A comparison of mercurian reflectance and spectral quantities with those of the Moon

David T. Blewett, Paul G. Lucey, B. Ray Hawke, G. Gina Ling, Mark Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have examined previously published Earth-based telescopic spectra of Mercury with the goal of obtaining clues to the planet's surface composition. The study has three parts. First, because of suggestions that Mercury's crust may be anorthositic, we compare near-infrared spectra of Mercury with spectra of lunar anorthosites. The spectral slopes and lack of strong mineralogic absorption features make the mercurian spectra similar to spectra of lunar anorthosites. Second, we compare albedo quantities for Mercury and the Moon computed from telescopically derived photometric parameters with the laboratory albedos of returned lunar samples. The albedos calculated from the photometric parameters are much lower than those of lunar samples measured in the laboratory. Third, the mercurian spectra are interpreted in terms of the current model for the reflectance of an iron-bearing silicate regolith on an airless body. Recent steps toward quantifying this model permit estimates of the FeO content and opaque mineral abundance of the surface to be made. We find that the mercurian spectra least affected by telluric absorptions imply FeO + TiO2≈ 4%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalIcarus
Volume129
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

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moon
Moon
reflectance
albedo
anorthosite
regolith
suggestion
comparison
planets
silicates
crusts
infrared spectra
minerals
near infrared
slopes
planet
silicate
iron
crust
estimates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

A comparison of mercurian reflectance and spectral quantities with those of the Moon. / Blewett, David T.; Lucey, Paul G.; Hawke, B. Ray; Ling, G. Gina; Robinson, Mark.

In: Icarus, Vol. 129, No. 1, 09.1997, p. 217-231.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blewett, David T. ; Lucey, Paul G. ; Hawke, B. Ray ; Ling, G. Gina ; Robinson, Mark. / A comparison of mercurian reflectance and spectral quantities with those of the Moon. In: Icarus. 1997 ; Vol. 129, No. 1. pp. 217-231.
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