Astronomy Report Astronomy Report
Recent News |  Archives |  Tags |  Space Weather |  Space Weather Email Alerts (New!) |  About |  Newsletter |  Submit News |  Links |  Subscribe to AstronomyReport.com RSS Feed Subscribe


More Articles
Batteries included: A solar cell that stores its own powerBatteries included: A solar cell that stores its own power

Lift weights, improve your memoryLift weights, improve your memory

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubesBeyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny waysMagnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways

Structure of an iron-transport protein revealedStructure of an iron-transport protein revealed

First step: From human cells to tissue-engineered esophagusFirst step: From human cells to tissue-engineered esophagus

Spiders: Survival of the fittest groupSpiders: Survival of the fittest group

Autophagy helps fast track stem cell activationAutophagy helps fast track stem cell activation

Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnasticsCharged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics

A unique approach to monitoring groundwater supplies near Ohio fracking sitesA unique approach to monitoring groundwater supplies near Ohio fracking sites

Myelin vital for learning new practical skillsMyelin vital for learning new practical skills

Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agricultureBuilding a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture

More physical activity improved school performanceMore physical activity improved school performance

Engineering new vehicle powertrainsEngineering new vehicle powertrains

Stunning finds from ancient Greek shipwreckStunning finds from ancient Greek shipwreck

Around the world in 400,000 years: The journey of the red foxAround the world in 400,000 years: The journey of the red fox

Active aging is much more than exerciseActive aging is much more than exercise

Study: New device can slow, reverse heart failureStudy: New device can slow, reverse heart failure

Are the world's religions ready for ET?Are the world's religions ready for ET?

Gut bacteria, artificial sweeteners and glucose intoleranceGut bacteria, artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance

Recreating the stripe patterns found in animals by engineering synthetic gene networksRecreating the stripe patterns found in animals by engineering synthetic gene networks

Laying the groundwork for data-driven scienceLaying the groundwork for data-driven science

Hold on, tiger momHold on, tiger mom

Nature's designs inspire research into new light-based technologiesNature's designs inspire research into new light-based technologies

Missing piece found to help solve concussion puzzleMissing piece found to help solve concussion puzzle

Biologists delay the aging process by 'remote control'Biologists delay the aging process by 'remote control'

Geography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence U.S. economyGeography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence U.S. economy

Identified for the first time what kind of explosive has been used after the detonationIdentified for the first time what kind of explosive has been used after the detonation

Copied from nature: Detecting software errors via genetic algorithmsCopied from nature: Detecting software errors via genetic algorithms

Astronomer Offers New Theory Into 400-year-old Lunar Mystery (8/2/2007)

Tags:
moon, transient lunar phenomena

Image of TLP taken in 1953, courtesy of Columbia's Department of Astronomy. The TLP is the small, bright spot in the center of the image. - Photo Credit: Leon Stuart
Image of TLP taken in 1953, courtesy of Columbia's Department of Astronomy. The TLP is the small, bright spot in the center of the image. - Photo Credit: Leon Stuart
Columbia astronomy professor Arlin Crotts thinks he has solved a 400-year-old mystery: the origin of strange optical flashes often reported as appearing on the moon's surface.

Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLPs), in which the lunar surface reportedly changes in brightness, blurriness or color, have been photographed and observed by thousands of astronomers over the centuries. Yet explanations of why they occur and even their reality as true lunar phenomena have been hotly debated. The TLPs typically cover a space of a few kilometers and last for several minutes.

Crotts has uncovered a strong statistical relationship between TLPs and so-called outgassing events on the lunar surface. Outgassing occurs when gases trapped beneath a moon or planet are released and, if only briefly, become part of the object's atmosphere. A key component of this gas is radon.

"People over the years have attributed TLPs to all sorts of effects: turbulence in Earth's atmosphere, visual physiological effects, atmospheric smearing of light like a prism, and even psychological effects like hysteria or planted suggestion" says Crotts, "but TLPs correlate strongly with radon gas leaking from the moon. No earth-bound effect can fake that."

To arrive at his theory, Crotts correlated TLPs with known gas outbursts from the lunar surface as seen by several spacecraft, particularly NASA's Apollo 15 mission in 1971 and the robotic Lunar Prospector in 1998. What he discovered was a remarkable similarity in the pattern of outgassing event locations recorded by spacecraft across the face of the moon and reported TLP sites.

