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Scents of Science

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Moon

Apollo 12: Self-Portrait

Is this image art? 50 years ago, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on Oceanus Procellarum. The featured image is dramatic and stark. The harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in Bean's helmet, a... Continue Reading →

Nobody Knows What Made the Moon’s Gargantuan Scar

Billions of years ago, something slammed into the dark side of the moon and carved out a very, very large hole. Stretching 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) wide and 8 miles (13 km) deep, the South Pole-Aitken basin, as the tremendous hole is known... Continue Reading →

Moon glows brighter than sun in images from NASA’s Fermi

If our eyes could see high-energy radiation called gamma rays, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! That's how NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen our neighbor in space for the past decade. Gamma-ray observations are not sensitive... Continue Reading →

How NASA Will Protect Astronauts From Space Radiation at the Moon

In a room filled with expansive computer screens and blinking lights at NASA’s Johnson Space Centerin Houston, scientists work daily shifts to monitor space weather conditions for astronauts on the space station. Known as space environment officers, they’re the lifeguards of... Continue Reading →

Earth Blue, Rocket Red and Lunar Silver: A New Identity for Artemis Program to the Moon

Artemis, named after the twin sister of Apollo who is also the Goddess of the Moon and the hunt, encompasses all of our efforts to return humans to the Moon – which will prepare us and propel us on to... Continue Reading →

Tranquility Base Panorama

On July 20, 1969 the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle safely touched down on the Moon. It landed near the southwestern corner of the Moon's Mare Tranquillitatis at a landing site dubbed Tranquility Base. This panoramic view of Tranquility Base was constructed from the historic photos... Continue Reading →

NASA’s LRO Sheds Light on Lunar Water Movement

Scientists, using an instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon. A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters describes how Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) measurements of the sparse layer... Continue Reading →

Plane Crossing a Crescent Moon

No, this is not a good way to get to the Moon. What is pictured is a chance superposition of an airplane and the Moon. The contrail would normally appear white, but the large volume of air toward the setting Sun preferentially knocks away blue... Continue Reading →

The Umbra of Earth

The dark, inner shadow of planet Earth is called the umbra. Shaped like a cone extending into space, it has a circular cross section most easily seen during a lunar eclipse. For example, on January 21 the Full Moon slid across the northern half... Continue Reading →

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