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Photometric stability of the lunar surface

January 1, 1997

The rate at which cratering events currently occur on the Moon is considered in light of their influence on the use of the Moon as a radiometric standard. The radiometric effect of small impact events is determined empirically from the study of Clementine images. Events that would change the integral brightness of the moon by 1% are expected once per 1.4 Gyr. Events that cause a 1% shift in one pixel for low Earth-orbiting instruments with a 1-km nadir field of view are expected approximately once each 43 Myr. Events discernible at 1% radiometric resolution with a 5 arc-sec telescope resolution correspond to crater diameters of approximately 210 m and are expected once every 200 years. These rates are uncertain by a factor of two. For a fixed illumination and observation geometry, the Moon can be considered photometrically stable to 1 ?? 10-8per annum for irradiance, and 1 ?? 10-7per annum for radiance at a resolution common for spacecraft imaging instruments, exceeding reasonable instrument goals by six orders of magnitude. ?? 1997 Academic Press.

Publication Year 1997
Title Photometric stability of the lunar surface
DOI 10.1006/icar.1997.5822
Authors H. H. Kieffer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Icarus
Index ID 70019348
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse