DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 50P. Mercury
Contributed Poster Session, Thursday, October 15, 1998, 5:00-6:30pm, Hall of Ideas

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[50P.06] 3 - 14 Micron Spectral Structure of Mercury

D.K. Lynch (The Aerospace Corp.), A.L. Sprague (LPL/U.Ariz.), K.L. Donaldson (Florida Institute of Technology), R.W. Russell, C.J. Rice, A.L. Mazuk (The Aerospace Corp.)

Observations of Mercury were made using the Aerospace BASS on March 21 and May 12 1998 from the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Mercury was at 18 degrees E and 25 degrees W elongation, respectively. The approximate center of the region observed was at equatorial latitudes in both instances and at about 73 degrees longitude in March and 104 degrees longitude in May. We selected the very best spectra from each day to reduce. Two methods were used for consistency checks: 1. The usual method of ratioing Mercury signals to that of a well-characterized standard star, and 2. Using ATRAN (provided by Steve Lord) to generate models of telluric transmission coefficients for correcting the stellar and Mercury signals separately before dividing to remove the instrumental profile and atmospheric extinction. In each case we observe an emissivity maximum centered at 7.8 microns, associated with the Christiansen frequency. This is consistent with prior observations made with HIFOGS. In the spectra obtained from near 73 degrees longitude there is another significant feature centered at 3.6 microns. We have not completed our mineralogic modeling and thus make no identification of the mineral or minerals causing the spectral features.

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