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Lunar Paleomagentism

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Lunar paleomagnetism and crustal magnetism studies indicate that the ancient Moon generated a core dynamo magnetic field that commenced by 4.25 billion years ago (Ga) and persisted until sometime between 2.5 Ga and 1 Ga.  During at least part of its history, the magnetic field at the Moon’s surface rivaled that of the modern Earth.  The intensity and longevity of the lunar magnetic field challenge our current understanding of planetary dynamo theory and may require mechanical power sources rather than simply thermal or thermochemical convection to drive field generation.  Ongoing studies in lunar paleomagnetism refine our understanding of the Moon’s paleointensity evolution over time.  This work includes:
    •    constraining the effects of shock and secondary thermal events on the natural remanent magnetization of lunar rocks 

    •    assessing whether short-term variability in lunar paleointensities record may reflect secular variation of the Moon’s dynamo field 

    •    attempting to fill age gaps in the lunar paleointensity record by studying additional Apollo samples