Vol 12, No 9

New radio observations of the Moon at L band

Xi-Zhen Zhang, Andrew Gray, Yan Su, Jun-Duo Li, Tom Landecker, Hong-Bo Zhang, Chun-Lai Li


Abstract We present results of new radio observations of the Moon at L band with the synthesis telescope of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory Synthesis Telescope. The resolution and temperature sensitivity of the observations are 159″ × 87″ and 1.7 K, respectively. The main results are: (1) the lunar brightness temperature averaged over the whole disk is about 233 K while the average brightness temperature for the four quadrants are 228.1 K (NE), 239.7 K (NW), 233.9 K (SW) and 228.8 K (SE). The observations reveal large temperature and spatial variations on the Moon for the first time. The highest brightness temperature is about 257 K and it is located along the lunar equator, to the west. The total uncertainty is about 5% due to the absolute accuracy of the fluxes of the primary calibrators; (2) the total degree of polarization is about 6%. Both polarization intensity and degree of polarization increase from the disk’s center to the limb, and the distribution of the degree of polarization along the limb is not uniform; (3) the new data are used to study the properties of regolith, such as dielectric constant and thickness distribution. The results show that the lunar regolith’s thickness increases from the NW (mare area) to the SE (highland area) regions on the lunar surface.


Keywords techniques: high angular resolution-imaging processing — radio contin- uum: Moon

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