1,623 research outputs found

    Preliminary results of spectral reflectance studies of tycho crater

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    The preliminary analysis and interpretation of near infrared spectra obtained for both the interior and exterior deposits associated with the Tycho crater is presented. Specific objectives were: (1) to determine the composition and stratigraphy of the highland crust in the Tycho target site; (2) to determine the likely composition of the primary ejecta which may be present in ray deposits; (3) to investigate the nature of spectral units defined in previous studies; (4) to further investigate the nature and origin of both the bright and dark haloes around the rim crest; and (5) to compare the compositions determined for the Tycho units with those of the Aristarchus crater as well as typical highland deposits. The spectra obtained for the interior areas exhibit similar spectral features. These include relatively strong 1 micron absorption bands whose minima are centered between 0.97 and 0.99 microns and shallow to intermediate continuum slopes. The spectra generally exhibit indications of a 1.3 micron feature consistent with the presence of Fe(2+) bearing plagioclase feldspar. The strong 1 micron absorption features indicate a dominant high Ca clinopyroxene component. Results obtained from the ejecta deposits show that the spectrum of the inner, bright halo is almost identical with those obtained for interior units. The spectrum of the dark halo exhibits a wide, relatively shallow absorption feature centered at 1.01 microns, a 1.3 micron absorption, and a steep continuum slope. This spectrum is interpreted as indicating the presence of pyroxene, Fe-bearing feldspar, and a significant component of Fe-bearing impact melt glass. Finally, the spectra of spots inside Tycho show similarity with certain spectra for Aristarchus. However, the suite of spectra obtained for Tycho exhibits a different trend in terms of band center versus width

    Lunar scout missions: Galileo encounter results and application to scientific problems and exploration requirements

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    The Lunar Scout Missions (payload: x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, high-resolution stereocamera, neutron spectrometer, gamma-ray spectrometer, imaging spectrometer, gravity experiment) will provide a global data set for the chemistry, mineralogy, geology, topography, and gravity of the Moon. These data will in turn provide an important baseline for the further scientific exploration of the Moon by all-purpose landers and micro-rovers, and sample return missions from sites shown to be of primary interest from the global orbital data. These data would clearly provide the basis for intelligent selection of sites for the establishment of lunar base sites for long-term scientific and resource exploration and engineering studies. The two recent Galileo encounters with the Moon (December, 1990 and December, 1992) illustrate how modern technology can be applied to significant lunar problems. We emphasize the regional results of the Galileo SSI to show the promise of geologic unit definition and characterization as an example of what can be done with the global coverage to be obtained by the Lunar Scout Missions

    The geological history of Nili Patera, Mars

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    Nili Patera is a 50 km diameter caldera at the center of the Syrtis Major Planum volcanic province. The caldera is unique among Martian volcanic terrains in hosting: (i) evidence of both effusive and explosive volcanism, (ii) hydrothermal silica, and (iii) compositional diversity from olivine-rich basalts to silica-enriched units. We have produced a new geological map using three mosaicked 18 m/pixel Context Camera digital elevation models, supplemented by Compact Remote Imaging Spectrometer for Mars Hyperspectral data. The map contextualizes these discoveries, formulating a stratigraphy in which Nili Patera formed by trapdoor collapse into a volcanotectonic depression. The distinctive bright floor of Nili Patera formed either as part of a felsic pluton, exposed during caldera formation, or as remnants of welded ignimbrite(s) associated with caldera formation—both scenarios deriving from melting in the Noachian highland basement. After caldera collapse, there were five magmatic episodes: (1) a basaltic unit in the caldera's north, (2) a silica-enriched unit and the associated Nili Tholus cone, (3) an intrusive event, forming a ~300 m high elliptical dome; (4) an extrusive basaltic unit, emplaced from small cones in the east; and (5) an extreme olivine-bearing unit, formed on the western caldera ring fault. The mapping, together with evidence for hydrated materials, implies magmatic interaction with subsurface volatiles. This, in an area of elevated geothermal gradient, presents a possible habitable environment (sampled by the hydrothermal deposits). Additionally, similarities to other highland volcanoes imply similar mechanisms and thus astrobiological potential within those edifices

    Variation in Magnetic Fabrics at Low Shock Pressure Due to Experimental Impact Cratering

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    Magnetic fabrics provide important clues for understanding impact cratering processes. However, only a few magnetic fabric studies for experimentally shocked material have been reported so far. In the framework of MEMIN (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact Research Network), we conducted two impact experiments on blocks of Maggia gneiss with the foliation oriented perpendicular (A38) and parallel (A37) to the target surface. Maggia gneiss has plenty of biotite bands forming a strong rock foliation. The bulk magnetic susceptibility varies from 0.376 × 103^{−3} to 1.298 × 103^{−3} SI in unshocked and from 0.443 × 103^{−3} to 3.940 × 103^{−3} SI in shocked gneiss. The thermomagnetic curves reveal a Verwey transition at −147 °C and a Curie temperature between 576 and 579 °C in unshocked and shocked samples, indicating nearly pure magnetite, which carries the magnetic fabrics. In A37 and A38 kinking is prominent from the point source down to a depth of 2 and 4.2 dp_{p} (projectile diameter) or 1 and 2.1 cm, respectively. Kinking, folding, and fracturing changed the position of magnetite grains with respect to each other to reorient the magnetic fabrics. Reorientation of magnetic fabrics is conspicuous down to 20 dp_{p} (10 cm) in A38, where no other impact‐related deformation is visible. The reorientation of magnetic fabrics may, therefore, aid in identifying impact processes at very low pressures, starting at 0.1 GPa, when other common indicators are absent

