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Chapter III The Gravity Field of the Triaxial Case: The Moon

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/s0074-6142(08)60080-7


Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the gravity field of the triaxial case: the moon. From astronomical observations, it is usually assumed that the moon's surface does not have symmetry of revolution. The moon's surface is better approximated by a triaxial ellipsoid. To study the gravity field and shape of the moon, the theory of the gravity field that has a triaxial ellipsoid as an equipotential surface could be used, but the elliptic integrals that are involved in the theory do not allow an easy interpretation of the results. It is proved that the physical surface of the moon cannot be equipotential and that its flattenings cannot be equal to the dynamical flattenings. The chapter discusses the shape of the surface of the moon and of its surrounding equipotential surfaces and presents the values of gravity on an equipotential surface.

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