Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back to the Moon

Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.

  • July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
  • Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
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Photo credit: Tom White / Getty Images
  • A new study suggests that the moons of gas-giant exoplanets may break away into their own orbits, called "ploonets."
  • Planet + moon = ploonet.
  • As the gas giants move inward toward their suns, the orbits of their moons are often disrupted, according to new computer models.
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Surprising Science

Moon landings footage would have been impossible to fake – a film expert explains why

Conspiracy theories about the event dating back to the 1970s are in fact more popular than ever.

Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images

It's been half a century since the magnificent Apollo 11 moon landing, yet many people still don't believe it actually happened.

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Technology & Innovation

Arctic amplification: How the albedo effect speeds up global warming

The more Greenland melts, the more Greenland melts. Here's why.

  • The Arctic right is currently warming about twice as fast as the rest of the world.
  • Ice is white and bright and is able to reflect solar energy back into space. When it melts and exposes dark, open ocean, that open ocean absorbs more sunlight and more energy. This creates a kind of feedback loop.
  • The darkness absorbs more solar energy — more sunlight. In turn, this accelerates the melt of the ice.
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5 reasons future space travel should explore asteroids

While the world considers future trips to Mars, two astrophysicists make a case for exploring asteroids.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

On the same day that the Earth survived an expected near-miss with asteroid 367943 Duende, Russian dashcams unexpectedly captured footage of a different asteroid as it slammed into the atmosphere, exploded, and injured more than 1,000 people.

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Surprising Science