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Spectral behavior of sulfides in simulated daytime surface conditions of Mercury: Supporting past (MESSENGER) and future missions (BepiColombo)

Varatharajan, Indhu and Maturilli, Alessandro and Helbert, Jörn and Alemanno, Giulia and Hiesinger, H. (2019) Spectral behavior of sulfides in simulated daytime surface conditions of Mercury: Supporting past (MESSENGER) and future missions (BepiColombo). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 520, 127 - 140. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.05.020. ISSN 0012-821X.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X19302900


To detect the mineral diversity of a planet's surface, it is essential to study the spectral variations over a broad wavelength range at relevant simulated laboratory conditions. The MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging) mission to Mercury discovered that irrespective of its formation closest to the Sun, Mercury is richer in volatiles than previously expected. This is especially true for sulfur (S), with an average abundance of 4 wt%. It has been proposed that sulfur in the interior of Mercury can be brought to the surface through volcanic activity in the form of sulfides as slag deposits in Mercury hollows and pyroclastic deposits. However, comprehensive spectral library of sulfide minerals measured under vacuum conditions in a wide spectral range (0.2–100 μm) was lacking. This affects the detectability and understanding of the distribution, abundance, and type of sulfides on Mercury using remote-sensing spectral observations. In the case of Mercury, the effect of thermal weathering affecting the spectral behavior of these sulfides must be studied carefully for their effective detection. In this study, we present a spectral library of synthetic sulfides including MgS, FeS, CaS, CrS, TiS, NaS, and MnS. For each sample, we performed emissivity measurements in the thermal infrared range (TIR: ∼7–14 μm) for sample temperatures from 100 °C–500 °C, covering the daytime temperature cycle on Mercury's surface. In addition, for each sample we measured the spectral reflectance of fresh and thermally processed sulfides over a wide spectral range (0.2–100 μm) and at four different phase angles, 26°, 40°, 60°, 80°. This spectral library facilitates the detection of sulfides by past and future missions to Mercury by any optical spectrometer of any spectral range. Specifically, the emissivity measurements in this study will support the Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (MERTIS) instrument on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission, which will study the surface mineralogy over a wavelength range of 7–14 μm at a spatial resolution of 500 m/pixel. The measured reflectance of these sulfides in 0.2–100 μm at various phase angles will support the interpretation of measurements from past (MDIS, MASCS on MESSENGER) and future missions (SIMBIO-SYS on BepiColombo).

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/131660/
Document Type:Article
Title:Spectral behavior of sulfides in simulated daytime surface conditions of Mercury: Supporting past (MESSENGER) and future missions (BepiColombo)
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Varatharajan, IndhuIndhu.Varatharajan (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Maturilli, AlessandroAlessandro.Maturilli (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4613-9799
Helbert, JörnJoern.Helbert (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5346-9505
Alemanno, GiuliaGiulia.Alemanno (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Hiesinger, H.Institut für Planetologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Schlossplatz 2, 48149 Munster, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:15 August 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.epsl.2019.05.020
Page Range:127 - 140
Keywords:Mercury, sulfides, emissivity, reflectance, spectroscopy
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project BepiColombo - MERTIS and BELA
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Varatharajan, Indhu
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 11:12
Last Modified:04 Dec 2019 11:12

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