Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ASU camera spots rare volcanoes on dark side of moon

When a science story gets a mention on the Colbert Report along with the debt ceiling debate, it must be big news, right?

Anyway, the ASU-run Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera has captured images on the far side of the moon of rare silicic volcanism. Woop, woop!

A paper in the new issue of Nature Geosciences and discussion at Space.com demonstrate excitement in the planetary science community. But the full implications of this confirmation are still being weighed. [right, LROC image between the Compton and Belkovich craters. The colored region marks a high amount of the mineral thorium, which is thought to have been deposited by rare silicate volcanoes in the past. Credit: NASA/GSFC/ASU/WUSTL, processing by B. Joliff and Space.com]

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