    Galileo SSI lunar observations: Copernican craters and soils

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    The Galileo spacecraft completed its first Earth-Moon flyby (EMI) in December 1990 and its second flyby (EM2) in December 1992. Copernican-age craters are among the most prominent features seen in the SSI (Solid-State Imaging) multispectral images of the Moon. The interiors, rays, and continuous ejecta deposits of these youngest craters stand out as the brightest features in images of albedo and visible/1-micron color ratios (except where impact melts are abundant). Crater colors and albedos (away from impact melts) are correlated with their geologic emplacement ages as determined from counts of superposed craters; these age-color relations can be used to estimate the emplacement age (time since impact event) for many Copernican-age craters on the near and far sides of the Moon. The spectral reflectivities of lunar soils are controlled primarily by (1) soil maturity, resulting from the soil's cumulative age of exposure to the space environment; (2) steady-state horizontal and vertical mixing of fresh crystalline materials ; and (3) the mineralogy of the underlying bedrock or megaregolith. Improved understanding of items (1) and (2) above will improve our ability to interpret item (3), especially for the use of crater compositions as probes of crustal stratigraphy. We have examined the multispectral and superposed crater frequencies of large isolated craters, mostly of Eratosthenian and Copernican ages, to avoid complications due to (1) secondaries (as they affect superposed crater counts) and (2) spatially and temporally nonuniform regolith mixing from younger, large, and nearby impacts. Crater counts are available for 11 mare craters and 9 highlands craters within the region of the Moon imaged during EM1. The EM2 coverage provides multispectral data for 10 additional craters with superposed crater counts. Also, the EM2 data provide improved spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratios over the western nearside

    First Galileo image of asteroid 243 Ida

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    The second spacecraft encounter with an asteroid has yielded an unprecedentedly high resolution portrait of 243 Ida. On 28 Aug. 1993, Galileo obtained an extensive data set on this small member of the Koronis family. Most of the data recorded on the tape recorder will be returned to Earth in spring 1994. A five-frame mosaic of Ida was acquired with good illumination geometry a few minutes before closest approach; it has a resolution of 31 to 38 m/pixel amd was played back during Sept. 1993. Preliminary analyses of this single view of Ida are summarized

    Incidence and survival of remnant disks around main-sequence stars

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    We present photometric ISO 60 and 170um measurements, complemented by some IRAS data at 60um, of a sample of 84 nearby main-sequence stars of spectral class A, F, G and K in order to determine the incidence of dust disks around such main-sequence stars. Of the stars younger than 400 Myr one in two has a disk; for the older stars this is true for only one in ten. We conclude that most stars arrive on the main sequence surrounded by a disk; this disk then decays in about 400 Myr. Because (i) the dust particles disappear and must be replenished on a much shorter time scale and (ii) the collision of planetesimals is a good source of new dust, we suggest that the rapid decay of the disks is caused by the destruction and escape of planetesimals. We suggest that the dissipation of the disk is related to the heavy bombardment phase in our Solar System. Whether all stars arrive on the main sequence surrounded by a disk cannot be established: some very young stars do not have a disk. And not all stars destroy their disk in a similar way: some stars as old as the Sun still have significant disks.Comment: 16 pages, 9 figures, Astron & Astrophys. in pres

    High resolution infrared absorption spectra, crystal field, and relaxation processes in CsCdBr_3:Pr^3+

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    High resolution low-temperature absorption spectra of 0.2% Pr^3+ doped CsCdBr_3 were measured in the spectral region 2000--7000 cm-1. Positions and widths of the crystal field levels within the 3H5, 3H4, 3F2, and 3F3 multiplets of the Pr^3+ main center have been determined. Hyperfine structure of several spectral lines has been found. Crystal field calculations were carried out in the framework of the semiphenomenological exchange charge model (ECM). Parameters of the ECM were determined by fitting to the measured total splittings of the 3H4 and 3H6 multiplets and to the observed in this work hyperfine splittings of the crystal field levels. One- and two-phonon relaxation rates were calculated using the phonon Green's functions of the perfect (CsCdBr_3) and locally perturbed (impurity dimer centers in CsCdBr_3:Pr^3+) crystal lattice. Comparison with the measured linewidths confirmed an essential redistribution of the phonon density of states in CsCdBr_3 crystals doped with rare-earth ions.Comment: 16 pages, 5 tables, 3 figure

    Modelling groundwater recharge, actual evaporation, and transpiration in semi-arid sites of the Lake Chad basin: the role of soil and vegetation in groundwater recharge

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    The Lake Chad basin, located in the centre of northern Africa, is characterized by strong climate seasonality with a pronounced short annual precipitation period and high potential evapotranspiration. Groundwater is an essential source for drinking-water supply, as well as for agriculture and groundwater-related ecosystems. Thus, assessment of groundwater recharge is very important although also difficult because of the strong effects of evaporation and transpiration, as well as the limited available data. A simple, generalized approach, which requires only limited field data, freely available remote sensing data, and well-established concepts and models, is tested for assessing groundwater recharge in the southern part of the basin. This work uses the FAO dual-Kc concept to estimate E and T coefficients at six locations that differ in soil texture, climate, and vegetation conditions. Measured values of soil water content and chloride concentrations along vertical soil profiles together with different scenarios for E and T partitioning and a Bayesian calibration approach are used to numerically simulate water flow and chloride transport using Hydrus-1D. Average groundwater recharge rates and the associated model uncertainty at the six locations are assessed for the 2003–2016 time period. Annual groundwater recharge varies between 6 and 93 mm and depends strongly on soil texture and related water retention and on vegetation. Interannual variability of groundwater recharge is generally greater than the uncertainty of the simulated groundwater recharge.</p