Lunar Surface Studies: Multi-Wavelength Analysis and Methods

Date
2023
Authors
Czajka, Elizabeth Anna
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Abstract

The Moon remains the one of the most scientifically valuable sites in our solar system. As we start a new age in lunar exploration, we must examine lunar surface through multiple lenses, and collaborate across scientific disciplines to do new and robust science. Using far-ultraviolet (57-197 nm) data provided by The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this work improves data pipelines, while also creating new far ultraviolet (far-UV) data products for the planetary science community. LAMP far-UV data identified Aristarchus crater as having a high Off-band (155-184 nm) to On-band (130-155 nm) albedo (Off/On) ratio, providing new insight to the mineral composition of the area. We investigate four well characterized regions of interest around Aristarchus crater, and we compare Off/On band ratios at Aristarchus crater to laboratory-derived ratios of several endmembers such as anorthite and olivine. We further analyze LAMP far-UV spectra alongside near-infrared (near-IR) spectra from the Moon Mineral Mapper (M3) onboard Chandrayaan-1 to characterize the mineralogy in several regions of interest. We find that LAMP Off/On band ratios are able to distinguish between plagioclase feldspars and minerals such as quartz and mafic dominated compositions. The LAMP Off/On band ratios at Aristarchus are higher than previously reported ratios for plagioclase rich regions, suggesting the composition is unique to Aristarchus. Building off of this work, we will examine pyroclastic dark mantling deposits (DMDs) at J. Herschel crater with LAMP observations and further our understanding of the volcanic history of the area and the Moon.

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The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.
Keywords
Far ultraviolet, Minerology, Spectroscopy, Moon Mineral Mapper, Solar system, Infrared, The Moon
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Department
Physics and Astronomy