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.
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.
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.
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!