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See Inside November 2011

What Is It?

A single grain of moon sand (magnified here about 300 times) reveals a ring created by a micrometeorite that struck it



Courtesy of Gary Greenberg www.sandgrains.com

Researchers are using recent advances in imaging to reexamine lunar samples from Apollo 11. Gary Greenberg, a research affiliate at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, took this 3-D stereo image (cross your eyes slightly until there are three images, then focus on the center) of a single grain of moon sand (magnified here about 300 times). It reveals a ring created by a micrometeorite that struck it. The impact resulted in melting, and as the particle quickly cooled, it created a glassy structure. Greenberg and his colleagues hope viewing these grains in greater detail may help scientists learn more about the moon’s evolution.

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