gas emission. The disintegration of the comet was completed by about 3.5 hours before perihelion, at a heliocentric distance of 5.2 Rsun, when C/2012 S1 ceased to exist as an active comet. The orbital motion in this period of time was subjected to progressively increasing outgassing-driven perturbations. A comprehensive orbital analysis results in successfully fitting the comet’s observed motion from 2011 to ~7 hours before perihelion.

Disintegration of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Shortly Before Perihelion: Evidence from Independent Data Sets [Replacement]

As an Oort Cloud object with a record small perihelion distance of 2.7 Rsun and discovered more than a year before its encounter with the Sun, comet C/2012 S1 is a subject of considerable scientific interest. Its activity along the orbit’s inbound leg evolved through a series of cycles. Two remarkable events preserved in SOHO’s and/or STEREO’s near-perihelion images of its tail were an early massive production of gravel at heliocentric distances of up to ~100 AU, evidently by the annealing of amorphous water ice on and near the nucleus’ surface; and, about a week before perihelion, a rapid series of powerful explosions, from the comet’s interior, of water with dust at extremely high rates, causing precipitous fragmentation of the nucleus, shattering it into a vast number of sublimating boulders, and ending up, a few days later, with a major, sudden drop in gas emission. The disintegration of the comet was completed by about 3.5 hours before perihelion, at a heliocentric distance of 5.2 Rsun, when C/2012 S1 ceased to exist as an active comet. The orbital motion in this period of time was subjected to progressively increasing outgassing-driven perturbations. A comprehensive orbital analysis results in successfully fitting the comet’s observed motion from 2011 to ~7 hours before perihelion.

Disintegration of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Shortly Before Perihelion: Evidence from Independent Data Sets [Replacement]

As an Oort Cloud object with a record small perihelion distance of 2.7 Rsun and discovered more than a year before its encounter with the Sun, comet C/2012 S1 is a subject of considerable scientific interest. Its activity along the orbit’s inbound leg evolved through a series of cycles. Two remarkable events preserved in SOHO’s and/or STEREO’s near-perihelion images of its tail were an early massive production of gravel at heliocentric distances of up to ~100 AU, evidently by the annealing of amorphous water ice on and near the nucleus’ surface; and, about a week before perihelion, a rapid series of powerful explosions, from the comet’s interior, of water with dust at extremely high rates, causing precipitous fragmentation of the nucleus, shattering it into a vast number of sublimating boulders, and ending up, a few days later, with a major, sudden drop in gas emission. The disintegration of the comet was completed by about 3.5 hours before perihelion, at a heliocentric distance of 5.2 Rsun, when C/2012 S1 ceased to exist as an active comet. The orbital motion in this period of time was subjected to progressively increasing outgassing-driven perturbations. A comprehensive orbital analysis results in successfully fitting the comet’s observed motion from 2011 to ~7 hours before perihelion.

Disintegration of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Shortly Before Perihelion: Evidence from Independent Data Sets [Replacement]

As an Oort Cloud object with a record small perihelion distance of 2.7 Rsun and discovered more than a year before its encounter with the Sun, comet C/2012 S1 is a subject of considerable scientific interest. Its activity along the orbit’s inbound leg evolved through a series of cycles. Two remarkable events preserved in SOHO’s and/or STEREO’s near-perihelion images of its tail were an early massive production of gravel at heliocentric distances of up to ~100 AU, evidently by the annealing of amorphous water ice on and near the nucleus’ surface; and, about a week before perihelion, a rapid series of powerful explosions, from the comet’s interior, of water with dust at extremely high rates, causing precipitous fragmentation of the nucleus, shattering it into a vast number of sublimating boulders, and ending up, a few days later, with a major, sudden drop in gas emission. The disintegration of the comet was completed by about 3.5 hours before perihelion, at a heliocentric distance of 5.2 Rsun, when C/2012 S1 ceased to exist as an active comet. The orbital motion in this period of time was subjected to progressively increasing outgassing-driven perturbations. A comprehensive orbital analysis results in successfully fitting the comet’s observed motion from 2011 to ~7 hours before perihelion.

The Effect of Planets Beyond the Ice Line on the Accretion of Volatiles by Habitable-Zone Rocky Planets

Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow-line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star, and we include a massive planet (from 1 Earth mass to 1 Jupiter mass) in Jupiter’s orbit at ~5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions from debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore the results presented here suggest the number of habitable planets that reside in our galaxy may be more than previously thought.

