These students rock! - MyMoon

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All quiet on the twitter front.


So I've been absent from the blog-o-sphere for quite some time. Let me break the fast by telling you a story of four awesome high school students and their equally awesome teacher. About one year ago, a team of four high school students and their teacher from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, MO got together to do some lunar research. Because these students were new to scientific research, they worked alongside a lunar scientist who mentored them through their research.

But before they could begin their research, they needed to do a little Moon 101. See, most high school students can only tell you about the Moon's phases and maybe the Moon's influence on the Earth's tides. Most can't tell you about the current idea of how the Moon formed. They also probably do not know much about volcanism on the Moon or impact cratering, two significant geologic processes that have shaped the Moon's surface. These students also needed to learn something about the data available for them to use to conduct their research.

The students spent about a month reading over various articles about the Moon's formation and geologic evolution. They also looked at images from every lunar mission from Ranger to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Armed with their new found knowledge of lunar science and exploration, the students, with guidance from their mentor and teacher, were ready to tackle the Moon.

Six months later, the students presented the results of their research to a panel of lunar scientists. What was the topic of research? In general, impact cratering. More specifically, differentiating between primary and secondary impact craters. (Primary craters form from impacts of asteroids/comets. Secondary craters form from debris ejected from the surface where the primary impact crater forms.) In planetary science, the best way to determine the age of a planetary surface is to count craters. (Unless we have a sample from that surface, but our collection of samples comes from six very specific places on the Moon.) A surface with more, and larger, craters is older than a surface with few craters, in general. This only produces an estimate of the surface's age, not an absolute, or definitive age. Secondary craters are a bit of a problem. If a surface is peppered with secondary craters, it will appear older than it really is because of the greater number of craters. How then can we differentiate between secondary craters and small primary craters? The students from Kickapoo tested one possible solution.

Stay tuned for more of the story...


Kierra P.

Sunday Aug-14-2011

In yesteryears people would be looking forward from their favourite authors about the next edition, Time has evolved over and readers like me switched over to reading blogs from a list of favourite bloggers. Keep up the great blogging.

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