A 3D hybrid simulation study of the electromagnetic field distributions in the lunar wake

Y. C. Wang, J. Müller, W. H. Ip, U. Motschmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

A three-dimensional hybrid code is used to study the electromagnetic disturbances in the solar wind that arise due to the absorption effect of the Moon. Due to the nearly insulating nature of the Moon, interplanetary magnetic fields (IMFs) can move through the interior without hindrance. However, the near-vacuum created in the wake region due to the lunar absorption effect will lead to enhancement of the strength of the magnetic field by a factor of about 1.4 in the middle of the lunar wake and lead to depletions at two sides. The situations arising from different orientations of the interplanetary magnetic fields relative to the radial direction are compared. Asymmetries of the inward diffusions both along and perpendicular to the field lines are also observed. The electric field formed from the plasma convection could reach a magnitude of 0.2-0.8. mV/m at the border of the wake. The role of the electric field on the inward accelerations is important to the geometry of the lunar wake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalIcarus
Volume216
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Magnetic fields
  • Moon
  • Solar wind

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