Scholars Online Astronomy - Chapter 10: The Moon
Reading: Astronomy, Chapter 10: The Barren Moon
Study Notes: notes on your assigned reading from the text
- 10.1 Surface features of the moon include craters and maria. Theories of crater origins include both impact by meteors and asteroids, and volcanic activity. Most craters appear to be the result of impact. Most maria appear to be the result of lava-type upwelling from below the lunar crust. There are no current erosion forces since the moon has no atmosphere, or liquid surface water (with the possible exception of ice in polar craters; however these would not be a major erosive force).
- 10.2 Manned exploration of the moon took several phases. Unmanned mapping expeditions included a series of missions: Ranger - US, Lunas - USSR, Manned surveys without landing included the Apollo 8-10 missions, and manned landings included Apollo 10-17. Recent unmanned surveys by the Clementine and Lunar Prospector craft have discovered indications of surface ice, enough to support a lunar colony.
- 10.3 Evidence for the internal structure of the moon rests on magnetosphere and moonquake data and supports the model of a small iron-rich core, lower mantle plastic asthenosphere, and a solid lithosphere upper mantle beneath a think crust. The mantle is nearly 4/5 of the radius of the moon.
- 10.4 Lunar rock samples reveal only igneus processes: mare rock is primarily basalt, highlands are anorthosite, and impact brescias are scattered during cratering events.
- 10.5 Theories of lunar formation include the capture theory, the fission theory, and the collisional ejection theory (the latter is the current front-runner).
Key Formulae to Know
Read the following weblecture before chat: Earth's Moon
If you can, use your planetarium to view the Moon from Space. In Sky Safari, chose on of the planets and then the "orbit" option, then maneuvre to see Earth and its Moon, select the Moon and fly to it with "Orbit". In Starry Night, use the Explorations option to choose the Moon.
From above the surface of the Moon, investigate the following locations:
- Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility)
- Tycho crater (near side)
- Crookes crater (far side)
See how many features mentioned in the text you can identify.
Optional Website Google Maps has a Moon site that is fun to explore, especially if you want to "walk around" the Apollo landing sites.
Chat Preparation Activities
- Essay question: The Moodle forum for the session will assign a specific study question for you to prepare for chat. You need to read this question and post your answer before chat starts for this session.
- Go over the list of Key Words and Key Ideas at the end of the chapter. If you don't remember the definition of the key word, review its use (the page number on which it is explained is given).
- Read through the Review Questions and be prepared to discuss them in class. If any of them confuses you, ask about it!
- Mastery Exercise: The Moodle Mastery exercise for the chapter will contain sections related to our chat topic. Try to complete these before the chat starts, so that you can ask questions.
- Required: Complete the Mastery exercise with a passing score of 85% or better.
- Go to the Moodle and take the quiz for this chat session to see how much you already know about astronomy!
Read through the lab for this week; bring questions to chat on any aspect of the lab, whether you intend not perform it or not. If you decide to perform the lab, be sure to submit your report by the posted due date.
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