By Nick CarneUS scientists have started making a very detailed analysis of Moon rocks and soil – atom by atom.They say that not only allows them to find things that might otherwise be missed, it also ensures they make good use of a limited supply of precious raw material that hasn’t been replenished since Apollo 17 returned to Earth in 1972.Jennika Greer and colleagues from Field Museum and the University of Chicago applied a technique called atom probe tomography (APT), which is normally used by materials scientists working to improve industrial processes.A grain of lunar soil under a scanning electron microscope.Jennika Greer, Field Museum”It’s the first time a lunar sample has been studied like this,” says Greer. “We’re using a technique many geologists haven’t even heard of.”In a paper in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, the researchers describe Greer’s analysis of single grain of soil, about as wide as a human hair, in…



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