The DLR planetary emissivity laboratory: Measurements at 500° Celsius

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The DLR planetary emissivity laboratory: Measurements at 500° Celsius
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In the DLR Planetary Emissivity Laboratory (PEL), terrestrial rock samples, like those that are found on Venus, are tested under the extreme temperature conditions of our neighbouring planet.

When interpreting the spectrometer and camera data from the surface of Venus, it must be considered whether rocks that are almost 500° Celsius, such as those that can be found on the surface of Venus, the spectral properties of the rocks, i.e. their reflection behaviour at different wavelengths, change. The so-called emissivity of minerals and rocks can be measured with the PEL. The so-called emissivity shows how much thermal radiation a material gives off at a specific temperature. This property and particularly its dependency on the wavelength differs from rock to rock and can thus be used to identify them.

The picture shows the set up of the experiment with the PEL and some volcanic rocks that came from the active Italian volcano, Stromboli. The spectrum measured with the PEL (top right) comes from a silicate-rich rock called Andesit.

Credit: DLR.
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