Department of Physical Sciences
"We have applied high-resolution Fabry-Perot spectroscopy to the study of the lunar sodium exosphere for the study of exospheric effective temperature and velocity variations. Observing from the National Solar Observatory McMath-Pierce Telescope, we used a dual-etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer with a resolving power of 180,000 to measure line widths and Doppler shifts of the sodium D2 (5889.95 Å) emission line. Our field of view was 360 km, and measurements were made in equatorial and polar regions from 500 km to 3500 km off the limb. Data were obtained from full moon to 3 days following full moon (waning phase) in March 2009. Measured Doppler line widths within 1100 km of the sunlit east and south lunar limbs for observations between 5 and 40◦ lunar phase imply effective temperatures ranging between 3260 ± 190 and 1000 ± 135 K. Preliminary line center analysis indicates velocity displacements between different locations off the lunar limb ranging between 100 and 600 m/s from the lunar rest velocity with a precision of ±20 to ±50 m/s depending on brightness. Based on the success of these exploratory observations, an extensive program has been initiated that is expected to constrain lunar atmospheric and surface-process modeling and help quantify source and escape mechanisms."--From the article.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
American Geophysical Union
Scholarly Commons Citation
Mierkiewicz, E. J., Oliversen, R. J., Roesler, F. L., & Lupie, O. L. (2014). High-Resolution Spectroscopy of the Lunar Sodium Exosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 119(). https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JA019801