On vertical electric fields at lunar magnetic anomalies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • R. Jarvinen
  • M. Alho
  • E. Kallio
  • P. Wurz
  • S. Barabash
  • Y. Futaana

Research units

  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Bern
  • Swedish Institute of Space Physics


We study the interaction between a magnetic dipole mimicking the Gerasimovich magnetic anomaly on the lunar surface and the solar wind in a self-consistent 3-D quasi-neutral hybrid simulation where ions are modeled as particles and electrons as a charge-neutralizing fluid. Especially, we consider the origin of the recently observed electric potentials at lunar magnetic anomalies. An antimoonward Hall electric field forms in our simulation resulting in a potential difference of <300 V on the lunar surface, in which the value is similar to observations. Since the hybrid model assumes charge neutrality, our results suggest that the electric potentials at lunar magnetic anomalies can be formed by decoupling of ion and electron motion even without charge separation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2243-2249
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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