A New Hypothesis on the Origin of Lunar Swirls

Image credit: NASA/GSFC/ASU

In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, researchers modeled the effect of magmatism in the lunar crust on surface magnetic fields to explain the appearance of lunar swirls. Their results suggest that shallow dikes and/or lava tubes may be responsible for enhanced, localized magnetic fields on the surface that give rise to swirls. This work further explains why not all magnetic field anomalies exhibit swirls. Though the degree of magnetization required to produce the observed swirls is difficult to explain through conventional processes, the authors provide some possible explanations.

For more information, visit: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018JE005604