According to a hypothesis developed by UA alumni William Hartmann and Donald Davis, the moon was formed from a debris blown off primordial Earth by a giant impact during Earth's formation. Their 1974 paper introduced what is now the leading theory of lunar origin. (Image: William Hartmann)
June 12, 2019
Where did the moon come from? The Giant Impact Theory germinated in the mind of a UA graduate student as he mapped the surface of the moon and is still cited today as scientists learn more about our celestial neighbor.
William Hartmann projecting photographic plates of the moon onto a white globe to create the Rectified Lunar Atlas. (Courtesy: UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory)
June 4, 2019
For decades, UA scientists have contributed to the research that has shaped our understanding of our solar system and the universe – beginning with the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago.
In this Apollo 17 onboard photo, scientist and astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt collects rock samples from a huge boulder near the Valley of Tourus-Littrow on the lunar surface. (Photo: NASA)
March 11, 2019
Incoming assistant professor Jessica Barnes will have the opportunity to study a previously unopened sample of a moon rock that was collected in the early 1970s during NASA's Apollo 17 mission.
Charles Conrad examines Surveyor's TV camera prior to detaching it on Nov. 20, 1969. The Apollo 12 lunar module is in the background. (Image: NASA)
Aug. 17, 2016
Digital? Who needs digital? That was the thinking back in the 1960s, and years later the UA Space Imagery Center has produced valuable digitized film from the project.
A vast hotspot of intense volcanism underneath the dark, blotchy “face” of the moon known as Oceanis Procellarum (red area on right) resulted in less density there than in other parts of the moon. To restore balance, the moon’s axis shifted by six degrees. Traces of water ice deposits near the poles outline the movement from the location of the ancient (blue) to the present pole (teal). (Image by James Keane)
March 22, 2016
Intense volcanic activity on the moon's Earth-facing side billions of years ago caused its axis to tilt, a team of researchers has discovered. Two UA planetary scientists helped unlock the secret.
With Saturn faintly looming over Titan's hazy horizon, the Huygens probe parachutes onto the moon's surface in this artist's impression. LPL proved to be the largest university-based contributor for the entire mission, and along with the management and operation of the Huygens DISR is responsible for processing and analyzing the images captured by Cassini. (Image: NASA)
July 16, 2014
Since the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory was established in 1960, UA scientists have played a key role in nearly every NASA mission, from the Apollo expeditions to the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission to an asteroid.
July 14, 2014
The Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched July 16, 1969, landing on the moon four days later. On the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, UA scientists share their memories of the mission.
July 14, 2014
UA scientist recalls the moon race on the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.
June 25, 2014
"Desert Moon," a documentary made by a UA journalism graduate, tells the fascinating and surprising story of how tenacity and bold thinking led to the founding of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab and helped the U.S. win the race to the moon.