Major Compositional Units of the Moon: Lunar Prospector Thermal and Fast Neutrons

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Science  04 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5382, pp. 1489-1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5382.1489

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Global maps of thermal and fast neutron fluxes from the moon suggest three end-member compositional units. A high thermal and low fast neutron flux unit correlates with the lunar highlands and is consistent with feldspathic rocks. The South Pole–Aitken basin and a strip that surrounds the nearside maria have intermediate thermal and fast neutron flux levels, consistent with more mafic rocks. There appears to be a smooth transition between the most mafic and feldspathic compositions, which correspond to low and high surface altitudes, respectively. The maria show low thermal and high fast neutron fluxes, consistent with basaltic rocks.

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