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Photon Luminescence of the MoonLuminescence is typically described as light emitted by objects at low temperatures, induced by chemical reactions, electrical energy, atomic interactions, or acoustical and mechanical stress. An example is photoluminescence created when photons (electromagnetic radiation) strike a substance and are absorbed, resulting in the emission of a resonant fluorescent or phosphorescent albedo. In planetary science, there exists X-ray fluorescence induced by sunlight absorbed by a regolith a property used to measure some of the chemical composition of the Moon s surface during the Apollo program. However, there exists an equally important phenomenon in planetary science which will be designated here as photon luminescence. It is not conventional photoluminescence because the incoming radiation that strikes the planetary surface is not photons but rather cosmic rays (CRs). Nevertheless, the result is the same: the generation of a photon albedo. In particular, Galactic CRs (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) both induce a photon albedo that radiates from the surface of the Moon. Other particle albedos are generated as well, most of which are hazardous (e.g. neutrons). The photon luminescence or albedo of the lunar surface induced by GCRs and SEPs will be derived here, demonstrating that the Moon literally glows in the dark (when there is no sunlight or Earthshine). This extends earlier work on the same subject [1-4]. A side-by-side comparison of these two albedos and related mitigation measures will also be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wilson, T.L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Lee, K.T. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference(Texas)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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