IRF's instrument SARA observes mini-magnetosphere above lunar magnetic anomaly

Scientists from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) have observed a mini-magnetosphere above a lunar magnetic anomaly using observations of energetic neutral atoms from the satellite instrument SARA (Sub‐keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer) on the Indian Chandrayaan‐1 spacecraft. Together with colleagues from India, Switzerland and Japan, the IRF scientists have published their results in this week's issue of Geophysical Research Letters. An image of the lunar magnetic anomaly in backscattered atoms is displayed on the cover of the journal (vol. 37, no. 5).

"A mini-magnetosphere is a new class of object," says lead author Martin Wieser, IRF, "and observations from the IRF-led instrument SARA demonstrate a new technique for studying airless bodies - imaging in backscattered neutral atoms."

"First observation of a mini‐magnetosphere above a lunar magnetic anomaly using energetic neutral atoms", Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L05103, doi:10.1029/2009GL041721. Abstract

* Martin Wieser, Stas Barabash, Yoshifumi Futaana and Mats Holmström (Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden)
* Anil Bhardwaj, R. Sridharan and M. B. Dhanya (Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Trivandrum, India)
* Audrey Schaufelberger and Peter Wurz (Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Switzerland)
* Kazushi Asamura (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Sagamihara, Japan)

Created 2010-04-14 10:55:54 by Rick McGregor
Last changed 2010-04-14 16:40:47 by Rick McGregor

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84° N, 20.41° E) and IRF also has offices in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.