- NASA has something very exciting to tell us about the Moon, so it’s holding a conference call on Monday, October 26th.
- The discovery was made using NASA’s flying observatory SOPHIA.
- Audio of the call will be streamed live on NASA’s website for everyone to hear.
We know quite a bit about the Moon thanks to NASA. As the first space agency to send humans to the lunar surface, NASA’s work and that of scientists using data collected by NASA have pulled the curtain back on many of the Moon’s secrets. Still, there a lot left to uncover, and the upcoming Artemis missions could go a long way toward painting a much clearer picture of Earth’s pale neighbor.
Now, NASA has announced that it has something very exciting to share about the big dusty sphere that dominates our night sky. What is it? Did they find those elusive Moon Men? Is the Moon actually made of cheese? Unfortunately, we won’t find out until Monday.
In a bulletin released by the space agency, NASA says it has some exciting news to share about the Moon. It won’t say exactly what it is, but NASA does say that the discovery was made possible thanks to SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.
SOFIA is basically a flying observatory. It’s a highly-modified 747 jet that is packed with scientific instruments and is capable of flying above 99% of the water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere. It’s that water vapor that tends to skew observations made from Earth, and thanks to its infrared instruments, it’s capable of detecting things that we just can’t see in the visible light spectrum.
“This new discovery contributes to NASA’s efforts to learn about the Moon in support of deep space exploration,” NASA says in its bulletin. “Under NASA’s Artemis program, the agency will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 to prepare for our next giant leap – human exploration of Mars as early as the 2030s. Understanding the science of the Moon also helps piece together the broader history of the inner solar system.”
The event to reveal the discovery (or discoveries) is scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 26th. Since the coronavirus pandemic is still raging in the United States, the entire event will be held via teleconference. Still, there’s a guest list of four very important people who will be making the announcement.
The participants, via NASA:
- Paul Hertz, Astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
- Casey Honniball, postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
- Naseem Rangwala, project scientist for the SOFIA mission, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, California