“The new [gravity map of the moon] created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“The researchers discovered that the volatile element zinc, which they call “a powerful tracer of the volatile histories of planets,” is severely depleted on the moon, along with most other similar elements. This led them to conclude that a “planetary-scale” evaporation event occurred in the moon’s history.” Quoted from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography press release.
An article in the Orlando Sentinel reports that NASA is interested in building a space station at the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 (a location where the gravitational pull of Earth and Moon are at equilibrium).
From the Nixon Library: “White House speechwriter, William Safire, was asked to write a speech that President Nixon would make in case the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.
It was never delivered, and this speech was quietly tucked away into Nixon’s records.”
NASA has published a .pdf document titled: “Exploring the Moon: a Teacher’s Guide with activities for Earth and Space Sciences”. It has lots of introductory content and several activities that can be done with students.
On Saturday the distance between the Moon and the Earth will be at a minimum at about 11:35 PM as the Moon makes its elliptical orbit around the earth. The moon will appear bigger and brighter than normal.
“Unexpected new findings by a University of Maryland team of geochemists show that some portions of the Earth’s mantle (the rocky layer between Earth’s metallic core and crust) formed when the planet was much smaller than it is now.” Quoted from the University of Maryland press release.
“New images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft show the moon’s crust is being stretched, forming minute valleys in a few small areas on the lunar surface. Scientists propose this geologic activity occurred less than 50 million years ago, which is considered recent compared to the moon’s age of more than 4.5 billion years.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Sand dunes are a dominant surface feature on Saturn’s moon Titan. They cover about 13% of the moon’s surface – an area about the same size as the United States. Instead of quartz sand the sand is a solid hydrocarbon!