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potentially helpful: Where can I find access to information provided by CNSA and Chinese scientists and reputable science authors?


@DavidHammen's answer to If a solar flare happened during a total lunar eclipse, would the Earth block the flare from hitting the moon? And for how long? describes the regular lashing of the Moon by the Earth's magnetotail. Go read it first then come back; I'll wait.

The Moon and the Magnetotail says:

Anyone can tell when the moon is inside the magnetotail. Just look: “If the moon is full, it is inside the magnetotail,” says Stubbs. “The moon enters the magnetotail three days before it is full and takes about six days to cross and exit on the other side.”

It is during those six days that strange things can happen.

The most dramatic effects are intermittent and sporadic:

[...] Much of this is pure speculation, Stubbs cautions. No one can say for sure what happens on the moon when the magnetotail hits, because no one has been there at the crucial time. “Apollo astronauts never landed on a full moon and they never experienced the magnetotail.”

Well Chang'e-3 landed on the Moon and brought a Yutu rover along.

Question: Were they functioning during a full moon? If so, did they report getting hit by or noticing any effects related to Earth's magnetotail?

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  • $\begingroup$ companion question: How do they measure the voltage of the Moon? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 16, 2021 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ A small frame challenge: many prior experiments have been on the moon for durations long enough to have experienced the magnetotail. Lunokhod 1 operated for 320 days. The ALSEPs ran until 1977 (so all ran for several years minimum). Speculation shouldn't be needed even prior to Yutu and Chang'e-3. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Apr 2, 2021 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ @ErinAnne My thinking was that the Moon's passing through Earth's magneto tail and what that may cause on the surface wasn't appreciated until fairy recently, In the 20th century there haven't been many science landers on the "Magnetotail" side of the Moon, this is the only one I could think of. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 2, 2021 at 9:53

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