VERIFICATION OF THE HYPOTHESIS OF A MARTIAN LIMONITIC COVER, FROM SPECTROPHOTOMETRIC DATA AND VERIFICATION OF THE HYPOTHESIS OF A MARTIAN LIMONITIC COVER, BY INDICATOMETRY,
DEFENCE SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION SERVICE OTTAWA (ONTARIO)
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At the present time the hypothesis is widely accepted that the surface cover of Mars is composed of a reddish-brown material of finely disperse structure. Photometric, colorimetric and polarimetric studies 1 - 4 support the idea that this material is, in all probability, either the mineral limonite or red soil and rock strongly pigmented with this compound. Spectrophotometric studies, giving the most complete comparative account of reflectivities of the Martian surface and terrestrial rocks or soils, likewise support, in the visible part of the spectrum, the hypothesis in which the red coloration of the Martian continents is explained by the presence of a great quantity of powdery limonite on that planet. The present paper sets forth some results on the comparative optical properties of the Martian continents and terrestrial rocks, as derived from photospectrometric studies carried out at the Laboratory of Planetary Astronomy, Leningrad University Astronomical Observatory.