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- High-velocity impacts on the Moon and other airless bodies deliver energy and material to the lunar surface and exosphere. The target and i mpactor material may become vaporized and ionized to form a collision al plasma that expands outward and eventually becomes collisionless. In the present work, kinetic simulations of the later collision less stage of impact plasma expansion are performed. Attention is paid to characterizing "ambipolar oscillations" in which thermodynamic distur bances propagate outward to generate "ringing" within the expanding e lectron cloud, which could radiate an electromagnetic signature of lo cal plasma conditions. The process is not unlike a beam-plasma intera ction, with the perturbing electron population in the present case ac ting as a highly thermal "beam" that resonates along the expanding de nsity gradient. Understanding the electromagnetic aspects of impact p lasma expansion could provide insight into the lasting effects of nat ural, impact-generated currents on airless surfaces and charging haza rds to human exploration infrastructure and instrumentation.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20120016341.
NASA Lunar Science Forum 2012; 17-19 Jul. 2012; Moffett Field, CA`; United States.
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