Welcome to the homepage of the Open University Lunar Group! 

The OU Lunar Group is an ever-expanding research team, based in Milton Keynes, and part of the Planetary and Space Sciences discipline within the Department of Physical Sciences. Here, you can find out about the group members and their individual research interest in our 'People' page. The group is very fortunate to have access to state of the art instrumentation, including the OU's NanoSIMS; you can find out more about the instruments we use to analyse lunar samples in the 'Instrumentation’ pages.

You may also be interested in the recent work published and presented by the group, which can be found under the 'Publications' and 'Meetings & Conferences' pages of this website.

We hope all the information here gives an understanding and insight into the research being completed by the group. However, if there is anything else you would like to know please don't hesitate to contact us! Individual email addresses can be found in the ‘People’ section of the website. Alternatively, get in touch via Twitter!


August 2014
A review paper authored by Mahesh, Romain and Jess on the hot topic of lunar water has just been published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, as part of a special issue devoted to the Origin of the Moon. Check it out here, it's open access!

April 2014

New study of water characteristics in apatite in KREEP basalts, led by Romain and involving our colleagues from University of New Mexico, has just been released in the April volume of the journal Geology. Have a look here, it's open access!

March 2014
Jess, Nicci, James, Mahesh and Romain all traveled to the Woodlands, Texas, to participate in the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Talks and posters given by members of the group received great feedbacks, and you can have a look at the abstracts we were involved in here.

February 2014
Nicci, James, Mahesh and Romain attended the "Science and Challenges of Lunar Sample Return" workshop, organised at ESA-ESTEC in the Netherlands.

January 2014
Well done Jess!
Her new paper on
The origin of water in the primitive Moon is out in EPSL. It's open-access, and comes with audio slides!

October 2013
H isotope characteristics of apatite in lunar basalts suggest that water in the Moon and the Earth share a similar origin! Have a look at our study just published in GCA.

25th - 26th September 2013
'Origin of the Moon' discussion continues at the satellite meeting for the next few days. The group will be present and Mahesh is giving a talk on water in the Moon.

23rd - 24th September 2013
The group are at the Royal Society 'Origin of the Moon' meeting for the next two days.

Program here!

11th September 2013
Jess gave an interview with 'Naked Scientists' about her new findings today - it can be listened here!

9th September 2013

8th September 2013
The team will mostly be at EPSC this week! Lunar timetable here!

30th August 2013
Romain gave a talk at Goldschmidt 2013 today on 'NanoSIMS Pb/Pb dating of Tranquillityite in Lunar Basalt'

27th August 2013
Romain and Mahesh have been chairing a session at Goldschmidt 2013 today. 'The Volatile Inventory of the Moon and Mercury'

Mahesh also gave a talk in this session on ' A Common Origin for Terrestrial and Lunar Indigenous Water'. 

August 2013
New paper involving Romain and Mahesh on NanoSIMS Pb/Pb dating in lunar basalts just published in American Mineralogist! Check it out!

20th August 2013
Well Done Nicci

Nicci passed her mini-viva! The mini-viva is an OU stipulation for all first year PhD students which provides an opportunity for all students to discuss their projects with academics not directly involved in their project.

3rd June 2013
Alex Griffiths, an undergraduate student from University Manchester, UK is going the group for a summer internship.

Alex will be looking mesostasis areas in Apollo samples using EMPA and SEM. 

28th May 2013
Nicci is leaving us for 10 weeks to take part in the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) Lunar Exploration Internship in Houston, TX.

She will be working on designing a new mission to the lunar farside! Watch this space for her antics and results!

23rd May 2013
Jess gave her talk on 'The water content of the lunar magma ocean' at the NLSI Lunar Volatiles Workshop. Her talk can be viewed here.

Nicci gave her talk on 'Using lunar apatite to assess the volatile inventory of the Moon' at the NLSI Lunar Volatiles Workshop. Her talk can be viewed here.

22nd May 2013
James gave his talk on 'Investigating the distribution and source(s) of volatiles on the lunar surface' at the NLSI Lunar Volatiles Workshop. His talk can be viewed here.

13th May 2013
This week the group is being visited by Dr Francis McCubbin, University of New Mexico. 

Apatite discussion galore!

7th May 2013
James, Jess and Nicci have been allocated talks for the NLSI Lunar Volatiles Workshop between 21st and 23rd May. 

Full program here.

25th April 2013
Nicci has been accepted on the LPI Summer Exploration Internship.

Along with 4 other students, Nicci will be looking at the latest remote sensing data for the Moon based in Houston, TX for the summer!

26th February 2013
Mahesh, Romain and Dave Rothery are hosting a session at Goldschmidt 2013, Florence on 'The volatile inventory of the Moon and Mercury' session 02i.

Abstract submission now open until 12th April 2013

5th February 2013
LPSC programme and abstracts have been released. 
Mahesh has an abstract for a talk; and Romain has two poster abstracts.

17th January 2013
The RAS Special Meeting on 'The Moon & the Early Earth' has been summarized and published in the societies journal 'Astronomy & Geophysics' here!

Mahesh's talk is summarized in the section Lunar Water.

20th December 2012
The AGU session on 'Apollo' was filmed and kindly put on YouTube for those unfortunate enough not to be able to attend.

You can watch the video here. At ~ 1hr 22min into the video Francis McCubbin gives his talk on lunar volatiles!!

17th December 2012
Jess has had a paper accepted by the Journal 'Chemical Geology', entitled "Accurate and precise measurements of the D/H ratio and hydroxyl content in lunar apatites using NanoSIMS". 

The manuscript can be found here.

13th December 2012
Romain and Mahesh have a new paper out in 'Earth and Planetary Science Letters ' on the source(s) of water on the Moon.

The paper can be found here.

5th December 2012
Well Done James!

James passed his mini-viva this week! The mini-viva is an OU stipulation for all first year PhD students which provides an opportunity for all students to discuss their projects with academics not directly involved in their project.
James did really well and impressed the meteorite guru Prof. Monica Grady!

9th November 2012

As part of the meeting, Mahesh gave a well received talk on the 'timing and source(s) of water in the lunar interior" while both Jess and James presented posters on their work.

The event, which was aimed at combining experts in the fields on lunar science and early earth evolution, had a great line-up of speakers and was a real success!

7th - 8th November 2012
Dr Bill Bottke from NSLI's Center for Lunar Origin & Evolution (CLOE) at Boulder, Colorado has been visiting the OU. Bill gave a very interesting talk on his current research and had the opportunity to see what the UK NSLI's node has been up to!

European Lunar Symposium

The 2nd European Lunar Symposium will take place in London the 15 and 16 May. Information here!


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