During the SELENE (Kaguya) mission the dual-spacecraft radio occultation technique was used to investigate the electron population in the vicinity of the lunar surface. One pair of coherent S-band radio signals from one spacecraft was used to probe the possible electron density enhancement near the Moon, and another signal pair from the other spacecraft measured the solar wind and the terrestrial ionosphere plasma fluctuations, which also exist in the measurement by the former signal pair. The results suggest that any stable ionosphere with densities comparable to the ones observed by the Soviet Luna 19 and 22 missions does not exist near the terminator at high latitudes, although the occurrence of temporal or localized density enhancements cannot be ruled out.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science