Институт Луны и планет

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Lunar and Planetary Institute

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is a scientific research institute dedicated to study of the solar system, its formation, evolution, and current state. The Institute is part of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and is supported by the Science Mission Directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Located at 3600 Bay Area Boulevard in Houston, Texas, the LPI maintains an extensive collection of lunar and planetary data, carries out education and public outreach programs, and offers meeting coordination and publishing services. The LPI sponsors and organizes several workshops and conferences throughout the year, including the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) held in March in the Houston area.

Lunar Samples

Apollo Samples
Pictures and descriptions of rocks and soil collected by Apollo astronauts on the lunar surface and returned to Earth.

Luna Samples
Pictures and descriptions of rocks and soil retrieved by Luna sample return missions.

Overviews of Apollo samples are available through the links along the right margin.

Photographs of lunar samples are available in LPI’s Lunar Sample Atlas.  This library of images provides pictures of the Apollo samples taken in the Lunar Sample Laboratory, full-color views of the samples in microscopic thin-sections, cutting views and diagrams that illustrate how the samples were subdivided for scientific analyses, and in situ views of the samples on the lunar surface.  The atlas contains information about the type of sample (e.g., rock, soil), the lithology (e.g., basalt, norite), and a description of the sample.  Links to additional information about each sample are provided for those that have been previously described in The Lunar Sample Compendium and Lunar Sample Catalogs.  Version 1 of the atlas is being released in August 2009.  The process of scanning lunar sample images continues and the atlas will grow in the future.

Detailed descriptions of several samples are available courtesy of the Lunar Sample Curator’s office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The information was compiled by Charles Meyer in The Lunar Sample Compendium. Links to specific Apollo and Luna samples in Meyer’s compendium are also provided below in several different categories.

Lunar Sample Atlas

This library of images provides pictures of the Apollo samples taken in the Lunar Sample Laboratory, full-color views of the samples in microscopic thin-sections, cutting views and diagrams that illustrate how the samples were subdivided for scientific analyses, and in situ views of the samples on the lunar surface. The atlas contains information about the type of sample (e.g., rock, soil), the lithology (e.g., basalt, norite), and a description of the sample. Links to additional information about each sample are provided for those that have been previously described in The Lunar Sample Compendium and Lunar Sample Catalogs. Version 1 of the atlas was released in August 2009 and version 2 was released in July 2010. The process of scanning lunar sample images continues and the atlas will grow in the future.

A subset of this collection, the Apollo Thin Sections catalog, includes all samples for which thin-section views are available. Another subset, the Virtual Microscope catalog, provides interactive views of selected thin sections as they would be seen through a microscope. Another rich source of thin-section views by William Phinney (formerly with the NASA Johnson Space Center) and Howard Wilshire (formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey) is the Digital Petrographic Slide Collection, which is hosted by our colleagues at Arizona State University.

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