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Solar System Scratchpad

[Boiler Plate]

The only natural satellite of the Earth. Its existence has affected life on Earth with its bright light and tidal effects. The closest relative mass for any satellite of a planet. One side faces the Earth, while the other always faces away. Has extensive volcanic past, negligible atmosphere. Presents an old cratered surface. Thought to have been formed when a planet-sized object struck the Earth. The only other body in the solar system that mankind has landed on. Currently orbited by the GRAIL satellites.

Lunar Web Pages

Moon Places in the News

See also Space Places in the News

  • Erlanger Crater (Sep 09) - A deep crater at the Moon's north pole which is covered in shadows nearly all of the time which may have water ice. Due to a star finder malfunction, a maneuver performed over this crater by the Chandrayaan satellite was difficult.
  • Sea of Tranquility (Jul 2009) - Volcanic basin where Apollo 11 landed.
  • Sea of Clouds (Jul 2009) - The "mouth" of the Man on the Moon. One of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbit's first pictures was of the highlands south of this.
  • Sea of Cold (Jul 09) - Lunar sea that archs above the Sea of Storms and the Sea of Rains. In the outer rim of the Procellarum basin. Photos in the highlands below this area were some of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's first photos.
  • Descartes Highlands (Jul 09) - Area southwest of the Sea of Tranquility by the Descartes Crater. Explored by Apollo 16. Has terrain similar to that found in LRO's highland images.
  • Shackelton Crater (Jul 09) - Eternally dark crater at the Lunar South Pole. It is much deeper than other craters its size. Selene and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter sensors mapped it. India's impactor struck it hoping to find water. None has been detected so far.
  • Anaxagoras A Crater (Jul 09) - An ancient crater near the lunar North Pole. One of the first photos returned by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
  • Tycho Crater (Jul 09) - A crater in the south-west lunar highlands visible from the naked eye. It is a recent crater (formed during the age of Dinosaurs). A 3D flyover video of it was created using Kaguya imagery and it was imaged by LRO at sunrise.
  • Aristarchus Plateau (Jul 09) - A volcanic plain area near Aristarchus Crater in the Ocean of Storms that was once considered an Apollo landing site candidate. The crater is considered the brightest large feature on the Moon. The crater is a relatively new one (450 MY) and also the site of Imaged by Kaguya spacecraft. It is also the site of Transient lunar phenomena and contains ilminate, which could be used by future settlers to extract Oxygen.
  • Tsiolkovskiy Crater (Jul 09) - Large lunar far side crater with partially magma filled in bottom released after the impact. It is one of the smoothest areas on the rough far side. Kaguya made a flyby of it. The central peak appears like an island rising above a dark lake.
  • Hell E Crater (Jul 09) - A crater south of the Sea of Clouds and west of the area in the lunar highlands where the first images of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter were taken.
  • South Pole Aitken Bain (Jul 09) - The largest impact basin in the Solar System. It is located at the Moon's south pole and extends to the Aitken crater on the lunar far side. It has been shown to have high quantities of Uranium.
  • Goddard C Crater (Jun 09) - Crater near the Moon's eastern limb. It was the test subject of LCROSS's camera.
  • Gill Crater (Jun 09) - A crater near the south-east limb of the Moon. This is near the site where the Kaguya spacecraft performed a controlled crash, whose flashes were detected from India.
  • Ocean of Storms (Jun 09) - Largest "sea" on the Moon, though not associated with an impact basin. It is the landing site of Luna 9 (the first successful soft-lander on the Moon), Surveyor 1 (the first American soft lander), Luna 13 (the second Soviet soft-lander), Surveyor 3 (the first lunar lander to have components returned to Earth), and the Apollo 12 mission, which retrieved parts of Surveyor 3.
  • The Great Wall of Procellarum (Jun 09) - Unnamed ridges in Oceanus Procellarum near the Luna 9 landing site. Visible in restored LOIRP images.
  • Planitia Descensus (Jun 09) - The term refers to the landing site of Luna 9 (not the surrounding areas, in the Sea of Storms), which was the first spacecraft to make a successful soft landing on the Moon. Images containing this area were released in LOIRP images.
  • Galilaei Crater (Jun 09) - An crater near the Luna 9 landing site. Galilea's name had originally been on a large albedo spot, but because the lunar mapmaker didn't include these in his maps, he had to move the name to a nearby unremarkable crater. Images of this crater were released by LOIRP.
  • Copernicus Crater (Mar 09) - Crater that was imaged at an oblique angle by the Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft, which was dubbed one of the photos of the century. Image was restored by LOIRP.
  • Dririchlet-Jackson Basin (Feb 09) - Impact basin (unofficial name) found by Kaguya to contain the highest point on the Moon at its southern rim.
  • Antoniadi Crater (Feb 09) - One of the few double rimmed craters on the moon with a central peak. In the southern hemisphere on the dark side. Kaguya radar mapping found that its bottom is the lowest point on the moon.
  • Mare Smythii (Feb 09) - Ancient impact basin on the equator near the eastern limb of the moon. Theorists say its impact could have caused the moon to shift the face it points towards the Earth.
  • Reiner Gamma - Most famous of the mysterious "lunar swirls".
  • Mare Ingenii - Famous mysterious "lunar swirl" on the far side of the Moon. Contain the second identified lunar pits.

