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Thermal profiles of the eclipsed moon

Authors
Journal
Advances in Space Research
0273-1177
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0273-1177(03)00531-3
Disciplines
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) mapped the thermal 4.3 μm emission from the Moon during the eclipse of 27 September 1996 UT with a resolution of about 30″. MSX obtained ten 4.3 μm brightness temperature maps, one every 1 to 3 minutes, during the three twenty minute observations of the eclipse and was thus able to define spatially resolved (45km) cooling curves over the entire lunar surface. A large number of hot spots were observed that correlate well with those noted by previous observers. The hotspots tend to correspond to craters. Certain more extended regions, the maria and portions of maria, are warmer than the highlands. The 4.3 μm temperature contrasts observed at various regions of the eclipsed Moon by MSX also agree with the mid-infrared values previously published, although there is a tendency for the MSX values to be warmer. The MSX observations of the uneven cooling during the eclipse provide information on the thermo-physical properties of the various features.

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