ArticlesAbundance of Major Elements

Particle Track, X-ray, Thermal, and Mass Spectrometric Studies of Lunar Material

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 568-571
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.568


Particle tracks in Apollo 11 samples are dominantly of cosmic ray and solar origin: primary galactic and solar flare particles, likely spallation recoil tracks, and possible solar-wind heavy particles. The energy spectrum of irongroup nuclei is inferred from track density gradients in surface layers, and a limit of << 10-7 centimeter per year is deduced for the surface erosion rate. From cosmic ray tracks in rock and core samples it is clear that the lunar soil is stirred often during each few million years. X-rays reveal augite, anorthite, olivine, ilmenite, troilite, nonmeteoritic iron, and assorted glasses, but no major structural damage. Hydrogen, helium, and other gases in the fines are compatible with expected solar wind ratios.