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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.

Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters



American Geophysical Union

Additional Information

Article # L20106

Dr. Mierkiewicz was not affiliated with Embry-RIddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.

Required Publisher’s Statement

“Mierkiewicz, E. J., Line, M., Roesler, F. L., & Oliversen, R. J. (2006). Radial velocity observations of the extended lunar sodium tail. Geophysical Research Letters, 33(20), L20106, DOI: To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.”