The data suggests that the solar wind and the Moon's crustal magnetic fields work together to give the Moon a distinctive pattern of darker and lighter swirls. (File photo)
Scientists have explored what effect the Sun's harmful radiation has on the moon. They have found that the radiations have left scars on the lunar surface. A team from the University of California-Berkeley studied data from NASA's ARTEMIS mission along with simulations of the Moon's magnetic environment. ARTEMIS is short for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun, as reported by IANS.
The data suggests that the solar wind and the Moon's crustal magnetic fields work together to give the Moon a distinctive pattern of darker and lighter swirls. The Sun releases a continuous outflow of particles and radiation called the solar wind, which spreads over the planets, Moons and other bodies in our solar system.
People on Earth are largely protected from the damaging effects of the solar wind because the solar wind is magnetised. Earth's natural magnetic field deflects the solar wind particles around our planet so that only a small fraction of them reach our planet's atmosphere, the scientists explained. However, unlike Earth, the Moon has no global magnetic field.
But, magnetised rocks near the lunar surface do create small, localised spots of the magnetic field that extend anywhere from hundreds of yards to hundreds of miles, the IANS report says.
This is the kind of information that needs to be well understood to better protect astronauts on the Moon from the effects of radiation, said Andrew Poppe, a scientist at the varsity.