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PostSubject: Gravity of the Moon and Magnetic field o   Wed 15 Dec 2010, 20:15

Gravity of the Moon and Magnetic field of the Moon

The gravitational field of the Moon has been measured through tracking the Doppler shift of radio signals emitted by orbiting spacecraft. The main lunar gravity features are mascons, large positive gravitational anomalies associated with some of the giant impact basins, partly caused by the dense mare basaltic lava flows that fill these basins.[66] These anomalies greatly influence the orbit of spacecraft about the Moon. There are some puzzles: lava flows by themselves cannot explain all of the gravitational signature, and some mascons exist that are not linked to mare volcanism.[67]

The Moon has an external magnetic field of the order of one to a hundred nanoteslas, less than one-hundredth that of the Earth. It does not currently have a global dipolar magnetic field, as would be generated by a liquid metal core geodynamo, and only has crustal magnetization, probably acquired early in lunar history when a geodynamo was still operating.[68][69] Alternatively, some of the remnant magnetization may be from transient magnetic fields generated during large impact events, through the expansion of an impact-generated plasma cloud in the presence of an ambient magnetic field—this is supported by the apparent location of the largest crustal magnetizations near the antipodes of the giant impact basins.[70]
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