LADEE Solves Decades-Old Question About Moon’s Neon

The Christian Science Monitor (8/18, Warner, 455K) continues coverage of how the LADEE spacecraft confirmed that the moon’s atmosphere, also known as an exosphere contains neon. Mehdi Benna of the Goddard Space Flight Center, the lead author of the study, said, “The presence of neon in the exosphere of the moon has been a subject of speculation since the Apollo missions, but no credible detections were made. … We were very pleased to not only finally confirm its presence, but to show that it is relatively abundant.” Sarah Noble, LADEE’s program scientist, said that while exospheres are “the most common class of atmosphere in our solar system. … it is one we don’t know much about.” Benna added, “The data collected by [LADEE] addresses the long-standing questions related to the sources and sinks of exospheric helium and argon that have remained unanswered for four decades. … These discoveries highlight the limitations of current exospheric models, and the need for more sophisticated ones in the future.” Also covering the story are SPACE (8/18, Wall, 195K), Daily Mail (UK) (8/18, Griffiths, 5.59M), Discovery News (8/18, Major, 767K), Tech Times (8/18, Ranosa, 171K), and AmericaSpace (8/18, Anderson).