Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Planetary science

Ancient lunar dynamo

The differential rotation between the Moon's core and mantle may have powered the ancient lunar dynamo, either continuously over several hundred million years or intermittently after large impacts. See Letters p.212 & p.215

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The Crisium lunar basin.



  1. Stegman, D. R., Jellinek, A. M., Zatman, S. A., Baumgardner, J. R. & Richards, M. A. Nature 421, 143–146 (2003).

    Article  CAS  ADS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Dwyer, C. A., Stevenson, D. J. & Nimmo, F. Nature 479, 212–214 (2011).

    Article  CAS  ADS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Le Bars, M., Wieczorek, M. A., Karatekin, Ö., Cébron, D. & Laneuville, M. Nature 479, 215–218 (2011).

    Article  CAS  ADS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Garrick-Bethell, I., Weiss, B. P., Shuster, D. L. & Buz, J. Science 323, 356–359 (2009).

    Article  CAS  ADS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Hood, L. L. Icarus 211, 1109–1128 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Goldreich, P. J. Geophys. Res. 72, 3135–3137 (1967).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Williams, J. G., Boggs, D. H., Yoder, C. F., Ratcliff, J. T. & Dickey, J. O. J. Geophys. Res. (2001).

  8. Cébron, D., Le Bars, M., Leontini, J., Maubert, P. & Le Gal, P. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 182, 119–128 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Christensen, U. R., Holzwarth, V. & Reiners, A. Nature 457, 167–169 (2009).

    Article  CAS  ADS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Mitchell, D. L. et al. Icarus 194, 401–409 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dominique Jault.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jault, D. Ancient lunar dynamo. Nature 479, 183–184 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing