The equilibrium vapor pressures of ammonia and oxygen ices at outer solar system temperatures

B. P. Blakley, Will M. Grundy, Jordan K. Steckloff, Sugata P. Tan, Jennifer Hanley, Anna E. Engle, Stephen C. Tegler, Gerrick E. Lindberg, Shae M. Raposa, Kendall J. Koga, Cecilia L. Thieberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few laboratory studies have investigated the vapor pressures of the volatiles that may be present as ices in the outer solar system; even fewer studies have investigated these species at the temperatures and pressures suitable to the surfaces of icy bodies in the Saturnian and Uranian systems (<100 K, <10−9 bar). This study adds to the work of Grundy et al. (2024) in extending the known equilibrium vapor pressures of outer solar system ices through laboratory investigations at very low temperatures. Our experiments with ammonia and oxygen ices provide new thermodynamic models for these species’ respective enthalpies of sublimation. We find that ammonia ice, and to a lesser degree oxygen ice, are stable at higher temperatures than extrapolations in previous literature have predicted. Our results show that these ices should be retained over longer periods of time than previous extrapolations would predict, and a greater amount of these solids is required to support observation in exospheres of airless bodies in the outer solar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105863
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Ammonia ice
  • Enthalpy of sublimation
  • Equilibrium vapor pressure
  • Laboratory measurements
  • Low temperature ices
  • Oxygen ice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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