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Latest Lunar soil Stories

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2010-09-16 14:35:00

The moon was bombarded by two distinct populations of asteroids or comets in its youth, and its surface is more complex than previously thought, according to new results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft featured in three papers appearing in the Sept. 17 issue of Science. In the first paper, lead author James Head of Brown University in Providence, R.I., describes results obtained from a detailed global topographic map of the moon created using LRO's Lunar Orbiter...

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2010-06-13 07:20:16

In exploration, sometimes you find more than what you're looking for, including things that shouldn't be there. As the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited over the night side of the moon, with the sun just beneath the horizon right before orbital "sunrise," Eugene Cernan prepared to make observations of sunlight scattered by the sun's thin outer atmosphere and interplanetary dust from comets and collisions between asteroids. The idea was to have the moon block the brilliant direct sunlight so this...

2010-04-16 12:58:00

GREENBELT, Md., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the solar wind flows over natural obstructions on the moon, it may charge polar lunar craters to hundreds of volts, according to new calculations by NASA's Lunar Science Institute team. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Polar lunar craters are of interest because of resources, including water ice, which exist there. The moon's orientation to the sun keeps the bottoms of polar craters in permanent shadow,...

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2010-04-16 15:05:00

As the solar wind flows over natural obstructions on the moon, it may charge polar lunar craters to hundreds of volts, according to new calculations by NASA's Lunar Science Institute team. Polar lunar craters are of interest because of resources, including water ice, which exist there. The moon's orientation to the sun keeps the bottoms of polar craters in permanent shadow, allowing temperatures there to plunge below minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit, cold enough to store volatile material like...

0cd722dda614d84ca2e1d0bde03dff9b1
2010-03-19 06:45:00

Moonwater.  Look it up. You won't find it. It's not in the dictionary. That's because we thought, until recently, that the Moon was just about the driest place in the solar system. Then reports of moonwater started "pouring" in "“ starting with estimates of scant amounts on the lunar surface, then gallons in a single crater, and now 600 million metric tons distributed among 40 craters near the lunar north pole. "We thought we understood the Moon, but we don't," says Paul Spudis of...

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2009-10-23 14:29:18

Right now, the Moon is a ghost town. Nothing stirs. Here and there, an abandoned Apollo rover "” or the dusty base of a lunar lander "” linger as silent testimony to past human activity. But these days, only occasional asteroid impacts disrupt the decades-long spell of profound stillness. And this stillness presents scientists with an important opportunity. Currently, the Moon's tenuous atmosphere is relatively undisturbed. But that won't be true for long. NASA is planning to...

2009-10-15 12:20:00

WASHINGTON Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reporters are invited to attend the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge Oct. 17-18 at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The $750,000 prize challenge is a nationwide competition that focuses on developing improved handling technologies for moon dirt, known as lunar regolith. Part of NASA's Centennial Challenges Program, the competition will see 23 teams use robots they designed and built to excavate simulated lunar soil....

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2009-10-15 07:40:00

The Moon is a big sponge that absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. These particles interact with the oxygen present in some dust grains on the lunar surface, producing water. This discovery, made by the ESA-ISRO instrument SARA onboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, confirms how water is likely being created on the lunar surface. It also gives scientists an ingenious new way to take images of the Moon and any other airless body in the Solar System. The lunar...

2009-04-23 10:57:31

Radiation and the sun's rays help dust on the surface of the moon obtain its noted stickiness, an Australian scientist says. Brian O'Brien, who helped with the United States' Apollo space program during the 1960s, said his research indicates lunar dust becomes sticky after being exposed to a combination of X-ray radiation and the sun's ultraviolet rays, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday. The degree of stickiness for the dust can be increased by the level of exposure to the sun's rays,...

7292e2c99d8f4a8e81c6555a8c1ad8ad1
2009-04-17 14:40:00

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Apollo Moon Program struggled with a minuscule, yet formidable enemy: sticky lunar dust. Four decades later, a new study reveals that forces compelling lunar dust to cling to surfaces "” ruining scientific experiments and endangering astronauts' health "”change during the lunar day with the elevation of the sun. The study analyzes the interactions on the Moon among electrostatic adhesive forces, the angle of incidence of the sun's rays, and lunar...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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