Lunar interior properties from the GRAIL mission

Konopliv, Alexander S.; Williams, James G.; Boggs, Dale H.; Park, Ryan S.; Yuan, Dah-Ning; Lemoine, Frank G.; Goossens, Sander; Mazarico, Erwan; Nimmo, Francis; Weber, Renee C.; Asmar, Sami W.; Melosh, H. Jay; Neumann, Gregory A.; Phillips, Roger J.; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.; Watkins, Michael M.; Wieczorek, Mark A.; Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C.; Head, James W.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Matsuyama, Isamu; McGovern, Patrick J.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Zuber, Maria T.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has sampled lunar gravity with unprecedented accuracy and resolution. The lunar GM, the product of the gravitational constant G and the mass M, is very well determined. However, uncertainties in the mass and mean density, 3345.56 ± 0.40 kg/m3, are limited by the accuracy of G. Values of the spherical harmonic degree-2 gravity coefficients J2 and C22, as well as the Love number k2 describing lunar degree-2 elastic response to tidal forces, come from two independent analyses of the 3 month GRAIL Primary Mission data at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Goddard Space Flight Center. The two k2 determinations, with uncertainties of ~1%, differ by 1%; the average value is 0.02416 ± 0.00022 at a 1 month period with reference radius R = 1738 km. Lunar laser ranging (LLR) data analysis determines (C − A)/B and (B − A)/C, where A < B < C are the principal moments of inertia; the flattening of the fluid outer core; the dissipation at its solid boundaries; and the monthly tidal dissipation Q = 37.5 ± 4. The moment of inertia computation combines the GRAIL-determined J2 and C22 with LLR-derived (C − A)/B and (B − A)/C. The normalized mean moment of inertia of the solid Moon is Is/MR2 = 0.392728 ± 0.000012. Matching the density, moment, and Love number, calculated models have a fluid outer core with radius of 200–380 km, a solid inner core with radius of 0–280 km and mass fraction of 0–1%, and a deep mantle zone of low seismic shear velocity. The mass fraction of the combined inner and outer core is ≤1.5%.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
October 2, 2015