Detection of Mg spinel lithologies on central peak of crater Theophilus using Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) data from Chandrayaan-1
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Spectral reflectance data derived from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 has revealed Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich lithology on central peaks of the crater Theophilus. These newly identified Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich rock types are defined by their strong 2-μm absorption and lack of 1-μm absorptions in spectral reflectance response. Such lithology has been reported previously along the inner ring of Moscoviense Basin on the lunar far side. The Modified Gaussian Modeling (MGM) analysis of the Fe bearing Mg-spinel reflectance spectra has been done and the results of the analysis clearly bring out a strong spectral absorption at 1872 nm with no significant absortion around 1000 nm. The presence of spinel group of minerals in the Theophilus central peak and the fact that central peaks mostly represent uplifted mass of deep crustal material confirm that central peaks can be used as a window to study the deep crustal and/or upper mantle composition and may lead to a fresh perspective about the crustal composition of Moon.
KeywordsLunar surface Mg-spinel central peak Theophilus remote sensing
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