Saturday, February 8, 2014

Special Session, LPSC 2014 (March 17)

 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
New Perspectives of the Moon -
Enabling Future Lunar Missions
The Woodlands, Texas
Monday Morning, March 17, 2014

Prasun Mahanti and Charles Shearer, Chairs

Recent and ongoing missions coupled with new data analyses have dramatically changed our view of the Moon over the last decade. Findings from these missions provide both a fundamental scientific framework to base future missions and essential observations to reduce risk to these missions. Presenters will provide new scientific synthesis of data produced from recent and current lunar missions and data analyses and examine innovative scientific mission strategies enabled by these new insights to address important lunar science and exploration questions.

At Noon on Monday, astronaut-geologist Harrison H. Schmitt will update this special session on "a number of new insights into the geology of Taurus Littrow and surrounding regions."
8:30 a.m. Zuber, Smith, Goossens, Asmar and Konopliv, et al. - A High-Resolution View of the Orientale Basin and Surroundings from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), #2061

During the final weeks (the “endgame”) of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission the orbital altitude of the dual spacecraft was lowered to an average of 11 km above the surface of the Moon. The endgame mapping strategy was designed to provide the highest-resolution coverage over the Orientale basin in order to provide a gravity map of a multi-ring impact basin at unprecedented resolution. (High-resolution data over other areas of the planet were acquired as well.)  We summarize methodology and present results of local analysis to produce a gravitational model with 3-5-km spatial resolution, appropriate for investigating the structure and evolution of Orientale and its surroundings.

8:45 a.m. Warren and Dauphas - Revised Estimation of the Bulk Composition of the Moon in Light of GRAIL Results, and Why Heat Flow Should be a Top Priority for Future Lunar Missions, #2298

The elemental composition of the Moon shows aspects of similarity but also some important differences relative to Earth. The differences are key constraints for modeling the origin of the Moon and planetary origins in general. Most obviously, and regardless of the important FeO issue that is a major focus of this work, the Moon’s total iron content is lower by a factor of 3-4 compared to Earth’s total iron of ~34 wt%.

9:00 a.m. Jolliff and Petro - Recent Mission Observations Provide Scientific Context and Enabling Support for Future Exploration of the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin, #2357

We take an integrated look at results from recent missions, current knowledge gaps, and implications for future in situ or sample-return exploration.

LPSC 2014, #1398, Figure 1. Central South Pole-Aitken basin, LROC WAC base mosaic overlain by GLD100 WAC-derived DTM (scale in meters) showing current NAC geometric stereo image coverage.
The Moon’s South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin is a scientifically rich destination for future exploration by landed and sample-return missions.  The current Planetary Science Decadal Survey recognized this scientific potential in terms of the SPA basin’s importance for recording the chronology of major events in the early Solar System as well as for understanding lunar history, structure, and giant impact processes. Current and recent orbital mission results including LRO, GRAIL, Chandrayaan-1, and Kaguya are paving the way for an improved understanding of SPA basin geology and history, and indeed, posing new questions for future exploration.

9:15 a.m. Hurwitz and Kring - Destinations for Sampling Impact Melt Produced by the South Pole — Aitken Basin Impact Event, #1398

LPSC 2014 #1398, Figure 1: FeO (red-yellow tones) and Th (green-blue tones) anomalies from LP data in SPA, shown with images from the LRO Wide Angle Camera (WAC). Features of interest are labeled. SPA melt may also be found in material ejected from the basin, but the anomalies identified above indicate the highest concentration of this melted material.
The intensity of impact activity during the earliest history of the Solar System is poorly constrained due to the lack of samples collected from ancient planetary terrains. The South Pole – Aitken (SPA) basin is the oldest basin identified on the Moon based on stratigraphic superposition and, thus, represents a key target for characterizing this earliest impact record. To determine the absolute age of SPA, rocks that formed as a result of the impact, such as impact melt, must be identified, collected, and analyzed. In this paper, we use high-resolution images obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) to explore locations that potentially contain SPA impact melt. These observations are integrated with spectral analyses of surface compositions and models of melt sheet differentiation to identify destinations where SPA impact melt samples can be collected.

9:30 a.m. Lawrence, Stopar, Speyerer, Robinson and Jolliff - Characterizing Locations for Future Lunar Exploration Using Recent Mission Results, #2785

LPSC 2014, #2785 Figure 1. Example path planning algorithm output for Ina on a LROC Narrow Angle Camera image.
We present results from a project to characterize accessibility and science potential of high-priority locations for future lunar precursor missions.

9:45 a.m. Mahanti, Robinson and Stelling - How Deep and Steep are Small Lunar Craters? — New Insights from LROC NAC DEMs, #1584

Recent lunar missions (e.g. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Kaguya), carrying high resolution cameras (e.g. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), Selene Terrain Camera) have acquired images that will lead to a deeper understanding of impact crater formation and degradation. Historical studies of lunar crater morphology exists for craters in the 10 km diameter range, but is somewhat lacking for craters in the 1 km D range, and rare for craters D below 200 m.

10:00 a.m. Robinson, Boyd, Denevi, Lawrence and Moser, et al. - New Crater on the Moon and a Field of Secondaries, #2164

LPSC 2014 #2164 Figure 1. LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) before and after images of the same small patch of Mare Imbrium reveal the Marshall 17 March Impact Event, the first time an impact on the Moon observed on Earth in real time has been definitively identified from lunar orbit. The newly-formed crater is 18 meters in diameter. From "New Imbrium crater from impact observed on Earth" (December 17, 2013) [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Amateur and professional observatories monitor the Moon for flashes, interpreted to represent impact events. The NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring Program includes a dedicated telescope facility at Marshall Space Flight Center. The Marshall group recorded over 300 flashes (meteoroid impacts); their brightest recorded flash occurred on 17 March 2013 (20.599±0.172°N, 336.078±0.304°E). Subsequently, a series of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images were acquired over the period of June through November 2013 to investigate the nature of this flash.

LPSC 2014 #2164 Figure 2. Temporal ratio (before M183689789L / after M1129645568L) orange outline delimits proximal high reflectance ejecta, red line is the boundary of low reflectance ejecta, blue outline shows boundary of high reflectance outer continuous ejecta, scale bar is 1000 meters.
10:15 a.m. Lucey, Neumann, Paige, Riner and Mazarico, et al. - Evidence for Water Ice and Temperature Dependent Space Weathering at the Lunar Poles from LOLA and Diviner, #2325

LOLA measurements of zero phase reflectance of the Moon have revealed that polar regions in permanent shadow are significantly brighter at 1064 nm than equivalent surfaces that experience some illumination during the year Zuber et al. Several hypotheses for this brightening have been outlined, including water frost and a polar effect on space weathering.  Inclusion of Diviner temperature measurements to LOLA reflectance observations adds a physical chemical dimension to aid interpretation because of the exponential temperature dependence of surface frost lifetime against sublimation. In this abstract we present the results of LOLA measurements of surface reflectance in the polar regions, and assess the validity of the various hypotheses to explain the observations with special attention to temperature.

LPSC 2014 #2325, Figure 2. The distribution of normal albedos for areas in permanent shadow (PSR) and areas sometimes illuminated (Non-PSR) in the north pole (70-90°N). The two populations are significantly offset, though considerable overlap persists.
10:30 a.m. Retherford, Greathouse, Gladstone, Hendrix and Mandt, et al. - New Perspectives on the Lunar Far-UV Albedo: Implications of LRO Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) Results for Future Exploration, #2372

LAMP FUV albedo maps are used to investigate the intriguing albedo differences that occur within PSRs. LAMP measurements indicate ~1-2% surface water frost abundances in a few PSRs based on spectral color comparisons, and we find that many PSRs may have porosities of ~0.7 based on relatively low albedos at Lyman-α [1]. The FUV albedo maps reveal lower albedo regions within craters. The lower albedo regions are roughly correlated with the coldest PSR regions, and Hayne et al., this meeting, will pre-sent correlative analyses with Diviner maps. Mandt et al., this meeting, will present updated analyses of the PSR water frost abundances including a search for changes on monthly timescales.

