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Icy and rocky bodies - photography and these techniques are...

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Icy and rocky bodies The outer part of the solar system, beyond Mars, is dominated by the giant gas planets. However, they are accompanied by a plethora of small bodies - the asteroids, their satellites, Pluto and Charon - which are generally made of ices, rock or a mixture of the two. Thus in these regions the physics of ices and ice/rock mixtures is important. There are a great diversity of different types and features, but we can find similarities and groupings which tell us a lot about the processes involved in their formation and their physics and chemistry. Remote sensing Techniques To get information on these bodies we relied, prior to space probes to the outer system, on optical techniques. Even with space probes the chief method of gathering information is optical. We have all seen the magnificent photographs from the outer planetary systems of the larger (and occasionally smaller) satellites and rings, but other techniques are used besides the detailed
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Unformatted text preview: photography, and these techniques are often useful in also telling us about the smaller bodies which cannot be photographed. Getting Information from the Reflections from a body Light curves Light incident on a body's surfa Light incident on a body's surface will be scattered, the scattering being dependent on the "roughness" of the surface features: We can measure the intensity of reflected light for a body over a range of conditions - the so-called "light curve", which may be the variation of reflected light with time, angle to the surface, or phase angle at a given reflection angle (see below). For non-specular reflection we will get some reflection in all directions. If we integrate the reflected radiation over the whole sky for one frequency then the fraction returned is the monochromatic Bond Albedo A LAM (which of course has to be less than 1). If we sum over all frequencies we can get the (overall) Bond Albedo...
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