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Published June 27, 1975 | public
Journal Article

Lunar Gravity: The First Farside Map


A global lunar gravity field has been determined from data on the long-term motion of the Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 subsatellites and Lunar Orbiter 5. The nearside gravity map resolves major mascon basins and, in general, is in excellent agreement with the results of Muller and Sjogren. The farside gravity map is characterized by broad positive gravity in the highland regions with interspersed, localized, negative anomalies corresponding to major ringed basins. A comparison between global gravity and topography indicates that a thicker farside crust could be responsible for these gravitational differences between the two lunar hemispheres.

Additional Information

© 1975 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 23 December 1974; revised 21 February 1975. The mean orbital elements for the Apollo subsatellites used in this analysis were generated by W. R. Wollenhaupt of the Johnson Spacecraft Center. I am indebted to N. E. Hamata and R. N. Wimberly of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for their programming and computer assistance. I am also indebted to W. L. Sjogren of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for his suggestions and support during this investigation. Contribution No. 2554 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.

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