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The spectral irradiance of the moon

January 1, 2005

Images of the Moon at 32 wavelengths from 350 to 2450 nm have been obtained from a dedicated observatory during the bright half of each month over a period of several years. The ultimate goal is to develop a spectral radiance model of the Moon with an angular resolution and radiometric accuracy appropriate for calibration of Earth-orbiting spacecraft. An empirical model of irradiance has been developed that treats phase and libration explicitly, with absolute scale founded on the spectra of the star Vega and returned Apollo samples. A selected set of 190 standard stars are observed regularly to provide nightly extinction correction and long-term calibration of the observations. The extinction model is wavelength-coupled and based on the absorption coefficients of a number of gases and aerosols. The empirical irradiance model has the same form at each wavelength, with 18 coefficients, eight of which are constant across wavelength, for a total of 328 coefficients. Over 1000 lunar observations are fitted at each wavelength; the average residual is less than 1%. The irradiance model is actively being used in lunar calibration of several spacecraft instruments and can track sensor response changes at the 0.1% level. ?? 2005. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title The spectral irradiance of the moon
DOI 10.1086/430185
Authors H. H. Kieffer, T.C. Stone
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Astronomical Journal
Series Number
Index ID 70029564
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization