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1 July 2020
How to design continents for maximum tides
A new study simulates ocean tides on imaginary Earth-like worlds, revealing the limits of topography’s influence on tidal energy
2 January 2020
Research sheds light on the Moon’s dark craters
The next wave of robots to fly to Mars in 2020 could offer scientists an unprecedented understanding of Earth’s closest neighboring planet. But there are still mysteries to be solved much closer to home, on Earth’s own Moon.
16 October 2019
Ancient Moon rock provides evidence of giant lunar impact 4.3 billion years ago
An Apollo 16 lunar rock sample shows evidence of intense meteorite bombardment on the Moon 4.3 billion years ago, according to new research. The results provide new insights for the Moon’s early history, showing lunar impacts were common throughout the Moon’s formation than previously thought.
23 September 2019
New study complicates theory that ancient impact pierced Moon’s crust
A new study finds the crater’s crust mainly consists of a common lunar crustal mineral not detected in earlier analyses. The new results suggest the basin floor may not have exposed lunar mantle material as previously reported. “We are not seeing the mantle materials at the (Chang’E 4) landing site as expected,” said Hao Zhang, a planetary scientist at the China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China, and a co-author of the new study.
6 August 2019
Moonquakes tumble boulders, build lunar scarps
The Apollo Moon buggies weren’t the only things rolling over the Moon’s surface in the early 1970s. New research has found that a strong moonquake in 1975 probably sent boulders tumbling down crater walls on our nearest neighbor.
18 April 2019
The Moon’s crust is really cracked
The bombardment of asteroids and meteoroids that pockmarked the Moon’s surface over the eons also created fractures reaching deep into the lunar crust, report researchers in a new study in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
11 April 2019
Extended winter polar vortices chill Saturn’s strangely familiar moon, Titan
Saturn’s hazy moon Titan has a long-lived Earth-like winter polar vortex supercharged by the moon’s peculiar chemistry. A new study finds Titan’s northern hemisphere polar vortex sticks around past the moon’s summer solstice, into what would be late June on Earth, lasting three-quarters of a Titan year, or about 22 Earth years.
24 October 2018
Researchers describe likely origin of perfect lines on Saturn’s moon
Strange features on Saturn’s moon Dione resembling lines of latitude on a map could be the result of space dust crashing onto Dione’s surface, according to a new study. The streaks have puzzled scientists because of their orientation and straightness, but a new study finds these features, deemed linear virgae, likely originated from low-velocity impacts of space debris from within the Saturn system or beyond.
6 September 2018
Mysterious ‘lunar swirls’ point to moon’s volcanic, magnetic past
The mystery behind lunar swirls, one of the solar system’s most beautiful optical anomalies, may finally be solved thanks to a joint Rutgers University and University of California Berkeley study. The solution hints at the dynamism of the moon’s ancient past as a place with volcanic activity and an internally generated magnetic field. It also challenges our picture of the moon’s existing geology.
6 June 2018
Scientists solve lunar mystery with aid of missing Moon tapes
After eight years spent recovering lost Moon data from the Apollo missions, scientists report in a new study they’ve solved a decades-old mystery of why the Moon’s subsurface warmed slightly during the 1970s. Scientists have wondered about the cause of the warming since soon after the Apollo missions started, when astronauts deployed probes on the Moon to measure the heat coming from its interior. The lost data tapes recovered by the scientists filled in a record gap during the 1970s and helped the researchers pinpoint the source of the warming as the Apollo astronauts themselves.