Properties of the Hermean regolith: IV. Photometric parameters of Mercury and the Moon contrasted with Hapke modelling
A comparison of the photometric properties of Mercury and the Moon is performed, based on their integral phase curves and disk-resolved image data of Mercury obtained with the Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope. Proper absolute calibration of integral V-band magnitude observations reveals that the near-side of the Moon is 10-15% brighter than average Mercury, and 0-5% brighter for the "bolometric" wavelength range 400-1000 nm. As shown, this is supported by recent estimates of their geometric albedos. Hapke photometric parameters of their surfaces are derived from identical approaches, allowing a contrasting study between their surface properties to be performed. Compared to the average near-side Moon, Mercury has a slightly lower single-scattering albedo, an opposition surge with smaller width and of marginally smaller amplitude, and a somewhat smoother surface with similar porosity. The width of the lobes of the single-particle scattering function are smaller for Mercury, and the backward scattering anisotropy is stronger. In terms of the double Henyey-Greenstein b- c parameter plot, the scattering properties of an average particle on Mercury is closer to the properties of lunar maria than highlands, indicating a higher density of internal scatterers than that of lunar particles. The photometric roughness of Mercury is well constrained by the recent study of Mallama et al. (2002, Icarus 155, 253-264) to a value of about 8°, suggesting that the surfaces sampled by the highest phase angle observations (Borealis, Susei, and Sobkou Planitia) are lunar mare-like in their textural properties. However, Mariner 10 disk brightness profiles obtained at intermediate phase angles indicate a surface roughness of about twice this value. The photometric parameters of the Moon are more difficult to constrain due to limited phase angle coverage, but the best Hapke fits are provided by rather small surface roughnesses. Better-calibrated, multiple-wavelength observations of the integral and disk-resolved brightnesses of both bodies, and obtained at higher phase angle values in the case of the Moon, are urgently needed to arrive at a more consistent picture of the contrasting light scattering properties of their surfaces.