Exploring the Moon - Sally Ride Science

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Exploring the Moon - Sally Ride Science

Explore the Moon Workshop

Explore the Moon Workshop

Water brought to the moon by impacts has recently been discovered. The intense heat of a lunar day creates volatile H2O. These ions are held near the ground by the moon's gravity but eventually settle in cold tracks where the sun does not shine. This is helped by the moon's small tilt of 1.5 degrees to the ecliptic. In the 90s Prospector searched for flux of ions which could be from heavy water. Scientists knew there was Hydrogen but not sure about water. The target for possible water is the Shakelton Crater at the moon's South Pole. Using a radiometer, Diviner could measure temps from 35K to 400K. The topography of this crater was mapped using lasers. It is lighter than surroundings so it is possible there is ice! And where there is water--life!? The lunar interior has no water from it's initial formation from it's meld with planet Earth. Apollo 17 found no water, the rocks have no rust. In 2007 Elberto used instruments of higher sensitivity reported 745 pp H2O. Initially no one believed him. But more and more reports came in from other scientists. Molecular H2O, OH are in the upper few mm. 1 ton of regolith heated to 700o can give 1L of water. Now we are developing another research--GRAIL. Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory. GRAIL will measure the earth's gravity using the concept of Doppler Shift (the difference in a sound's frequency depending on whether it is approaching or moving away. Two satellites will traverse the moon (necessary because of the farside of the moon)--one right behind the other. As the first satellite encounters a large mass concentration (mascon) it will speed up and move ahead of the 2nd satellite. This will be determined by a change in radio frequency. Then as it leaves the mascon it will slow down, and yet the 2nd satellite will still be accelerated and will move closer to the 1st. Measurements will be accurate to the micron level. On board, will also be 5 cameras just for education. Students will be able to request that a certain latitude, longitude is photographed--it will take a few hours but the down link time is limited so more like a week or two before students will get photo. Launch is planned for September 2010 with 3 months alloted for travel time. This will save fuel and give engineers time to work with GRAIL before getting to the moon. (We can actually get to the moon in 10 hours, but if we go too fast we shoot right past it!)

New Moon

Old Moon, New Moon - Dr. Maria Zuber, Principle Investigator

Two million years ago humans were looking at the stars. But not until the 60s, after several failed flybys, did we get our first picture by the spacecraft Ranger. Apollo 12 brought back remnants of Surveyor 3 complete with microbes which had survived the extremes of lunar living for 5 years. Rocks brought back from the moon were commonly anorthosite with plagioclase and feldspar. High in aluminum, no iron, or magnesium. Not dark. This makes up much of the lunar crust. Take the mantle and melt to get basalt, melt basalt and the heavier Mg, Fe fall out and we are left with the white rock. Marias are basaltic remains of eruption after the moon's surface cooled. An old surface, the more craters, the older the rocks there. Earth also bombarded by meteorites has had its craters mostly eroded away. But on the moon the only erosion is by another meteorite impact. Satellite pictures still show the lunar lander from Apollo 14 and the tracks of astronauts, but not their golf ball. Parts of the moon is saturated with craters--any new crater must obliviate an old one. The kinetic energy of these impacts has transferred energy to the moon.

Old Moon

How High Is It?--Altitude distance comprehension: from lowest to highest--propeller aircraft, Cumulus clouds or Mt Everest, cirrus clouds, jets, weather balloons, meteors, orbitor, ISS, Hubble, moon. Next actitvity: How many moon facts can you write down in 2 minutes? Do you know where we got 360o? The Babylonian calendar had 360 days. Each month has a certain moon. Pictures can be seen in the moon such as a beetle, girl, rabbit, and face. Use yellow rope to depict size of sun, have scale models of all the planets.

Clementine has mapped the minerals on the moon, using different colors for each mineral. Scientists use reflectance spectroscopy, the light which is reflected. Rocks found on the moon are olivine, anothosite, and basalt. Every rock which is collected is taken with a picture next to a cube. The cube has a T for top and W for west and is 1cm by 1cm. Mapping of the moon is done by Target in thin strips. Chandrayann-1 worked for 18 months before it was fried by a solar flare. Uses a 3D spectromoter, blue is for water, green is surface brightness, red is iron, pyroxenes, basalt are found in the mares. Lava can flow 6 times further because gravity is 6 times less.

Lunar Geology

Lunar and Meteorite Certification

Geology of the Moon - Dr. Cass Runyon

First a pretest on moon phases. Then show 1st qtr with playdoh. Moon phase work sheet Students color lit up side of moon, then they mark out the farside. Label terminator and limb. Moon madness flip chart. Make a ring around a bright light. (Consider light from PowerPoint) . Place smooth styrofoam ball on a stick for the moon between face and light for new moon. Notice how the moon gets larger as it gets further from the sun. When the light is on the right the moon is getting bright. When the moon is on the left, there will soon be nothing left. Point out eclipses. Point out fallacy of straight up and down phot--there is actually a tilt to the moons revolution. Picture of moon at perigee and apogee. Take a post-test.

Sally Ride started the Earth KAM (Knowledge Acquired by Middleschoolers) to help with STEM skills. With a picture of the moon you can learn scales distance. Measure the photo--~150mm, is really 700 m. Scale is 4.6. The crater is 5mm so it is actually 23 m; the 10mm crater is 46m. Put students in a row with each a yard of yarn to show this distance. Make a circle. Have students break up sections of moon picture and have students determine percentage of cratered area. Show student Earth and Moon and ask them how far apart they are. Go to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter website for pictures.

MoonKAM

Moon Phases

Lunar and Meteorite Certification -Dr. Wil Robertson

Lunar and Meteorite Certification -Dr. Wil Robertson

Explore the Moon Workshop

Exploring Lunar Images -Dr. Karen Flammer Julie Miller

Email: jsc-curation-education-disks@mail.nasa.gov

Old Moon, New Moon - Dr. Maria Zuber, Principle Investigator

Geology of the Moon - Dr. Cass RunyonDr. Cass Runyon

Exploring Lunar Images -Dr. Karen Flammer Julie Miller

It's Just a Phase -Leesa Hubbard

It's Just a Phase -Leesa Hubbard

9/10/11 Launch!

Uhuru on GRAIL


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