Water Frost on Charon

M. W. Buie, D. P. Cruikshank, L. A. Lebofsky, and E. F. Tedesco. Nature 329, 522-523 (1987).


New spectra of the Pluto-Charon system taken just before and during a total eclipse of the satellite are presented. The spectrum of Charon extracted from the data reveals the signature of water ice. There is no evidence for any methane or ammonia frost on the surface of Charon. The significance of these findings for the evolution of the Pluto-Charon system are discussed.

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