ARTEMIS observations of lunar wake structure compared with hybrid ­kinetic simulations and an analytic model

Friday, 19 December 2014
Hossna Gharaee1, Robert Rankin1, Richard Marchand1 and Jan Paral2, (1)University of Alberta, Physics, Edmonton, AB, Canada, (2)Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, United States

The ARTEMIS mission has made extensive measurements on the density and magnetic field structure of the lunar wake under different solar wind and magnetosphere conditions. Hybrid-kinetic simulations of the lunar wake have been found to be generally in good agreement with observations [Wiehle, S., et al., Planet. Space Sci., 2011], but are not readily available as they require access to large computers and human resources with expertise using this technology. It would be very useful to have an analytic model of the lunar wake, and one such model will be presented. It is based on an approach outlined by Hutchinson [Hutchinson, I., Physics Of Plasmas, 2008], and makes assumptions of cylindrical geometry, a strong and constant magnetic field, and fixed transverse velocity and temperature. Under these approximations the ion fluid equations (with massless electrons assumed) can be solved analytically by the method of characteristics. This paper demonstrates that the analytic model under these assumptions provides excellent agreement with observations and hybrid-kinetic simulations of the lunar wake. The approach outlined by Hutchinson is generalized to include an arbitrary angle between the interplanetary magnetic field and solar wind flow. This results in two angle-dependent characteristics for the fluid flow that can be solved for the density inside the wake region. The Density profiles for different orientations of magnetic field with respect to solar wind flow are in a good qualitative agreement with 2D Hybrid simulation results of the model developed by [Paral and Rankin, Nature Comms, 2012], and with ARTEMIS observations.


-Wiehle, S., et al. (2011), First Lunar wake passage of Artemis: Discrimination of wake effects and solar wind flactuations by 3D hybrid simulations, Planet. Space Sci., 59, 661-671, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2011.01.012.

-Hutchinson, I. (2008),Oblique ion collection in the drift approximation:How magnetized Mach probes really work, Physics Of Plasmas, 15, 123503, doi:10.1063/1.3028314.

- Paral and Rankin (2012),Dawn-dusk asymmetry in the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability at Mercurry, Nature Communications, 4, 1645, doi:10.1038/ncomms2676.