Scattering function for energetic neutral hydrogen atoms off the lunar surface

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Abstract

[1] The Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer instrument on board the lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 provided a large number of measurements of lunar energetic neutral atoms (ENAs). These ENAs were formerly solar wind ions, which were neutralized and backscattered from the lunar surface. The angles under which the ENAs are scattered strongly depend on the solar wind ions' incidence angle, which corresponds to the solar zenith angle (SZA). Our large dataset provides us with a complete coverage of the SZA and almost complete coverage of the scattering angles. When combining all available measurements, four distinct features are discernible with SZA increase: amplitude decrease, less azimuthal uniformity, bigger ratio of sunward versus anti-sunward flux and shallower scattering. We analyzed more than 290′000 measurements and derived a mathematical description of the features and their dependencies on the SZA.

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