Lunar and Martian Surfaces: Petrologic Significance of Absorption Bands in the Near-Infrared

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Science  29 Mar 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3822, pp. 1453-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3822.1453


A reflection minimum at 1 micron, reported for Moon and for Mars, indicates olivine or iron- and calcium-bearing clinopyroxene, or both—major constituents of many basaltic rocks. If the 1-micron absorption features are real, both chondritic and acidic rocks are ruled out as primary constituents of the surfaces of the bodies. The reflectance spectrum of Mars matches closely that of an oxidized basalt.