Showing posts from October, 2014

NASA Missions Uncover The Moon's Buried Treasures

Source:   4.1, 7.2, 8.3 Excerpt: …scientists… revealed new data uncovered by NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. …evidence that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, and … has a water cycle. Scientists also confirmed the water was in the form of mostly pure ice crystals in some places. …"NASA has convincingly confirmed the presence of water ice and characterized its patchy distribution in permanently shadowed regions of the moon," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist…. The twin impacts of LCROSS and a companion rocket stage in the moon's Cabeus crater on Oct. 9, 2009, lifted a plume of material that might not have seen direct sunlight for billions of years. As the plume traveled nearly 10 miles above the rim of Cabeus, instruments …made observations of the crater and debris and vapor clouds. After the impacts, grains of mostly pure water ice were lofted into

NASA Mission Points to Origin of “Ocean of Storms” on Earth’s Moon

Source:   NASA RELEASE 14-236    Using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), mission scientists have solved a lunar mystery almost as old as the moon itself. Early theories suggested the craggy outline of a region of the moon’s surface known as Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms, was caused by an asteroid impact. ... However, mission scientists studying GRAIL data believe they have found evidence the craggy outline of this rectangular region -- roughly 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers) across -- is actually the result of the formation of ancient rift valleys.  ...rifts are buried beneath dark volcanic plains on the nearside of the moon and have been detected only in the gravity data provided by GRAIL. ...The findings are published online in the journal Nature. Another theory arising from recent data analysis suggests this region formed as a result of churning deep in the interior of the moon that led to a high concentration of