Posts tagged moon


NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole.






Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.
The images making up the mosaic were taken by the two LRO Narrow Angle Cameras, which are part of the instrument suite known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The cameras can record a tremendous dynamic range of lit and shadowed areas.
Web viewers can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. Constructed from 10,581 pictures, the mosaic provides enough detail to see textures and subtle shading of the lunar terrain. Consistent lighting throughout the images makes it easy to compare different regions.
To view the image with zoom and pan capability, visit: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/gigapan.
NASA Releases First Interactive Mosaic of Lunar North Pole.

Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.

The images making up the mosaic were taken by the two LRO Narrow Angle Cameras, which are part of the instrument suite known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The cameras can record a tremendous dynamic range of lit and shadowed areas.

Web viewers can zoom in and out, and pan around an area. Constructed from 10,581 pictures, the mosaic provides enough detail to see textures and subtle shading of the lunar terrain. Consistent lighting throughout the images makes it easy to compare different regions.

To view the image with zoom and pan capability, visit: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/gigapan.

NASA preparing for Moon launch this week.

image

The LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer ) mission is set to launch September 6, in the first launch of a craft travelling beyond Earth orbit from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

imageMeteor impact on the Moon bright enough to see with the naked eye.

The impact of a 40kg meteor on the Moon on March 17 was bright enough to see from Earth without a telescope, according to NASA, who captured the impact through a Moon-monitoring telescope.

Now NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try and search out the impact crater, which could be up to 20 metres wide. 

Photo: ‘Earthshine’ illuminates the Moon.
A French photographer captured this image with a Canon EOS 100D camera and a refractor 1000mm telescope 


When sunlight reflects off the Earth and shines onto the moon, the phenomenon is called “earthshine.” A crescent moon is between a new moon and a half moon. The moon in this image is waxing at 16.7 percent of lunar illumination.

Photo: ‘Earthshine’ illuminates the Moon.

A French photographer captured this image with a Canon EOS 100D camera and a refractor 1000mm telescope 

When sunlight reflects off the Earth and shines onto the moon, the phenomenon is called “earthshine.” A crescent moon is between a new moon and a half moon. The moon in this image is waxing at 16.7 percent of lunar illumination.

ESA mission will search for ice at the Moon’s South pole.
The European Space Agency plans to have a Lunar Lander arrive on the Moon by 2018, to search for ice hidden under the surface. The lander will bore holes several inches deep, beaming results back to Earth. The mission will be the first ever attempt to land an object at the lunar south pole.
If water is found, it will open up the prospect of settling humans on the Moon. At up to US$20,000 a liter to transport water into space, it could otherwise be a major expense for any human settlement on the Moon - a problem Planetary Resources is also trying to solve by mining asteroids for water.

Experts have long believed that the Moon’s surface was completely arid. Recent measurements from orbiting spacecraft, however, have suggested that water may exist in the soil, with large deposits at its poles and in the shadows of meteor craters.
“As well as testing the technology there is a lot of science to be done. We hope to investigate the environment there, what the properties of the dust are and look for oxygen, hydrogen and even water in the form of ice.”

ESA mission will search for ice at the Moon’s South pole.

The European Space Agency plans to have a Lunar Lander arrive on the Moon by 2018, to search for ice hidden under the surface. The lander will bore holes several inches deep, beaming results back to Earth. The mission will be the first ever attempt to land an object at the lunar south pole.

If water is found, it will open up the prospect of settling humans on the Moon. At up to US$20,000 a liter to transport water into space, it could otherwise be a major expense for any human settlement on the Moon - a problem Planetary Resources is also trying to solve by mining asteroids for water.

Experts have long believed that the Moon’s surface was completely arid. Recent measurements from orbiting spacecraft, however, have suggested that water may exist in the soil, with large deposits at its poles and in the shadows of meteor craters.

“As well as testing the technology there is a lot of science to be done. We hope to investigate the environment there, what the properties of the dust are and look for oxygen, hydrogen and even water in the form of ice.”

Russia eyeing up a lunar base.
Russia and Japan both revealed hopes of achieving manned exploration of the Moon at this months Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington DC.
According to an executive from the Japanese Space Agency, Japan claims to be “looking at the moon as our next target for human exploration” at this stage. 
Russia has higher hopes, with the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos saying “We’re not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago. We’re talking about establishing permanent bases”.

