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Exploring the Moon with NASA

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NASA Lunar Science Institute Director of Communication ... lunar topographic data through laser altimetry ... type of atmosphere in the solar system ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Exploring the Moon with NASA


1
Exploring the Moon with NASA Lunar Workshop June
8, 2012 Brian Day LADEE Mission E/PO Lead NASA
Lunar Science Institute Director of Communication
Outreach Brian.H.Day_at_nasa.gov
2
A new generation of robotic lunar explorers is
revolutionizing our understanding of the Moon.
LCROSS
LRO
ARTEMIS
GRAIL
LADEE
3
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
  • LROC image and map the lunar surface in
    unprecedented detail
  • LOLA provide precise global lunar topographic
    data through laser altimetry
  • LAMP remotely probe the Moons permanently
    shadowed regions
  • CRaTER - characterize the global lunar radiation
    environment
  • DIVINER measure lunar surface temperatures
    map compositional variations
  • LEND measure neutron flux to study hydrogen
    concentrations in lunar soil

4
Apollo 14 Landing Site Imaged by LRO
5
You Can Help Explore the Moon!
Visit http//cosmoquest.org/mappers/moon/ to see
how you can help explore the images from LRO.
6
You Can Help Explore the Moon!
Visit http//www.moonzoo.org/ to see how you can
help explore the images from LRO.
7
Lobate Scarps The Shrinking Moon
These cliffs occur across the Moon. They tell a
story of the Moon shrinking as it cools. As the
Moon shrinks, its surface buckles, forming these
scarps. In some cases, the scarps lie on top of
craters, showing the scarps are younger than the
craters.
8
Moonquakes A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On
  • Deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface,
    probably caused by tides.
  • Vibrations from the impact of meteorites.
  • Thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the
    frigid crust when first illuminated by the Sun at
    dawn.
  • Shallow moonquakes 20 or 30 kilometers below the
    surface. Up to magnitude 5.5 and over 10
    minutes duration! We dont know their cause.

9
Gravity Recovery and Interior LaboratoryGRAIL
  • Launched Sept 10, 2011.
  • Two spacecraft flying in orbit around the Moon
    together.
  • Mapping the interior of the Moon from core to
    crust.

10
ARTEMIS
  • Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and
    Electrodynamics of the Moons Interaction with
    the Sun
  • Consists of two orbiters, ARTEMIS-P1 ARTEMIS
    P2, formerly part of the THEMIS mission.
  • Mission will study how solar wind electrifies,
    alters and erodes the Moon's surface.
  • Could provide valuable clues to the origin of
    the lunar atmosphere.

11
Lunar Atmosphere?
  • Yes, but very thin! A cubic centimeter of Earth's
    atmosphere at sea level contains about 1019
    molecules. That same volume just above the Moon's
    surface contains only about 100,000 to a few
    million molecules.
  • It glows most strongly from atoms of sodium.
    However, that is probably a minor constituent. We
    still do not know its composition.

12
A Dusty Lunar Sky?
In 1968, NASA's Surveyor 7 moon lander
photographed a strange "horizon glow" looking
toward the daylight terminator. Observations are
consistent with sunlight scattered from
electrically-charged moondust floating just above
the lunar surface.
13
A Dusty Lunar Sky?
More possible evidence for dust came from the
Apollo missions.
14
Exospheres and Dust
Surface Boundary Exospheres (SBEs) may be the
most common type of atmosphere in the solar
system
Large Asteroids KBOs
Mercury
Moon
Evidence of dust motion on Eros and the Moon....
Europa other Icy satellites
Io
Eros
Delory, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
12-16-09
15
LADEE
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer
  • Determine the global density, composition, and
    time variability of the fragile lunar atmosphere
    before it is perturbed by further human
    activity.
  • Determine the size, charge, and spatial
    distribution of electrostatically transported
    dust grains.
  • Test laser communication capabilities.
  • Demonstrate a low-cost lunar mission
  • Simple multi-mission modular bus design
  • Low-cost launch vehicle

16
LADEE Mission Profile
  • Launch in 2013 from Wallops Flight Facility in
    Virginia.
  • LADEE will be the first mission to fly on the new
    Minotaur V rocket.
  • Once it gets to the Moon and settles into its
    working orbit, it will conduct a 100-day science
    mission at 20-75km.

17
LADEE and Lunar Impacts
We think meteoroid impacts may be one of the
major sources of the lunar atmosphere and dust.
Observations of the flashes of meteoroid impacts
on the Moon can be made using 8 to 14 inch
diameter telescopes, the kind of telescopes that
some schools and many amateur telescopes have
These observations could be very valuable to the
LADEE mission.
http//www.nasa.gov/offices/meo/outreach/lunar_imp
act_monitoring_detail.html
18
  • Meteor Counting
  • Even if you dont have a telescope, you can still
    participate in the science of the LADEE mission!
  • The vast majority of meteoroids impacting the
    Moon are too small to be observable from Earth.
  • Small meteoroids encountering the Earths
    atmosphere can result in easily-observable
    meteors.
  • Conducting counts of meteors during the LADEE
    mission will allow us to estimate what is
    happening on the Moon at that time.

Image creditNASA/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime
Yano
19
http//meteorcounter.com/
20
  • Participatory Exploration - Student Telemetry
    Team
  • Directly involving thousands of students around
    the world in the mission.
  • Extension of GAVRT Goldstone Apple Valley Radio
    Telescope run by Lewis Center for Educational
    Research.
  • Students can remotely operate 34m Deep Space
    Network Goldstone dishes from their classrooms to
    track and monitor status of the LADEE spacecraft
    in flight.
  • http//www.lewiscenter.org/gavrt/

21
  • International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN)
  • World-wide celebration of the Moon and lunar
    science.
  • Events held at NASA centers, museums, and
    schools.
  • InOMN 2010 and 2011 each featured over 500 events
    in more than 50 countries.
  • InOMN 2012 will occur on Saturday, September 22.
  • NASA programming streamed to local events.
  • Visit http//www.observethemoonnight.org/ to find
    an event near you or to learn how to conduct
    your own event.

22
Questions
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