The Moon in Heiligenschein

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Science  16 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4347, pp. 1265-1267
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4347.1265

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An analysis of 25 photometric digital images of the moon has been carried out to obtain a single image in a new mapping parameter, the Heiligenschein exponent. The data necessarily represent a range of lunar phases, but all are within 10 hours of full moon. The new parameter characterizes the rate at which lunar features brighten as their local phase angles approach zero. Although considerable contrast is present in this parameter, there is only a small correlation with normal albedo. In particular, the large albedo difference between maria and highlands is not simply reflected in Heiligenschein differences, which are larger within each category of terrain than the difference between the Heiligenschein averages of each. A correlation with age may be present in both the maria and the highlands, but its determination will require separation into distinct geochemical provinces.