Ray Region: X-rays, Alpha Particles, Gamma-rays, Neutrons, UV

  • Pamela Elizabeth Clark
  • Michael Lee Rilee


Remote measurements of the high energy spectra generated from high energy interactions on planetary surfaces with minimal atmospheres are crucial in determination of a planet’s bulk composition and major geochemical provinces, particularly when combined with in situ surface or sample measurements. Derivable from such measurements are models for planetary origin and geochemical differentiation as well as for the exterior (bombardment) and interior (volcano-tectonic activity) driven processes which shape major terrane and feature formation on planetary surfaces. Inferences about composition can be drawn from visible and infrared data in the form of major mineral components, providing constraints on models of origin. Elemental abundance maps can be derived indirectly from such data, when assumptions are made about elemental abundance ratios in major minerals, but only nuclear and near nuclear particle interactions produce characteristic transitions in the ray region which can be measured to provide direct elemental abundances.


Neutron Flux Alpha Particle Lunar Surface Solid State Detector Planetary Surface 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics Department NASA/GSFC Code 695.0Catholic University of AmericaGreenbeltUSA
  2. 2.Rilee Systems Technologies LLCHerndonUSA

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