Geochemical evidence required only that the outer part of the moon was differentiated 4.4 b.y. ago. Geophysical evidence, particularly that from lunar paleomagnetism, points to the conclusion that the entire moon was melted a few hundred million yr after its origin, forming a core. The gravitational energy of accretion can just melt the outer part of the moon if all the heat is trapped but not adequate for this purpose. The importance of short-lived radioactive nuclei both known and unknown in this connection is discussed.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- Lunar Core;
- Lunar Evolution;
- Lunar Magnetic Fields;
- Heat Sources;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration