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Degradation sequence of young lunar craters from orbital infrared surveyUsing new software, nighttime thermal maps of the lunar surface have been generated from data obtained by the Apollo 17 Infrared Scanning Radiometer (ISR) in lunar orbit. Most of the thermal anomalies observed in the maps correspond to fresh lunar craters because blocks on the lunar surface maintain a thermal contrast relative to surrounding soil during the lunar night. Craters of Erastosthenian age and older - relatively young by lunar standards - have developed soil covers that make them almost indistinguishable from their surroundings in the thermal data. Thermal images of Copernican age craters show various stages of a degradation process, allowing the craters to be ranked by age. The ISR data should yield insights into lunar surface evolution as well as a more detailed understanding of the bombardment history after formation of the great mare basins.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wieczorek, M. A. (State Univ. of New York, Buffalo., United States)
Mendell, W. W. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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