What does the “hidden side” of the Moon look like, according to scientists?

What does the “hidden side” of the Moon look like, according to scientists? Illustration information

the moonThis natural satellite, which has fascinated humanity since time immemorial, keeps secrets that still remain a mystery to scientists and astronomers today. Despite the many tasks and studies that have been conducted,… Hidden side of the moonWith its properties and secrets, it still arouses deep interest in the international scientific community.

When the task Chang’e-4 I landed in the hole von Kármán On January 3, 2019, China became the first and only country to land on the far side of the Moon, the side that always faces away from Earth.

Currently, China is sending another mission to the other side, and this time its goal is to return the first samples from the “far side” of the Moon to Earth. the mission Chang’e-6Released on Friday, He will spend 53 days exploring the basin Antarctica-Aitken To study its geology and topography, as well as collect samples from different points of the crater.

It is believed that the Antarctic-Aitken Basin It is the largest and oldest crater on the moon’s surfaceWhich covers nearly a quarter of the moon’s surface and has a diameter of that Its length is about 2,500 km and has More than 8 kilometers deep.

Scientists hope that returning samples to Earth will help answer outstanding questions about the interesting far side, which has not been studied as comprehensively as the near side, in addition to confirming the origin of the Moon to determine whether or not this region is visible from Earth and giving clues about how Current and future missions are revealing the secrets of its formation and composition, helping to resolve some fundamental questions about our celestial companion.

During the budget hearing a pot On April 17, Congressman David Troon asked the manager a pot, Bill Nelsonbecause China A task has been sent to the “back” of moon.

“They will have a lander on board Hidden side of the moonIt is the side that is always in the dark. “We’re not planning to go there.”Nelson replied.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said his goal is not to travel to this side of the moon. Reuters/Joe Skipper

The far side of the Moon is sometimes known as “The dark side of the moon”, largely a reference to Pink Floyd’s 1973 album of the same name. But that phrase is somewhat of a misnomer for several reasons, according to experts.

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although Hidden side of the moon It may seem dark from our point of view, A.’s experience Lunar day And one Moon night As does the near face, and receives a lot of light. The lunar day lasts a little more than 29 days, while the lunar night lasts about two weeks, according to scientists’ estimates a pot.

The same side is always facing Land Because of moon It takes the same amount of time to complete one orbit around Land It rotates on its axis: about 27 days. Besides the Hidden side of the moon Her studies were more difficult, which led to the nickname “The dark side” And create an atmosphere of mystery.

several Spaceshipsincluding Lunar reconnaissance vehicle Follower a pot Which constantly rotates and takes pictures of the moon’s surface, it helped shed light on the moon.

Yutu 2 rover on the far side of the moon. Credit: CNSA

Yutu-2a Lunar probe Which Chang’e-4 Launched in 2019, it also explored the loose deposits of rock and pulverized dust that covered the crater floor. von Kármánlocated within the largest basin in Antarctica-Aitken.

But return the samples to Land It will allow the latest and most sensitive technology to analyze lunar rocks and dust, potentially revealing how the Moon formed. moon And your why Hidden face Very different from Close face.

Despite years of orbital data and samples collected during six of the missions ApolloScientists are still trying to answer key questions about… moon.

“The reason the far side is so attractive is that it is very different from the side of the Moon that we see, the near side.”He said Noah Pietroproject world a pot Both for him Lunar reconnaissance vehicle As for Artemis IIIa mission aimed at bringing humans to… moon For the first time since 1972. “Throughout human history, humans have been able to look up and see the same surface, the same side of the Moon.”

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But in 1959 soviet union Send a probe to fly over Hidden side of the moon She took her first pictures of humanity.

“We saw this hemisphere as completely different: not covered by large lava flows, full of craters, and with a thicker crust. It tells a different story than the near side,” Pietro said.

NASA scientists working on the SpaceX project. Image source: (NASA/Joel Kosky)

The return of samples by robotic missions and the landing of humans near the transition between the two regions of the Moon at the South Pole through the program Artemis, “It will help tell this more complete story of lunar history that we are now missing.”He said.

Although scientists understand why one side of the moon is always facing up LandThey don’t know why this particular side is constantly facing our planet. But Malhotra said it may have something to do with the moon being asymmetrical.

He added: “There is some asymmetry between the side in front of us and the other side.” “What exactly caused these discrepancies? What really are these discrepancies? We have very little understanding of that. “This is a great scientific question.”

Chang’e-6 It’s just a mission to go to the hidden side of moonsince a pot It also has plans to send robotic missions there.

Josh Denevi, a planetary geologist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, helped design a mission concept for a lunar rover called to bearwhich will make a long journey across a basin Antarctica-Aitken To collect data and samples before delivering them to landing sites Sage Near the south pole of the moon. Astronauts can then study the samples and decide which ones should be returned to space. Land.

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One of the fundamental questions that scientists have tried to answer is how moon. The prevailing theory is that some kind of thing had an effect on the body Land At the beginning of its history, a giant piece was formed that flew off our planet moon.

Scientists also want to know what the shell’s original crust looked like moon. Volcanic flows created dark spots on moonWhile the lighter parts of the surface represent the primitive crust of the planet moon.

“We think that at one point the Moon was completely molten, and this was a magma ocean, and when it solidified, minerals floated to the top of this ocean, and this is the lightest terrain we can see today,” he said. “Getting access to large areas of pristine terrain on the other side is just one goal.”

One of the fundamental questions that scientists have tried to answer is how the Moon formed. – Illustration information

Meanwhile, studying the craters dotted on the moon’s surface offers a story about how things moved during the early days of the solar system at a critical point when life began to form on Earth, Denevi said.

“As collisions occurred on the Moon, collisions occurred on Earth at the same time,” Petro said. “So every time we look at these ancient events on the Moon, we also learn a little bit about what’s happening on Earth.”

Malhotra said visiting the Antarctica-Aitken Basin could be the beginning of solving many lunar mysteries. While researchers believe they have an idea of ​​when the crater formed, perhaps between 4.3 and 4.4 billion years ago, collecting rock samples can provide a specific age.

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