Scientists are currently studying more about the natural satellite of our planet. The most interesting mystery about our Moon is that the Earth’s natural satellite may be much richer in minerals and metals like iron and titanium than previously known. These new discoveries are a result of studying the ice formations in the polar lunar craters.
The new study is conducted by the team members of the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument on NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft and the studies are published in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Through the evidently mineral-rich subsurface of the Moon, the study sheds more light on the connection between Earth and the Moon, possibly revealing answers to questions around its formation.
How much metal is on the Moon?@NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has found evidence that increased levels of iron and titanium oxides lurk below the lunar surface >> https://t.co/ztScYSowl2 @NASAMoon pic.twitter.com/HZkydOd2UU
— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) July 2, 2020
NASA sees the provision of minerals in Moon
The researchers used Mini-RF to measure the dielectric constant on lunar soil. The dielectric constant is an electrical property that measures the relative ability of a material to transmit electric fields in comparison with the vacuum of space. Researchers are using the technique to locate ice formations in the crater shadows on the northern hemisphere of the moon. The team, however, noticed an increase in the dielectric constant as the crater size increased.
For 2 to 5 kilometers wide craters, the dielectric constant of the material steadily increased with size. Craters between 5 to 20 kilometers wide, however, showed it to be constant. Essam Heggy, co-investigator of the Mini-RF experiments from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, mentioned in a NASA report, “It was a surprising relationship that we had no reason to believe would exist”.
To confirm the theory, scientists compared crater floor radar images from Mini-RF with metal oxide maps from the LRO Wide-Angle Camera, Japan’s Kaguya mission, and NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft. The findings matched with the suggestions from the theory. Let us know what you think of it in the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to join us on our Telegram Channel for more such latest updates and discussions.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.