ArticlesMagnetic and Electrical Properties

Magnetic Properties of Lunar Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 691-693
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.691


A breccia sample (10023) from the moon was found to have a strong and fairly stable remanent magnetization. If this sample was not magnetized by local fields in the spacecraft or in the lunar receiving laboratory, it must have been magnetized on the moon. This could have happened in a variety of ways, such as cooling through the Curie temperature, by comitinuous thermal cycling, or by impact, but all of these require the presence ofr a magnetic field. Such a field could have been of internal origin in the moon, or it could have been a residual effect from the earth's magnetic field at a time when the moon and the earth were much closer together. Thermomagnetic studies identify the presence of iron with about 1 percent nickel (igneous). iron with abiout 5 to 10 percent nickel (meteoritic), iron with about 33 percent or more nickel (meteoritic), and ilmenite.