Pluto’s new moons named: Spock still homeless

The dwarf planet, Pluto, can still generate plenty of public interest – if the naming of its two recently discovered moons is anything to go by. After their discovery, the leader of the research team, Mark Showalter, called for a public vote to suggest names for the two objects. The on-line contest, aptly named ‘Pluto …

The whole Earth-side of the Moon should be protected forever

Earlier this year, the New York Times had an interesting piece about museums seeking to protect small areas of the Moon around the Apollo landing sites. And a good thing too: “…the next generation of people visiting the moon might carelessly obliterate the site of one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments.” More recently, NASA has released draft guidelines around protecting …

Who found the water on the Moon?

At just over two tonnes, the second stage of an Atlas V rocket, makes for an unusual ‘kinetic probe’.  Nonetheless on October 9, 2009 NASA deliberately impacted a spent Centaur rocket into the lunar south polar crater Cabeus.  The target area was a permanently shadowed region within this crater.  The impact, not surprisingly, ejected a …