Lunar surface and dust grain potentials during the earth's magnetosphere crossing
2016 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 825, no 2, 133Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Interaction between the lunar surface and the solar UV radiation and surrounding plasma environment leads to its charging by different processes like photoemission, collection of charged particles, or secondary electron emission (SEE). Whereas the photoemission depends only on the angle between the surface and direction to the Sun and varies only slowly, plasma parameters can change rapidly as the Moon orbits around the Earth. This paper presents numerical simulations of one Moon pass through the magnetospheric tail including the real plasma parameters measured by THEMIS as an input. The calculations are concentrated on different charges of the lunar surface itself and a dust grain lifted above this surface. Our estimations show that (1) the SEE leads to a positive charging of parts of the lunar surface even in the magnetosphere, where a high negative potential is expected; (2) the SEE is generally more important for isolated dust grains than for the lunar surface covered by these grains; and (3) the time constant of charging of dust grains depends on their diameter being of the order of hours for sub-micrometer grains. In view of these results, we discuss the conditions under which and the areas where a levitation of the lifted dust grains could be observed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bristol: Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2016. Vol. 825, no 2, 133
laboratory, solid state, numerical, Moon
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126791DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/825/2/133ISI: 000381940800051OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-126791DiVA: diva2:1048735