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Lunar Science

Search for articles related to lunar science

NASA is forming a new Lunar Science Institute

www.moontoday.com reports that NASA plans to form a NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) patterned on the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).

"Speaking tonight at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Orlando, Stern said that the initial selection would be done of 4 to 5 lead teams at a cost of $1-2 million each.

As i

Lunar Outpost Plans Taking Shape

Astronauts and Lander on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Feature - 01.10.2007]
NASA's blueprints for an outpost on the moon are shaping up. The agency's Lunar Architecture Team has been hard at work, looking at concepts for habitation, rovers, and space suits.

NASA will return astronauts to the moon by 2020, using the Ares and Orion spacecraft already under development. Astronauts will set up a lunar outpost – possibly near a south pole site called Shackleton Crater – where they’ll conduct scientific research, as well as test technologies and techniques for possible exploration of Mars and other destinations.

A New Lunar Impact Telescope

[NASA Feature - 28.09.2007]
NASA scientists are proving that you can go home again – if you bring a telescope with you. "Home" is north Georgia's Walker County, where astronomers Bill Cooke and Rob Suggs have just set up a research-grade observatory for their old school system.

Years ago, they won't say how many, Cooke and Suggs attended the same high school in Walker County and after school they volunteered at the Walker County Science and Technology Center. The center's telescopes fueled their fire for astronomy. They learned to operate the instruments, find their way around the night sky, and they took their first pictures of the Moon.

New Lunar Radar Data on the Planetary Data System

The Planetary Data System has posted an archive of new 70-cm Earthbased radar image data for the Moon: http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/missions/lunar_radar/index.htm

These data cover much of the near side, including views of the southern highlands at favorable libration. The gap in coverage of the northwestern limb region will be filled in this December.

Moon shows sparks by passing gas

Moon Gas

[MSNBC - 30.07.2007]
Changes in the brightness and color over small areas of the moon's surface, known as Transient Lunar Phenomena have been observed telescopically for hundreds of years.

The optical flashes have been seen by skywatchers but rarely photographed.

"People over the years have attributed TLPs to all sorts of effects: turbulence in Earth's atmosphere, visual physiological effects, atmospheric smearing of light like a prism, and even psychological effects like hysteria or planted suggestion," said Columbia University researcher Arlin Crotts.

NASA Robots Practice Moon Survey in the Arctic Circle

The two rovers from NASA Ames used at the Haughton crater. Credits: NASA

[NASA Ames Press Release - 20.07.2007]
Two NASA robots are surveying a rocky, isolated polar desert within a crater in the Arctic Circle. The study will help scientists learn how robots could evaluate potential outposts on the moon or Mars.

The robots, K10 Black and K10 Red, carry 3-D laser scanners and ground-penetrating radar. The team arrived at Haughton Crater at Devon Island, Canada, on July 12 and will operate the machines until July 31. Scientists chose the polar region because of the extreme environmental conditions, lack of infrastructure and resources, and geologic features. Additionally, Haughton Crater is geographically similar to Shackleton Crater at the South Pole of the moon. Both are impact craters that measure roughly 12.4 miles in diameter.

NASA Liquid-Mirror Telescope on Moon Might See Deeper Back in Time

[NASA Ames Press Release - 21.06.07]
Someday, astronauts on the moon may pour liquid onto a disc-shaped mesh to make a huge mirror for a powerful telescope, according to a technical article just made public.

The liquid would include a silver-coated surface, and would be part of an optical-infrared telescope with a 66-foot (20-meter) to 328-foot (100 meter) aperture capable of observing objects 100 to 1,000 times fainter than the James Webb Space Telescope, the authors say. The technical paper will appear in the June 21, 2007, issue of the journal, Nature.

NASA Prepares for Performing New Science on the Moon

[NASA Press Release - 21.06.07]
NASA has selected proposals for future lunar science activities and established two new programs that will enhance research made possible by the Vision for Space Exploration.

The proposals and programs are part of an effort by NASA to develop new opportunities to conduct important science investigations during the planned renewal of human exploration of the moon.

Oresme: Signs from the Lunar Heavy Bombardment

Oresme crater seen from Smart-1. Credits: ESA/Space-X

[ESA Press Release - 18.05.2007]
This image, taken by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the Oresme crater on the Moon.

AMIE obtained this picture on 30 August 2006 - only 4 days before SMART-1’s final impact on the lunar surface. It was taken from a distance of 1 100 kilometres over the surface, with a ground resolution of 110 metres per pixel.

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