- Press Release
- Mar 23, 2023
Widespread Hydrogenation of the Moons South Polar Cold Traps
The study shows widespread evidence that the Moons permanently shadowed regions (PSR) are enhanced in hydrogen, likely in the form of water ice, as compared to non-permanently shadowed region locations (non-PSRs), to 79deg S. Results are consistent with the original findings of Watson et al, 1961.
We use a novel method to aggregate the hydrogen response from all PSR, greater than 2 km wide pixels. Poleward of 79deg S, the PSR have a consistent hydrogen spatial response, which is enhanced in PSR (where the PSRs area density is highest) and diminishes with distance from any PSR (where the PSR area density is lowest).
A correlation between the PSRs diameters and their observed hydrogen, is induced by the instrumental blurring of relatively hydrogenated PSR areas. An anomalously enhanced hydrogen concentration observed at Cabeus-1 PSR suggests a second hydrogen budget process at that location.
Linear correlations, derived from the PSRs hydrogen observations, from two independent latitude bands, closely predict the hydrogen observation at Shoemaker, the largest area PSR, 1) 75deg to 83deg S, 2) 83deg to 90deg S. Results are consistent with ongoing processes that introduce volatiles to the surface including outgassing, solar wind production with regolith silicates, and mixing from small-scale meteor impacts and diurnal temperature variation.
Results are derived from the Collimated Sensor for EpiThermal Neutrons (CSETN), which part of the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
Timothy P. McClanahan, J.J. Su, Richard D. Starr, Ann M. Parsons, Gordon Chin, Timothy.A. Livengood, David Hamara, Karl Harshman
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2303.03911 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2303.03911v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
From: Timothy McClanahan
[v1] Tue, 7 Mar 2023 14:14:00 UTC (1,425 KB)