Evidence of currents and unstable particle distributions in an extended region around the lunar plasma wake

S. D. Bale, C. J. Owen, J. -L. Bougeret, K. Goetz, P. J. Kellogg, R. P. Lepping, R. Manning, and S. J. Monson

Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London


We report observations of electrostatic ion acoustic waves and Langmuir waves during a recent lunar encounter by the Wind spacecraft. These waves are observed when wind is magnetically connected to the nominal wake and at distances greater than 8 lunar radii from the wake. When interpreted in the context of a simple time-of-flight model, these observations imply the existence of a system of currents and disturbed particle distributions that extends far into solar wind.

Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 1427-1430, 1997