Space Weathering of Apollo 16 Sample 62255: Lunar Rocks as Witness Plates for Deciphering Regolith Formation ProcessesSpace weathering, or alteration that occurs at the surfaces of materials exposed directly to space, has been one of the primary areas of focus of lunar studies for the past several years. It is caused by processes such as micrometeorite impacts and solar wind bombardment, and effects can include microcraters, spall zones, and vapor deposits. Much of the recent work on space weathering has been concentrated on nanoscale features, especially the amorphous rims commonly found on individual lunar soil grains. The rims typically contain nanophase Fe metal globules, which, along with Fe metal globules in agglutinates, have a profound effect on optical properties of lunar soils. The nanophase metallic iron globules cause the characteristic optical changes (reddening and darkening) found in mature lunar soils.
Wentworth, S. J. (Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
McKay, D. S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Keller, L. P. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
August 21, 2013
January 1, 2004
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Moon and Mercury