IBEX-Lo observations of energetic neutral hydrogen atoms originating from the lunar surface

D. F. Rodríguez M., L. Saul, P. Wurz, S. A. Fuselier, H. O. Funsten, D. J. McComas, E. Möbius

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28 Scopus citations


In this paper we present quantitative results of observations of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) originating from the lunar surface. These ENAs, which are hydrogen atoms, are the result of the solar wind protons being reflected from and neutralised at the surface of the Moon. These measurements were made with IBEX-Lo on NASAs IBEX satellite. From these measurements we derive the energy spectrum of the ENAs, their flux, and the lunar albedo for ENAs (i.e, the ratio of ENAs to the incoming solar wind protons). The energy spectra of the ENAs clearly show that their origin is directly from the solar wind via backscattering, and that they are not sputtered atoms. From several observation periods we derived an average global albedo of A H=0.09±0.05. From the observed energy spectra we derive a generic spectrum for unshielded bodies in the solar wind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ENAs Moon albedo
  • Energetic neutral atoms
  • IBEX-Lo
  • Solar wind


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