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 Cosmochemistry Program 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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Archive of Moon Articles

Articles listed by publication date.

DATE POSTED

HEADLINE ARTICLES

PDF VERSIONS

DEC 2013 Titanium Variations in Mare Basalts at the Chang'e-3 Landing Site on the Moon
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - A look at the landing site of Yutu (Jade-Rabbit), China's Moon rover.
pdf link, mare basalts at the Chang'e-3 landing site
11 DEC 2013 The Igneous SPICEs Suite: Old Programs with a New Look
by Jesse D. Davenport
Long-established, reliable programs for calculating how magmas evolve have been given a facelift and used for modeling the crystallization of the lunar magma ocean.
pdf link, The Igneous SPICEs Suite of Programs
10 DEC 2012 Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Ratios of zinc isotopes indicate evaporation of zinc (and other volatiles) during formation of the Moon.
pdf link, Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon Formation
JULY 2012 Lunar Rock Densities
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Measuring rock properties of density and porosity for geophysical modeling of the Moon.
pdf link, Lunar Rock Densities
28 JUNE 2012 Leftovers from Ancient Lunar Impactors
by Linda M. V. Martel and G. Jeffrey Taylor
A systematic search for meteorite fragments in ancient regolith breccias confirms chondritic impactors on the Moon.
pdf link, Leftovers from Ancient Lunar Impactors
30 MAY 2012 Titanium Isotopes Provide Clues to Lunar Origin
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The titanium isotopic mix is essentially identical in Earth and Moon, important new information with implications for the origin of the planets.
pdf link, Titanium Isotopes Provide Clues to Lunar Origin
DEC 2011 It's Not All Basalt on the Moon: Another Kind of Volcanic Rock
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Looking at non-mare silicic volcanism.
pdf link, It's Not All Basalt on the Moon: Another Kind of Volcanic Rock
8 AUG 2011 Crystallizing the Lunar Magma Ocean
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lab experiments help test ideas for the Moon's chemical composition and how its crust formed.
pdf link, Crystallizing the Lunar Magma Ocean
JUNE 2011 Looking After and Preserving NASA's Extraterrestrial Samples
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - The work of NASA's Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office.
pdf link, Looking After and Preserving NASA's Extraterrestrial Samples
OCT 2010 An Icy Treat
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Water ice confirmed on the Moon.
pdf link, An Icy Treat
30 SEPT 2010 Unraveling the Origin of the Lunar Highlands Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
Lunar meteorites contain clasts that may plausibly be samples of post-magma-ocean plutons that helped build the highlands crust.
pdf link, Unraveling the Origin of the Lunar Highlands Crust
AUG 2010 Putting a Damper on the Damp Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
CosmoSparks Report - Measurements of chlorine isotopes in lunar samples.
pdf link, Putting a Damper on the Damp Moon
1 JULY 2010 Damp Moon Rising
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists find more evidence for water inside the Moon, showing that it is not the bone-dry place we thought.
pdf link, Damp Moon Rising
17 FEB 2010 How Young is the Lunar Crater Giordano Bruno?
by Linda M. V. Martel
High-resolution images are used to determine how recently this crater formed, a mere 832 years ago or over a million years ago.
pdf link, How Young is the Lunar Crater Giordano Bruno?
21 DEC 09 Celebrated Moon Rocks
by Linda M. V. Martel
Overview and status of the Apollo lunar collection: A unique, but limited, resource of extraterrestrial material.
pdf link, Celebrated Moon Rocks
18 SEPT 09 The Growing Diversity of Lunar Basalts
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A lunar basaltic meteorite adds complexity to the already complicated story of mare basalt volcanism on the Moon.
pdf link, The Growing Diversity of Lunar Basalts
25 MAR 09 Time to Solidify an Ocean of Magma
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A small mineral grain places limits on how long it took the lunar magma ocean to solidify.
pdf link, Time to Solidify an Ocean of Magma
27 JAN 09 The Crazy Mixed-Up Lunar Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
The horizontal and vertical distribution of well-mixed basin ejecta has lunar-wide geochemical ramifications.
pdf link, The Crazy Mixed-Up Lunar Crust
22 SEPT 08 The Bone-Dry Moon Might be Damp
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists have written in stone that the Moon is almost totally devoid of water, but new analyses of volcanic glasses suggest that they need to do some editing.
pdf link, The Bone-Dry Moon Might be Damp
29 APRIL 08 A Farside Geochemical Window into the Moon
by Linda M. V. Martel
Findings show geochemical enhancements in the Dewar region are caused by thorium-rich mare basalt fragments in the regolith.
pdf link, Farside Geochemical Window into the Moon
22 FEB 08 Compositional Balancing Before Moon Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The identical oxygen isotopic composition of Earth and Moon might be explained by exchange of material between the proto-Earth and the surrounding proto-lunar disk.
pdf link, Compositional Balancing Before Moon Formation
19 DEC 07 Chips Off an Old Lava Flow
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lunar meteorite Kalahari 009 contains fragments of basalt about 4.35 billion years old, a record-breaking old age for mare basalt.
pdf link, Chips Off an Old Lava Flow
19 JUNE 07 Oxidants from Pulverized Minerals
by Linda M. V. Martel
Laboratory measurements of hydrogen peroxide produced from crushed basaltic minerals immersed in water have important implications for Martian and lunar dust.
pdf link, Oxidants from Pulverized Minerals
3 APRIL 07 Two Views of the Moon's Composition
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
There is a striking dichotomy in estimates of the abundance of refractory elements in the Moon.
pdf link, Two Views of the Moon's Composition
8 NOV 06 Recent Gas Escape from the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Gases may have escaped from the Moon as recently as a million years ago, implying that the lunar interior is not as lethargic as conventional wisdom dictates.
pdf link, Recent Gas Escape from the Moon
