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Magnetic field structure behind the Moon


  • F. C. Michel


Details concerning the magnetic field structure expected on the basis of the author's model of solar wind interaction with the moon are discussed. A derivation is presented that supports the finding of Colburn et al. that the magnetic field in the plasma void region downstream of the moon (relative to the solar wind flow) is more intense than the ambient interplanetary magnetic field. In the expansion region surrounding the void, the field is less than ambient. These effects should be smallest when the magnetic field is perpendicular to the flow vector. A standing shock wave trailing several lunar radii behind the moon is expected regardless of the magnetic field orientation.