The Gamma-ray Albedo of the Moon

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We use the GEANT4 Monte Carlo framework to calculate the {gamma}-ray albedo of the Moon due to interactions of cosmic ray (CR) nuclei with moon rock. Our calculation of the albedo spectrum agrees with the EGRET data. We show that the spectrum of {gamma}-rays from the Moon is very steep with an effective cutoff around 3-4 GeV (600 MeV for the inner part of the Moon disk) and exhibits a narrow pion-decay line at 67.5 MeV, perhaps unique in astrophysics. Apart from other astrophysical sources, the albedo spectrum of the Moon is well understood, including its absolute normalization; this makes ... continued below

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6 pages

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Moskalenko, Igor V.; /Stanford U., HEPL; Porter, Troy A. & /UC, Santa Cruz September 28, 2007.

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We use the GEANT4 Monte Carlo framework to calculate the {gamma}-ray albedo of the Moon due to interactions of cosmic ray (CR) nuclei with moon rock. Our calculation of the albedo spectrum agrees with the EGRET data. We show that the spectrum of {gamma}-rays from the Moon is very steep with an effective cutoff around 3-4 GeV (600 MeV for the inner part of the Moon disk) and exhibits a narrow pion-decay line at 67.5 MeV, perhaps unique in astrophysics. Apart from other astrophysical sources, the albedo spectrum of the Moon is well understood, including its absolute normalization; this makes it a useful 'standard candle' for {gamma}-ray telescopes. The steep albedo spectrum also provides a unique opportunity for energy calibration of {gamma}-ray telescopes, such as the forthcoming Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST). Since the albedo flux depends on the incident CR spectrum which changes over the solar cycle, it is possible to monitor the CR spectrum using the albedo {gamma}-ray flux. Simultaneous measurements of CR proton and helium spectra by the Payload for Antimatter-Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics (PAMELA), and observations of the albedo {gamma}-rays by the GLAST Large Area Telescope (LAT), can be used to test the model predictions and will enable the LAT to monitor the CR spectrum near the Earth beyond the lifetime of the PAMELA.

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6 pages

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  • Journal Name: Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-12771
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • DOI: 10.1086/522828 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 917275
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc882993

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 28, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:23 p.m.

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Moskalenko, Igor V.; /Stanford U., HEPL; Porter, Troy A. & /UC, Santa Cruz. The Gamma-ray Albedo of the Moon, article, September 28, 2007; [Menlo Park, California]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882993/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.