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Virtual Microscope: Eye the Apollo Collection!

Want your own glimpse of Apollo 11’s grab and go samples from the Moon, in all 48 pounds (22 kilograms) of rock and soil specimens?

This collection has been created through collaboration between The Open University in the United Kingdom and the NASA curation facility.

You can now examine Apollo 11 thin sections using the Open University’s Virtual Microscope.

The Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences Project aims to make a step change in the teaching of Earth Sciences by broadening access to rock collections that are currently held in museums, universities and other institutions around the world.

“Higher” education – shoot for the Moon

The intention of this unique effort is to engage and excite students in schools or higher education, and anyone interested in materials that make up the Earth’s surface.

Furthermore, the virtual microscope allows users to examine and explore minerals and microscopic features of rocks, helping them to develop classification and identification skills without the need for high-cost microscopes and thin section preparation facilities.

The Apollo 11 collection includes coarse-grained rocks from the lunar highlands, samples of basalt lava flows and samples of regolith (the layer of dust that covers the surface of the Moon).

Visit the Apollo 11 collection at:

http://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/apollo-11

NOTE: The collection of moon rocks drawn from all the missions can be found at:

http://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/moon-rocks

Moons – a visual feast

Also, check out “Moons” a new course from The Open University that started on the FutureLearn platform on Monday, March 17th.

The requirements: “An interest in learning about the moons of our Solar System and the methods used to understand them. Prior knowledge of astronomy is not expected.”

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in geology, astronomy or planets and does not require any previous experience of studying these subjects.

The course covers many aspects of the moons of the Solar System.

Go to:

http://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/virtual-microscope-used-free-course-moons

By Leonard David

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