[Comment on “New Moon”] “New” Lunar knowledge not so new

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Abstract

The December 13, 1995, Eos “In Brief” column refers to the “new” establishment of knowledge of the geometrical dependence of the Moon's diffuse reflectivity for phase angles under 1.5°, normally inaccessible to Earth-based observation because of lunar eclipse, as derived by Bonnie Buratti using Clementine data. This knowledge was first “new” 26 years ago when my colleagues and I derived it as members of the Apollo Orbital Photographic Reconnaissance Team [Pohn et al., 1969; Wildey and Pohn, 1969]. Although a good deal larger than Clementine and in a lower lunar orbit, the Apollo Command Module was also a negligible source of shadow as seen from the lunar surface against a 1/2° wide Sun and thus permitted the derivation without worry of eclipse by the 2° wide Earth.

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