LRO probe is found in the atmosphere of the moon helium atoms


17/08/2012

Scientists have discovered the helium atoms in the atmosphere of the moon using LAMP aboard LRO. "The question now is as follows - arose whether the helium from the interior of the moon, mainly as a result of the decay of some radioactive isotope, or from an external source - for example, the solar wind. If we can prove that the solar wind to blame, it will help us understand how to take place on other celestial bodies similar processes with no real atmosphere, "- said Alan Stern, head of the project LAMP, from the Research Institute of the Southeast.

Stern and his colleagues studied the atmosphere of the moon - an extremely thin layer of gases on the surface of the satellite of our planet. It is believed that the moon is surrounded by a vacuum, because this layer is not comparable in its density to the atmospheres of the planets. However, scientists are making some attempts to study the atmosphere of the moon, to find out its origin and composition.

The group of astrophysicists from the head of the spectroscope LAMP Stern adapted for this purpose aboard LRO, used to map the moon’s surface.

Scientists have "shone" its atmosphere with a spectroscope during 50 turns LRO, trying to separate from background noise data on the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Observations showed that in the lunar atmosphere and the helium is present. In addition, on the lunar surface soil researchers found argon atoms - perhaps even the atmosphere that comprises a noble gas.

Stern and his colleagues plan to continue their studies of the atmosphere of the moon. They will try to find the argon atoms in it and figure out how its density changes with the approach of night or day.

LRO spacecraft was launched by NASA in 2009, scientists are looking for with the help of the sources of resources for earth satellite map a radioactivity of the total surface of the planet and detailed three-dimensional maps of the lunar surface, including the ultraviolet spectrum, and in addition to a number of other studies.

In orbit, the unit in two years time to consider the satellite, as well as to find supplies of water on it to open the diverse features of the terrain, and also to fix a different space technology left here - from the seat of American vehicles Ranger and Surveyor series to Soviet "Lunokhod-2" .


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