New fully kinetic model for the study of electric potential, plasma, and dust above lunar landscapes

Dyadechkin, S.; Kallio, E.; Wurz, Peter (2015). New fully kinetic model for the study of electric potential, plasma, and dust above lunar landscapes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 120(3), pp. 1589-1606. AGU Publications 10.1002/2014ja020511

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We have developed a new fully kinetic electrostatic simulation, HYBes, to study how the lunar landscape affects the electric potential and plasma distributions near the surface and the properties of lifted dust. The model embodies new techniques that can be used in various types of physical environments and situations. We demonstrate the applicability of the new model in a situation involving three charged particle species, which are solar wind electrons and protons, and lunar photoelectrons. Properties of dust are studied with test particle simulations by using the electric fields derived from the HYBes model. Simulations show the high importance of the plasma and the electric potential near the surface. For comparison, the electric potential gradients near the landscapes with feature sizes of the order of the Debye length are much larger than those near a flat surface at different solar zenith angles. Furthermore, dust test particle simulations indicate that the landscape relief influences the dust location over the surface. The study suggests that the local landscape has to be taken into account when the distributions of plasma and dust above lunar surface are studied. The HYBes model can be applied not only at the Moon but also on a wide range of airless planetary objects such as Mercury, other planetary moons, asteroids, and nonactive comets.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Wurz, Peter


500 Science > 530 Physics




AGU Publications




Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2016 11:25

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2019 15:45

Publisher DOI:


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