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Solar Storm-Lunar Atmosphere Modeling

Published:
1 May 2013
In June of 2011, NASA Lunar Science Institute DREAM team members and collaborators met to examine the effect of an intense solar storm at the Moon. Models of the lunar exosphere, surface charging, and plasma were run for conditions consistent with the 2 May 1998 coronal mass ejection (CME) passage past the Moon. The effects on the Moon were found to be substantial and not reported previously in the literature. The results include a dramatic increase in ion and neutral sputtering with the passing of the He-rich CME driver gas. The sputtered ions were ejected from the near-Moon environment under the influence of the solar wind convection electric field. There was an increase in plasma flux into polar craters during the passage of the warm sheath region. Such enhanced ion influx will lead to an increase in erosion of any trapped polar volatiles. The 2 May 1998 storm was monitored by the fleet of interplanetary probes like ACE and Wind, and access to the data sets was easily obtained via National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) Web sites. Lunar Prospector was also in orbit about the Moon during the event, and MAG/ER plasma data were available through our DREAM investigators who were part of that instrument team. This host of data was used as input (and to some extent as validation) to the models of the solar-lunar interaction that include plasma hybrid codes, plasma kinetic codes, Monte Carlo exospheric models, and analytical solutions. Prior to the workshop, results from initial model runs were passed between modelers so that finalized model runs each had cross links to each other and the data. These unique results are to be reported in a set of papers that for the first time define the effect of a solar storm at the Moon. The results are directly applicable and feed forward to the LADEE and ARTEMIS missions.

Results of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

Published:
1 May 2013
Since 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has made comprehensive measurements of the Moon and its environment. The seven LRO instruments use a variety of primarily remote sensing techniques to obtain a unique set of observations. The analyses of the LRO data sets have overturned previous beliefs and deepened our appreciation of the complex nature of our nearest neighbor. This introduction to the special section describes the LRO mission and summarizes some of the science results in the papers that follow.

Magma Oceans

Published:
25 March 1993
This special collection highlights some of the lively discussions from the magma ocean workshop  sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute/Lunar and Planetary Sample Team (6-8 December 1991, Burlingame CA). The contributions offer a broad spectrum of approaches used in soling questions related to planetary magma oceans. They range from high-pressure experiments and the petrology and geochemistry of a crystallizing magma ocean to modeling the dynamics of a solidifying plant-scale magma body to the effect of giant impacts on magma ocean formation.

Galileo Earth/Moon Encounter

Published:
25 September 1993
In December 1990 the Galileo spacecraft encountered the Earth-Moon system in the first of two flybys that are part of a sequence of planetary gravity assists that will deliver the spacecraft to Jupiter in 1995. The geometry of the first lunar flyby was particularly fortuitous in that the western near side and portions of the far side of the Moon were illuminated, a condition not available during the Apollo missions because of the constraints on illumination during landing and surface operations.

New Views of the Moon

Published:
25 November 2001

The papers in this special collection are related to research presented at a workshop held in September 1998 and in special sessions at two recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conferences. These events were organized as a part of a lunar science initiative that brings together the practitioners of lunar-sample science, remote-sensing spectroscopy, and geophysics to define common research aims related to the formation and geologic history of the Moon, its structure and composition, and its resources and to enhance the process of diverse multidisciplinary approaches.

Results of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper Investigation

Published:
1 October 2011
The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a high-resolution, high-precision imaging spectrometer, flew on board India's Chandrayaan-1 Mission from October 2008 through August 2009. This paper describes some of the spatial sampling aspects of the instrument, the planned mission, and the mission as flown.