Lunar Magnetic Anomalies

Consistent maps of Lunar magnetic fields are unusually hard to find.  The first hits on Google end in dead links, and some are maps of the weak lunar dynamo.

The most interesting lunar magnetic features are the crustal anomalies,  small areas of intense magnetic fields embedded within the Moon's surface.

Touched-up map of Lunar crustal fields from Hood (2010).  Magnetic field magnitude from Lunar Prospector Vector Magnetometer data, at an altitude of approximately 30km.  Tentative names of major anomalies are given.  Overlaid on Clementine albedo map.

Surface crustal magnetic field intensity from Mitchell et al (2007).
Top "mid-latitude" panel shows data acquired from Lunar Prospector Electron Reflectometer, while the bottom is an empirical model constructed by imposing magnetizing and demagnetizing effects of all known basin-forming impacts.

The formation of these anomalies is contested, and may be residual from an early lunar dynamo or related to the formation of old impact basins.  It may also be related to irregular deposits of heavy metals on the Moon... stay tuned for next maps....


Popular Posts