Source: NASA Science Casts
The University of Huelva has released (see above) images of the high-speed impact of a wayward space rock on the surface of the moon last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say.
Video footage of the record-breaking meteorite strike on the moon, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2013 and was unveiled today (Feb. 24), shows a long flash that was almost as bright as the North Star Polaris. That means the boulder-sized meteorite's lunar crash could have been visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT, weather permitting.
The following video is a simulation of the chain of events that leaded to the impact.
Twin NASA probes orbiting the moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.
The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.
The gravity field map reveals an abundance of features never before seen in detail, such as tectonic structures, volcanic landforms, basin rings, crater central peaks, and numerous simple, bowl-shaped craters. Data also show the moon's gravity field is unlike that of any terrestrial planet in our solar system.
These are the first scientific results from the prime phase of the mission, and they are published in three papers in the journal Science.
Source: NASA Science News
According to data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, ice may make up as much as 22 percent of the surface material in Shackleton crater at the Moon's south pole.(read more)
Source: NASA Science Releases
One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft.
The image was taken by the MoonKam, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students. Previously named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) A and B, the twin spacecraft are now called Ebb and Flow. Both washing-machine-sized orbiters carry a small MoonKAM camera. Over 60 student-requested images were taken aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17 and downlinked to Earth on March 20.
"MoonKAM is based on the premise that if your average picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a classroom full of engineering and science degrees," said Maria Zuber, GRAIL mission principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. "Through MoonKAM, we have an opportunity to reach out to the next generation of scientists and engineers. It is great to see things off to such a positive start."
GRAIL is NASA's first planetary mission to carry instruments fully dedicated to education and public outreach. Students will select target areas on the lunar surface and request images to study from the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center in San Diego.
The MoonKAM program is led by Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, and her team at Sally Ride Science in collaboration with undergraduate students at the University of California in San Diego. More than 2,700 schools spanning 52 countries are using the MoonKAM cameras.
"What might seem like just a cool activity for these kids may very well have a profound impact on their futures," Ride said. "The students really are excited about MoonKAM, and that translates into an excitement about science and engineering."
To view the student-requested images, visit:
For more information about MoonKAM, visit:
GRAIL MoonKAM Image
Source: NASA Explorer (@YouTube)
From year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn't always look like this. Thanks to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we now have a better look at some of the moon's history. A new video that sgows us changes on lunar surface has been released by NASA. Some effects seem exagerated, but nonetheless the big picture is there.
The original site of the movie is at Goddard Space Flight Center's webpage.
Source: NASA News
NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft orbiting the moon officially have begun their science collection phase. During the next 84 days, scientists will obtain a high-resolution map of the lunar gravitational field to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. The data also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved. (read more)
Source: NASA News
New images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft show the moon's crust is being stretched, forming minute valleys in a few small areas on the lunar surface. Scientists propose this geologic activity occurred less than 50 million years ago, which is considered recent compared to the moon's age of more than 4.5 billion years. (read more)
A camera aboard one of NASA's twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft has returned its first unique view of the far side of the moon. MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, will be used by students nationwide to select lunar images for study.
GRAIL consists of two identical spacecraft, recently named Ebb and Flow, each of which is equipped with a MoonKam. The images were taken as part of a test of Ebb's MoonKam on Jan. 19. The GRAIL project plans to test the MoonKAM aboard Flow at a later date.
Bluebell, what a lovely fresh word evoking joy, wonder and energy. These were the qualities I found in the children who took part in Deadly Moons at their school in west Dublin on Tuesday September 27th. This group had multicultural backgrounds, Irish Travellers, Irish, Polish, African the Philippines and other communities were represented in their little faces.
The woman in the Moon ( adapted ) from a Traveller legend was one of the stories I told about the full Moon. I used Peter Riesett’s black and white harvest Moon image to put over this story as his photograph clearly illustrated the Woman in the Moon hidden in the lunar maria very well indeed. Several children were captivated by this story which I found on The Barefoot Pavee website. I like to tell tiny stories about various moons in the presentation as children listen and retain stories better than just plain facts.
Once again Saturn’s moon Tethys was a must do for some children, while the image of our Moon in false colour prompted many positive vocal gasps. Lennox was very keen to try to draw the harvest moon in black and white including the Woman in the Moon. Eddie age 9 was such a busy helpful boy, he produced an energetic drawing of our moon in false colour including Tycho and its rays. Ben age 8 created a gorgeous subtly shaded moon in false colour and added an explosive Tycho crater ray system afterwards. There was great variety in the drawings produced by this group , Atlas by Aaron age 8 , Callisto by Saviour , First Quarter Moon by Alannah age 9 and a half, all wonderful drawings !!
