Astrophysical Materials Laboratory

The Astrophysical Materials Laboratory is a collaboration between Lowell Observatory and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

The Astrophysical Materials Laboratory—affectionately called the “ice lab”—is located at NAU rather than at Lowell’s Mars Hill campus. This facilitates student participation in laboratory studies of cryogenic outer solar system materials, such as the methane and nitrogen ices that dominate the surfaces of Pluto, Triton, Eris, and Makemake, and the ethane-methane-nitrogen liquids that flow across the surface of Titan.

Instruments & Uses

The laboratory consists of two experimental stations, one for vapor deposition of thin ice films, and one for more massive samples of cryogenic liquids and ices up to 2 cm thick. Instruments used to analyze crogenic materials include Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

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Other Lowell Telescopes & Facilities

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