5 Strange, Cool Things We've Recently Learned About the Moon

Live Science | 7/16/2019 | Staff
leeann77 (Posted by) Level 3
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It's been almost 50 years since a human first set foot on the moon. Since then, our knowledge about Earth's closest neighbor has improved by leaps and bounds, and our obsession with it has never waned. Witness some of the most amazing images of the moon ever recorded and be reminded of the significant influence of our moon in BBC America's new documentary "Wonders of the Moon," premiering Friday, July 19 at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m. CDT. As the world begins its commemoration of the awe-inspiring first walk on the lunar surface, let's review five of the most recent and fascinating scientific findings about the moon.

A stunning shot of the 2017 total solar eclipse as soon from the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Water - Moon

1. There is water on the moon, and it jumps around.

In 2009, data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) led to the discovery of water on the moon locked up in ice. A recent upgrade to the orbiter, called the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), has allowed scientists to take a closer look at the water on the lunar surface. LAMP has revealed that water molecules move around the moon as the lunar surface warms and cools throughout the day.

Water - Moon - Surface - Lunar - Midday

Water remains stuck on the moon's surface until the lunar midday, when some of the water melts and heats up enough to lift into the moon's delicate atmosphere. The water floats around a bit until it reaches an area cool enough to make it settle back down to the surface.

2. There's an enormous, dense blob of metal below the surface of the moon's south pole.

Deep - Moon - South - Pole-Aitken - Basin

Deep below the moon's South Pole-Aitken basin (the largest preserved impact crater anywhere in the solar system), researchers have detected a gargantuan "anomaly" of heavy metal lodged in the...
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