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Lunar Surface Magnetometer

NSSDC ID: 1969-099C-04
Mission Name: Apollo 12 Lunar Module / ALSEP
Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles P. Sonett


The lunar surface magnetometer was part of the ALSEP package and consisted of three fluxgate sensors located on orthogonal 5-ft booms. The sensors were mounted on gimbals allowing their measurement axes to be interchanged for purposes of calibration and site survey. The instrument was designed to measure the moon's magnetic field, and operated in the ranges minus to plus 100, 200, or 400 gammas. It was also expected to yield information about the lunar gross electrical diffusivity, the existence of a molten core, the earth's magnetic tail, and local magnetic anomalies. The instrument measured the magnetic field constantly for about three weeks after deployment, then on the dayside continuously for several months, then on the dayside very intermittently into 1972. For further details, see Dyal and Parkin, JGR, vol 76, p 5947, 1971.

Facts in Brief

Mass: 8.6 kg


  • Planetary Science: Fields and Particles
  • Space Physics: Heliospheric Studies
  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Palmer DyalOther InvestigatorNASA Ames Research Center 
Dr. Charles P. SonettPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Arizona 
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