Forsteritic olivine and magnesium-rich orthopyroxene materials measured by Chang’e-4 rover

1,2Sheng Gou et al. (>10)
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113776]
1State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China
Copyright Elsevier

China’s Chang’e-4 probe achieved the first soft landing within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, which is the oldest, largest, and deepest basin on the lunar farside. The deployed Chang’e-4 rover made in situ spectral measurements along the rover traverse during a nominal three-month mission period. Spectral analyses imply that materials at the Chang’e-4 landing site have a forsteritic olivine (OL) and magnesium (Mg)-rich orthopyroxene (OPX) assemblage in almost equal fractions. The Chang’e-4 rover measured materials, which were essentially mixture of multiple sources, were primarily the weathering products of Finsen crater ejecta. Plagioclase (PLG), which has significant implication for the provenance, is often spectrally transparent or featureless in the wavelength range (450–2395 nm) of the in situ measured spectrum. Depending on the possible absence or presence of abundant PLG, the materials likely originated from a differentiated SPA impact melt pool or from an Mg-suite pluton in the lunar lower crust, and were less likely to originate from the lunar upper mantle.

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