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Results on the Mass and the Gravitational Field of the Moon as Determined from Dynamics of Lunar Satellites

  • W. H. MichaelJr.
  • W. Th. Blackshear
  • J. P. Gapcynski
Part of the COSPAR-IAU-IAG/IUGG-IUTAM book series (IUTAM)

Abstract

This paper presents a review of procedures and a summary of recent results on the mass and gravitational field of the moon. Gravitational field solutions as represented by spherical harmonic expansions of the potential through various degrees and order are available, and typical solutions obtained by the different procedures are presented. The relative and absolute precisions of the solutions in fitting the data are illustrated by residual plots and other considerations. Lunar surface elevation plots, based on the gravitational coefficients (assuming homogeneity), illustrate the distribution and magnitude of mass anomalies over the lunar sphere. For a l3th-order field, the contour plots show considerable correlation with published mascon results in regions where such results are available. The recently obtained gravitational field results are applied to determination of the moments of inertia of the moon, which correspond closely to overall homogeneous density distribution in the moon, and to determination of other properties related to mass distribution.

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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. MichaelJr.
    • 1
  • W. Th. Blackshear
    • 1
  • J. P. Gapcynski
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA

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