Density and chemistry of interplanetary dust particles, derived from measurements of lunar microcraters.
Light-gas gun simulation experiments with steel projectiles on glass targets produced millimeter-sized glass-lined central pits. A polished section of one of these pits revealed the presence of spherical metal inclusions in the uppermost zone of the impact melt. These inclusions are depleted in Mn and Cr compared with the original projectile. The depletion in Mn and Cr can be best explained as due to selective oxidation of these elements during the impact process. These results of simulation experiments indicate mixing of projectile materials with the target impact melt. Measurements of diameter-to-depth ratios and analyses of projectile residues in lunar microcraters revealed three types of projectiles with densities around 8, 3 and 1 g/cu cm. Smaller craters were increasingly more enriched in heavy projectile residue materials compared with larger craters. It is shown that these results are consistent with hypothesis of a cometary origin of sporadic meteoroids.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- April 1976
- Chemical Composition;
- Interplanetary Dust;
- Lunar Craters;
- Particle Density (Concentration);
- Size Determination;
- Analog Simulation;
- Density Measurement;
- Meteorite Craters;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration