Eyes on the Moon!

Hey Space Bloggers!

Put our old friend THE MOON on your agenda for 2012.  That’s right, we’re back. GRAIL A arrived at the moon last year (also known as yesterday – December 31st, 2011) and GRAIL B will enter lunar orbit today, January 1, 2012.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In case you’re wondering (like I was), GRAIL = ‘G’ for Gravity, ‘R’ for Recovery,  ‘A’ for And, ‘I’ for Interior, and ‘L’ for Laboratory.  If you think GRAIL A and B are lame names, you’re not alone. NASA has asked kids for some help (duh) and will announce new names any day now.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

But GRAIL A and B, by any name, are pretty sweet. Together they will open a window to the inside of the moon. NOT by blasting a hole through it. (Scientists are much trickier, and smarter, than that!)  GRAIL A and B will work together like two eyes, but instead of seeing ‘light’, they see ‘gravity’. By focusing in on the changes and variations of the moon’s gravitational field, they will be able to look deep beneath the moon’s cratered surface.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL, Galileo Project


With a clear picture of the whole moon, inside and out, scientist’s hope to understand what makes the moon, well ‘the moon’. And they might also figure out just how the Earth and moon formed and got locked together almost 5 billion years ago.



P.S. SpaceBlog is taking a short break.  There will be no new posts for a while, but if you have questions or comments, write in – I will always respond. And I’ll be back soon, hopefully with new news from THE MOON!

About Jane Peddicord

Jane Ann Peddicord is an award winning author, lawyer, and space enthusiast. About her first book, NIGHT WONDERS, Laura Kraft of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii wrote, “We’ve long waited for books such as these to explain, in age-appropriate language, some of the fundamental concepts that have shaken the foundation of Physics.” Jane is represented by Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio and likes science, space, and springer spaniels.
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