Definition of mascon in US English:



  • A concentration of denser material below the surface of the moon or other body, causing a local increase in gravitational pull.

    • ‘Researchers spotted a mass concentration, which they call a mascon — dense stuff that welled up from the mantle, likely in an impact.’
    • ‘Either the lunar crust and upper mantle have been strong enough to support these loads elastically, or the mascon loads have been decaying through viscous deformation of the lunar interior since their formation.’
    • ‘In practice, the spacecraft deviated significantly even from predicted orbits that took into account the gravitational forces of the mascons.’
    • ‘The negative correlation between the topography and gravitational potential of the mascons suggests that they are dynamically supported.’
    • ‘It has been argued that the mascon gravitational anomalies do not necessarily imply departure from isostacy.’


1960s: from mas(s) con(centration).