Farside Gravity Field of the Moon from Four-Way Doppler Measurements of SELENE (Kaguya)

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Science  13 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5916, pp. 900-905
DOI: 10.1126/science.1168029

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The farside gravity field of the Moon is improved from the tracking data of the Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE) via a relay subsatellite. The new gravity field model reveals that the farside has negative anomaly rings unlike positive anomalies on the nearside. Several basins have large central gravity highs, likely due to super-isostatic, dynamic uplift of the mantle. Other basins with highs are associated with mare fill, implying basalt eruption facilitated by developed faults. Basin topography and mantle uplift on the farside are supported by a rigid lithosphere, whereas basins on the nearside deformed substantially with eruption. Variable styles of compensation on the near- and farsides suggest that reheating and weakening of the lithosphere on the nearside was more extensive than previously considered.

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