KAGUYA observation of global emissions of indigenous carbon ions from the Moon

Shoichiro Yokota, Kentaro Terada, Yoshifumi Saito, Daiba Kato, Kazushi Asamura, Masaki N. Nishino, Hisayoshi Shimizu, Futoshi Takahashi, Hidetoshi Shibuya, Masaki Matsushima, Hideo Tsunakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon is a volatile element that has a considerable influence on the formation and evolution of planetary bodies, although it was previously believed to be depleted in the Moon. We present observations by the lunar orbiter KAGUYA of carbon ions emitted from the Moon. These emissions were distributed over almost the total lunar surface, but amounts were differed with respect to lunar geographical areas. The estimated emission fluxes to space were ~5.0 × 104 per square centimeter per second, which is greater than possible ongoing supplies from the solar wind and micrometeoroids. Our estimates demonstrate that indigenous carbon exists over the entire Moon, supporting the hypothesis of a carbon-containing Moon, where the carbon was embedded at its formation and/or was transported billions of years ago.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaba1050
JournalScience Advances
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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