Directeur de Recherche (senior scientist)

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

office: Pavillon Henri Chrétien (PHC-S 6) [map]
mailing address: Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Boulevard de l’Observatoire, CS 34229, 06304 NICE Cedex 4, France
delivery address: Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, PHC-S 6, Route de l'Observatoire, 06300 Nice
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web page:
phone: +33 4 92 00 31 04

Research Interests

My scientific research focuses on deciphering the interior structure and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets and moons. As a geophysicist, I mostly use planetary topography, gravity, and magnetic field data that have been acquired from orbiting spacecraft, but I also rely on remote sensing data and impact crater formation models. I have worked with several lunar missions, including the orbiting SMART-1 and Chandrayaan-1 X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, and NASA's lunar gravity mapping mission GRAIL. Currently, I am a co-investigator of NASA's upcoming geophysical mission to Mars, Insight, and the laser altimeters on ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury and JUICE mission to Ganymede.

I have been at the Laboratoire Lagrange as a member of the research group Théories et Observations en Planétologie since 2017. Prior to this, I was the leader of the Planetary and Space Sciences group at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and from 2011-2015, I was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geophysical Research Planets. In addition to my scientific activities, I am the lead developer of the shtools software package that is used for analyzing global data expressed in spherical harmonics.

Current Projects

  • InSight (NASA), co-investigator.
  • Psyche (NASA), co-investigator.
  • Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, GRAIL (NASA), co-investigator.
  • Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, JUICE (ESA), Ganymede Laser Altimeter, co-investigator; Gravity & Geophysics of Jupiter and Galilean Moons, associate member.
  • BepiColumbo Laser Altimeter (ESA), Co-investigator.

Selected Publications

Gravity and Topography of the Terrestrial Planets
M. A. Wieczorek, Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd edition, Oxford, 153-193, doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-53802-4.00169-X, 2015.

Excavation of the lunar mantle by basin-forming impact events on the Moon
Miljković, K., M. A. Wieczorek, G. S. Collins, S. C. Solomon, D. E. Smith, M. T. Zuber, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 409, 243-251, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.10.041, 2015.

A long-lived lunar dynamo powered by core crystallization
Laneuville, M., M. A. Wieczorek, D. Breuer, J. Aubert, G. Morard, T. Rückriemen, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 401, 251-260, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.057, 2014.

Lunar bulk chemical composition: a post-Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory reassessment
Taylor, G. J, and M. A. Wieczorek, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 372, 20130242, doi:10.1098/rsta.2013.0242, 2014.

An impactor origin for lunar magnetic anomalies
Wieczorek, M.A., B. P. Weiss, and S. T. Stewart, Science, 335, 1212-1215, doi:10.1126/science.1214773, 2012.

Nonuniform cratering of the Moon and a revised crater chronology of the inner solar system
Le Feuvre, M., and M. A. Wieczorek, Icarus, 214, 1-20, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.03.010, 2011.

Localized spectral analysis on the sphere
Wieczorek, M. A. and F. J. Simons , Geophys. J. Int., 162, 655-675, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02687.x, 2005.

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