Radial velocity observations of the extended lunar sodium tail

E. J. Mierkiewicz, M. Line, F. L. Roesler, R. J. Oliversen

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11 Scopus citations


We report the first velocity resolved sodium 5889.950 Å line profile observations of the lunar sodium tail observed in the anti-lunar direction near new Moon. These observations were made on 29 March 2006, 27 April 2006 and 28 April 2006 from Pine Bluff (WI) observatory with a double etalon Fabry-Perot spectrometer at a resolving power of ∼80,000. The observations were made within 2-14 hours from new Moon, pointing near the anti-lunar point. The average observed radial velocity of the lunar sodium tail in the vicinity of the anti-lunar point for the three nights reported was 12.4 km s-1 (from geocentric zero). The average Doppler width of a single Gaussian fit to the emission line was 7.6 km s-1. In some cases the line profile appears asymmetric, with excess lunar sodium emission at higher velocity (∼18 km s-1 from geocentric zero) that is not accounted for by our single Gaussian fit to the emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL20106
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 28 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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