Dynamics of solar wind protons reflected by the Moon

Holmström, M. ; Wieser, M. ; Barabash, S. ; Futaana, Y. ; Bhardwaj, A. (2010) Dynamics of solar wind protons reflected by the Moon Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 . A06206_1-A06206_8. ISSN 0148-0227

PDF - Author Version

Official URL: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JA014843...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009JA014843


Solar system bodies that lack a significant atmosphere and significant internal magnetic fields, such as the Moon and asteroids, have been considered passive absorbers of the solar wind. However, ion observations near the Moon by the SELENE spacecraft show that a fraction of the impacting solar wind protons are reflected by the surface of the Moon. Using new observations of the velocity spectrum of these reflected protons by the SARA experiment on board the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft at the Moon, we show by modeling that the reflection of solar wind protons will affect the global plasma environment. These global perturbations of the ion fluxes and the magnetic fields will depend on microscopic properties of the object's reflecting surface. This solar wind reflection process could explain past ion observations at the Moon, and the process should occur universally at all atmosphereless nonmagnetized objects.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union.
ID Code:64230
Deposited On:05 Oct 2011 11:59
Last Modified:18 May 2016 12:43

Repository Staff Only: item control page