Implications of ice morphology for comet formation

M. P. Collings, J. W. Dever, M. R. S. McCoustra, H. J. Fraser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Laboratory surface science under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions allows us to simulate the growth of ices in astrophysical environments. Using the techniques of temperature programmed desorption (TPD), reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) and micro-balance methods, we have studied binary ice systems consisting of water (H2O) and variety of other species including carbon monoxide (CO), at astrophysically relevant conditions of temperature and pressure. We present results that demonstrate that the morphology of water ice has an important influence on the behavior of such systems, by allowing processes such as diffusion and trapping that can not be understood through a knowledge of the binding energies of the species alone. Through an understanding of the implications of water ice morphology on the behavior of ice mixtures in the interstellar environment, additional constraints can be placed on the thermodynamic conditions and ice compositions during comet formation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHighlights of astronomy
EditorsO Engvold
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event25th General Assembly of the International-Astronomical-Union - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 13 Jul 200326 Jul 2003

Publication series

NameIAU Symposia
PublisherAstronomical Soc Pacific
ISSN (Print)0074-1809


Conference25th General Assembly of the International-Astronomical-Union


  • ice morphology
  • comet formation
  • implications


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