Detection of a Nonuniform Distribution of Polonium-210 on the Moon with the Apollo 16 Alpha Particle Spectrometer

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Science  01 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4089, pp. 957-959
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4089.957


The polonium-210 activity of the lunar surface is significantly larger than the activity of its progenitor radon-222. This result establishes unequivocally that radon emanation from the present-day moon varies considerably within the 21-year half-life of lead-210, the parent nuclide of polonium-210. There are large variations and well-localized enhancements in polonium-210 activity over much of the moon's surface.