The entire group were very engaged, there was a lot of energy in the room all going into the drawings and the learning. As each moon was finished they were put on display until all the work was on the wall, looking great.
Our Lady of the Wayside National School is under the DEIS scheme and benefits in many ways because of it. Creativity in the Classroom facilitator Liz McMahon invited me to run my workshop for the children of Ms.Dalton's 3rd and 4th and Ms. McDermott's 3rd and 4th classes. The school also had an excellent audio visual set up, this is one of the many extra‘s this school has at its disposal because it is in a designated disadvantaged area.
Liz McMahon is intending over the next few weeks to build on what the children have learnt and continue to create drawings and creative works inspired directly from their experiences at my workshop. Our Lady of the Wayside National School Bluebell Dublin
Moon cards provided by Jane Houston Jones JPL/NASA were given to each child. Educational outreach material which was also provided by JPL/NASA was given to each teacher for the classroom.
A few children who lived near the school were invited to talk to me after the workshop to see how it all went for them. The interview is here, unedited just the way it unfolded, some quiet children, some very vocal children, all little gems.
Solar Sketch September 1st - Astronomy Education Outreach Podcast - What's Up for September 2011 - GRAIL to the Moon
PST 40 / 8 mm TVP eyepiece - 50 X
Pastel , Conte, Pencil on black paper
There were several proms on the solar limb that morning but these busy proms on the eastern limb seemed to be the most interesting to me. Some of the magnetic field lines around AR 1283 stood out for several seconds in good detail so I sketched them in with pencil over the pastel. That's why they appear a little shiny as pencil does that when used over pastel. Fibrils in the suns chromosphere line up along magnetic field lines giving up secret invisible information about their shape and extent of some of the magnetic activity in the Active Regions.
Obviously I am re tuning and re focusing the telescope constantly to capture all these features on the same plain , on a piece of paper. The sketch is CD size.
NASA's twin lunar Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:08 a.m. EDT Saturday to study the moon in unprecedented detail.
GRAIL-A is scheduled to reach the moon on New Year's Eve 2011, while GRAIL-B will arrive New Year's Day 2012. The two solar-powered spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field. GRAIL will answer longstanding questions about the moon and give scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.(read more)
Source: NASA Science News
Did our planet once have two moons? Some researchers say so. Moreover, the missing satellite might still be up there--splattered against the far side of the Moon. NASA's GRAIL mission, due to launch on Sept. 8th, could help confirm or refute the "two moon" hypothesis.(read more)
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. Images show the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface.
At the Apollo 17 site, the tracks laid down by the lunar rover are clearly visible, along with the last foot trails left on the moon. The images also show where the astronauts placed some of the scientific instruments that provided the first insight into the moon's environment and interior. (read more)
NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), mission to study the Moon is in final launch preparations for a scheduled September 8 launch onboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
GRAIL's twin spacecraft are tasked for a nine-month mission to explore Earth's nearest neighbor in unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon. (go to NASA/GRAIL)
On June 10, 2011, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter angled its orbit 65° to the west, allowing the spacecraft's cameras to capture a dramatic sunrise view of the Moon's Tycho crater.
The pitch-black patches loom behind the Tycho crater's central peak complex, which is about 15 km wide from southeast to northwest.
A very popular target with amateur astronomers, Tycho is located at 43.37°S, 348.68°E, and is about 82 km in diameter. The summit of the central peak is 2 km above the crater floor. The distance from Tycho's floor to its rim is about 4.7 km.
The photo was taken on June 10 by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around the moon.
NASA has declared full mission success for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). LRO changed our view of the entire moon and brought it into sharper focus with unprecedented detail.
NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) operated the LRO spacecraft and its instruments during the one-year mission phase. Now that the final data from the instruments have been added to the agency's Planetary Data System, the mission has completed the full success requirements. The data system, which is publicly available, archives data from past and present planetary missions as well as astronomical observations and laboratory data.
The rich new portrait rendered by LRO's seven instruments is the result of more than 192 terabytes of data, images and maps, the equivalent of nearly 41,000 typical DVDs.(read more)
Four decades after the first Moon landing, our only natural satellite remains a fascinating enigma. Specialists from Europe and the US have been looking at ESA’s proposed Lunar Lander mission to find out how to seek water and other volatile resources. (read more)