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Ion irradiation effects on complex organics

For the first time the effects of ion irradiation on natural complex hydrocarbons (asphaltite and kerite) have been studied (). These materials are very dark in the visible and have red-sloped spectra in the visible and near-infrared. They may be comparable in composition and structure to refractory solids on the surface of primitive outer Solar System objects. Laboratory experiments show that irradiation induced carbonization gradually neutalizes the spectral slopes of these red organic solids. This implies a similar space weathering trend for the surfaces of airless bodies optically dominated by spectrally red organic components.

Innocenza Busa' 2005-11-14