Impact of ions and micrometeorites on mineral surfaces: Reflectance changes and production of atmospheric species in airless solar system bodies
We are conducting a research program to study the effect of ion and micrometeorite bombardment of mineral surfaces in airless bodies like asteroids, the Moon, and Mercury. We simulate the solar wind with accelerated protons and helium ions at 1 keV/amu, and micrometeorite impact with energetic laser pulses of similar transient energy deposition. We have quantified for the first time the contribution of sputtering to the sodium atmosphere around the Moon and Mercury. In addition to these results, we will present a progress report on the simulation of solar wind and micrometeorite bombardment on the visible to near-infrared reflectance of olivine. The experiments are motivated by the need to understand reflectance data, in particular that obtained recently by the NEAR mission and in the future for analysis of spectra of Vesta and Ceres to be returned by the Dawn mission.
EGS - AGU - EUG Joint Assembly
- Pub Date:
- April 2003