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A photometric investigation of the packing state of apollo 11 lunar regolith samples

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/1973
<mark>Journal</mark>Planetary and Space Science
Issue number1
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)113-118
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The angular light scattering properties of an Apollo 11 lunar regolith 'fines' sample have been determined experimentally for both flat and undulating sample surface preparations. The light scattering curves, whose shapes are known to be a function of the porosity and slope distribution of the measured surface, have been compared with corresponding Earth-based lunar measurements. The comparison method involves the numerical fitting of theoretical photometric functions to both the astronomical and laboratory data. It is deduced that regolith material can, under favourable circumstances, maintain a very underdense structure (porosity of the surface layer greater than 90 per cent) in air, so that vacuum cold-welding is not essential in the formation of such a structure. Photometric scanning is shown to provide a rapid method of determining the effective porosity of regolith sample surfaces in the laboratory.