On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. The moon rocks brought back to Earth launched a new era of research about the moon’s origin. Fifty years later, researchers at the UC Davis College of Letters and Science continue to discover new aspects of the moon’s formation that further our understanding of the solar system. Here are some highlights of their research.
Professor Discusses Significance of Moon Landing
Professor Sarah Stewart, an expert on planet formation, discussed the significance of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on UC Davis Live.
Modeling Early Meteorite Impacts on the Moon
After the Earth and moon formed, there was another phase of growth as meteorites crashed into both bodies. Understanding this era is crucial to figuring out exactly what happened as the Earth and moon grew into the bodies we know today.
How the Moon Formed Inside a Vaporized Earth Synestia
A new explanation for the moon’s origin has it forming inside the Earth when our planet was a seething, spinning cloud of vaporized rock, called a synestia.
Alumna Tracy Caldwell Visited Space Station
College of Letters and Science alumna and astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson (Ph.D., chemistry, ’97) spent six months on the International Space Station and has completed three space walks.
Researchers Have Forged a Path from UC Davis to Space
NASA has invested millions of dollars in UC Davis research, working with UC Davis biologists, engineers, physiologists, psychologists and other researchers to study life in space— whether that be studying space itself, the effects of gravity, getting there, staying there or surviving there.
Mantle Neon Illuminates Earth’s Formation
Drawing on data from the depths of the Earth to deep space, Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay and postdoctoral researcher Curtis Williams used neon isotopes to show how the planet formed.
UC Davis Researchers Analyze Chelyabinsk Meteorite
The meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February 2013 was “a wake-up call,” according to Professor Qing-zhu Yin,who participated in analyzing the event.
New Type of Meteorite Linked to Ancient Asteroid Collision
An ancient space rockdiscovered in a Swedish quarry is a type of meteorite never before found on Earth.
UC Davis scientist prepares for Mars rover landing
A co-investigator for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory team, Professor Dawn Sumner helped coordinate the first scientific interpretations of what was seen when the Mars Curiosity rover landed.
— Becky Oskin, UC Davis College of Letters and Science