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Space & Astronomy

Magnetic moon mystery solved

November 11, 2011 | Comment icon 10 comments



Image Credit: NASA
Why are there magnetised rocks on the lunar surface when the Moon has no magnetic field ?
Two new studies have been published that attempt to solve the mystery. Christina Dwyer and colleagues from the University of California have put forward the idea that the Moon once had a geodynamo due to differences in the way its liquid core rotated in the distant past.

A second theory has been proposed by scientists including Dr Michael Le Bars at the Aix-Marseille Universite in France, who have suggested that early asteroid impacts could have changed the Moon's rotation rate causing tidal distortion at the core-mantle boundary.
Scientists may have solved one of the Moon's enduring mysteries: why there are magnetised rocks on the lunar surface, when the Moon has no global magnetic field.


Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by tailormaneinafog 11 years ago
Dark matter comet impacts still buried in the crust is a possiblity. This hypothesis requires the fall of Einstein's relativity and an anisotropic picture of gravity.
Comment icon #2 Posted by encouraged 11 years ago
I think I will need a animation to visualize this one. Too many confusing stages muddled together in this article. Any theory in my opinion has to deal with a strong explanation as to why we see the same surface continuously.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Timonthy 11 years ago
Well that's hardly solved Good job... edit: is being stubborn, I cannot see . Emoticons have turned against me .
Comment icon #4 Posted by GirlfromOz 11 years ago
Anyone knows that when you expose a metallic object to a magnet,it becomes magnetised.So the moon has been exposed to Earth's magnetic field for millions of years.Wouldn't you assume that the rocks on the moon are an example?
Comment icon #5 Posted by GirlfromOz 11 years ago
Well Derr!! LOL
Comment icon #6 Posted by Justinus 11 years ago
I heard this crazy theory.. Apparently we witnessed something crash into the moon. Meteorite or Satellite, can't remember.... but they said the sound was weird, like it was hollow. Then they went into the Death star stuff. But what if the magnetism is because the moon is artificial? It’s been said that we wouldn’t exist without it. Maybe it was put, or parked there?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Justinus 11 years ago
I heard this crazy theory.. Apparently we witnessed something crash into the moon. Meteorite or Satellite, can't remember.... but they said the sound was weird, like it was hollow. Then they went into the Death star stuff. But what if the magnetism is because the moon is artificial? It’s been said that we wouldn’t exist without it. Maybe it was put, or parked there? I heard this crazy theory.. Apparently we witnessed something crash into the moon. Meteorite or Satellite, can't remember.... but they said the sound was weird, like it was hollow. Then they went into the Death star stuff. But what... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by psyche101 11 years ago
Dark matter comet impacts still buried in the crust is a possiblity. This hypothesis requires the fall of Einstein's relativity and an anisotropic picture of gravity. You will forgive me if I do not hold my breath then.
Comment icon #9 Posted by psyche101 11 years ago
I heard this crazy theory.. Apparently we witnessed something crash into the moon. Meteorite or Satellite, can't remember.... but they said the sound was weird, like it was hollow. Then they went into the Death star stuff. But what if the magnetism is because the moon is artificial? It’s been said that we wouldn’t exist without it. Maybe it was put, or parked there? Do you have a link? I do not know about the hollow sound stuff at all.
Comment icon #10 Posted by psyche101 11 years ago
I think I will need a animation to visualize this one. Too many confusing stages muddled together in this article. Any theory in my opinion has to deal with a strong explanation as to why we see the same surface continuously. What, tidal locking? The change in rotation rate necessary to tidally lock a body B to a larger body A is caused by the torque applied by A's gravity on bulges it has induced on B by tidal forces. In short, when you squash it flat, it pulls on the bulges you just created by pushing it flat. Gravity is strong enough to "squish" a planet up a bit during orbit. That is the t... [More]


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