April 14, 2021

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Swirls Without Walls

Originally published August 26, 2011 LPOD-Aug26-11.jpg
Clementine images of Gerasimovich crater and Reiner Gamma from Workshop on Lunar Swirls

Backyard observers and lunar scientists share a fascination with swirls, bright markings that look like powdered sugar sprinkled across the lunar surface. Only a handful of swirls exist and they are totally unrelated to the geology where they occur. Some are opposite impact basins, others aren't. All have magnetic fields, but no one is really sure why. The good news is that a huge amount of new data from India's Chandrayaan-1, Japan's Kaguya and the USA's LRO is now being applied to answer the question, What are swirls? A one day symposium to discuss swirls in light of this new data will be held at NASA's Lunar Science Institute in California on Sept 7, and you can participate. You don't need to buy a plane ticket or look for a hotel roommate because the conference will be streamed live. You can be in the same virtual workshop as the leaders in this field by registering here or here.

Chuck Wood

Related Links
Lunar swirls (pdf)

Yesterday's LPOD: Classic Geology

Tomorrow's LPOD: Why the Bend?


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