Showing posts from April, 2012

Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

Source:   Eric M. Jones and Ken Glover, NASA Excerpt: …the actual recording of events which took place during the Apollo Program flights. The twelve astronauts who landed and explored the Earth's closest neighbor were the only human beings ever to observe firsthand the surface of a body in our universe other than the Earth. … their personal comments and interpretations made during their exploration of the Moon are rare national treasures.….

NASA Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Secrets of Giant Asteroid Vesta

Source:   NASA  RELEASE: 12-134   Excerpt: ...Findings from NASA's Dawn spacecraft reveal new details about the giant asteroid Vesta, including its varied surface composition, sharp temperature changes and clues to its internal structure. … Many of the materials seen by Dawn are composed of iron- and magnesium-rich minerals, which often are found in Earth's volcanic rocks. Images also reveal smooth pond-like deposits, which might have formed as fine dust created during impacts settled into low regions.  …Dawn obtained the highest-resolution surface temperature maps of any asteroid visited by a spacecraft. Data reveal temperatures can vary from as warm as -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 degrees Celsius) in the sunniest spots to as cold as -150 degrees Fahrenheit (-100 degrees Celsius) in the shadows….

NASA Scientists Find History of Asteroid Impacts in Earth Rocks

Source:  NASA RELEASE : 12-135   Excerpt: … Research by NASA and international scientists concludes giant asteroids, similar or larger than the one believed to have killed the dinosaurs, hit Earth billions of years ago with more frequency than previously thought. To cause the dinosaur extinction, the killer asteroid that impacted Earth 65 million years ago would have been almost 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter. By studying ancient rocks in Australia and using computer models, researchers estimate that approximately 70 asteroids the same size or larger impacted Earth 1.8 to 3.8 billion years ago. During the same period, approximately four similarly-sized objects hit the moon…. :

Hunting for the Great Galactic Internet

Source:    Anil Ananthaswamy,  Slate/The New Scientist Excerpt: Interview with veteran astronomer, Geoffrey Marcy, who is turning his attention to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. As the new chair of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, Geoffrey Marcy has started looking for alien civilizations….

Evidence Against Moon as Meteoroid’s Offspring

Source:   Sindyan N. Bhanoo, The New York Times Excerpt: Astronomers have long theorized that the Moon was formed when an object the size of Mars slammed into Earth, sending a huge mass of rock into orbit around it. “According to the prevailing model prediction, approximately half of the Moon-forming material should come from the Mars-size impactor,” said Junjun Zhang, an isotope geochemist at the University of Chicago and the study’s first author. But samples of isotopic titanium from the Moon and from Earth now suggest that material from Earth is predominant on the Moon, researchers report in the journal Nature Geoscience. …She and her colleagues used lunar samples gathered by the Apollo missions in the 1960s and ’70s. They compared the isotopic titanium ratio in these samples to that of samples from Earth. The researchers also found that meteorites have a much wider range of isotopic titanium. “That also tells us that the impactor that hit the Earth was very unlikely to have