Science Seminars

Stability Regions of Surface and Subsurface Polar Volatiles from Diviner Lunar Radiometer Data

Speaker: Margaret Landis (CU/LASP)
Date: Thursday, Nov 19, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:
The polar regions of the Moon are of key future scientific and exploration interest because they are the most likely places to harbor volatiles, including water. The presence of water, sulfur, and organics within the polar regions may also record the variety and types of sources that have delivered volatiles to the Moon. We use data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Diviner Lunar Radiometer in order to quantify the maximum and average surface temperatures from 60° – 90° latitude in both hemispheres, and to determine where different volatile species could be stable (< 1 mm/Gyr sublimation). We consider three volatiles of interest (sulfur, water, and hydrogen cyanide, in order of decreasing stability temperature) that may be key indicators of the contributions from different volatile sources (e.g., volcanic outgassing, solar wind sputtering, and cometary impacts). We report on key locations for testing delivery hypothesis of volatiles to the Moon, both from a robotic and human sample return mission perspective.