- Open Access
A newly-identified spectral reflectance signature near the lunar South pole and the South Pole-Aitken Basin
Earth, Planets and Space volume 60, pages67–74(2008)
Signal analysis of Galileo images of the Moon suggests the presence of an absorption band centered near 0.7 μm in the reflectance spectra of areas located adjacent to the equatorward walls of lunar craters at latitudes ranging from −58 to −78°, and areas contained in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. We propose three potential explanations: an Fe2+→Fe3+ charge transfer transition in oxidized iron in clinopyroxenes (high-Ca bearing pyroxenes) or phyllosilicates (Fe- and Mg-bearing sheet silicates containing adsorbed H2O and interlayer OH−), or an effect of titanium in ilmenite (a common lunar opaque material). No identification of the mineralogy is conclusive. The presence and nature of the absorption feature could be confirmed using AMICA images of the lunar far side from the Japanese mission Hayabusa, spectroscopic results from the Japanese mission Selene scheduled for launch in 2007, or the Moon Mineralology Mapper on the Indian mission Chandrayaan-1.
Adams, J. B. and T. B. McCord, Electronic spectra of pyroxenes and interpretation of telescopic spectral reflectivity curves of the moon, Proc. 3rd Lunar Sci. Conf., 3021–3034, 1972.
Allen, C. C., R. V. Morris, H. V. Lauer, and D. S. McKay, Microscopic iron metal on glass and minerals—a tool for studying regolith maturity, Icarus, 104, 291, 1993.
Arnold, J., Ice in the lunar polar regions, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 5659, 1979.
Burns, R. G., Mineralogical Applications of Crystal Field Theory, 2nd Ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 1993.
Butler, B. J., D. O. Muhleman, and M. A. Slade, Mercury: Full-disk radar images and the detection and stability of ice at the North pole, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 15003, 1993.
Campbell, D. B., B. A. Campbell, L. M. Carter, J.-L. Margot, and N. J. S. Stacy, No evidence for thick deposits of ice at the lunar south pole, Nature, 433, 835, 2006.
Clark, R. N., G. A. Swayze, R. Wise, K. E. Livo, T. M. Hoefen, R. F. Kokaly, and S. J. Sutley, USGS Digital Spectral Library splib05a, USGS Open File Report 03-395, 2003.
Clark, S. P., Jr., Absorption spectra of some silicates in the visible and near infrared, Am. Mineral., 42, 732, 1957.
Cloutis, E. A. and M. J. Gaffey, Pyroxene spectroscopy revisited: Spectralcompositional correlations and relationship to geothermometry, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 6329, 1991.
Cloutis, E. A. and M. J. Gaffey, Lunar regolith analogues: Spectral reflectance properties of compositional variations, Icarus, 102, 203, 1993.
Cocks, F. H., P. A. Klenk, S. A. Watkins, W. N. Simmons, J. C. Cocks, E. E. Cocks, and J. C. Sussingham, Lunar ice: Adsorbed water on subsurface polar dust, Icarus, 160, 386, 2002.
Deer, W. A., R. A. Howie, and J. Zussman, An Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1966.
Domingue, D. L. and F. Vilas, Local topographic effects on photometry and reflectance spectra of planetary surfaces: An example based on lunar photometry, Meteoritics Planet. Sci., 2006 (in press).
Feldman, W. C., S. Maurice, A. B. Binder, B. L. Barraclough, R. C. Elphic, and D. J. Lawrence, Polar hydrogen deposits on the Moon, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 4175, 2000.
Feldman, W. C., S. Maurice, D. J. Lawrence, R. C. Little, S. L. Lawson, O. Gasnault, R. C. Wiens, B. L. Barraclough, R. C. Elphic, and T. H. Prettyman, Evidence for Water Ice near the lunar poles, J. Geophys. Res., 106(E10), 23231, 2001.
Gaddis, L., A. McEwen, and T. Becker, Compositional variations on the Moon: Recalibration of Galileo solid-state imaging data for the Orientale region and far side, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 26345, 1995.
Gibson, E. K. and G. W. Moore, Volatile-rich lunar soil: Evidence of possible cometary impact, Science, 179, 69, 1973.
Hapke, B., Space weathering from Mercury to the asteroid belt, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 10039, 2001.
Hawke, B. R., P. G. Lucey, G. J. Taylor, J. F. Bell, C. A. Peterson, D. T. Blewett, K. Horton, G. A. Smith, and P. D. Spudis, Remote sensing studies of the Orientale region of the moon—a pre-Galileo view, Geophys. Res. Lett., 18, 2141, 1991.
Heiken, G., D. Vaniman, and B. M. French, Lunar Sourcebook: A User’s Guide to the Moon, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Helfenstein, P. and J. Veverka, Photometric properties of lunar terrains derived from Hapke’s equations, Icarus, 72, 342, 1987.
Hodges, R. R., Lunar cold traps and their influence on argon-40, Proc. Lunar Plan. Sci. Conf. 11th, 2463, 1980.
Housley, R. M., R. W. Grant, and N. E. Paton, Origin and characteristics of excess Fe metal in lunar glass welded aggregates, Proc. Lunar Sci. Conf. 4th, 2737, 1973.
Housley, R. M., E. H. Cirlin, N. E. Paton, and I. B. Goldberg, Solar wind and micrometeorite alteration of the lunar regolith, Proc. Lunar Sci. Conf. 5th, 2623, 1974.
