Planetary Science Research Discoveries

Planetary scientists sharing ideas and discoveries.

Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) is an educational site sharing the latest research by NASA-sponsored scientists on meteorites, asteroids, planets, moons, and other materials in our Solar System. The website is supported by the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and by Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium and is a vital link for planetary and space sciences, and for learning how science works.

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In 2019, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing (July 20, 1969), PSRD celebrates the collection of lunar samples returned to Earth. Read highlights of research and analyses of Apollo samples that increase our knowledge of the Moon, Earth, and our Solar System from the PSRD collection.

Click the story title to read the article. The archive holds all articles in our collection.

» Scientific Discoveries from the Apollo 11 Mission

(Posted July 16, 2019)

Link to article: Scientific Discoveries from Apollo 11. The Apollo 11 mission showed that the Moon formed hot, that it was magmatically active for at least 800 million years, and that the surface-blanket of dusty rubble contains a treasure trove of evidence of how the Moon formed.
      You can also download a pdf version. pdf version   PSRD-Apollo11-discoveries.pdf

» Lunar Samples Collected Up There and Down Here

(Posted July 19, 2019)

Link to article: Lunar Samples Collected Up There and Down Here. Apollo lunar samples and lunar meteorites help us understand not only the Moon and Earth, but also fundamental processes in our Solar System.
      You can also download a pdf version. pdf version   PSRD-lunar-samples.pdf

» Recipe for Making H2O in the Lunar Regolith: Implant Solar Wind Hydrogen and Heat with Micrometeorite Impacts

(Posted July 12, 2019)

Link to article: Water in lunar regolith. Laboratory experiments simulating space weathering on the Moon show that water can be produced by rapid heating caused by micrometeorite impacts on grains implanted with hydrogen from the Sun.
      You can also download a pdf version. pdf version   PSRD-water-lunar-regolith.pdf

Six recent Headline articles. The archive holds all articles in our collection.


» Active Asteroids
Researchers document the stunning effects of disintegrating asteroids to learn more about their dusty debris tails and the processes causing them to happen.

» Volatile Elements Test Models for the Origin of the Moon
Volatile elements that concentrate in metallic iron elucidate the processes that operated during formation and initial differentiation of the Moon.

» The Complicated Origin of Earth's Water
Water delivery and redistribution to Earth was a complicated business with hydrogen coming from chondritic and solar nebular sources.

» Better Know A Meteorite Collection: Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow, Russia
PSRD highlights places and people around the world who play central roles in caring for and analyzing meteorites.

A link to the archive holding all articles in our collection about the Moon and lunar sample research and discoveries.


CosmoSparks--quick views of big advances. Click here for access to all reports in the series.

In this series of reports PSRD gives quick views of big advances in planetary sciences, with links to further details.

» Solar Wind Interactions with a Lunar Paleo-magnetosphere  -- Modeling results indicate that interaction of a lunar paleo-magnetosphere with the early solar wind affected the competing processes of implantation, accumulation, and space weathering of solar wind H+ on the lunar surface.

» New Mineral: Edscottite  -- New iron carbide mineral, Fe5C2, identified in iron meteorite is named after Dr. Edward R. D. Scott.

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See what PSRD is doing at these media links.

PSRDpresents slide sets with notes
This section of PSRD contains annotated slide sets that are associated with our headline articles. We hope you find the slides useful for your own talks and presentations.

Instruments of Cosmochemistry
In this series of articles PSRD highlights the essential tools and amazing technology used by talented scientists seeking to unravel how the solar system formed.

General Resources
This section of PSRD contains links to great information about meteorites, planetary science, and classroom activities.

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