Copernicus Crater Central Peak: Lunar Mountain of Unique Composition

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Science  01 Jan 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4528, pp. 59-61
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4528.59


Olivine is identified as the major mafic mineral in a central peak of Copernicus crater. Information on the mineral assemblages of such unsampled lunar surface material is provided by near infrared reflectance spectra (0.7 to 2.5 micrometers) obtained with Earth-based telescopes. The composition of the deep-seated material comprising the Copernicus central peak is unique among measured areas. Other lunar terra areas and the wall of Copernicus exhibit spectral characteristics of mineral assemblages comparable to the feldspathic breccias returned by the Apollo missions, with low-calcium orthopyroxene being the major mafic mineral.

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