Reflected Charged Particle Populations Around Dipolar Lunar Magnetic Anomalies
2016 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 829, no 2, 60Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this work we analyze and compare the reflected particle populations for both a horizontal and a vertical dipole model embedded in the lunar surface, representing the solar wind interaction with two different lunar magnetic anomaly (LMA) structures. Using the 3D full-kinetic electromagnetic code iPic3D, in combination with a test-particle approach to generate particle trajectories, we focus on the ion and electron dynamics. Whereas the vertical model electrostatically reflects ions upward under both near-parallel and near-perpendicular angles with respect to the lunar surface, the horizontal model only has a significant shallow component. Characterizing the electron dynamics, we find that the interplay of the mini-magnetosphere electric and magnetic fields is capable of temporarily trapping low-energy electrons and possibly ejecting them upstream. Our results are in agreement with recent high-resolution observations. Low-to medium-altitude ion and electron observations might be excellent indicators to complement orbital magnetic field measurements and better uncover the underlying magnetic field structure. The latter is of particular importance in defining the correlation between LMAs and lunar swirls, and further testing the solar wind shielding hypothesis for albedo markings due to space weathering. Observing more reflected ions does not necessarily point to the existence of a mini-magnetosphere.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 829, no 2, 60
Moon, planets and satellites: magnetic fields, plasmas
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307717DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/829/2/60ISI: 000385377200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307717DiVA: diva2:1048601