The Ancient Lunar Core Dynamo

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Science  17 Feb 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4330, pp. 771-773
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4330.771


Lunar paleomagnetism provides evidence for the existence of an ancient lunar magnetic field generated in an iron core. Paleointensity experiments give a surface field of 1.3 gauss, 4.0 x 109 years ago, subsequently decreasing exponentially. Thermodynamic arguments give a minimum value of the heat source in the core at that time: known sources, radioactive and other, are quantitatively implausible, and it is suggested that superheavy elements were present in the early moon.