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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Apollo astronauts left garbage, keepsakes and experiments on the moon

Apollo astronauts left garbage, keepsakes and experiments on the moon

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Once on the moon, Apollo astronauts had two major goals: get themselves and the moon rocks home safe. To make space on the cramped lunar modules for the hundreds of kilograms of moon samples, the astronauts had to go full Marie Kondo. Anything that wasn’t essential for the ride home got tossed: cameras, hammocks, boots…
Commemorate the moon landing anniversary with books that surpass the little action

Commemorate the moon landing anniversary with books that surpass the little...

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Astronomy lovers are not the only ones excited about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Publishers are also taking note, serving up a pile of books to mark the occasion. Are you looking for a general overview of the birth of the U.S. space program? Would you rather geek out on the technical details…
Hayabusa2 might have simply snagged little bits of asteroid Ryugu’s withins

Hayabusa2 might have simply snagged little bits of asteroid Ryugu’s withins

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The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has made its second and final attempt to grab a pinch of dust from asteroid Ryugu. At about 9:06 p.m. EDT on July 10, the Japanese spacecraft briefly touched down near an artificial crater it had previously blasted into the 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid’s surface. If the dust grab went well, it’s the first…
See how visualizations of the moon have actually altered with time

See how visualizations of the moon have actually altered with time

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Look up at the moon and you’ll see roughly the same patterns of light and shadow that Plato saw about 2,500 years ago. But humankind’s understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor has changed considerably since then, and so have the ways that scientists and others have visualized the moon. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the…
Ancient human beings utilized the moon as a calendar in the sky

Ancient human beings utilized the moon as a calendar in the...

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The sun’s rhythm may have set the pace of each day, but when early humans needed a way to keep time beyond a single day and night, they looked to a second light in the sky. The moon was one of humankind’s first timepieces long before the first written language, before the earliest organized cities…
With Dragonfly, NASA is heading back to Saturn’s moon Titan

With Dragonfly, NASA is heading back to Saturn’s moon Titan

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Fifty years after Apollo 11, NASA is gearing up for a whole new kind of moonshot. The agency’s next solar system exploration mission will send a drone-like rotorcraft to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, NASA announced June 27 in a news teleconference. “Titan is unlike any other place in our solar system, and the most comparable…
Icy volcanoes on Pluto might have gushed organic-rich water

Icy volcanoes on Pluto might have gushed organic-rich water

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Red ice found on Pluto suggests the dwarf planet recently spewed fountains of water into space. And it hints at complex — and possibly organic — chemistry in Pluto’s salty subsurface sea, researchers report May 29 in Science Advances. “This was a huge surprise to all of us about Pluto,” says planetary scientist Dale Cruikshank…
China’s lunar rover might have discovered minerals from the moon’s mantle

China’s lunar rover might have discovered minerals from the moon’s mantle

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The first mission to the farside of the moon may have found bits of the moon’s interior on its surface. The Yutu-2 rover, deployed by the Chinese Chang’e-4 spacecraft that landed on the moon in January, detected soil that appears rich in minerals thought to make up the lunar mantle, researchers report in the May…
Apollo-era moonquakes expose that the moon might be tectonically active

Apollo-era moonquakes expose that the moon might be tectonically active

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The moon may still be kicking. Rumbles recorded decades ago by seismometers at Apollo landing sites are probably linked to young faults mapped by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists say. Eight of those moonquakes occurred within 30 kilometers of fault scarps, steplike cliffs on the lunar crust that mark places where one side of a…
Water has actually been discovered in the dust of an asteroid believed to be bone-dry

Water has actually been discovered in the dust of an asteroid...

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For the first time, evidence of water has been found in a stony type of asteroid once thought to be bone-dry. Grains of dust from the asteroid Itokawa actually contain a surprising amount of water, two cosmochemists from Arizona State University in Tempe report May 1 in Science Advances. “We didn’t really expect water to…

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