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J. K. Wilson, J. Baumgardner, M. Mendillo (Boston University)
We have produced the first image of the lunar sodium atmosphere showing its full extent out to 20 lunar radii from the Moon. We observed the Moon during the total lunar eclipse of July 16, 2000, from Cairns, Australia, using a small telescope with a 50 degree field of view. Images were recorded with an intensified CCD camera, and we used narrow-band filters to separately measure sodium D-line emission and scattered continuum light.
The altitude profile of the sodium emission was similar to that seen in previous observations of the lunar atmosphere in eclipse, with an ~r-1.8 radial power law and an extrapolated limb brightness of order 1 kiloRayleigh.
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