Water and methanol in low-mass protostellar outflows: gas-phase synthesis, ice sputtering and destruction

Water in outflows from protostars originates either as a result of gas-phase synthesis from atomic oxygen at T > 200 K, or from sputtered ice mantles containing water ice. We aim to quantify the contribution of the two mechanisms that lead to water in outflows, by comparing observations of gas-phase water to methanol (a grain surface product) towards three low-mass protostars in NGC1333. In doing so, we also quantify the amount of methanol destroyed in outflows. To do this, we make use of JCMT and Herschel-HIFI data of H2O, CH3OH and CO emission lines and compare them to RADEX non-LTE excitation simulations. We find up to one order of magnitude decrease in the column density ratio of CH3OH over H2O as the velocity increases in the line wings up to ~15 km/s. An independent decrease in X(CH3OH) with respect to CO of up to one order of magnitude is also found in these objects. We conclude that gas-phase formation of H2O must be active at high velocities (above 10 km/s, relative to the source velocity) to re-form the water destroyed during sputtering. In addition, the transition from sputtered water at low velocities to formed water at high velocities must be gradual. We place an upper limit of two orders of magnitude on the destruction of methanol by sputtering effects.

Multi-Wavelength Observations of Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-Starrs)

Dynamically new comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) is one of the brightest comets since the great comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp). Here, we present our multi-wavelength observations of C/2011 L4 during its in-bound passage to the inner Solar system. A strong absorption band of water ice at 2.0 $\mu$m was detected in the near infrared spectra, taken with the 8-m Gemini-North and 3-m IRTF telescopes. The companion 1.5 $\mu$m band of water ice, however, was not observed. Spectral modeling show that the absence of the 1.5 $\mu$m feature can be explained by the presence of sub-micron-sized fine ice grains. No gas lines (i.e. CN, HCN or CO) were observed pre-perihelion either in the optical or in the sub-millimeter. 3-$\sigma$ upper limits to the CN and CO production rates were derived. The comet exhibited a very strong continuum in the optical and its slope seemed to become redder as the comet approached the Sun. Our observations suggest that C/2011 L4 is an unusually dust-rich comet with a dust-to-gas mass ratio $>$ 4.

The Phases of Water Ice in the Solar Nebula

Understanding the phases of water ice that were present in the solar nebula has implications for understanding cometary and planetary compositions as well as internal evolution of these bodies. Here we show that amorphous ice formed more readily than previously recognized, with formation at temperatures <70 K being possible under protoplanetary disk conditions. We further argue that photodesorption and freeze-out of water molecules near the surface layers of the solar nebula would have provided the conditions needed for amorphous ice to form. This processing would be a natural consequence of ice dynamics, and would allow for the trapping of noble gases and other volatiles in water ice in the outer solar nebula.

Quantum tunneling of oxygen atoms on very cold surfaces [Cross-Listing]

Any evolving system can change of state via thermal mechanisms (hopping a barrier) or via quantum tunneling. Most of the time, efficient classical mechanisms dominate at high temperatures. This is why an increase of the temperature can initiate the chemistry. We present here an experimental investigation of O-atom diffusion and reactivity on water ice. We explore the 6-25 K temperature range at sub-monolayer surface coverages. We derive the diffusion temperature law and observe the transition from quantum to classical diffusion. Despite of the high mass of O, quantum tunneling is efficient even at 6 K. As a consequence, the solid-state astrochemistry of cold regions should be reconsidered and should include the possibility of forming larger organic molecules than previously expected.

CRISM south polar mapping: First Mars year of observations

We report on mapping of the south polar region of Mars using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument. Our observations have led to the following discoveries: 1. Water ice is present in the form of pole-circling clouds originating from the circum-Hellas region, beginning prior to Ls=162 and diminishing markedly at Ls=200-204. 2. It has previously been inferred by temperature measurements(Titus et al., 2003) and CO2-H2O mixture spectral models (Langevin et al., 2007) that surface water ice was present in the Cryptic Region in the final stages of sublimation. The high resolution of CRISM has revealed regions where only water ice is present (not a CO2-H2O ice mixture). This water ice disappears completely by Ls=252 and may be the source of water vapor observed by CRISM in southern latitudes between Ls=240-260 (Smith, et al., this issue). 3. We have estimated surface CO2 ice grain size distributions for the South Pole Residual Cap (SPRC) and the seasonal CO2 ice cap that covers it throughout summer spring and summer. Our analysis suggests that grain sizes peak at Ls=191-199 with an apparent grain size of ~7 +/-1 cm. By the end of the summer period our analysis demonstrates minimum apparent grain sizes of ~5 +/-1 mm predominate in the SPRC. 4. Fine grained CO2 ice condenses from Ls=0-40, and extends symmetrically away from the geographic pole, extending beyond 80 deg S by Ls=4-10. No evidence for unusual CO2 depositional processes in the Cryptic Region is observed up to Ls=16.

 

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