Evidence of Solar-Driven Change traced on moon

A study led by scientists at Northern Arizona University has highlighted clues to help in understanding the active lunar surface.

Highlights

  • In the study, tiny iron-nanoparticles were found naturally on the Earth and have been found everywhere on the moon.
  • According to an article published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have found that solar radiation is the more significant source of lunar iron nanoparticles than it was earlier thought.

How iron nanoparticles are formed on moon?

  • Research highlight that, Asteroid impacts and solar radiation affects moon in unique ways because it lacks protective magnetic field and atmosphere which protect people on Earth.
  • Asteroids as well as solar radiation break down the lunar rocks and soil, which form iron nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are detectable from the instruments on satellites orbiting around the moon.

Data from NASA and JAXA

Data from NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spacecraft helps scientists to understand how quickly iron nanoparticles form on moon over time.

How solar radiation influence moon?

Even though Iron absorbs a lot of light but very small amounts of such particles are detected from far. This makes particles a great indicator of change on the moon. Smaller iron nanoparticles are formed at a rate similar to radiation damage in samples that returned from Apollo Missions to the Moon.

Significance of the study

Study of the solar radiation environment and possible resources on moon is significant in the backdrop of NASA’s plan to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 under the Artemis Mission.

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