Portal:Moon/Selected article

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This page is where the articles to be featured on the Moon portal are listed. Feel free to make an entry for any article from Wikipedia:Featured articles#Physics and astronomy. It also contains an archive of Articles of the Month below.


The layout used to format these sub-pages is at Portal:Moon/Selected article/Layout

  1. Add a new selected article to the next available subpage.
  2. Update "max=" to new total for its {{Random portal component}} on the main page.

Selected articles list[edit]

Portal:Moon/Selected article/1

Mission insignia of Apollo 11

The Apollo 11 space flight landed the first humans on Earth's Moon on July 20, 1969. The mission, carried out by the United States, is considered a major accomplishment in the history of exploration and represented a victory by the U.S. in the Cold War Space Race with the Soviet Union. Launched from Florida on July 16, the third lunar mission of NASA's Apollo program (and the only G-type mission) was crewed by Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility and became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Their landing craft, Eagle, spent 21 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface while Collins orbited above in the command ship, Columbia. The three astronauts returned to Earth with 47.5 pounds (21.55 kilograms) of lunar rocks and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24. Apollo 11 fulfilled U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon before the Soviet Union by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a 1961 mission statement before the United States Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."


Portal:Moon/Selected article/2

This map, based on a survey of 300 TLPs by Barbara Middlehurst and Patrick Moore, shows the approximate distribution of observed events. Red-hued events are in red; the remainder are in yellow.

A transient lunar phenomenon (TLP), or lunar transient phenomenon (LTP), is a short-lived light, color, or change in appearance on the lunar surface. Claims of short-lived phenomena go back at least 1,000 years, with some having been observed independently by multiple witnesses or reputable scientists. Nevertheless, the majority of transient lunar phenomenon reports are irreproducible and do not possess adequate control experiments that could be used to distinguish among alternative hypotheses. Few reports concerning these phenomena are ever published in peer reviewed scientific journals, the lunar scientific community rarely discusses these observations. Most lunar scientists will acknowledge that transient events such as outgassing and impact cratering do occur over geologic time: the controversy lies in the frequency of such events. The term was created by Patrick Moore during his co-authoring of NASA Technical Report R-277 Chronological Catalog of Reported Lunar Events, published in 1968.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/3

Schematic diagram of the shadow cast by the Earth. Within the central umbra shadow, the Moon is totally shielded from direct illumination by the Sun. In contrast, within the penumbra shadow, only a portion of sunlight is blocked.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, there is always a full moon the night of a lunar eclipse. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on December 21, 2010. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place. Some lunar eclipses have been associated with important historical events.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/4

An artist's rendering of the Orion spacecraft

Orion is a spacecraft which was designed by Lockheed Martin for NASA, the space agency of the United States. Orion development began as part of the Constellation program, where Orion would fulfill the function of a Crew Exploration Vehicle. Each Orion spacecraft is projected to carry a crew of four astronauts. The spacecraft was originally designed to be launched by the Ares I launch vehicle, for the Constellation Program. As of 11 October 2010, with the canceling of the Constellation Program the Orion vehicle is now planned to be launched onto top of a Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle. Orion would launch from Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, the same launch complex used by the Space Shuttle and the Saturn V. While shuttle operations continued from launch pad 39A, 39B was readied for Ares launches. The first crewed Orion flight is anticipated in 2016. Subsequent flights would visit the International Space Station. If commercial orbital transportation services are unavailable, Orion would handle logistic flights to the station. After that, Orion may become a key component of human missions beyond low earth orbit which may included missions to lagrange points, Near-Earth objects, the Moon and Mars. The federal government proposed cancellation of the Constellation program in February 2010 and was signed into law October 11. The bill is basically a retooling of the Constellation Program, moving the objective away from a moon base and more towards a NEO mission and an eventual Mars landing.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/5


Apollo 8 was the second manned mission of the Apollo space program. Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to travel beyond Earth orbit and into an orbit around the Moon. It was also the first manned launch of the Saturn V rocket. NASA prepared for the mission in only four months. The hardware involved had only been used a few times—the Saturn V had only launched twice before, and the Apollo spacecraft had only just finished its first manned mission, Apollo 7. However the success of the mission paved the way for the successful completion of John F. Kennedy's goal of landing on the Moon before the end of the decade. After launching on December 21, 1968, the crew took three days to travel to the Moon, which they orbited for twenty hours. While in lunar orbit they made a Christmas Eve television broadcast that is thought to be one of the most watched of all time.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/6


