The Shape and Internal Structure of the Moon from the Clementine Mission

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Science  16 Dec 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5192, pp. 1839-1843
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5192.1839


Global topographic and gravitational field models derived from data collected by the Clementine spacecraft reveal a new picture of the shape and internal structure of the moon. The moon exhibits a 16-kilometer range of elevation, with the greatest topographic excursions occurring on the far side. Lunar highlands are in a state of near-isostatic compensation, whereas impact basins display a wide range of compensation states that do not correlate simply with basin size or age. A global crustal thickness map reveals crustal thinning under all resolvable lunar basins. The results indicate that the structure and thermal history of the moon are more complex than was previously believed.

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