Mercury: Surface Composition from the Reflection Spectrum

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Science  17 Nov 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4062, pp. 745-747
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4062.745


The reflection spectrum for the integral disk of the planet Mercury was measured and was found to have a constant positive slope from 0.32 to 1.05 micrometers, except for absorption features in the infrared. The reflectivity curve matches closely the curve for the lunar upland and mare regions. Thus, the surface of Mercury is probably covered with a lunar-like soil rich in dark glasses of high iron and titanium content. Pyroxene is probably the dominant mafic mineral.

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