Control of lunar external magnetic enhancements by IMF polarity: A case study

Masaki N. Nishino, Masaki Fujimoto, Hideo Tsunakawa, Masaki Matsushima, Hidetoshi Shibuya, Hisayoshi Shimizu, Futoshi Takahashi, Yoshifumi Saito, Shoichiro Yokota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We study an interaction between the solar wind and crustal magnetic fields on the lunar surface using SELENE (Kaguya) data. It has been known that magnetic enhancements are at times detected near the limb external to the lunar wake, which is thus called lunar external magnetic enhancement (LEME), as a result of direct interaction between the solar wind and lunar crustal fields. Although previous observational studies showed that LEMEs in the high solar zenith angle region favor stronger interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and higher solar wind density, the relation between the IMF and the crustal field orientation has not been taken into account. We show evidence that the relation between the IMF and crustal field orientation is also one of the key factors that control the extent of LEME, focusing on one-day observations at 100 km altitude that include data above strong crustal fields around South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin. Strong LEMEs are detected at 100 km altitude around SPA basin under the stronger and northward IMF condition, while they weaken under southward IMF. All LEME's peaks are located in the region where unperturbed crustal fields at 300 km altitude are directed northward while they are less related to unperturbed crustal fields at 100 km or lower, which suggests that lunar crustal fields are compressed by the solar wind dynamic pressure, and its large scale component parallel to the IMF is essential to the formation of the LEME.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of lunar external magnetic enhancements by IMF polarity: A case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this