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, France
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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, the laser altimeters on ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury and JUICE mission to Ganymede, and NASA's mission to the asteroid 16 Psyche.

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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