Differentiation of the Lunar Interior
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Differentiation of the lunar interior refers to the process that started during the early history of the Moon resulting in the chemical layering of the crust, mantle, and core inside the Moon. This layered structure, to a large extent, is a consequence of the energetic formation process and results from the differences in the physical and chemical properties of the material making up the Moon. This article reviews the available observational and experimental constraints, on the chemical and physical state that form the basis to model the thermal structure and evolution of the lunar interior.
A giant impact of a Mars-sized body with the Earth at about 4.5 Ga is the most widely accepted theory for the formation of the Moon, winning over the competing theories of co-accretion with the Earth and capture by the Earth (Canup and Asphaug 2001; Shearer et al. 2006). The numerical models simulating the impact scenario provide results consistent with most of...
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