Lunar Atmosphere as a Source of Argon-40 and Other Lunar Surface Elements

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Science  17 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3942, pp. 278-280
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3942.278


The lunar atmosphere is the likely source of excess argon-40 in lunar surface material; about 8.5 percent of the argon-40 released into the lunar atmosphere will be implanted in the surface material by photoionization and subsequent interaction with fields in the solar wind. The atmosphere is also likely to be the source of other unexpected surface elements or of solar wind elements that impact from non-solar wind directions.

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