The Moon in the News (2007)

Static Electricity A Hazard (Apr 2007)

Early Soviet Lunar Photoes Reprocessed (May 2007)

Reprocessed images of images by Luna 3 and Zond 3 reveal details of the Dark Side of the Moon.

Russian Missions in the News

Lunokhod 1 Rover in the News

Lazer Beams Reflected off Rover (Jun 2010)

Chinese Missions in the News

Chang'e-1 in the News

Chang'e-1 to Impact the Moon (Jan 2009)

Chang'e-1 Impacts the Moon (Mar 2009)

China To Complete Hi Res Map of Moon (Aug 2009)

Science Team to Study Data (Jul 2010)

Japanese Missions in the News

Kaguya in the News

Global LALT Map Created (Feb 2009)

- Highest point is Dririchlet-Jackson basin, lowest point is Antoniada crater

Four Kaguya Science Papers (Feb 2009)

1) Lunar Radar Sounder Observations of Subsurface Layers under the Nearside Maria* of the Moon 2) Farside Gravity Field of the Moon from the Four-way Doppler Measurements of the SELENE (Kaguya) 3) The Lunar Global Shape and Polar Topography Derived from Kaguya-LALT Laser Altimetry 4) The Long-lived Volcanism on the Lunar Farside Revealed by the SELENE Terrain Camera

First Far Side Gravity Map Produced (Feb 2009)

Kaguya Crashes Into Moon (Jun-Aug 2009)

Kaguya to Crash Into the Moon (Jun 2009)
SMART-1 Team Maps Kaguya's Future Impact Site (Jun 2009)
Kaguya Crashes Into Moon (Jun 2009)
Pre-Impact Photos Released (Jun 2009)
3D Movie of Kaguya's Crash Created (Jun 2009)

Kaguya Science Results (Jun-Aug 2009)

Uranium Found on the Moon by Kaguya (Jul 2009)
Japan's Mission Complete, Fails to Find Water (Jul 2009)

Uranium Map Shows Scarce Uranium (Jun 2010)

Olivine Found in Rocks Excavated by Craters (Jul 2010)

Indian Missions in the News

Chandrayaan-1 In the News

Iron Bearing Minerals Found at Oriental Basin (Dec 08)

First Images to be Released (Dec 2008)

Mission Could Last More than 2 Years (Jan 2009)

Resolution and Scope Touted (Jan 2009)

Experimental Radar Peers Into South Polar Haworth Crater (Jan 2009)

Detects X-Rays from the Moon (Jan 2009)

First Review of Science by ISRO(Jan 2009)

