A method is developed for determining the approximate size and shape of the three-dimensional mass distribution that is required to produce a given gravitational field. The first few reduced multipole moments of the distribution are calculated from the derivatives of the surface field, and the approximative structure is determined from the values of these moments and a knowledge of the density contrast between the body and its surroundings. A system of classification of problems by symmetry is introduced and its practical usage discussed. A relaxation method is described which may be used to adjust the initial solution systematically to give agreement over the whole field. A descriptive discussion is appended.

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