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Estimated solar wind-implanted helium-3 distribution on the Moon

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

Among the solar wind-implanted volatiles present in the lunar regolith, 3 He is possibly the most valuable resource because of its potential as a fusion fuel. The abundance of 3 He in the lunar regolith at a given location depends on surface maturity, the amount of solar wind fluence, and titanium content, because ilmenite (FeTiO3) retains helium much better than other major lunar minerals. Surface maturity and TiO2 maps from Clementine multispectral data sets are combined here with a solar wind fluence model to produce a 3He abundance map of the Moon. Comparison of the predicted 3He values to landing site observations shows good correlation. The highest 3He abundances occur in the farside maria (due to greater solar wind fluence received) and in higher TiO2 nearside mare regions.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Estimated solar wind-implanted helium-3 distribution on the Moon
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
26
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
385
Last page:
388
Number of Pages:
4