Studying the Lunar—Solar Wind Interaction with the SARA Experiment aboard the Indian Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-1

Bhardwaj, Anil; Barabash, Stas; Dhanya, M. B.; Wieser, Martin; Yoshifumi, Futaana; Holmström, Mats; Sridharan, R.; Wurz, Peter; Vorburger, Audrey; Kazushi, Asamura (2010). Studying the Lunar—Solar Wind Interaction with the SARA Experiment aboard the Indian Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-1. In: Twelfth International Solar Wind Conference. AIP Conference Proceedings: Vol. 1216 (pp. 518-521). American Institute of Physics 10.1063/1.3395916

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The first Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008. The Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer (SARA) instrument onboard Chandrayaan-1 consists of an energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging mass analyzer called CENA (Chandrayaan-1 Energetic Neutrals Analyzer), and an ion-mass analyzer called SWIM (Solar wind Monitor). CENA performed the first ever experiment to study the solar wind-planetary surface interaction via detection of sputtered neutral atoms and neutralized backscattered solar wind protons in the energy range ~0.01–3.0 keV. SWIM measures solar wind ions, magnetosheath and magnetotail ions, as well as ions scattered from lunar surface
in the ~0.01-15 keV energy range. The neutral atom sensor uses conversion of the incoming neutrals to positive ions, which are then analyzed via surface interaction technique. The ion mass analyzer is based on similar principle. This paper presents the SARA instrument and the first results obtained by the SWIM and CENA sensors. SARA observations suggest that about 20% of the incident solar wind protons are backscattered as neutral hydrogen and ~1% as protons from the lunar surface. These findings have important implications for other airless bodies in the solar system.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Wurz, Peter and Vorburger, Audrey Helena


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering


AIP Conference Proceedings


American Institute of Physics




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2021 14:22

Last Modified:

14 Jun 2021 14:22

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