- Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., Redondo Beach, California, USA
- California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
Several possible lunar model atmospheres are computed; the gases considered include hydrogen, neon, nitrogen, argon, krypton, and xenon. The sources of the atmosphere include surface evolution and accretion from the solar wind. The importance of various loss processes including thermal escape, scattering by the solar wind, and total loss of all ions is assessed. The densities of the reasonable computed model atmospheres are in agreement with those derived from radioastronomy measurements. These densities are amenable to direct mass analysis using the ionized component. The cosmological significance of the A40 : A36 and Ne22 : Ne20 isotopic ratios, and of the absolute abundances of A40 and neon are discussed. An experiment to study the mass spectrum of the lunar atmosphere is briefly described.
- 1 - natural sciences ; 2 - physics & astronomy ; 3 - astronomy & astrophysics
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines ; 2 - sciences exactes et technologie ; 3 - terre, ocean, espace ; 4 - geophysique externe
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Earth and Planetary Sciences ; 3 - Space and Planetary Science
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Physics and Astronomy ; 3 - Astronomy and Astrophysics