Optical spectroscopic characterizations of laser irradiated olivine grains
1 Planetary Science Institute, School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China
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2 Key Laboratory of Spectral Imaging Technology, Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710119, PR China
3 Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, PR China
4 State Key Laboratory of Geological Process and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, PR China
Received: 16 July 2016
Accepted: 11 October 2016
Context. Visible and near-infrared spectra of asteroids are known to be susceptible to nanophase irons produced by space weathering processes, thus making mineral identifications difficult. Mid-infrared spectroscopy may retain more mineral features owing to its lattice vibrational nature.
Aims. We investigate the structure and reflectance spectral feature changes of olivine grains before and after simulated space weathering.
Methods. We irradiate olivine grains by using pulsed laser to simulate varying degrees of micrometeorite bombardments. Reflectance measurements from 0.5 to 25 μm and radiative transfer calculations were carried out in order to compare them with each other.
Results. Both the experimental simulations and modeling results indicate that the mid-infrared spectral features of olivine grains can survive the intense irradiations. Although the Christansen Feature is slightly shifted to longer wavelength, major vibrational bands remain essentially unchanged, because the lattice structure is quite immune to even the strongest irradiations, as revealed by both the X-ray diffraction and Raman scattering measurements.
Conclusions. Mid-infrared spectroscopy is much more immune to productions of nanophase irons and amorphous materials and thus may be used more reliably in remote detections of minerals on asteroid surfaces.
Key words: methods: laboratory: solid state / techniques: spectroscopic / radiative transfer / planets and satellites: surfaces / infrared: general / planets and satellites: composition
© ESO, 2016