The Long Term Temperature Variation in the Lunar Subsurface

Saito, Y.; Tanaka, S.; Horai, K. and Hagermann, A. (2008). The Long Term Temperature Variation in the Lunar Subsurface. In: 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 10-14 Mar 2008, League City, Texas, USA.



Introduction: Lunar surface heat flow values were measured directly during the Apollo missions. These experiments were carried out on Apollo 15 and 17 for about six years between July 7, 1971 and September 30, 1977. The heat flow values derived from these two measurement sites were 21 mW/m2 and 14 mW/m2 respectively [1]. Langseth et al. concluded the repre-sentative global lunar heat flow to be around 18 mW/m2 based on approximately the first 3 years of data until the end of the 1974 (see Figure 1).
Recently, Saito et al. (2006) succeeded in archiving the heat flow data from March 1 1976 until September 30th 1977 [2]. These data are very useful for identify-ing this very long-term variation because we could extend the period of data almost by a factor of two (from 3 years to 6 years) compared to the data ar-chived previously. Because an anomaly had occurred on April 28th, 1976 on the Apollo 15 experiment, the data of Apollo 15 could not be expanded. Therefore, the data obtained by Apollo 17 were used for long term analysis.

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