New dayside FUV albedo maps will also be pre-sented. Comparisons between the nightside and day-side photometry techniques help validate the use of Lyman-α and starlight as illumination sources. Analy-sis of dayside spectra for selected regions complement the dayside maps, and are used to investigate space weathering and hydrated surface signatures [5]. Hen-drix et al., this meeting, report that the Compton-Belkovich region presents a relatively red spectral slope in the LAMP dataset, and discuss the potential for surface hydration in this region. A lab study of the FUV reflectance properties of Apollo samples, lunar simulants, and water ice is underway to further charac-terize the UV reflectance techniques. The far-UV spec-tral inversion property of the lunar albedo discovered by the Apollo 17 UVS is confirmed with the LAMP dataset, and Seifert et al., this meeting, investigate fur-ther the contrast of UV-bright mare versus UV-dark highlands region features as a function of wavelength.

LPSC 2014 #1943 Figure 1. Overlay of Diviner annual maximum temperature (colors: 40-350 K) and Ly-α albedo from LAMP (grayscale) for the south polar region of the Moon. The outer edge of the Diviner map lies at 82.5°S.
10:45 a.m. Hayne, Retherford, Sefton-Nash and Paige - Temperature and Ultraviolet Albedo Correlations in the Lunar Polar Regions: Implications for Water Frost, #1943

LPSC 2014 #1942 Figure 3. Surface material with high UV water band depth from LAMP and Diviner Tmax < 130° K is indicated by shades of red in this south polar map. The background grayscale image is Diviner Tmax, a subset of Fig. 1.
11:00 a.m. Zhao, Huang, Xiao, Qiao and Xiao, et al. - Geology of CE-3 Landing Site and Path Planning for Yutu Rover, #1864

Nearly 40 years after the completion of Apollo program and Luna missions, the third Chi-nese lunar mission, Chang’e 3 (CE-3), was launched on December 2 2013, and it safely landed on the surface of the Moon on December 14 2013. The rover “Yutu” separated from the lander successfully about 8 hours later. The landing site of CE-3 is 340.49 °E, 44.12 °N, located in the northern part of Mare Imbrium and about 140 km east to Sinus Iridum. The landing area has a variety of geologic features, such as impact craters, wrinkle ridges and basaltic lava flows with different ages, making it an arresting place to study.

11:15 a.m. Garry W. B. - The Mare Imbrium Flow Field: Regional Geologic Context of the Chang’e 3 Landing Site, #2169

LPSC 2014 #2169 Figure 3. Topographic profiles of two different Phase III lava flows. Low-sun angle images show channels that are a few meters deep in the majority of the Phase III flows indicating preferred paths in many of these lobes.
The Mare Imbrium lava flows are unique to the lunar surface in that they have well-defined flow margins, levees, and channels that are traceable from the source region to the flow front. These flows were initially mapped with Apollo data [4,5], but the data sets did not provide complete coverage of the flow field at a consistent resolution. The overall goal of this study is to reevaluate the flow field with current data sets, create an updated morphologic map of the Mare Imbrium lava flows, and provide a qualitative and quantitative description of the emplacement of the flow field.

11:30 a.m. Hiesinger, Ivanov, Pasckert, Bauch and van der Bogert - Geology of the Lunar Glob Landing Sites in Boguslawsky Crater, #2370

LPSC 2014 #2370 Figure 2. New geologic map of Boguslawsky crater (72.9°S, 43.257°E). Landing ellipses shown in white.
On Nov. 17, 2011, the Space Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences, formally announced that the Luna-Glob and Luna-Resurs missions will be split into separate landing and orbiting missions. Although the main objective of the Luna-Glob lander is to test landing techniques, it will also carry a small scientific payload. The floor of crater Boguslawsky (~95 km in diameter, centered at 72.9°S, 43.26°E) was selected as primary landing site for the Luna-Glob mission. Two landing ellipses, 30x15 km each, were chosen on the  floor of the crater: Ellipse West is at 72.9°S, 41.3°E, Ellipse East is at 73.3S, 43.9E.

11:45 a.m. BREAK

12:00 p.m. Schmitt H. H. - Apollo 17: New Insights from the Synthesis and Integration of Field Notes, Photo-Documentation, and Analytical Data, #2732

A number of new insights into the geology of the valley of Taurus-Littrow and surrounding regions of the Moon have resulted from recent synthesis and integration of transmitted field notes, field recollections, and photodocumentation with over forty years of data from sample analysis and geophysical measurements.

Jack Schmitt's trench and the orange regolith he uncovered at Shorty crater. The minutes spent at this location left a deep mark on planetary science, visible from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and discussed by LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson in "Just another crater?" December 13, 2011; Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal. AS17-137-20900 [NASA].
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