Articles about moon

The Yutu lunar rover

China's moon rover dies of extreme old age, after two-and-a-half years

China never fails in its high-profile scientific endeavours, so news that its Yutu lunar rover has stopped functioning is being spun as a triumph for its space program. Yutu – aka Jade Rabbit – landed on Luna in December 2013 but by January 2014 was reported DOA. By February 2014 the vehicle was revived, but had become …
Cassini image of Saturn taken on 10 October 2013. Pic: NASA

Cosmic bonks, breakups led to birth of Saturn's moons as dinos died out

Had dinosaurs had telescopes, and the wherewithal to use them, they could have seen a series of cosmic prangs around Saturn that created new moons. As far as we can tell, Saturn has 62 moons in orbit around the gas giant all moving in different planes, as well as the planet's famous ring systems. A team from the SETI Institute …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2016

China wants to bring home moon rocks in moon vacuum

When humans first made the long trip to the Moon, we were more worried about whether something from out there might contaminate us back here. So in the early days there was more attention paid to quarantining returning astronauts than to keeping their returned samples free of contaminants from Earth. China's space agency is …

Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V

A proposed Lego Saturn V is gaining momentum down at Lego Ideas, and is well on the way to the 10,000 supporters it needs to be considered for production. The miniature heavy lifter features a full-fat Apollo 11 Moon mission kit, including lunar orbiter and Eagle lander. The Lego lunar orbiter and lander For the LEGO fans …
Lester Haines, 9 Nov 2015

Apollo 15 commander's watch clocks up $1.6m at auction

A timepiece worn by Apollo 15 commander Dave R. Scott on the surface of the Moon has sold at auction for an astronomical $1,625,000. Apollo astronauts normally strapped a standard NASA-issue Omega Speedmaster Professional to their wrists, but Scott carried a personal Bulova Wrist Chronograph as back-up on the 1971 mission. It …
Lester Haines, 23 Oct 2015

Made you jump! Space to give Earth an asteroid Halloween scare

Halloween is traditionally a time for scares and the universe hasn't disappointed, sending a fast-moving asteroid down our way for a close encounter on October 31 at 1712 UTC (1012 PDT). The asteroid, dubbed 2015 TB145, was only spotted 10 days ago by astronomers operating the Pan-STARRS I telescope in Hawaii and is thought to …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2015

Rocketeers aim for the Moon with first-stage £600k tin-rattle

A couple of lunar hopefuls have launched an audacious Kickstarter tin-rattle aiming to raise £600,000 towards sending a spacecraft to the Moon. The co-founder of amateur space outfit Copenhagen Suborbitals, Kristian von Bengtson, and "serial entrepreneur" Chris Larmour hope to raise the cash to get their audacious "Moonspike" …
Lester Haines, 1 Oct 2015

China eyes the dark, sorry, far side of the Moon

A Chinese space boffin has said his country will land the first probe on the far side of the Moon* before 2020, the BBC reports. Speaking to state TV, Zou Yongliao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the purpose of the Chang'e 4 mission would be to "study geological conditions" on our satellite's hidden face. The landing …
Lester Haines, 9 Sep 2015
Lava pit

Fiery old geysers FOUND ON MOON: Volcanic past explained

The night sky on Earth in its early years was very different, with our Moon glowing red with fire in the sky. Now scientists think they've worked out why. Back when the Moon was forming, the surface was alive with fiery geysers that spurted molten rock high in the low-gravity skies as the orbiting mass cooled and crusted over …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2015
Cassini snaps Saturn's Dione moon. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Say 'cheese'! Cassini probe ZOOMS IN on Saturn's craggy Dione moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has passed tantalisingly close to Saturn's pitted, icy Dione moon. The probe was within 321 miles (516 kilometres) of Dione on 16 June, the US space agency said. Cassini will have an even closer encounter with the moon on 17 August, when it's expected to swoop within 295 miles (474 kilometres) of …
Team Register, 20 Jun 2015

Are ALIENS hiding on Jupiter's Europa? Let's find out, cry NASA bods

Pic NASA has finished sketching out plans to send a probe to Europa, Jupiter's most curious moon, and is ready to put the operation into action. "Today we're taking an exciting step from concept to mission, in our quest to find signs of life beyond Earth," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2015

Moon blocks Uranus for stargazers Down Under

Inhabitants of Australasia who enjoy peering into Uranus are going to be denied on June 12 as the strange globe slides behind the Moon. It's not often that planets get occulted by the Moon, and losing Uranus isn't that common an occurrence, and this one is something only people in the southern hemisphere can indulge in. Those …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2015
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON

Our Moon was born after a young Earth smashed its twin Theia, scientists writing in three studies just published by Nature have suggested. Their intriguing evidence reveals the Moon's origins may have been more incestuous than previously thought. Since the 1980s, scientists studying the Moon have largely agreed on the "giant …
Iain Thomson, 9 Apr 2015
Titan Upfront

So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Shifting the hydrocarbo-ice "sand" dunes of Titan – ice moon of Saturn – takes more effort than had previously been thought, say boffins. Previous ideas on the wind speed required to blow dune-forming particles around the famous satellite were seemingly wrong. Space boffins from the University of Tennessee and Johns Hopkins …

That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Mimas has long been thought to be one of the less noteworthy moons of its vast ringed primary, Saturn – apart from its frankly worrying resemblance to the Death Star, that is. But now, a new study indicates that the humdrum space boulder could have, er, hidden depths. Mimas Actually, that is a moon. Not a space station A …
Iain Thomson, 17 Oct 2014
The Moon

Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

As India's boffins manage to put a probe in orbit of Mars on a shoestring budget, Russia has reiterated that it will boldly go ... as far as the Moon. The head of President Putin's space agency has confirmed it will build a new rocket to reach Earth's natural satellite – first occupied by the US in 1969 – and set up permanent …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2014
The Yutu lunar rover

China to test recoverable moon orbiter

China is about to launch a lunar orbiter capable of returning home. The nation's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence announced over the weekend that the craft has been built and taken to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. When it launches later this year, the un-named craft is …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2014


An analysis of the shape of the Moon has shown it is not actually a sphere – but is in fact slightly lemon-shaped. This has revealed important clues as to how the Earth's satellite body formed (and no, it still doesn't involve any cheese). A paper published in the July 30 issue of Nature by Ian Garrick-Bethell – an assistant …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jul 2014

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