The pattern was further strengthened after Crotts performed a statistical test to rid the sample list of false reports and one time events that might not represent true outgassing sources. "The result," says Crotts "shows that some lunar event sites that were the focus of great observer excitement over recent decades disappeared from the more highly refined list of TLP sites." Crotts used two catalogs of such sightings amassed and edited three decades ago by now retired astronomers Barbara Middlehurst and Winifred Cameron.

Crotts says this research might lead to optical imaging of the lunar surface that could monitor how, when and where gas escapes from the moon. While the exact composition of this gas is largely unknown, he explains, hints from previous measurements indicate that it might contain substances beneficial for future moon explorations, especially water.

Until now, Crotts says two factors have worked against researchers solving the mystery of TLPs. Historically, outgassing has often been discussed by scientists, but many have considered the moon volcanically dead despite moonquakes and episodes of gas, such as argon, observed coming from the lunar surface. Another deterrent to researchers is the daunting volume of visual data associated with TLPs a fact that plays to Crotts' particular research interest and skills.

Along with collaborators Professors Paul Hickson from the University of British Columbia, and Thomas Pfrommer and Cameron Hummels of Columbia, Crotts recently built the robotic camera at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in northern Chile. It will automatically scan the moon for TLPs every few seconds and produce an unbiased map of the distribution, free of potentially flawed sightings due to human error, poor equipment, or improperly recorded observations that have dominated TLP studies until now. The scientists are planning even more monitors and hope they will establish with much greater accuracy the exact locations of gas leaks on the moon.

Crotts says improved TLP maps are already pointing to intriguing features on the lunar surface, and he is currently preparing a separate article on that subject.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Columbia University

Comments:

1. williams

3/28/2008 10:38:45 AM MST

there has to be some more substantial reason why usa did'nt return-continue visiting the moon;possibly some ET evidence to suggest more caution;but I'd not doubt any phenomena-


2. A.

3/19/2010 10:33:35 PM MST

Dear Professor;
Where can scientific proof or reference, confirming planetary circumnavigation be accessed? With the use of special filters, Astronomers can observe Jupiter during all 12 months of the year. The 2009 World Almanac confirms this by publishing the day, hour and minute of Jupiter's rising and setting times for each of the 12 months. If our solar system is allegedly circumnavigating the Sun, how could observations be possible during the four month period when the Earth & Jupiter are on opposite sides of the Sun from Each other? Does www.aptheory.info answer this question? The web site posists the solar winds, not quantum gravity (disproved in 1956) are the source probelling our solar system in front of the Sun and that the solar system formed from the Sun's mantle and core. Newtonian gravity (not quantum) is proven and referenced but does not satisfactorily explain this situation. The arc in which the two planets travel also does not explain the Sun's lack of obstruction during this four month period. Please explain.
The logical explanation for Jupiter's observation 12 months per year is www.aptheory.info. Do you agree?
Sincerely, A. Pettolino, Author of AP Theory


Leave a Reply:

Solar X-rays

Geomagnetic Field

Search
New Articles
Mars One -- and done?

Inside the Milky WayInside the Milky Way

Leaky galaxies lead researchers to better understand the universeLeaky galaxies lead researchers to better understand the universe

POLARBEAR detects B-modes in the cosmic microwave background

Dead star shines on

Some newly discovered periodic orbits of Newton's 3-body problem are unstableSome newly discovered periodic orbits of Newton's 3-body problem are unstable

Hubble project maps temperature, water vapor on wild exoplanetHubble project maps temperature, water vapor on wild exoplanet

Zeroing in on a source of gamma rays

NuSTAR discovers impossibly bright dead starNuSTAR discovers impossibly bright dead star

Radio telescopes unravel mystery of nova gamma rays

Astronomers see right into heart of exploding starAstronomers see right into heart of exploding star

Hungry black hole eats faster than thought possibleHungry black hole eats faster than thought possible

Winter is coming ... to Titan's south pole

NASA's MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

Origin of moon's 'ocean of storms' revealedOrigin of moon's 'ocean of storms' revealed



Archives
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007


Science Friends
Agricultural Science
Sports Tech
Biology News
Biomimicry Science
Cognitive Research
Chemistry News
Tissue Engineering
Cancer Research
Cybernetics Research
Electonics Research
Forensics Report
Fossil News
Genetic Archaeology
Genetics News
Geology News
Microbiology Research
Nanotech News
Parenting News
Physics News


  Archives |  Submit News |  Advertise With Us |  Contact Us |  Links
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. All contents © 2000 - 2015 Web Doodle, LLC. All rights reserved.