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Science. 2011 Jan 21;331(6015):309-12. doi: 10.1126/science.1199375. Epub 2011 Jan 6.

Seismic detection of the lunar core.

Author information

1
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 320 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA. renee.c.weber@nasa.gov

Abstract

Despite recent insight regarding the history and current state of the Moon from satellite sensing and analyses of limited Apollo-era seismic data, deficiencies remain in our understanding of the deep lunar interior. We reanalyzed Apollo lunar seismograms using array-processing methods to search for the presence of reflected and converted seismic energy from the core. Our results suggest the presence of a solid inner and fluid outer core, overlain by a partially molten boundary layer. The relative sizes of the inner and outer core suggest that the core is ~60% liquid by volume. Based on phase diagrams of iron alloys and the presence of partial melt, the core probably contains less than 6 weight % of lighter alloying components, which is consistent with a volatile-depleted interior.

PMID:
21212323
DOI:
10.1126/science.1199375
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