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An improved lunar gravity field model from SELENE and historical tracking data; revealing the farside gravity features



An improved lunar gravity field model from SELENE and historical tracking data; revealing the farside gravity features



Journal of Geophysical Research 115.E6



A new spherical harmonic solution of the lunar gravity field to degree and order 100, called SGM100h, has been developed using historical tracking data and 14.2 months of SELENE tracking data (from 20 October 2007 to 26 December 2008 plus 30 January 2009). The latter includes all usable 4-way Doppler data collected which allowed direct observations of the farside gravity field for the first time. The new model successfully reveals farside features in free-air gravity anomalies which are characterized by ring-shaped structures for large impact basins and negative spots for large craters. SGM100h produces a correlation with SELENE-derived topography as high as about 0.9, through degree 70. Comparison between SGM100h and LP100K (one of the pre-SELENE models) shows that the large gravity errors which existed in LP100K are drastically reduced and the asymmetric error distribution between the nearside and the farside almost disappears. The gravity anomaly errors predicted from the error covariance, through degree and order 100, are 26 mGal and 35 mGal for the nearside and the farside, respectively. Owing to the 4-way Doppler measurements the gravity coefficients below degree and order 70 are now determined by real observations with contribution factors larger than 80 percent. With the SELENE farside data coverage, it is possible to estimate the gravity field to degree and order 70 without applying any a priori constraint or regularization. SGM100h can be used for global geophysical interpretation through degree and order 70.

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Accession: 036998225

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DOI: 10.1029/2009je003499


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