The Moon accompanies us every night if we are happy to look to the heavens, accompany our seas and has served as inspiration for a thousand and one books, movies or television series. Perhaps it is the space element more reviewed in the history of the Humanity, one of those that more admiration wakes up and, in addition, is the one that better we know.
Not surprisingly, countless probes and exploration robots join the 12 flesh-and-blood astronauts who have stepped on the lunar surface. We know better than anyone the secrets of the Moon, our most magical satellite (it is also the only one, what is going to be done to it), but we still can not say that we know everything about it.
And is that, despite everything we have discovered of the Moon, there are still many mysteries and secrets that escape the understanding of the scientific community. Among them, there are three major problems that NASA, ESA and their Chinese or Japanese counterparts are trying to solve by forced marches:
1. How was the Moon created?
We know how the galaxies were created or how the Earth was formed, but we are unable to explain how the Moon came to be what it is today. The most widespread theory is that our satellite is nothing more than the result of a huge space collision, in which an object the size of Mars crashed on Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, throwing rocky debris. Some of these debris fell into Earth’s orbit, and eventually they merged into a single object: the Moon.
However, to throw enough debris to form the Moon, the collision would have to have been large enough to take the Earth out of its orbit. In addition, the collision had to be strong enough to launch a large amount of material into orbit around the Earth, but not so strong as to destroy it. And that’s where the mystery continues: what hit the Earth and with what force?
2. Why is there water on the Moon?
NASA found water on the Moon in 2009, in the form of ice trapped beneath its surface. But its scientists still can not explain exactly how it got there.
Some believe that there was a period in which the Earth and the Moon were bombarded with asteroids and comets. Some of these objects may have brought water to the surface of the moon and, at the same time, spawned Earth’s oceans.
But a recent analysis of the lunar rocks brought home during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions in the 1970s yielded a new theory. The chemical composition of the rock suggests that the water buried deep inside the moon was brought to its surface by volcanic eruptions. This would mean that the rock satellite water reserves have been there much longer than can be explained by space rock collisions.
3. What hides his ‘hidden face’
The Moon has no atmosphere and, therefore, does not have any type of filter against the solar rays that reach its surface. That supposes that the temperature of our satellite is literally extreme: from 126 degrees Celsius during the day (when the sun hits with all its force) it goes to -108 degrees during the night.
In this way, any object placed on the face most exposed to the sun would melt in just seconds, while on the ‘hidden side’ of the Moon (so called because it is the farthest side not only of the Sun, but also of the Earth). ) could count on secrets like frozen ice inside it. A mystery, the latter, that could be resolved soon, since China has managed to land, on January 3, a probe on the side furthest from the satellite in order to explore the chemical composition of the Von Kármán crater.