Large-amplitude monochromatic ULF waves detected by Kaguya at the Moon

Tomoko Nakagawa, Akihito Nakayama, Futoshi Takahashi, Hideo Tsunakawa, Hidetoshi Shibuya, Hisayoshi Shimizu, Masaki Matsushima

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Large amplitude, monochromatic ultra low frequency (ULF) waves were detected by MAP/LMAG magnetometer onboard Kaguya during the period from 1 January 2008 to 30 November 2008 on its orbit 100 km above the lunar surface. The dominant frequency was 8.3 × 10-3-1.0 × 10 -2 Hz, corresponding to the periods of 120 s-100 s. The amplitude was as large as 3 nT. They were observed in 10% of the time when the moon was in the solar wind far upstream of the Earth's bow shock. They were detected only by Kaguya on the orbit around the moon, but not by ACE in the upstream solar wind. The occurrence rate was high above the terminator and on the dayside surface. The direction of the propagation was not exactly parallel to the interplanetary magnetic field, but showed a preference to the direction of the magnetic field and the direction perpendicular to the surface of the moon below the spacecraft. The sense of rotation of the magnetic field was left-handed with respect to the magnetic field in 53% of the events, while 47% showed right-handed polarization. The possible generation mechanism is the cyclotron resonance of the magnetohydrodynamic waves with the solar wind protons reflected by the moon. The energy of the reflected protons can account for the energy of the ULF waves. The propagation direction which are not parallel to the incident solar wind flow can explain the observed frequency and the nearly equal percentages of the left-handed and right-handed polarizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA04101
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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