Taurus-Littrow is a lunar valley located on the near side at the coordinates 20°00′N 31°00′E / 20.0°N 31.0°E / 20.0; 31.0. It served as the landing site for the American Apollo 17 mission in December 1972, the last manned mission to the Moon to date. The valley is located on the southeastern edge of Mare Serenitatis along a ring of mountains formed between 3.8 and 3.9 billion years ago when a large object impacted the Moon, forming Mare Serenitatis and pushing rock outward and upward. Taurus-Littrow is located in the Taurus mountain range and south of Littrow crater, features after which the valley received its name. The valley's name, coined by the Apollo 17 crew, was eventually approved by the International Astronomical Union in 1973. Data collected on Apollo 17 show that the valley is composed primarily of feldspar-rich breccia in the large massifs surrounding the valley and basalt underlying the valley floor, covered by an unconsolidated layer of regolith, or mixed materials, formed by various geologic events. Taurus-Littrow was selected as the Apollo 17 landing site after the other candidates were eliminated for various reasons. The landing site was chosen with the objectives of sampling highland material and young volcanic material in the same location.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/7

Aristarchus and Herodotus craters Apollo 15.jpg

Aristarchus is a prominent lunar impact crater that lies in the northwest part of the Moon's near side. It is considered the brightest of the large formations on the lunar surface, with an albedo nearly double that of most lunar features. The feature is bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, and is dazzling in a large telescope. It is also readily identified when most of the lunar surface is illuminated by earthshine. The crater is located at the southeastern edge of the Aristarchus plateau, an elevated area that contains a number of volcanic features, such as sinuous rilles. This area is also noted for the large number of reported transient lunar phenomena, as well as recent emissions of radon gas as measured by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. Aristarchus was originally named after the Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos by the Italian map maker Giovanni Riccioli. His work Almagestum novum ("New Almagest"), published in 1651, gave the spot-shaped telescopic features (later called craters) eponyms of noted astronomers and philosophers. Although it was already widely adopted, the name didn't become an official international standard until a vote by the IAU General Assembly in 1935.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/8

Fra Mauro formation.jpg

The Fra Mauro formation (or Fra Mauro Highlands) is a lunar geological formation on the near side of the Moon that served as the landing site for the American Apollo 14 mission in 1971. It is named after the 80-kilometer-diameter crater Fra Mauro, located within it. The formation, as well as Fra Mauro crater, take their names from a 15th century Italian monk and mapmaker of the same name. Apollo 13 was originally scheduled to land in the Fra Mauro highlands, but was unable to due to an in-flight technical failure. Fra Mauro is thought to have been formed from ejecta, or debris, from the impact which formed Mare Imbrium. During Apollo 14, the crew members sampled ejecta from Cone crater, a crater in close proximity to the immediate landing site of that mission, which provided insight into the composition of material deep inside the formation. Data from the mission has helped to determine the approximate age of Mare Imbrium, suggesting that it is no more than about 4.25 billion years old.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/9

De gerlache shackleton sverdrup crater.jpg

Shackleton is an impact crater that lies at the south pole of the Moon. The peaks along the crater's rim are exposed to almost continual sunlight, while the interior is perpetually in shadow. The low-temperature interior of this crater functions as a cold trap that may capture and freeze volatiles shed during comet impacts on the Moon. Measurements by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft showed higher than normal amounts of hydrogen within the crater, which may indicate the presence of water ice. The crater is named after Ernest Shackleton, a noted Anglo-Irish explorer of the Antarctic.


Portal:Moon/Selected article/10

Solar eclipse 1999 4 NR.jpg

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially covers the Sun as viewed from a location on Earth. This can happen only during a new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. At least two, and up to five, solar eclipses occur each year; no more than two can be total eclipses. Total solar eclipses are nevertheless rare at any particular location because totality exists only along a narrow path on the Earth's surface traced by the Moon's umbra.



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