Thoughts of the Impactor (Jan 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 in Orbit 100 Days (Jan 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Confirms Lunar Highlands Formed in a Magma Ocean (Apr 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Orbit Raised (May 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Finds Water Ice at North Polar Areas (Apr-May 2009)

Joint Chandrayaan-1 and LRO Mission (Aug-Sep 2009)

Before Joint Mission (Aug 2009)
Space probes fly in tandem to search for lunar water (Aug 2009)
Tandem Moon Observations Failed (Sep 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Loses Contact (Sep 2009)

Aftermath of Chandrayaan-1 Failure (Sep 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Supports Lunar Magma Ocean Hypothesis (Sep 2009)

Chandrayaan-1 Found Evidence for Apollo 15 (Sep 2009)

Global Partners Pleased by Science Results (Sep 2009)

Failure Caused by Heat Issues, Was Covered Up (Sep 2009)

Underground Chamber Found (Feb 2011)


Chandrayaan-II In the News

Chandrayaan-II To be launched by 2013 (Jul 2009)

NASA Map Will Guide Mission (Jan 2011)

European Missions in the News

Lunar Lander Mission in the News

Technology Being Developed (May 2011)

American Missions in the News

Apollo Missions in the News

Seismometers Prove Moon Has a Core (Jan 2011)

Lunar Prospector in the News

British Team Shows Ice Most Likely in Polar Regions (Dec 2008)

LCROSS In the News

LRO and LCROSS Sent to the Moon (Jun-Aug 2009)

Pre-Launch Activities (Jun 2009)
LRO and LCROSS Launched (Jun 2009)
LCROSS Completes Lunar Swingby (Jun 2009)

First Images from LCROSS (Jun 2009)

NASA's LCROSS's Centaur to Impact Lunar Pole to Find Water (Aug 2009)

Sodium Found in Moon Water (Feb 2011)


Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in the News

LRO Completes Thermal Vacuum Tests (Dec 2008)

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Orbit (Jun 2009)

First Photos from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Released (Jul 2009)

General Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Articles (Jul 2009)

LEND Finds Hydrogen in Cold and Hot Places (Sep 2009)

Lunar Explorer Neutron Detector

LAMP Ultraviolet Polar Mapping Begins (Sep 2009)

Lyman Alpha Mapping Project

DLRE Makes Global Temparature Map - Poles Coldest in SS (Sep 2009)

At Moon for 1 Year (Jul 2010)

Laser Map Sheds Light on Far Side (Dec 2010)

See Montes Apenninus, Montes Caucasus and Mare Serenitatis

Zoomable Collage for Public Created (Feb 2011)

See http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc_browse/view/wac_nearside


Final Exploration Phase Data Set Released (Mar 2011)

Best Far Side Pictures Taken (Mar 2011)

Best Lunar Map Created (Apr 2011)

Laser Map of Moon Reveals Slopes (May 2011)

LRO Declared a Full Mission Success (Jun 2011)

Sunrise Photo of Tycho's Crater (Jul 2011)

Silica Volcanoes Found on Far Side (Jul 2011)

Strange Crater May be Crashed Lunar Probe (Jul 2011)

Moves in Closer, Will Take Better Apollo Site Images (Aug 2011)

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) in the News

Lunar Dust Analyser to be Built (Jan 2009)

Sodium Found in Moon Water by LCROSS (Feb 2011)


ARTEMIS in the News

Reach Lunar Orbit (Jul 2011)

Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) in the News

Rising Launch Prices Jeopardizes Future Planetary Missions (Dec 2011)

See Mars for Curiosity Rover, Jupiter for Juno Orbiter, and Moon for GRAIL

Year of the Solar System (Feb 2011)

See also Comet 103P/Hartley 2, Sun, Comet 9P/Tempel 1, Mercury, Vesta, Ceres, Jupiter, Moon, Mars

Finishing Touches (Feb 2011)

Lockheed Martin Finishing GRAIL Spacecraft (May 2011)

Launch Approaching (Jul-Aug 2011)

