Flux estimates of ions from the lunar exosphere

Authors

  • M. Sarantos,

    Corresponding author
    1. Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    3. NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA
    • Corresponding author: M. Sarantos, Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 670.0, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA. (menelaos.sarantos-1@nasa.gov)

    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. E. Hartle,

    1. Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. M. Killen,

    1. NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, USA
    2. Planetary Magnetospheres Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Y. Saito,

    1. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. A. Slavin,

    1. Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. Glocer

    1. Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

[1] We compare estimates for the ion fluxes of twelve expected constituents of the lunar exosphere with estimates for the ion fluxes ejected from the lunar surface by solar wind ions and electrons. Our estimates demonstrate that measurements of lunar ions will help constrain the abundances of many undetected species in the lunar exosphere, particularly Al and Si, because the expected ion flux levels from the exosphere exceed those from the surface. To correctly infer the relative abundances of exospheric ions and neutrals from Kaguya Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA) measurements, we must take into account the velocity distributions of local ions. The predicted spectrum underestimates the measured levels of O+ relative to other lunar ion species, a result that may suggest contributions by molecular ions to the measured O+ rates.

Ancillary