The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been recording far-UV photons reflected from the lunar surface almost continuously since December 2009. One photon at a time, LAMP builds up spectra from 575 to 1965 Å with a spectral resolution of 26 Å. The UV geometric albedo spectrum for a range of phase angles has been obtained for the entire Moon. These data will be used to construct the lunar UV photometric function and refine photometric models of the lunar surface. The improved lunar photometric functions from analysis of LAMP albedo spectra will enable a better quantitative assessment of how phase angle and composition affect the Moon’s reflectance in the UV. In addition, global day side UV spectral image cubes reveal variations in adsorbed water and/or OH. On the night side, Ly-α radiation from the interplanetary medium and hot bright stars is sufficient to illuminate regions that are permanently shadowed from the Sun. LAMP night side images are therefore providing the first direct glimpses into ice-rich polar craters that may host the first human colonies off the Earth.
Published on May 24, 2013
Speaker:Mark Bullock (SwRI)