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Mercury's Surface Composition and Character as Measured by Ground-Based Observations

Sprague, A. and Warell, J. and Cremonese, G. and Langevin, Y. and Helbert, J. and Wurz, P. and Veselovsky, I. and Orsini, S. and Milillo, A. (2006) Mercury's Surface Composition and Character as Measured by Ground-Based Observations. Space Science Reviews, 132 (2-4), pp. 399-431. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9221-3. ISSN 1572-9672.

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Mercury’s surface is thought to be covered with highly space-weathered silicate material. The regolith is composed of material accumulated during the time of planetary formation, and subsequently from comets, meteorites, and the Sun. Ground-based observations indicate a heterogeneous surface composition with SiO<sub>2</sub> content ranging from 39 to 57 wt%. Visible and near-infrared spectra, multi-spectral imaging, and modeling indicate expanses of feldspathic, well-comminuted surface with some smooth regions that are likely to be magmatic in origin with many widely distributed crystalline impact ejecta rays and blocky deposits. Pyroxene spectral signatures have been recorded at four locations. Although highly space weathered, there is little evidence for the conversion of FeO to nanophase metallic iron particles (npFe0), or “iron blebs,” as at the Moon. Near- and mid-infrared spectroscopy indicate clino- and ortho-pyroxene are present at different locations. There is some evidence for no- or low-iron alkali basalts and feldspathoids. All evidence, including microwave studies, point to a low iron and low titanium surface. There may be a link between the surface and the exosphere that may be diagnostic of the true crustal composition of Mercury. A structural global dichotomy exists with a huge basin on the side not imaged by Mariner 10. This paper briefly describes the implications for this dichotomy on the magnetic field and the 3 : 2 spin : orbit coupling. All other points made above are detailed here with an account of the observations, the analysis of the observations, and theoretical modeling, where appropriate, that supports the stated conclusions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/51951/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:bisher nur Online-Veröffentlichung
Title:Mercury's Surface Composition and Character as Measured by Ground-Based Observations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Sprague, A.Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of ArizonaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Warell, J.Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Uppsala UniversityUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cremonese, G.INAF-Osservatorio AstronomicoUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Langevin, Y.Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS/Univ. Paris XIUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wurz, P.Physics Institute, University of BernUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Veselovsky, I.Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University; Space Research Institute (IKI), Russian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Orsini, S.Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF); , Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI)UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Milillo, A.Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF); , Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI)UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Space Science Reviews
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 399-431
Keywords:Mercury, Planetary surface composition, Remote sensing, Ground-based observations, Spectroscopy
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Vergleichende Planetologie (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Musiol, Stefanie
Deposited On:14 Jan 2008
Last Modified:15 Jan 2010 01:57

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