Kinetic modeling of sodium in the lunar exosphere

Tenishev, Valeriy; Rubin, Martin; Tucker, Orenthal J.; Combi, Michael R.; Sarantos, Menelaos (2013). Kinetic modeling of sodium in the lunar exosphere. Icarus, 226(2), pp. 1538-1549. Elsevier 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.08.021

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Our knowledge about the lunar environment is based on a large volume of ground-based, remote, and in situ observations. These observations have been conducted at different times and sampled different pieces of such a complex system as the surface-bound exosphere of the Moon. Numerical modeling is the tool that can link results of these separate observations into a single picture. Being validated against previous measurements, models can be used for predictions and interpretation of future observations results. In this paper we present a kinetic model of the sodium exosphere of the Moon as well as results of its validation against a set of ground-based and remote observations. The unique characteristic of the model is that it takes the orbital motion of the Moon and the Earth into consideration and simulates both the exosphere as well as the sodium tail self-consistently. The extended computational domain covers the part of the Earth’s orbit at new Moon, which allows us to study the effect of Earth’s gravity on the lunar sodium tail. The model is fitted to a set of ground-based and remote observations by tuning sodium source rate as well as values of sticking, and accommodation coefficients. The best agreement of the model results with the observations is reached when all sodium atoms returning from the exosphere stick to the surface and the net sodium escape rate is about 5.3 × 1022 s−1.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Rubin, Martin


500 Science > 530 Physics








Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 10:10

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2015 09:29

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Moon, Satellites, atmospheres, Atmospheres, structure


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