Seismic detection of the lunar core

Renee C. Weber, Pei Ying Lin, Edward Garnero, Quentin Williams, Philippe Lognonné

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256 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-312
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume331
Issue number6015
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2011

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Weber, R. C., Lin, P. Y., Garnero, E., Williams, Q., & Lognonné, P. (2011). Seismic detection of the lunar core. Science, 331(6015), 309-312. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1199375