Science Seminars

4/18 seminar ARTEMIS Pick-up Ion Observations in the Terrestrial Magnetotail: Implications for the Lunar Neutral Exosphere

Speaker: Andrew Poppe (UC-Berkeley)
Date: Thursday, Apr 18, 2013
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

The Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) mission is a dual-probe plasma and fields mission currently in orbit around the Moon. Among its many scientific objectives is to study pick-up ions at the Moon, with the goal of understanding both pick-up ion production mechanisms, such as photo-ionization, sputtering and charge exchange, and the subsequent behavior and impact of these ions on the lunar plasma environment. To this end, we have recently reported observations of lunar pick-up ions both in the solar wind and in the terrestrial magnetotail. A detailed study of observations made in the magnetotail has revealed that these pick-up ions are affected by both the magnetotail convection electric field and the lunar surface photoelectric field, which gives rise to complex pick-up ion distributions. I have constructed a particle-tracing model to explore the pick-up ion behavior and have used the model to place constraints on the density and distribution of the lunar neutral exosphere. I will present the results of the data/model comparison and interpret these results in the context of various neutral exosphere production mechanisms operating at the Moon.