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Research may solve Moon’s volcanic fire-fountain mystery

24 August 2015 Astronomy Now

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.

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Crashing comets may explain mysterious lunar swirls

3 June 2015 Astronomy Now

Lunar swirls have been the source of debate for years. The twisting, swirling streaks of bright soil stretch, in some cases, for thousands of miles across the Moon’s surface. Brown University researchers have produced new evidence that they were created by several comet collisions over the last 100 million years.

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Gully patterns document Martian climate cycles

29 January 2015 Astronomy Now

A new analysis of gullies carved into Martian impact craters suggests the Red Planet has undergone several ice ages in the last several million years. The driver of these climate swings is likely the planet’s wobbly axis tilt.