The Optical Properties of Nanophase Iron: Investigation of a Space Weathering AnalogIt is known that space weathering, in particular the nanophase iron (npFe(sup 0)) created via vapor and/or sputter deposition, has distinct and predictable effects on the optical properties of lunar soils. In addition to the attenuation of absorption bands, weathering introduces a characteristic continuum which is controlled by the amount of npFe(sup 0) present. The shape of this continuum may also be controlled by the size of the npFe(sup 0) grains. It is thought that small npFe(sup 0) grains result in reddening, while larger grains only darken the material. To investigate this phenomenon we have created a lunar weathering analog by impregnating silica gel powders with npFe(sup 0) following the methods presented.
Noble, S. K. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Pieters, C. M. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI, United States)
Keller, L. P. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)