NASA: Lunar surface recent study challenging past estimates

NASA: Lunar surface recent study challenging past estimates


As the Lunar Exploration is achieving new heights day by day, now here comes another interesting data through NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft which has been studying the moon’s surface through its high tech equipment’s.

The Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument in the LRO studying the Metallic distribution in the lunar surface reported that the subsurface of the moon could have higher quantity of metals like Iron and Titanium than estimated earlier.

A recent press release by Earth and Planetary Science Letters stated that, it could further help in understanding the relation between Earth and the Moon.

The recent data collected by the NASA’s orbiter is about to challenge some of the past estimates made by the space organisations. As during the examination of polar lunar craters in the northern Hemisphere of the Moon, the Mini-RF of the LRO noted that the dielectric constant of the lunar soil kept increasing while examining the craters of the increasing diameter up to 5km. Essam Heggy, the co-investigator and the lead author of the published paper, called this observation “a surprising relationship that we had no reason to believe would exist”.

As dielectric properties are directly related to the presence of Iron and Titanium oxide, NASA has expressed the possibility of meteors hitting the lunar surface and digging up the dust from beneath the Moon’s surface. Now if the logic is supposed to be true then there is a huge possibility of large unknown reserve of Iron and Titanium Oxide.

Confirming the recent study, the metal oxide map generated from the Wide angle camera of LRO, Japan’s Kaguya mission and NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft showed that craters of larger diameter having increased dielectric material were rich in metals too. It further suggested the increased quantity of iron and titanium oxide at 0.5 to 2 km as compared to that of 0.2 to 0.5 km of the lunar surface.

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