The effect of projectile material on the impact flash from carbon dioxide ice

Tandy, Jonathan D., Price, Mark, Wozniakiewicz, Penny, Cole, Mike, Alesbrook, Luke and Avdellidou, Chrysa (2020) The effect of projectile material on the impact flash from carbon dioxide ice. In: Europlanet Science Congress 2020, 21 September – 9 October 2020, Online.


The self-luminous plume (or ‘flash’) resulting from hypervelocity impacts onto planetary bodies are readily observed (even for relatively small-scale impacts), despite the radiative decay of the impact-induced emission being relatively short-lived. The replication and measurement of such impact events in the laboratory is critical to gain a deeper understanding of the wavelength dependence and dynamic behaviour of impact flashes from icy bodies and contribute towards a thorough assessment of the physical and chemical processes these frozen systems are exposed to. The temporal evolution of impact flashes are often measured in the laboratory using photodetectors or high-speed cameras and reveal multiple phases of the radiating ejecta. The behaviour of emission during these phases are dependent upon several parameters including target composition and porosity, projectile material, impact speed and angle. This study examined the wavelength dependence and temporal variation of the hypervelocity impact flash from CO2 ice targets using a variety of projectiles.

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