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Unveiling the secrets of the mid-infrared Moon

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Yunzhao Wu, Qi Jin, Cui Li, Tianyi Xu, Wenwen Qi, Wei Tan, Xiaoman Li, Zhicheng Shi, Hongyan He, Shuwu Dai, Guo Li, Fengjing Liu, Jingqiao Wang, Xiaoyan Wang, Yu Lu, Wei Cai, Qi Wang, Lingjie Meng

(Submitted on 21 Mar 2020)

The Moon's optical characteristics in visible and long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) have long been observed with our eyes or with instruments. What the mid-infrared (MIR) Moon looks like is still a mystery. For the first time we present detailed appearance of the MIR Moon observed by a high-resolution geostationary satellite and reveal the essence behind its appearance. The appearance of the MIR Moon is opposite to its normal visible appearance. In addition the MIR Moon shows limb darkening. Both the absolute and the relative brightness distribution of the MIR lunar disk changes with the solar incidence angle. The signatures of the MIR Moon are controlled by both the reflection and emission of the lunar surface. We also show first-ever brightness temperature maps of the lunar disk without needing a mosaic, which better show the temperature variation across the lunar disk. They reveal that the relationship between brightness temperature and solar incidence angle i is cos1/bi, and the power parameter is smaller than the Lambertian temperature model of cos1/4i observed for lunar orbit-based measurements. The slower decrease of the brightness temperature when moving away from the sub-solar point than the Lambertian model is due to topographic effects. The brightness temperature is dominated by albedo and the solar incidence angle and influenced by the topography. Our results indicate that the Moon in the MIR exhibits many interesting phenomena which were previously unknown, and contains abundant information about lunar reflection and thermal emission for future study.

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:2003.09646 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2003.09646v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Yu Lu 

[v1] Sat, 21 Mar 2020 12:50:59 UTC (2,369 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.09646

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