Latest Lunar science Stories

Image 1 - The Mystery Of The Missing Moon
2011-09-08 06:52:06

  As early as Sept. 8th, NASA's GRAIL mission will blast off to uncover some of the mysteries beneath the surface of the Moon. That cratered gray exterior hides some tantalizing things — even, perhaps, a long-lost companion. If a paper published recently in the journal Nature* is right, two moons once graced our night skies. The proposition has not been proven, but has drawn widespread attention. "It's an intriguing idea," says David Smith, GRAIL's deputy principal...

2011-08-17 13:50:00

According to new research, the Earth's moon could be younger than previously thought. The theory for lunar formation says that a rock known as ferroan anorthosite (FAN) is the oldest of the Moon's crustal rocks, but scientists have had difficulty dating FAN samples. Researchers used newly refined techniques to determine the age of a sample of FAN from the lunar rock collection at the NASA Johnson Space Center. They analyzed isotopes of the elements lead and neodymium to place the FAN...

2011-08-03 15:20:00

Astronomers say that the Earth may have once had two moons, until the current moon devoured the other. A new study by planetary scientists at the University of California - Santa Cruz said that the far side of the moon, known as the lunar farside highlands, may be the remains of a collision with a similar companion moon. The near side of the moon is low and flat, while the far side is mountainous with a thicker crust.  The new study suggests that Earth's once second moon eventually...

2011-07-25 08:35:00

Nature of mysterious hot spot revealed by "photogeology" By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis Analysis of new images of a curious "hot spot" on the far side of the Moon reveal it to be a small volcanic province created by the upwelling of silicic magma. The unusual location of the province and the surprising composition of the lava that formed it offer tantalizing clues to the Moon's thermal history. The hot spot is a concentration of a radioactive element thorium sitting between...

2011-07-20 10:15:53

The book "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters" features tactile diagrams of the lunar surface NASA has unveiled a new book for blind and visually impaired readers at a media event and reception hosted by the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) at 6 p.m. PDT on July 18 at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The book "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters" was created with the NLSI and features tactile diagrams of the lunar surface designed to educate the blind and visually impaired...

2011-07-19 12:37:00

MOFFET FIELD, Calif., July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has released a new book for visually impaired people to experience the wonders of the moon. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Called "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters," the 17-page book features Braille and tactile diagrams of the lunar surface, craters and peaks. The book was created and funded by NASA's Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), at Moffett Field, Calif. The author is David Hurd, a...

2011-06-01 08:57:18

Mercury and its environment constitute a complex system that includes interactions among the interplanetary medium, the planet's magnetic field, its tenuous atmosphere (or exosphere), and its surface. Mercury's environment includes the solar wind and photon flux (flowing charged particles and light), solar and galactic cosmic rays, and the steady bombardment by micrometeoroids (solar system dust particles). The interactions of these elements of the space environment with the surface generate...

2011-05-31 09:35:00

Four decades after the first Moon landing, our only natural satellite remains a fascinating enigma. Specialists from Europe and the US have been looking at ESA's proposed Lunar Lander mission to find out how to seek water and other volatile resources. Europe is developing the technology for the Lunar Lander mission, a precursor voyage to the Moon in preparation for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. "Our ambition is to see one day a European astronaut working on the Moon," says ESA's...

2011-05-26 13:01:00

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of NASA-funded researchers has measured for the first time water from the moon in the form of tiny globules of molten rock, which have turned to glass-like material trapped within crystals. Data from these newly-discovered lunar melt inclusions indicate the water content of lunar magma is 100 times higher than previous studies suggested. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The inclusions were...

2011-05-26 14:45:00

A team of NASA-funded researchers has measured water from the moon that shows some parts of the lunar mantle have as much water as the Earth's upper mantle. The research, from Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Institution for Science, and Brown University, shows 100 times more water than measured before. Scientists discovered water along with volatile elements in lunar magma trapped inside of crystals that are themselves trapped inside tiny volcanic glass beads. The team of...

Latest Lunar science Reference Libraries

2012-06-26 19:51:17

The Hadean is the unofficial geological period of time that lies just before the Archean time period. The Hadean began with the formation of the Earth roughly 4.5 billion years ago (Ga) and ended about 3.8 Ga; the latter date varies according to different sources. Hadean is derived from Hades, Greek for “underworld,” referring to the hellish conditions on the planet at the time. The term was coined in 1972 by geologist Preston Cloud. The period was later classified as the “Priscoan...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Crater -- A crater is a circular depression on the surface of a planet, moon, asteroid, or other celestial body. Craters are typically caused by meteorite impacts, although some are caused by volcanic activity. In the center of craters on Earth a crater lake often accumulates, and in craters formed by meteorites a central island (caused by rebounding crustal rock after the impact) is usually a prominent feature in the lake. Ancient craters whose relief has disappeared leaving only a...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

The Moon -- The Moon is the largest satellite of the Earth, and is occasionally called Luna (Latin for moon) to distinguish it from the general use of the word "moon". The Moon is distinguished from the satellites of other planets by its initial capital letter; the other moons are described in the natural satellite article. The words moon and month come from the same Old English root word. The Moon makes a complete orbit of the celestial sphere about every four weeks. Each hour the...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

The Moon -- natural satellite of a planet, in particular, the single natural satellite of the earth. The Earth-Moon System The moon is the earth's nearest neighbor in space. In addition to its proximity, the moon is also exceptional in that it is quite massive compared to the earth itself, the ratio of their masses being far larger than the similar ratios of other natural satellites to the planets they orbit (with the exception of Charon and Pluto). For this reason, the...

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Word of the Day
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'