Artificial intelligence has been used by a global research team led by ETH Zurich to study the permanently darkened areas of the Moon.
Future lunar missions will benefit from the knowledge they have obtained about the region’s physical characteristics in order to locate suitable locations.
The research was published in Geophysical Research Letters on August 26.
Additionally, this study was conducted as part of the NASA Artemis I program.
It’s a frequent myth that the Moon has a dark side, claims Science Alert. Because of the Moon’s revolution, its equator always receives steady sunlight. The Moon’s polar regions, which contain high walls that shield the crater bottom from intense solar radiation, deep craters, and pocks at high latitudes are exceptions to this rule.
There could potentially be a lot of undiscovered and unknown objects on the moon, including “water,” according to scientists.
“Due to the Moon’s axial tilt, the Sun hangs close to the horizon in the south polar zone, keeping the sunken floors of impact craters perpetually in shadow. This is what makes this region so fascinating. These shadowed areas are consequently exceedingly cold, even colder than Pluto’s surface, with temperatures ranging from 170 to 240 Celsius and getting close to absolute zero “ETH Zürich states.
Ice would easily sublimate into a gas in the vacuum of space at greater temperatures. Water vapor and other flammable chemicals, however, may get stuck or freeze on the lunar soil due to the intense cold.
According to the study’s lead author, Valentin Bickel of ETH Zurich, “there is no indication of pure surface ice within the shaded zones, meaning that any ice must be mixed with lunar dirt or lay beneath the surface.” However, they intend to lay up a plan for doing additional excavation.
There will be more soon.
The LPI-JSC Center for Lunar and Science and Exploration’s investigation of potential Artemis landing locations and surface exploration alternatives led to the findings presented in the new report.
The team has already looked into more than a dozen potential Artemis landing locations. The study’s conclusions might immediately affect next missions like the Intuitive Machines Mission 2, which will be carried out by a start-up for profit.
This robotic mission will gather and study the first soil samples from the Moon’s shadowed south pole before astronauts land there in the spring of 2023.
According to ETH Zürich, “These new study results will enable exact route planning into and through the permanently shadowed zones, thereby considerably reducing the risks to which Artemis astronauts and robotic explorers are exposed.”