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Sputtering of sodium on the planet MercuryIt is shown here that ion sputtering cannot account for the observed neutral sodium vapor column density on Mercury, but that it is an important loss mechanism for Na. Photons are likely to be the dominant stimulus, both directly through photodesorption and indirectly through thermal desorption of absorbed Na. It is concluded that the atmosphere produced is characterized by the planet's surface temperature, with the ion-sputtered Na contributing to a lesser, but more extended, component of the atmosphere.
Document ID
19870035603
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Mcgrath, M. A. (Virginia Univ. Charlottesville, VA, United States)
Johnson, R. E. (Virginia, University Charlottesville, United States)
Lanzerotti, L. J. (AT&T Bell Laboratories Murray Hill, NJ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2013
Publication Date
October 23, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 323
ISSN: 0028-0836
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF AST-85-11391
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-186
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other