Uranium Found on the Moon

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The Japanese Kaguya spacecraft, which was launched in 2007, has detected uranium on the moon using a gamma-ray spectrometer:

Scientists are using the instrument to create maps of the moon’s surface composition, showing the presence of thorium, potassium, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, calcium, titanium and iron.

“We’ve already gotten uranium results, which have never been reported before,” said Robert Reedy, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, and a member of the Kaguya science team. “We’re getting more new elements and refining and confirming results found on the old maps.”

The findings could help decide where to build future lunar colonies, since manned outposts will need energy, and could potentially derive it from nuclear power plants.

(Hat tip to Nyrath.)

Leave a Reply