Evidence for lunar tide effects in Earth’s plasmasphere

Xiao, Chao, He, Fei, Shi, Quanqi, Liu, Wenlong, Tian, Anmin, Guo, Ruilong, Yue, Chao, Zhou, Xuzhi, Wei, Yong, Rae, Jonathan, Degeling, Alexander W., Angelopoulos, Vassilis, Masongsong, Emmanuel V., Liu, Ji, Zong, Qiugang, Fu, Suiyan, Pu, Zuyin, Zhang, Xiaoxin, Wang, Tieyan, Wang, Huizi and Zhang, Zhao (2023) Evidence for lunar tide effects in Earth’s plasmasphere. Nature Physics. ISSN 1745-2473 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-022-01882-8


Tides are universal and affect spatially distributed systems, ranging from planetary to galactic scales. In the Earth–Moon system, effects caused by lunar tides were reported in the Earth’s crust, oceans, neutral gas-dominated atmosphere (including the ionosphere) and near-ground geomagnetic field. However, whether a lunar tide effect exists in the plasma-dominated regions has not been explored yet. Here we show evidence of a lunar tide-induced signal in the plasmasphere, the inner region of the magnetosphere, which is filled with cold plasma. We obtain these results by analysing variations in the plasmasphere’s boundary location over the past four decades from multisatellite observations. The signal possesses distinct diurnal (and monthly) periodicities, which are different from the semidiurnal (and semimonthly) variations dominant in the previously observed lunar tide effects in other regions. These results demonstrate the importance of lunar tidal effects in plasma-dominated regions, influencing understanding of the coupling between the Moon, atmosphere and magnetosphere system through gravity and electromagnetic forces. Furthermore, these findings may have implications for tidal interactions in other two-body celestial systems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: We thank D. Zhang, J. Xu, J. Lei, J. Ren, J.-S. Park, M. Nowada, X. Zhang, D. Zhang, W. Shang and S. Yao for helpful discussions. We also thank J. W. Bonnell and F. S. Mozer for use of the THEMIS/EFI data used to produce the spacecraft potential-derived densities, J. P. McFadden for use of the THEMIS/ESA data used to measure the electron temperature that entered the spacecraft potential determination, and K. H. Glassmeier, U. Auster and W. Baumjohann for the use of the THEMIS/FGM data provided under the lead of the Technical University of Braunschweig and with financial support through the German Ministry for Economy and Technology and the German Centre for Aviation and Space (DLR) under contract no. 50 OC 0302. Funding came from the National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 42225405 and no. 41974189 (Q.S.); National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 41731068 (S.F.); National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 41941001 (Q.S.); National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 41821003 and no. 41974194 (W.L.); Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities no. YWF-22-K-103 (W.L.); National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 41931073 (X.X.Z.); National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 41974191 (C.Y.); National Key R&D Programme of China grant no. 2020YFE0202100 (C.Y.); China Space Agency project no. D020303 (C.Y.); Key Research Programme of the Institute of Geology & Geophysics, grant no. CAS IGGCAS-201904 (Y.W.); Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences grant no. Y2021027 and National Natural Science Foundation of China no. 42222408 (F.H.); The Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship no. NAF/R1/191047 (Q.S. & I.J.R.); UKRI grants no. ST/V006320/1 (STFC), no. NE/P017185/2 and no. NE/V002554/2 (NERC) (I.J.R.); NASA contract no. NAS5-02099 (V.A. and E.V.M); and National Natural Science Foundation of China grant no. 42104157 (T.W.). For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) license may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2023 14:29
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2023 14:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51377

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