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Old 12-28-2015, 05:40 AM   #286
Andy44
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Originally Posted by Unstung View Post
That is a stunning photograph. Kudos to the people who reconstructed it from the instrument data.

For anyone who didn't follow Unstung's link, I recommend you do so, and scroll down to the high-res version that you can zoom in on.

I now have a new wallpaper.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:14 AM   #287
Nicholas Kang
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Default NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Survived 2014 Meteoroid Hit

NASA: Camera on NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Survived 2014 Meteoroid Hit

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On Oct.13, 2014 something very strange happened to the camera aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which normally produces beautifully clear images of the lunar surface, produced an image that was wild and jittery. From the sudden and jagged pattern apparent in the image, the LROC team determined that the camera must have been hit by a tiny meteoroid, a small natural object in space.


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The first wild back-and-forth line records the moment on October 13, 2014 when the left Narrow Angle Camera's radiator was struck by a meteoroid. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University
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Using a detailed computer model, the LROC team ran simulations to see if they could reproduce the distortions seen on the Oct. 13 image and determine the size of the meteoroid that hit the camera. They estimate the impacting meteoroid would have been about half the size of a pinhead (0.8 millimeter), assuming a velocity of about 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) per second and a density of an ordinary chondrite meteorite (2.7 grams/cm3).


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The Narrow Angle Camera sits on a bench in the clean room at Malin Space Science Systems. The radiator (right) extends off the electronics end and keeps the sensor cool while imaging the moon. Computer modeling shows the meteoroid impacted somewhere on the radiator.
Credits: Malin Space Science Systems/Arizona State University
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“LROC was struck and survived to keep exploring the moon,” says Mark Robinson, principal investigator of LROC, “thanks to Malin Space Science Systems’ robust camera design.”

“Since the impact presented no technical problems for the health and safety of the instrument, the team is only now announcing this event as a fascinating example of how engineering data can be used, in ways not previously anticipated, to understand what is happening to the spacecraft over 236,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) from the Earth," said John Keller, LRO project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:35 AM   #288
boogabooga
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Interesting that we are only hearing about this now.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:05 AM   #289
jroly
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I wonder how long an Earth satellite would last in retrograde orbit around Earth with all the crap flying around there.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:36 AM   #290
Nicholas Kang
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Default Water everywhere!

On Second Thought, the Moon's Water May Be Widespread and Immobile

A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon’s water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it’s not necessarily easily accessible.

The findings could help researchers understand the origin of the Moon’s water and how easy it would be to use as a resource. If the Moon has enough water, and if it’s reasonably convenient to access, future explorers might be able to use it as drinking water or to convert it into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel or oxygen to breathe.

“We find that it doesn’t matter what time of day or which latitude we look at, the signal indicating water always seems to be present,” said Joshua Bandfield, a senior research scientist with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the new study published in Nature Geoscience. “The presence of water doesn’t appear to depend on the composition of the surface, and the water sticks around.”



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If the Moon has enough water, and if it's reasonably convenient to access, future explorers might be able to use it as a resource. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

The results contradict some earlier studies, which had suggested that more water was detected at the Moon’s polar latitudes and that the strength of the water signal waxes and wanes according to the lunar day (29.5 Earth days). Taking these together, some researchers proposed that water molecules can “hop” across the lunar surface until they enter cold traps in the dark reaches of craters near the north and south poles.

The new finding of widespread and relatively immobile water suggests that it may be present primarily as OH, a more reactive relative of H2O that is made of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom. OH, also called hydroxyl, doesn’t stay on its own for long, preferring to attack molecules or attach itself chemically to them. Hydroxyl would therefore have to be extracted from minerals in order to be used.

The research also suggests that any H2O present on the Moon isn’t loosely attached to the surface.

The researchers are still discussing what the findings tell them about the source of the Moon’s water. The results point toward OH and/or H2O being created by the solar wind hitting the lunar surface, though the team didn’t rule out that OH and/or H2O could come from the Moon itself, slowly released from deep inside minerals where it has been locked since the Moon was formed.
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