Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Uranium on the Moon?

Not strictly cheese-based after all...

From Universe Today...
The Kaguya spacecraft ("Kaguya" is "Peregrin Falcon" in Japanese) was recently on a mission to explore our nearest neighbor, the Moon. Equipped with a HDTV Television camera, Kaguya sent back amazing video as it orbited the moon at a height of 30 miles.

Another experiment on board Kaguya was a gamma ray spectrometer, looking for sources of the most energetic form of light, gamma rays. Kaguya, gamma ray instrument found signatures of uranium, an element not seen in previous moon-mapping efforts. In addition to uranium, the Kaguya GRS data also is showing clear signatures for thorium, potassium, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, calcium, titanium and iron. "We've already gotten uranium results, which have never been reported before," said Robert C. Reedy, senior scientists at the Planetary Science Institute. "We're getting more new elements and refining and confirming results found on the old maps."

Here's the map from Kaguya:

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