Radar Maps of the Moon at 70-cm Wavelength and Their Interpretation


  • T. W. Thompson,

  • J. B. Pollack,

  • M. J. Campbell,

  • B. T. O'Leary


Polarized and depolarized radar maps of the moon have been obtained at the Arecibo Ionospheric Observatory at a wavelength of 70 cm. These maps show strong positive anomalies, many of which are associated with young craters. These anomalies and the average diffuse component of radar echoes are attributed to the scattering behavior of surface and subsurface rocks. We have been able to approximately match the observed spatial and wavelength variation of the diffuse component, as well as the absolute value of its cross section, with theoretical calculations that use a Mie scattering description of the single scattering behavior of the rocks, and to employ the Surveyor spacecraft's determination of the size distribution of surface rocks. Furthermore, we have found that surface rocks appear capable of accounting for temperature anomalies (IR hot spots) which are associated with these craters.