Observations of metallic species in Mercury's exosphere
Abbreviated Journal Title
Mercury, Atmosphere; Mercury, Surface; STIMULATED DESORPTION; ATMOSPHERE; POTASSIUM; SODIUM; IONS; MOON; DISCOVERY; SURFACE; IMPACT; NA; Astronomy & Astrophysics
From observations of the metallic species sodium (Na), potassium (K). and magnesium (Mg) in Mercury's exosphere, we derive implications for source and loss processes All metallic species observed exhibit a distribution and/or line width characteristic of high to extreme temperature - tens of thousands of degrees K The temperatures of refractory species, Including magnesium and calcium, indicate that the source process for the atoms observed in the tail and near-planet exosphere are consistent with ion sputtering and/or impact vaporization of a molecule with subsequent dissociation into the atomic form The extended Mg tall is consistent with a surface abundance of 5-8% Mg by number. if 30% of impact-vaporized Mg remains as MgO and half of the impact vapor condenses Globally, ion sputtering is not a major source of Mg, but locally the sputtered source can be larger than the impact vapor source We conclude that the Na and K in Mercury's exosphere can be derived from a regolith composition similar to that of Luna 16 soil (or Apollo 17 orange glass), in which the abundance by number is 0 0027 (0 0028) for Na and 0 0006 (0 0045) for K (C) Published by Elsevier Inc
"Observations of metallic species in Mercury's exosphere" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 354.