Russia eyeing up a lunar base.

Russia and Japan both revealed hopes of achieving manned exploration of the Moon at this months Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington DC.

According to an executive from the Japanese Space Agency, Japan claims to be “looking at the moon as our next target for human exploration” at this stage.

Russia has higher hopes, with the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos saying “We’re not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago. We’re talking about establishing permanent bases”.

Biggest full moon of the year, see it tonight.
The Lunar perigee is tonight (May 6), where the Moon reaches it’s closest point of orbit with Earth.

At 221,802 miles from Earth the Moon will be about 15,300 miles closer than average.Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee).
Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit.

The Moon appears biggest just after Moon rise, while it is low in the sky.

Biggest full moon of the year, see it tonight.

The Lunar perigee is tonight (May 6), where the Moon reaches it’s closest point of orbit with Earth.

At 221,802 miles from Earth the Moon will be about 15,300 miles closer than average.
Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee).

Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit.

The Moon appears biggest just after Moon rise, while it is low in the sky.

Has life from Earth spread to other planets?
Researchers at the Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan have released a study showing how life-bearing meteorites from Earth could have spread around our galaxy after a massive asteroid impact 65 million years ago. 
The asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater in Mexico could have ejected as much mass from Earth as the asteroid itself. While much of the mass ejected would have ended up on the Moon, almost the same amount is thought to have landed on Europa. That’s because the gravitational field for Jupiter draws in anything passing by, where it can be swept up by orbiting planets.
Estimates for the number of Earth rocks on our Moon and Europa are as many as 100,000,000 individial rocks on each planet. While it’s not known if microbes would be able to survive that long journey and seed life on other planets, there are many planets that would easily support them if they did make the journey intact. For example, a super-Earth planet orbiting star Gliese 581 is thought to have attracted up to 1,000 rocks from the Earth impact event. The journey there would have taken around 1 million years, meaning that if any Earth microbes made the trip, they’ve had 64 million years to evolve.

Has life from Earth spread to other planets?

Researchers at the Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan have released a study showing how life-bearing meteorites from Earth could have spread around our galaxy after a massive asteroid impact 65 million years ago. 

The asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater in Mexico could have ejected as much mass from Earth as the asteroid itself. While much of the mass ejected would have ended up on the Moon, almost the same amount is thought to have landed on Europa. That’s because the gravitational field for Jupiter draws in anything passing by, where it can be swept up by orbiting planets.

Estimates for the number of Earth rocks on our Moon and Europa are as many as 100,000,000 individial rocks on each planet. While it’s not known if microbes would be able to survive that long journey and seed life on other planets, there are many planets that would easily support them if they did make the journey intact. For example, a super-Earth planet orbiting star Gliese 581 is thought to have attracted up to 1,000 rocks from the Earth impact event. The journey there would have taken around 1 million years, meaning that if any Earth microbes made the trip, they’ve had 64 million years to evolve.

New research shows our Moon could one day have volcanoes.
It’s long been known that the Moon has had a volcanic past, which is thought to have ended around three billion years ago. Now new research suggests that there is still molten magma deep inside the Moon, which could one day erupt again.
New experiments show that the magma is currently too dense to rise to the surface. To come to that conclusion, a team at the University of Amsterdam produced copies of the moon rock samples brought back by the Apollo missions, and melted them at the exact temperatures and pressures found inside the Moon. The densities were then measured using X-ray beams.
The team has suggested that although the magma is currently too dense to rise to the surface and form an active volcano, over time it will cool and become less dense that its surroundings. That lighter magma could one day form an active volcano, although the team is quick to point out it’s just a hypothesis and will need further testing.

New research shows our Moon could one day have volcanoes.

It’s long been known that the Moon has had a volcanic past, which is thought to have ended around three billion years ago. Now new research suggests that there is still molten magma deep inside the Moon, which could one day erupt again.

New experiments show that the magma is currently too dense to rise to the surface. To come to that conclusion, a team at the University of Amsterdam produced copies of the moon rock samples brought back by the Apollo missions, and melted them at the exact temperatures and pressures found inside the Moon. The densities were then measured using X-ray beams.

The team has suggested that although the magma is currently too dense to rise to the surface and form an active volcano, over time it will cool and become less dense that its surroundings. That lighter magma could one day form an active volcano, although the team is quick to point out it’s just a hypothesis and will need further testing.