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It's COLD Up There!

But that's not why we're not returning to the moon - Obama cancelled the moon landing program because it's too expensive, so even if there is life and water on the moon, we won't be flying up there to do some moon mining any time soon. Another problem is that the moon contains the coldest place in the solar system! If we did go, our astronauts would have to stay away from the northern shadowed craters up there.

In BBC News, Jonathan Amos quotes NASA's David Paige as saying, "The Moon has one of the most extreme thermal environments of any body in the Solar System. During the middle of the day, temperatures can get up to about 127 Centigrade at the equator; and at the poles at night, they can get very cold." Assuming we will travel to the moon eventually, it's going to be a tough tomorrow for moon workers when we do.

Scientists used to think that volcanoes shooting out gas from deep inside the Earth created our atmosphere. Now they think our atmosphere arrived on a comet from outer space.

Researchers have found that the Earth's mantle contains many "heavy" isotopes of krypton such as krypton-86 and krypton-84, and few of the "lighter" forms such as krypton-82. No, these aren't the "kryptonite" that will kill Superman, these are substances that are carried by meteorites.

But where did these meteorites originate? Researcher Chris Ballentine thinks they came from the Kuiper Belt, a band of meteorites that pass by our planet at regular intervals. A shift in Jupiter's orbit half a billion years ago may have jarred the Belt, sending the icy comets our way. In New Scientist, Shanta Barley quotes researcher Ballentine as saying, "Ancient Earth was strewn with huge volcanoes spewing out gas, but our research shows that the real source of Earth's first atmosphere was actually outer space."

Due to the current recession, further trips to the moon seem have been put on hold for now, but here at unknowncountry.com, we think that will change eventually. Another thing we HOPE will change eventually is how FEW of the readers and Dreamland listeners who claim to love us so much are willing to support us. It costs about $4 a month (less than a single latte) to give us the help we need so subscribe today. And please click on the "donate" tab on our homepage too!

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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