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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

18 - Compositional Analysis of the Moon in the Visible and Near-Infrared Regions

from Part IV - Applications to Planetary Surfaces

Summary

Advanced spectroscopic sensors recently flown to the Moon have revealed unexpected discoveries about Earth’s nearest neighbor as well as provided detailed insights and constraints about how early crust evolves on an airless planetary body. Discussed here are (a) global assessment of the variety and distribution of major lunar mineral components and lithologies; (b) some of the remarkable new findings, such as the pervasive presence of OH across the surface and new rock types identified (Mg-spinel anorthosite) that are not identified in current lunar samples; and (c) expectations for the future as additional modern sensors provide a stronger foundation for remote compositional analysis of the Moon. Spectroscopic data continue to provide the cornerstone for identifying and understanding the regional and global character of lunar compositional variations and document key products and processes of crustal evolution.