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Lunar soil
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Two Canberra scientists are working with lunar soil to work out what asteroid impacts looked like four billion years ago and perhaps discover how the moon was created.
Marc Norman and his PhD student Simeon Hui are trying to find out more about asteroid strikes, including one many scientists believe created the moon.

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Moon Dust
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Model Helps Search for Moon Dust Fountains

In exploration, sometimes you find more than what you're looking for, including things that shouldnt be there. As the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited over the night side of the moon, with the sun just beneath the horizon right before orbital "sunrise," Eugene Cernan prepared to make observations of sunlight scattered by the sun's thin outer atmosphere and interplanetary dust from comets and collisions between asteroids. The idea was to have the moon block the brilliant direct sunlight so this faint glow, called Coronal and Zodiacal Light (CZL), could be seen. They should have seen a dim "hump" of light in the middle of the horizon that gradually grew in size and intensity until it was overwhelmed by sunrise. What came next was not supposed to happen.
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RE: Moon soil
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Samples collected during Apollo missions suggest a wet interior, raising questions about lunar origins.

Larry Taylor always said he'd eat his shorts if water was ever found on the Moon. He never expected his own research to bring that pledge back to haunt him.
The petrologist, based at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, was just 32 years old at the first Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in 1970, where his colleagues described their analyses of Moon rocks collected the previous year during the Apollo 11 mission. Taylor saw only pure metallic iron in the samples - a sign that there wasn't any water around to rust the iron. This and other results that year led to the party line: the Moon is, and always was, bone dry.
Forty years on, at the same annual conference near Houston, Texas, Taylor and his colleagues announced that they have been wrong all along.

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Simulated moon dirt materials found at Stillwater Mine
The piles of waste rock from the Stillwater Mine look like ordinary rocks. But like the rare platinum group metals found in the underground mine near here, the mine's geology also contains rocks with an unusual combination of minerals and chemistry that resembles lunar dirt.

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NASA Instruments Reveal Water Molecules on Lunar Surface
NASA scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. Instruments aboard three separate spacecraft revealed water molecules in amounts that are greater than predicted, but still relatively small. Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, also was found in the lunar soil. The findings were published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science.
NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper, or M3, instrument reported the observations. M3 was carried into space on Oct. 22, 2008, aboard the Indian Space Research Organisation's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. Data from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, or VIMS, on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and the High-Resolution Infrared Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's Epoxi spacecraft contributed to confirmation of the finding. The spacecraft imaging spectrometers made it possible to map lunar water
more effectively than ever before.

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While the world watched in fascination as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin gambolled about on the moon, planetary scientists had their eyes on a different prize. For them, the value of the mission lay in the cargo the mission aimed to bring home, and the astronauts did not disappoint. By the time Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into the lunar module for the last time, they had collected 22 kilograms of moon rocks, enough to fill a small suitcase.
Five more Apollo crews brought the total collection of moon rock to 382 kilograms of material, made up of some 2200 individually numbered samples. Three uncrewed Russian landers recovered a further 300 grams of soil.

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A team of scientists has found the first conclusive signature for the presence of uranium on the lunar surface, an element not seen in previous Moon-mapping efforts.
The uranium signatures were detected by Robert C Reedy, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, who is mapping the Moons surface elements using data gathered by an advanced gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) that rode aboard the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft.

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Moon Dust
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The first astronauts to walk on the moon in the 1960s and 1970s were inundated by sticky lunar dust that clung to their spacesuits whenever they ventured outside. Now, four decades later, a self-funded study by an Australian physicist has found a link between the dust's stickiness and the angle of the sun at the time of each moonwalk.

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In the 1960s and 1970s, the Apollo Moon Program struggled with a minuscule, yet formidable enemy: sticky lunar dust. Four decades later, a new study reveals that forces compelling lunar dust to cling to surfaces - ruining scientific experiments and endangering astronauts' health - change during the lunar day with the elevation of the sun.
The study analyses the interactions on the Moon among electrostatic adhesive forces, the angle of incidence of the sun's rays, and lunar gravity. It concludes that the stickiness of lunar dust on a vertical surface changes as the sun moves higher in the sky, eventually allowing the very weak lunar gravity to pull the dust off.

American Geophysical Union (PDF)


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