Solar wind reflection from the lunar surface: The view from far and near

Saul, Lukas; Wurz, Peter; Vorburger, Audrey; Rodriguez Moreno, Diego Francisco; Fuselier, S.A.; McComas, D.J.; Möbius, E.; Barabash, S.; Funsten, Herb; Janzen, Paul (2013). Solar wind reflection from the lunar surface: The view from far and near. Planetary and space science, 84, pp. 1-4. Elsevier 10.1016/j.pss.2013.02.004

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The Moon appears bright in the sky as a source of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs). These ENAs have recently been imaged over a broad energy range both from near the lunar surface, by India's Chandrayaan-1 mission (CH-1), and from a much more distant Earth orbit by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite. Both sets of observations have indicated that a relatively large fraction of the solar wind is reflected from the Moon as energetic neutral hydrogen. CH-1's angular resolution over different viewing angles of the lunar surface has enabled measurement of the emission as a function of angle. IBEX in contrast views not just a swath but a whole quadrant of the Moon as effectively a single pixel, as it subtends even at the closest approach no more than a few degrees on the sky. Here we use the scattering function measured by CH-1 to model global lunar ENA emission and combine these with IBEX observations. The deduced global reflection is modestly larger (by a factor of 1.25) when the angular scattering function is included. This provides a slightly updated IBEX estimate of AH=0.11±0.06 for the global neutralized albedo, which is ˜25% larger than the previous values of 0.09±0.05, based on an assumed uniform scattering distribution.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Saul, Lukas; Wurz, Peter; Vorburger, Audrey and Rodriguez Moreno, Diego Francisco


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics








Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2014 12:04

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2014 12:04

Publisher DOI:



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