DPS 34th Meeting, October 2002
Session 19. Inner Planets
Poster, Chair(s): , Tuesday, October 8, 2002, 3:30-6:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[19.01] Magnetospheric Sputtering Source of the Moon's Exosphere

L.E. Moore, J.K. Wilson, M. Mendillo (Center for Space Physics/Boston University)

Observations of lunar eclipses over the past decade have revealed that the Moon's transient sodium atmosphere at full Moon is both denser and more extended near equinox than it is near solstice. This fact suggests the presence of a variable magnetospheric source of sodium. An investigation of this source is carried out by modeling combinations of two sources: a constant source from micrometeor sputtering and photon-stimulated desorption, and a variable source (presumably plasma sputtering), which is higher during equinox conditions and lower during solstice conditions.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.