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  • Writer's pictureZachary Epps

CU Scientists have long been interested in studying the moon and learning more


The moon has fascinated humanity for centuries. From the time of the earliest civilizations, people have looked up at the moon and wondered about its mysteries. Scientists have long been interested in studying the moon and learning more about its surface, its composition, and its history. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder has taken a major step forward in our understanding of the moon by building a state-of-the-art observatory that will allow them to study the moon in unprecedented detail.


The observatory, known as the Lunar Environment Monitoring Station (LEMS), was built by a team of researchers led by Dr. Brian Toon, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at CU Boulder. The LEMS is a small, automated observatory that was designed to study the moon's surface and atmosphere. It is equipped with a suite of instruments that can measure everything from temperature and pressure to radiation and dust.


One of the key features of the LEMS is its ability to study the moon's exosphere, which is the thin layer of gas that surrounds the moon. This is important because the exosphere is thought to be the source of many of the particles that make up the moon's atmosphere. By studying the exosphere, scientists can learn more about the moon's composition and how it has evolved over time.


Another important feature of the LEMS is its ability to measure the moon's temperature. This is important because the moon's temperature can vary widely depending on whether it is in sunlight or shade. By studying the moon's temperature, scientists can learn more about the moon's surface and how it responds to changes in the environment.


The LEMS is also equipped with a radiation detector, which will allow scientists to study the moon's radiation environment. This is important because radiation can have a significant impact on the moon's surface and atmosphere. By studying the moon's radiation environment, scientists can learn more about how the moon's surface has been affected by radiation over time.


The LEMS was built with funding from NASA's Lunar Science Institute, which is a collaborative research effort between NASA and several universities around the country. The goal of the Lunar Science Institute is to study the moon and learn more about its history, its composition, and its potential as a resource for future exploration.


Overall, the LEMS represents a major step forward in our understanding of the moon. By studying the moon's surface, atmosphere, and radiation environment, scientists can learn more about how the moon has evolved over time and what it might hold in store for future exploration. With the LEMS in place, CU Boulder scientists are well positioned to continue making important contributions to our understanding of the moon for years to come.


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