Small-scale magnetic fields on the lunar surface inferred from plasma sheet electrons

Yuki Harada, Shinobu Machida, Yoshifumi Saito, Shoichiro Yokota, Kazushi Asamura, Masaki N. Nishino, Hideo Tsunakawa, Hidetoshi Shibuya, Futoshi Takahashi, Masaki Matsushima, Hisayoshi Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The origins of the lunar crustal magnetic fields remain unclear although dozens of magnetic field measurements have been conducted on and above the lunar surface. A major obstacle to resolving this problem is the extreme difficulty of determining a surface distribution of small-scale magnetization. We present a new technique to map small-scale magnetic fields using nonadiabatic scattering of high-energy electrons in the terrestrial plasma sheet. Particle tracing, utilizing three-dimensional lunar magnetic field data synthesized from magnetometer measurements, enables us to separate the contributions to electron motion of small- and large-scale magnetic fields. We map significant kilometer-scale magnetic fields on the southwestern side of the South Pole-Aitken basin that are correlated with larger-scale magnetization. This implies that kilometer-scale magnetization may be ubiquitous over the lunar surface and related to the large-scale magnetization. Key Points Lunar small-scale magnetization can be inferred from plasma sheet electrons Strong small-scale magnetization is related to large-scale magnetization Small-scale magnetization may be ubiquitous over the lunar surface

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3362-3366
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Small-scale magnetic fields on the lunar surface inferred from plasma sheet electrons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this