Hunten, D. M., T. H. Morgan, and D. E. Shemansky, The Mercury atmosphere, in Mercury, edited by F. Vilas, C. R. Chapman, and M. W. Matthews, Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 562, 1988.
Ingersoll, A. P., T. Svitek, and B. C. Murray, Stability of polar frosts in spherical bowl-shaped craters on the Moon, Mercury, and Mars, Icarus, 100, 40, 1992.
Isbell, D., D. Morse, and B. Rische, No Water Ice Detected on the Moon, NASA Spacelink, NASA Press Release 99-10-13, 1999.
Kieffer, H. H., A spectral search for H2O near the lunar North pole, Bul. Amer. Astro. Soc., 27, 1110, 1995.
King, T. V. V. and R. N. Clark, Spectral characteristics of chlorites and Mgserpentines using high-resolution reflectance spectroscopy, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 13997, 1989.
Lanzerotti, L. J., W. L. Brown, and R. E. Johnson, Astrophysical implications of ice sputtering, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., B14, 373, 1986.
Lucey, P. G., D. T. Blewett, and B. R. Hawke, FeO and TiO2 concentrations in the South Pole-Aitken Basin: Implications for mantle composition and basin formation, J. Geophys. Res., 103, 3701, 1998.
Morgan, T. H. and D. E. Shemansky, Limits to the lunar atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 96, 1351, 1991.
Nozette, S., C. L. Lichtenberg, P. Spudis, R. Bonner, W. Ort, E. Malaret, M. Robinson, and E. M. Shoemaker, The Clementine bistatic radar experiment, Science, 274, 1495, 1996.
Ohtake, M., J. Haruyama, S. Mastunaga, T. Morota, S. Kodama, and LISM team, Observations and data analysis plan of the SELENE multiband imager, Lunar Plan. Sci.XXXVII, (cd-rom), 2006.
Paige, D. A., S. E. Wood, and A. R. Vasavada, The thermal stability of water ice at the poles of Mercury, Science, 258, 643, 1992.
Pieters, C. M. and G. J. Taylor, Millimeter petrology and kilometer mineralogical exploration of the moon, Proc. 19th Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf., 115, 1989.
Pieters, C. M., E. M. Fischer, O. Rode, and A. Basu, Optical effects of space weathering: The role of the finest fraction, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 20817, 1993a.
Pieters, C. M., J. M. Sunshine, E. M. Fischer, S. L. Murchie, M. Belton, A. McEwen, L. Gaddis, R. Greeley, G. Neukum, R. Jaumann, and H. Hoffmann, Crustal diversity of the Moon: Compositional analyses of Galileo SSI data, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 17127, 1993b.
Pieters, C. M., L. A. Taylor, S. K. Noble, L. P. Keller, B. Hapke, R. V. Morris, C. C. Allen, D. S. McKay, and S. Wentworth, Space weathering on airless bodies: Resolving a mystery with lunar samples, Meteorit. Planet. Sci., 35, 1101, 2000.
Rivkin, A. S., E. S. Howell, F. Vilas, and L. A. Lebofsky, Hydrated minerals on asteroids: the astronomical record, in Asteroids III, edited by W. R. Bottke, A. Cellino, P. Paolicchi, and R. P. Binzel, 235, Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 2002.
Simpson, R. A. and G. L. Tyler, Reanalysis of Clementine bistatic radar data from the lunar south pole, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 3845, 1999.
Stacy, N. J. S., D. B. Campbell, and P. G. Ford, Arecibo radar mapping of the lunar poles: A search for ice deposits, Science, 276, 1527, 1997.
Taylor, S. R., Planetary Science: A Lunar Perspective, Houston, Texas: Lunar and Planetary Institute, 1981.
Tompkins, S. and C. M. Pieters, Mineralogy of the lunar crust: Results from Clementine, Meteorit. Planet. Sci., 34, 25, 1999.
Tompkins, S., C. M. Pieters, and G. Ryder, Spectral characteristics of lunar impact melts—Implications for remote sensing, LPSCXXVIII, 441, 1997.
Vilas, F., A cheaper, faster, better way to detect water of hydration on Solar System bodies, Icarus, 11, 456, 1994.
Vilas, F. and M. J. Gaffey, Phyllosilicate absorption features in main-belt and outer-belt asteroid reflectance spectra, Science, 246, 790, 1989.
Vilas, F., K. S. Jarvis, and M. J. Gaffey, Iron alteration minerals in the visible and near-infrared spectra of low-albedo asteroids, Icarus, 109, 274, 1994.
Vilas, F., E. A. Jensen, and L. A. McFadden, Extracting spectral information about 253 Mathilde using the NEAR photometry, Icarus, 129, 440, 1997.
Vilas, F., D. L. Domingue, E. A. Jensen, L. A. McFadden, C. R. Coombs, and W. W. Mendell, Aqueous alteration on the moon, Lunar Planet. Sci.XXX, (cd-rom), 1999.
Watson, K., B. C. Murray, and H. Brown, On the possible presence of ice on the Moon, J. Geophys. Res., 66, 1598, 1961.
About this article
Cite this article
Vilas, F., Jensen, E.A., Domingue, D.L. et al. A newly-identified spectral reflectance signature near the lunar South pole and the South Pole-Aitken Basin. Earth Planet Sp 60, 67–74 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352763
- lunar surface composition
- spectral reflectance
- lunar mineralogy
- lunar remote sensing