24 AUG 06 Wandering Gas Giants and Lunar Bombardment
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Outward migration of Saturn might have triggered a dramatic increase in the bombardment rate on the Moon 3.9 billion years ago, an idea testable with lunar samples.
pdf link, Wandering Gas Giants and Lunar Bombardment
30 APRIL 06 Finding Basalt Chips from Distant Maria
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Tossed chips of lava help fill in blanks in our knowledge of lunar basalts.
pdf link, Finding Basalt Chips from Distant Maria
22 NOV 05 Gamma Rays, Meteorites, Lunar Samples, and the Composition of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Lunar meteorites provide ground truth to help calibrate orbital geochemical data, allowing an estimate of the composition of the entire Moon.
pdf link, Composition of the Moon
23 DEC 04 Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemistry plays an important role in developing local resources on the Moon and Mars, essential to sustained human presence in space.
pdf link, Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
10 DEC 04 Composition of the Moon's Crust
by Linda M. V. Martel
New empirical calibrations of Lunar Prospector and Clementine data yield improved global maps of Th, K, and FeO.
pdf link, Composition of the Moon's Crust
31 OCT 04 New Lunar Meteorite Provides its Lunar Address and Some Clues about Early Bombardment of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A newly discovered meteorite from the Moon provides a detailed record of its history, allowing scientists to make a reasonable guess about where it came from on the Moon and to test ideas for the timing of early impact bombardment.
pdf link, New Lunar Meteorite
28 SEPT 04 Lunar Crater Rays Point to a New Lunar Time Scale
by Linda M. V. Martel
Optical maturity maps of rays, derived from Clementine multispectral data and calibrated with lunar sample analyses, provide a new way to define the two youngest time stratigraphic units on the Moon.
pdf link, Lunar Crater Rays Point to a New Lunar Time Scale
5 JULY 04 New Mineral Proves an Old Idea about Space Weathering
by Linda M. V. Martel
A newly discovered vapor-deposited iron silicide in a lunar meteorite has been named hapkeite.
pdf link, New Mineral Proves an Old Idea about Space Weathering
21 APRIL 04 The Oldest Moon Rocks
by Marc Norman
Rocks from the lunar crust provide new clues to the age and origin of the Moon and the terrestrial planets.
pdf link, The Oldest Moon Rocks
28 NOV 03 Hafnium, Tungsten, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments help us understand the timing of core formation and nature of initial melting in the Moon and Mars.
pdf link, Hf, W, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
4 JUNE 03 The Moon's Dark, Icy Poles
by Linda M. V. Martel
Permanently shadowed regions on the Moon--where frozen water could be trapped--are more abundant and more widely distributed than originally thought.
pdf link, The Moon's Dark, Icy Poles
8 OCT 02 The Moon Beyond 2002
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A meeting of lunar scientists to outline research questions and future exploration plans.
pdf link, The Moon Beyond 2002
21 AUG 01 Uranus, Neptune, and the Mountains of the Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The tardy formation of Uranus and Neptune might have caused the intense bombardment of the Moon 3.9 billion years ago.
pdf link, Uranus, Neptune, and the Mountains of the Moon
24 JAN 01 Lunar Meteorites and the Lunar Cataclysm
by Barbara A. Cohen
Dating of impact melts in lunar meteorites supports the idea that the Moon was intensely bombarded about 3.9 billion years ago.
pdf link, Lunar Meteorites and the Lunar Cataclysm
5 DEC 00 Recipe for High-Titanium Lunar Magmas
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments shed light on how high-titanium lunar magmas formed.
pdf link, Recipe for High-Ti Lunar Magmas
21 NOV 00 Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Applied cosmochemistry plays a key role in plans to use the resources of the Moon, Mars, and asteroids.
pdf link, Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
31 AUG 00 A New Moon for the Twenty-First Century
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Integrated studies of returned samples and remote sensing data reveal a Moon far different from the one scientists envisaged only a decade ago.
pdf link, A New Moon for the Twenty-First Century
23 JUNE 00 The Surprising Lunar Maria
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Global remote sensing data have given lunar scientists a startling new perspective of the titanium concentrations in the lava flows making up the lunar maria.
pdf link, The Surprising Lunar Maria
23 SEPT 99 The Moon at its Core
by Linda M. V. Martel
New evidence for a small lunar core strengthens the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the Moon.
pdf link, The Moon at its Core
21 APRIL 99 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Some Highlights
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The annual LPSC featured bacteria, new views of the Moon, and an intriguing new meteorite.
pdf link, 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference: Some Highlights
31 DEC 98 Origin of the Earth and Moon
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
First hand report of the December 1998 conference on the formation and very early history of the Earth and Moon.
pdf link, Origin of the Earth and Moon
17 JULY 98 The Biggest Hole in the Solar System
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Recent missions have helped researchers determine the composition of one of the largest impact craters in the Solar System: South Pole-Aitken basin.
pdf link, The Biggest Hole in the Solar System
20 OCT 97 Moonbeams and Elements
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The amount of light reflected off the Moon can be used to determine elemental abundances from orbit.
pdf link, Moonbeams and Elements
12 FEB 97 Explosive Volcanic Eruptions on the Moon
by Catherine M. Weitz
How did deposits of fine-grained volcanic beads form on the Moon? Could these deposits supply oxygen and rocket fuel to future lunar colonists?
pdf link, Explosive Volcanic Eruptions on the Moon
21 DEC 96 Ice on the Bone Dry Moon
by Paul D. Spudis
Deposits of ice in the permanently dark regions near the south pole of the Moon could bootstrap a self-sustaining lunar colony.
pdf link, Ice on the Bone Dry Moon
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