Evidence for a non‐random magnetization of the Moon

L. Hood, C. T. Russell, P. J. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


An approximate inversion, using a specific model, of Apollo subsatellite vector magnetometer data has provided estimates for the locations, scale sizes, and magnetization characteristics of strongly magnetized lunar crustal materials across a portion of the lunar far side. The nearly model‐independent local bulk directions of magnetization, while otherwise random, exhibit a tendency to lie in or near planes perpendicular to the present lunar spin axis. The apparent existence of such a preferred plane of magnetization must be regarded as unfavorable for proposed local, presumably random sources of large‐scale, coherent magnetization and implies that any assumed internal magnetizing dipole or external linear magnetizing field must also have been oriented mainly perpendicular to the present spin axis. The otherwise random orientations of these vectors when projected onto the equatorial plane suggests a simple explanation for the negligible lunar global dipole moment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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