Grail's Cost Saving Measures an Example (Jun 2011)

See Mercury for Messenger, Europa, Titan for Titan Mare Explorer

Mated to Launch Vehicle (Aug 2011)

MoonRise in the News (Apr 2011)

NASA Decadal Survey Town Hall Approaching (Apr 2011)

See also Mars, Europa, Uranus, Venus, Moon

Private Industry Missions in the News

Google Lunar X Prize

Moon Express in the News (GLXP)

Moon Express Demo Scrubbed (Jul 2011)

Lunar Studies in the News

Lunar Dust Studies

Goddard to Investigate "Stormy" Moon (Feb 2009)

Lunar Dust Stickiness Varies By Sun Ray Angles(Apr 2009)

Moon Dust Not as Strange as Hoped (Sep 2009)

Deadly Solar Winds (May 2010)

Lunar Craters May be Electrified (May 2010)

Origin of Moon's Nitrogen in Dirt (May 2010)

Fountains of Moondust Jet Into Sky (Jul 2010)

Apollo Rocks Studies

Apollo Rocks Still Studied (Feb 2009)

General 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Science (Jul 2009)

Water found in Apollo samples (Jul 2010)

Graphite Whiskers Found in Moon Rocks (Jul 2010)

Lunar Water From Comets (Jan 2011)

Moon Contains as Much Interior Water as the Earth (May 2011)

Volatiles found in crystals in volcanic rocks. Planetary embryo collision formation theory called into question.

Moon May be Younger Than Previously Believed (Aug 2011)

Rocks thought to be from the Moon's oldest crust (ferroan anorthosites) shown to be younger than previously believed. This places its surface at 4.36 BY old, much closer to the 4.4 BY age of the oldest rocks found on Earth. This is 200 MY after formation of the solar system, much younger than Mars or largest asteroids. Alternately, the moon may never have had a magma ocean or the rocks may not represent the Moons oldest rocks.

Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project

Created (May 2011)

Lunar Water Studies

Moon Has 100 Times as Much Water (Jun 2010)

Lunar Swirls

What Lunar Swirls Aren't (Mar 2011)

see Reiner Gamma, Mare Ingenii

Mysterious Swirls on the Moon (Jul 2011)


Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP)

Lunar Orbiter 1 Earthrise Picture Restored (Mar 2009)

"Picture of the Century" Shot of Copernicus Crater Restored (Mar 2009)

Misc

LOIRP Releases Ocean of Storms Images (Jun 2009)

LOIRP Releases Restored Lunar South Pole Images (Aug 2009)


Moon Simulators at Hawaii (Jan 2009)

Lunar Rock Suggests Moon Had a Magnetic Field (Jan 2009)

Zircon Dates Lunar Crust (Jan 2009)

Impacts May Have Spun Moon Around (Feb 2009)

New Lunar Facts From the Current Missions (Feb 2009)

Age of "Hidden" Craters Sought (Mar 2009)

Stereo Spacecraft to Search L3 and L4 Positions for Remnants of Theia (Apr 2009)

New Software Renders What Past and Future Lunar Eclipses Would Look Like (Jun 2009)

Shattered Dwarf Planet May Have Caused Impacts on Moon Etc (Jun 2009)

Lunar Craters Most Likely Comets (Jul 2009)

UT Researchers Find Water on Outside and Inside of Moon (Jul 2010)

Moon Pits and Lava Tubes (Jul 2010)

Moon Pits May be Water Traps (Mar 2011)

Simulations Show Second Moon May Have Collided With Far Side (Aug 2011)

Lunar Photography

Photo of Most Planets From Near Mercury (Feb 2011)

See Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Solar Dynamics Observatory Shows Mountains on Moon During Eclipse (Apr 2011)


Feature Articles

Moon: A Brief History Review (Jan 2011)

Earth and Moon Interaction Studies

Earthshine Varies by Rotation (Apr 2009)

Life Could Exist Without Moon (Aug 2011)


Lunar Factoids

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