June 10th, 2013 16:10 EST
NASA Solves Mystery About Moon that Boggles Minds of Scientists
"Is the moon really made of Swiss cheese as some people believe? Or is it just another part of our planet that is as mysterious as what Obama`s next move will be in trying to revamp his creditability as President." (Anselm, R.)
When I was a little guy looking up at the stars one night, I remember my little blue eyes catching the glimpse of a full moon that was as bright as if I was looking at a one-hundred and twenty watt light bulb from just an inch away. It was fascinating to me since I was so young and didn`t have a complete understanding of what this large and glowing rock that was sitting so high above my home that looked to have a face in it that was looking back at me with a smile. It also looked to have lots of holes in it like a round piece of Swiss cheese would have so I probably actually believe it was made of cheese. Then, after that little moment was over it was time to get my pampers changed and my little bum powered because that was how old I was when I discovered the moon.
The moon has always been fascinating to astronomers and scientists and I remember another highlight in our history that I watched on television in 1969 was the Apollo 11 mission. After watching that history making moment in science; the moon also became very mysterious to me and I actually wanted to one day take a trip there to check it out in person. Of course, that won`t happen but NASA still studies this large and mysterious entity that has not only given the world of science a handful of information but many couples on romantic dates a place to sit under as the moon lit up those remote places we used to park with our dates and go to town with, well, let me put it in a more gentler way, we used to park and make out with our significant other while the moon was shining brightly on our cars that had widows that had more steam-on them than a mirror sitting over a pot boiling water.
NASA recently solved a mystery about the moon that boggled the minds of scientists in the past. NASA`s Grail Mission uncovered the origin of massive invisible regions that has made or does make the moons gravity uneven which affects the operation of any lunar-orbiting spacecraft.
Grail`s twin spacecraft studied the internal structure of the moon for nine months and pinpointed various locations of large and dense regions which scientists call mass concentrations or by the science term, mascon`s which are categorized by strong gravitational pull. These mascon`s lurk beneath the surface of the moon and are elusive to normal camera optical lenses.
Since these mascon`s are not easily seen and never found in a normal scientific way scientists were able to find them by combining the gravity data from their Grail spacecraft using sophisticated computer models of large asteroid impacts and used the known details about geologic evolution and information of the impact areas.
Jay Melosh who is Grail`s co-investigator commented on this, "GRAIL data confirm that lunar mascon`s were generated when large asteroids or comets impacted the ancient moon, when its interior was much hotter than it is now. We believe the data from GRAIL show how the moon`s light crust and dense mantle combined with the shock of a large impact to create the distinctive pattern of density anomalies that we recognize as mascon`s." (Melosh, J.)
These mascon`s were first discovered by scientists in 1968 and has raised many questions to scientists as to their origins. Scientist believe these mascon`s were formed as a result of ancient impacts on the moon that occurred billions of years ago.
The way these mascon`s affect gravitational pull is if you look on a map of the moon`s surface you will see the mascon`s appearing in a target pattern. The bulls-eye has a gravity surplus and is surrounded by a ring with a gravity deficit. The bizarre pattern of these mascon`s arises as a normal consequence of crater excavation, collapse, and cooling which follow an impact. The gravitational pull is caused by lunar material melted from the impact billions of years ago on the moon`s surface which more than likely resulted from the impact of an asteroid.
Jay Melosh went on to say, "Knowing about mascons means we finally are beginning to understand the geologic consequences of large impacts. Our planet suffered similar impacts in its distant past, and understanding mascons may teach us more about the ancient Earth, perhaps about how plate tectonics got started and what created the first ore deposits." (Melosh, J.)
Maria Zuber who is a Grail mission principal investigator also commented on this by saying, "Mascons also have been identified in association with impact basins on Mars and Mercury. Understanding them on the moon tells us how the largest impacts modified early planetary crusts." (Zuber, M.)
So, the next time you are out on a date and sitting in an out of the way remote location drinking wine, eating cheese and enjoying the company of your date, look up at the moon as it shines brightly and remember those large crevices you see that look like a round piece of Swiss cheese is not really holes in Swiss cheese but mascon`s that aggressive asteroid left their mark on billions of years ago.
NASA`S GRAIL MISSION SOLVES MYSTERY OF MOON`S SURFACE GRAVITY, (http://www.nasa.gov/grail). Retrieved 2013.
One of the most amazing sights to see is to play a night game in one of the many baseball stadiums around the country and as you come to bat on a clear and brisk night you see the moon shining high above the center field bleachers. It sends chills up your back. My next book titled, Our grand Ol` National Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball is now available for pre-ordering. Go to my website at (ronanselm.tateauthor.com), click on the page on my website, About the Book " then click on Buy the Book on the right side of the page. That will take you directly to Tate Publishing`s website and my book and just click on Add to Cart it`s that simple and you will be glad you did if you have a passion for books and love to read. Also, check out my book trailer at (http://youtu.be/Mk-ltZ5VJXk) Also, continue tuning into the SOPs website at (thesop.org) on a daily basis and enjoy the great entertainment. Forget listening to Howard Stern whine about life go to the SOP instead and enjoy the positive side of entertainment.