Solar flares could strip the Moon bare

first_imgNASA scientists have recently completed a study that would indicate that the Moon is taking a licking while sitting peacefully in space. Thanks to bursts like the one above, which took place on June 7th, 2011, massive amounts of energy in the form of coronal mass ejections are buffeting the lunar surface, causing almost two-hundred tons of debris to be lifted off it and flung into space.The study suggests that because the moon has very little atmosphere and no magnetic field to protect its surface, the CME’s are left unchecked. With the top surfaces of the moon being so loose, these huge bursts of solar “wind” would be quite destructive. While the results of the study come strictly from observations of the sun and the moon from afar, NASA believes that the upcoming Lunar Atmosphere And Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) launching 2013 will be able to confirm the theories brought forth by the Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon team (DREAM). The LADEE is a lunar orbiter that will analyze changes in the moon’s atmosphere, making it the perfect platform from which to study the effects of CME’s.The moon is not the only heavenly body to be affected by this energy, Mars is at risk as well. With very little of the red planet actually covered with a magnetic field, a fast traveling burst of energy in the direction of Mars would have the same sandblasting effect. As far as Earth goes, if you have ever had the privilege of witnessing the Northern Lights, then you have seen the protection that our planet’s magnetic field affords us. CME’s are one cause of the beautiful light displays.There is a short video below of the CME that took place on June 7th, make sure to check it out.More at NASAlast_img