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Modeling a magnetic Moon

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1 Author(s)

Using an innovative computer model, Dave Stegman and his coauthors might have solved a decades-old mystery about the Moon's geology. A giant plume of hot rock, they say, might have burst out from the lunar core four billion years ago, kicking off a series of events that endowed the moon with a temporary magnetic field. Stegman's model is prompting scientists to re-examine studies of magnetic lunar rocks collected during the early Apollo missions. The research has even caught the attention of the world media, who have dubbed his lunar hypothesis the Big Burp Theory. Notoriety aside, Stegman's work is advancing the application of a popular and versatile analysis method that's been around since the 1950s: finite-element analysis. With FEA, a computer breaks a complex problem into small pieces that are easier to process.

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 3 )