Ever wonder exactly what sort of rocks litter the Moon’s surface in countless bright and dark blotches? Check out the U.S. Geological Survey’s new Moon map covering the entire surface of Earth’s satellite in extraordinary detail. The Unified Geologic Map of the Moon will “serve as the definitive blueprint of the Moon’s surface geology for future human missions and will be invaluable for the international scientific community, educators and the public at large,” says the USGS. The new map is based on images and data from six Apollo regional maps and observations from more recent missions, including laser altimetry for the north and south polar regions, provided by the Lunar Orbiter, and stereo observations of equatorial areas by Japan’s SELENE spacecraft. Researchers developed a unified description of the moon’s stratigraphy and resolved inconsistencies in earlier maps.
Research may solve Moon’s volcanic fire-fountain mystery
Tiny beads of volcanic glass found on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions are a sign that fire fountain eruptions took place on the Moon’s surface. Now, scientists have identified the volatile gas that drove those eruptions. If volatile reservoirs on the Earth and Moon do indeed share a common source, it has implications for understanding the Moon’s origin.
Watch NASA’s live video stream of the supermoon total eclipse
It is a sad fact that overcast skies will spoil parts of this supermoon total lunar eclipse for some of you, but remain optimistic that your home sky will be clear! However, don’t despair if you’re clouded out — you can watch it online here! NASA will live stream the event from at least 1am—4:30am BST on Monday, 28 September, which is 8pm—11:30pm EDT on 27 September.