The Unknown Moon: Eliminating Misconceptions and Strengthening Lunar Science Literacy in the Classroom
Our Moon is an ideal tool for teaching about space science and Earth’s place in our solar system. The Moon remains the most studied object in our solar system and the only other body, besides Earth, from which humans have collected field samples. Despite our long history of studying the Moon, there are still many questions that remain unanswered. Most students believe that we know everything there is to know about the Moon, but in actuality it still remains very much “unknown.” For example, recent radar observations of the lunar poles suggest the presence of water ice, but the quantity remains unknown. Additionally, remote-sensing analysis of the Moon’s regolith suggests the presence of chemicals that can be used as resources when manned-missions return to the Moon, but how we would access those resources remains unknown. These studies and many more need to be shared with students in a way that regenerates excitement for future exploration of our Moon and our solar system. Common lunar misconceptions and ideas for establishing Lunar Science Literacy Concepts (LSLC) will be discussed in this paper.