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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 10), pp. 1113-1117, 2011
doi:10.5047/eps.2011.05.038

A future observational plan of dust particles around the Moon by LDM (Lunar Dust Monitor) onboard the orbiter of the next Japanese lunar mission

Masanori Kobayashi1, Hideo Ohashi2, Sho Sasaki3, Hiromi Shibata4, Takeo Iwai5, Masayuki Fujii6, Ken-ichi Nogami7, Hiroshi Kimura8, Maki H. Nakamura9, Takayuki Hirai10, Ralf Srama11, and Eberhard Grün11,12

1Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016, Japan
2Department of Ocean Sciences, Tokyo University Marine Science and Technology, Shinagawa, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan
3RISE project, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mizusawa, Iwate 023-0861, Japan
4Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
5High Fluence Irradiation Facility, University of Tokyo, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1188, Japan
6Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
7Dokkyo Medical University, Shimotsuga, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
8Center for Planetary Science (CPS), Kobe 650-0047, Japan
9Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8582, Japan
10School of Physical Sciences, Graduate University Advanced Studies, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0193, Japan
11Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
12Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303-7814, USA

(Received October 29, 2010; Revised May 25, 2011; Accepted May 27, 2011; Online published February 2, 2012)

Abstract: This paper describes our future observation of the dust environment around the Moon by the Lunar Dust Monitor (LDM) to increase our knowledge regarding how the dust inflow and outflow contribute to lunar surface materials. Dust observation in lunar orbit is of great significance to better understand the source of supply of lunar materials, the evolution of lunar regolith, ejecta escaped from the Moon's gravitational sphere, and the inflow dust related to meteor streams. Although there have been several past missions of dust observation around the Moon, the origins of the observed dust particles in those missions could not be identified due to low statistics of dust flux or low accuracy of determining their arrival directions. To quantitatively study dust particles around the Moon, we need further data for improved statistics. In a feasibility study, we propose the instrumentation of a LDM that can measure the mass and speed of dust particles with a large detection area of 0.04 m2. With this LDM, we aim at quantitatively studying dust particles around the Moon, inclusive of interplanetary dust, β meteoroids, interstellar dust, and possibly lunar dust that originate from the surface materials of the Moon. In this paper, we summarize the significance of dust particles around the Moon and report an overview of our instrument proposed for the next Japanese lunar mission SELENE-2.
Key words: Cosmic dust, interplanetary dust, interstellar dust, lunar dust, impact ionization detector, lunar exploration.


Corresponding author E-mail: kobayashi.masanori@perc.it-chiba.ac.jp


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