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Surface Temperature Variations during the Lunar Nighttime

Murray, Bruce C. and Wildey, Robert L. (1964) Surface Temperature Variations during the Lunar Nighttime. Astrophysical Journal, 139 (2). pp. 734-750. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/147799.

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A new photometer incorporating a mercury-doped germanium photoconductor has been used with a 19-inch telescope to measure the 8-14- brightness temperatures of the shaded lunar surface. Right- ascension scans carried into the lunar nighttime from the terminator show a characteristic of cooling inconsistent with the occurrence of a thick homogeneous dust layer. It appears th more highiy conducting material either is exposed commonly on the surface or constitutes a substratum generally covered by no more than a centimeter or so of the strongly insulating dust. No difference in nighttime temperature distribution was observed between maria and uplands. However, local areas of higher-thanaverage brightness temperature were encountered. These indicate extensive exposures of consolidated material. Local temperature anomalies of this type are associated with the bright-rayed craters Tycho and Copernicus, but they are distributed over an area larger than that represented by the respective craters. Two other groups of temperature anomalies were found in otherwise undistinguished mare border areas. These observations and others suggest that surface redistribution processes are operative on the lunar surface over at least a 10-meter range, but are not important over distances much in excess of a kilometer.

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Additional Information:©1964 American Astronomical Society. ©1963 Submitted copy publication date May 17, 1963. The authors have received important assistance from the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, from the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California, and from the White Mountain Research Station of the University of California. We are particularly indebted to Mr. James A. Westphal, senior engineer in the Division of Geological Sciences, for the development of the photometer and other equipment and for considerable help in both the collection and interpretation of the observations. Financial support for the research described here was made available under National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NsG56-60 and the National Science Foundation grant G25210.
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NASANsG 56-60
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Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Contribution1173
Issue or Number:2
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ID Code:34277
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:21 Sep 2012 19:36
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:07

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