A search for water on the moon at the Reiner Gamma Formation, a possible site of cometary coma impact.
Earth-based telescopic measurements of the Reiner Gamma Formation in the 3 μm region were made to search for evidence of water at this proposed site of cometary interaction with the lunar surface. Comparison of the spectra of Reiner Gamma and laboratory measurements of a variety of minerals with absorbed water or structural OH- show that there is no evidence for water at the locations measured. While these measurements rule out the presence of abundant bound H2O at these locations, they do not exclude the presence of OH--bearing minerals that have absorptions not detectable through the wet terrestrial atmosphere. Upper limits on the amount of water that could be present at the locations observed and remain undetected are 2.25 average wt% for a mixture consisting of discrete patches of water-bearing and water-free minerals and 0.01 wt% for an intimate mixture of these two materials.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- Hydroxyl Radicals;
- Lunar Surface;
- Gamma Ray Spectra;
- Lunar Albedo;
- Lunar Temperature;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration; Moon;
- Moon Surface:Water