Transport of solar wind plasma onto the lunar nightside surface

Vorburger, Audrey Helena; Wurz, Peter; Barabash, S.; Futaana, Y.; Wieser, M.; Bhardwaj, A.; Dhanya, M. B.; Asamura, K. (2016). Transport of solar wind plasma onto the lunar nightside surface. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(20), pp. 10586-10594. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/2016GL071094

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We present first measurements of energetic neutral atoms that originate from solar wind plasma having interacted with the lunar nightside surface. We observe two distinct energetic neutral atom (ENA) distributions parallel to the terminator, the spectral shape, and the intensity of both of which indicate that the particles originate from the bulk solar wind flow. The first distribution modifies the dayside ENA flux to reach ~6° into the nightside and is well explained by the kinetic temperature of the solar wind protons. The second distribution, which was not predicted, reaches from the terminator to up to 30° beyond the terminator, with a maximum at ~102° in solar zenith angle. As most likely wake transport processes for this second distribution we identify acceleration by the ambipolar electric field and by the negatively charged lunar nightside surface. In addition, our data provide the first observation indicative of a global solar zenith angle dependence of positive dayside surface potentials.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Vorburger, Audrey Helena and Wurz, Peter

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0094-8276

Publisher:

American Geophysical Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 10:38

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 10:38

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/2016GL071094

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.98076

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/98076

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