Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Potpourri of Lunar Results

Mare inundated interior of Thompson P, part of the larger Mare Ingenii, home of one of the more enigmatic lunar magnetic anomalies and surficial albedo swirls. The tenuous markings and the crustal magnetism are nearly antipodal (on the direct opposite side of the Moon) from Mare Imbrium, the nearside's most easily recognized impact basin. Ingenni is also situated just within the edge of the Moon's oldest, deepest and largest known impact, the South Pole Aitken basin. Did the magnetic field here result from the Imbrium of SPA event, or both? The yellow arrow marks the location of the Ingenni pit crater [NASA/GSFC/LMMP/Arizona State University].
Kelly Beatty
Sky & Telescope

It's been nearly 40 years since astronauts returned the last Apollo samples from the Moon (and 35 since Luna 24 brought back 170 grams from Mare Crisium). Since then several orbiting spacecraft have mapped the lunar surface from top to bottom, repeatedly. So a casual observer might conclude that we've learned everything there is to know about the Moon.

Ha! If anything, questions about how Earth's satellite formed and evolved are more numerous than ever. As evidence, I submit the following summaries of research that's been published in the past few weeks.

Read the full feature article HERE.

No comments: