The Angry UFOlogist

Full Moon Filmed with and without a 780nm NIR Filter

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Added by The Angry UFOlogist in Physics Science


The moon was full this month at a period very close to its Perigee (November 26th 2018), giving a decent oppurtunity to test one of my 780nm NIR filters to see what I could see.

The resolution is not great, however I think there is some potential for using higher quality NIR filters to examine and highlight some of the regions on the moon which show high albedo (reflectance).

High albedo regions on the moon are particularly interesting to study as they appear optically immature compared to the surrounding regolith - indicating a relatively recent formation. When viewed closely on the surface of the moon some of these regions of high albedo have unuusual winding shapes, known as "Lunar Swirls".

Swirls have been identified on the lunar maria and highlands - they are not associated with a specific lithologic composition. Swirls on the maria are characterized by strong albedo contrasts and complex, sinuous morphology, whereas those on highland terrain appear less prominent and exhibit simpler shapes, such as single loops or diffuse bright spots.

The lunar swirls are coincident with regions of relatively high magnetic field strength on a planetary body that does not, and may never have had, an active core dynamo with which to generate its own magnetic field.

Every swirl studied has an associated magnetic anomaly, but not every magnetic anomaly has an identifiable swirl, as shown by orbital magnetic field mapping by the Lunar Prospector satellite.

Because the Moon has no currently active global magnetic field, these regional anomalies are regions of remnant magnetism; their origin remains a mystery - Some theories suggest a formation from lunar vulcanism - such as the formation of lava tubes. Other models suggest origin from comet impacts. Another, perhaps more exotic, model suggests that the magnetic anomaly on the moon itself forms the swirl which is given a higher albedo relative to surrounding rock by the ion bombardment of the soil being deflected in these regions due to the magnetic fields deflecting the solar wind.

NIR seems to have some ability to show the albedo of some of the regions of the moon beyond what cameras operating in the visible spectrum can accomplish, NIR observations of the moon have been surveyed extensively from Lunar Satellites such as NASA's Clementine Satellite.

It is hoped more extensive mapping of Swirls by cubesats and other mission specific satellites involving a combination of NIR cameras and magnetometers could help solve the mystery of the lunar swirls and their formation and their relationship to the magnetic anomalies associated with them.

Tags: MuonRay, Science

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