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The low-iron, reduced surface of Mercury as seen in spectral reflectance by MESSENGER

Izenberg, Noam R. and Klima, Rachel L. and Murchie, Scott L. and Blewett, David T. and Holsclaw, Gregory M. and McClintock, William E. and Malaret, Erick and Mauceri, Calogero and Vilas, Faith and Sprague, Ann L. and Helbert, Jörn and Domingue, Deborah L. and Head, James W. and Goudge, Timothy A. and Solomon, Sean C. and Hibbitts, Charles A. and Dyar, M. Darby (2014) The low-iron, reduced surface of Mercury as seen in spectral reflectance by MESSENGER. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 228, pp. 364-374. Elsevier. DOI: j.icarus.2013.10.023 ISSN 0019-1035

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2013.10.023

Abstract

The MESSENGER spacecraft's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) obtained more than 1.6 million reflectance spectra of Mercury's surface from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths during the first year of orbital operations. A global analysis of spectra in the wavelength range 300-1450 nm shows little regional variation in absolute reflectance or spectral slopes and a lack of mineralogically diagnostic absorptions. In particular, reflectance spectra show no clear evidence for an absorption band centered near 1 μm that would be associated with the presence of ferrous iron in silicates. There is, however, evidence for an ultraviolet absorption possibly consistent with a very low iron content (2-3 wt% FeO or less) in surface silicates and for the presence of small amounts of metallic iron or other opaque minerals in the form of nano- or micrometer-sized particles. These findings are consistent with MESSENGER X-ray and gamma-ray measurements of Mercury's surface iron abundance. Although X-ray and gamma-ray observations indicate higher than expected quantities of sulfur on the surface, reflectance spectra show no absorption bands diagnostic of sulfide minerals. Whereas there is strong evidence of water ice in permanently shadowed craters near Mercury's poles, MASCS spectra provide no evidence for hydroxylated materials near permanently shadowed craters.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/94327/
Document Type:Article
Title:The low-iron, reduced surface of Mercury as seen in spectral reflectance by MESSENGER
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Izenberg, Noam R.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Klima, Rachel L.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Murchie, Scott L.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Blewett, David T.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Holsclaw, Gregory M.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
McClintock, William E.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Malaret, ErickApplied Coherent Technology Corporation, Herndon, VA 20170, USAUNSPECIFIED
Mauceri, CalogeroApplied Coherent Technology Corporation, Herndon, VA 20170, USAUNSPECIFIED
Vilas, FaithPlanetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZUNSPECIFIED
Sprague, Ann L.Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Helbert, Jörnjoern.helbert (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Domingue, Deborah L.Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZUNSPECIFIED
Head, James W.Brown UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Goudge, Timothy A.Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Solomon, Sean C.Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USAUNSPECIFIED
Hibbitts, Charles A.Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, USA,UNSPECIFIED
Dyar, M. DarbyDepartment of Astronomy, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:228
DOI :j.icarus.2013.10.023
Page Range:pp. 364-374
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0019-1035
Status:Published
Keywords:Mercury, MESSENGER, spectral mapping
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Helbert, Dr.rer.nat. Jörn
Deposited On:08 Jan 2015 13:51
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 15:47

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