Unexpected lunar activity detected

PTI London | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 01, 2015


Researchers at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and Umea University in Sweden made use of the particle instrument SARA (Sub-keV Atoms Reflecting Analyser) that travelled to the Moon on board the Indian satellite Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, and believe that the lunar space environment is much more than previously assumed.

Unlike solar wind, which is a continuous flow of plasma from the Sun and is known to cause aurora on Earth, The lunar atmosphere is too thin to show the same phenomenon and the Moon also lacks a global magnetic field to regulate the solar wind.

Researchers found evidence that the surface of the Moon reflect some of the solar wind. The reflected solar wind ions move in spiralling tracks that can take them from the lunar dayside, where the solar wind strikes first, to the nightside of the Moon. In the long term, this has effects on the surface of the Moon and can, for instance, have an effect on the water levels in the lunar crust.

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Published on December 01, 2015
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