Volume 654, October 2021
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||22 October 2021|
Comparison of space weathering spectral changes induced by solar wind and micrometeoroid impacts using ion- and femtosecond-laser-irradiated olivine and pyroxene★
Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University,
V Holešovičkách 2,
2 Department of Geosciences and Geography, PO box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
3 Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geology, Rozvojová 269, 16500 Prague, Czech Republic
4 Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, 91405 Orsay, France
5 Department of Physics, PO box 43, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
6 Department of Chemical Physics and Optics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, 12116 Prague, Czech Republic
7 Institute of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 5, 12116 Prague, Czech Republic
8 Department of Physics, PO box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
9 Institute of Planetary Research, DLR German Aerospace Centre, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Accepted: 7 July 2021
Context. Space weathering is a process that changes the surface of airless planetary bodies. Prime space weathering agents are solar wind irradiation and micrometeoroid bombardment. These processes alter planetary reflectance spectra and often modify their compositional diagnostic features.
Aims. In this work we focused on simulating and comparing the spectral changes caused by solar wind irradiation and by micrometeoroid bombardment to gain a better understanding of these individual space weathering processes.
Methods. We used olivine and pyroxene pellets as proxies for planetary materials. To simulate solar wind irradiation we used hydrogen, helium, and argon ions with energies from 5 to 40 keV and fluences of up to 1018 particles cm−2. To simulate micrometeoroid bombardment we used individual femtosecond laser pulses. We analysed the corresponding evolution of different spectral parameters, which we determined by applying the Modified Gaussian Model, and we also conducted principal component analysis.
Results. The original mineralogy of the surface influences the spectral evolution more than the weathering agent, as seen from the diverse evolution of the spectral slope of olivine and pyroxene upon irradiation. The spectral slope changes seen in olivine are consistent with observations of A-type asteroids, while the moderate to no slope changes observed in pyroxene are consistent with asteroid (4) Vesta. We also observed some differences in the spectral effects induced by the two weathering agents. Ions simulating solar wind have a smaller influence on longer wavelengths of the spectra than laser irradiation simulating micrometeoroid impacts. This is most likely due to the different penetration depths of ions and laser pulses. Our results suggest that in some instances it might be possible to distinguish between the contributions of the two agents on a weathered surface.
Key words: planets and satellites: surfaces / solar wind / meteorites, meteors, meteoroids / methods: data analysis / techniques: spectroscopic
All measured spectra in raw format are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/654/A143
© K. Chrbolková et al. 2021
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