Brett Denevi, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Although we may not think of the Moon as a dynamic place (the first lunar explorers described the landscape’s “magnificent desolation”), its past was one of intense bombardment, floods of lavas, and intrusive volcanism, and even today it continues to change. Understanding the Moon’s past and present may provide our best opportunity to gain new insights topics as diverse as the early evolution of the Solar System and the timeline of the first development of life on Earth. The Moon also yields insights into how a planetary body evolves from a fiery magma ocean to a solid world still cooling off today, and the how often asteroids and comets have struck the surface of the Moon (and thus the Earth) in the past and the present day. The last decade has seen a renaissance in lunar science due to a host of new missions and reexamination of old data and samples. This talk will focus on highlights of these recent results, their significance for our big‐picture view of the Solar System, and where we should go next to answer some of our most important outstanding questions.