Old 07-13-2008, 09:40 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Moon Rocks Still In Demand After Almost 40 Years

During NASA's Apollo missions to the moon, roughly 842 pounds of rocks were collected from the lunar surface. Scientific demand for the rocks has always been high, and a review board tracks and sends out hundreds of samples each year, even now, decades after the rocks were brought to Earth. They've provided researchers with a wealth of information about the entire solar system. From the NYTimes: "The samples have confirmed that asteroid and meteor impacts, not volcanism, created the vast majority of craters that define the Moon's topography, while a constant barrage of meteorites, micrometeorites and radiation melted and pureed the bedrock to create the blanket of fine-grained soil and dust -- known as regolith -- that now cloaks the lunar surface. And knowing the ages of Moon rocks, which can be computed to within 20 million years, has enabled scientists to establish a baseline that allows them to date geologic features throughout the solar system. The surface of the Earth, one of the solar system's youngest topographies, is constantly changing, as it is faulted, folded, shaped and reshaped by eruptions, earthquakes and erosion. By contrast, the Moon is as old as it gets."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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