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1Astro 102/1041Lecture #13:•Surface of the Moon:– General Propertiesof the Moon.– Lunar Geology.• Reading:– Chapters 2.3, 9.3, 10.3.Astro 102/1042The Main Points(1) The Moon’s surface is divided into two major kinds of geologic terrain: mare and highlands.(2) Most of our detailed knowledge of the Moon comes from the Apollohuman exploration missions.Astro 102/1043Luna Lore•Our Moon has provided a source of inspiration, beauty, and awe in literature and the arts, as well as the sciences.•"Lunar Science" is a very young field. Prior to the 1960's only a few practitioners:–G.K. Gilbert: "father of lunar geology": proposed dominance of impact processes vs. volcanic processes (crazy idea at the time!)–H.C. Urey: "father of planetary science": lunar geochemistry andimplications for formation of the Earth and planets.–E.M. Shoemaker: Founder of modern-day studies of impacts and lunar evolution/stratigraphy.•Telescopic surveys and mapping of the Moon conducted in the 1950's, 1960's as a prelude to spacecraft exploration.Astro 102/1044Basic Properties of the Moon•Average Distance from Earth: 384,000 km.•Sidereal period around Earth (rel. to stars): 27.32 days.•Period of Spin around axis: 27.32 days.•Mass = 7.35x1022kg = 1/81 ME.•Radius = 1738 km = 0.27 RE.•Density = 3.3 g/cm3 (recall that Earth ~5.5 g/cm3).•Surface Gravity = 1.62 m/sec2 (17% of Earth's).•Escape Velocity = 2.4 km/sec = 0.21 vE.•Atmospheric Pressure = 10-15bar.•Most of surface covered by gray rocky regolith.•Abundant evidence of impact and volcanic processes!
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