China's Chang'e-4 mission is investigating the dark side of the moon. What could this Chinese space mission discover on the moon? Here are some things for which it's designed.
New knowledge about the history of the moon.
No space mission has until now examined the dark side of the surface. Chang'e-4 is the first to get an opportunity to explore the mysterious area of the natural satellites of the Earth.
The dark side, which can not be seen from the Earth, in some key things differs from the "famous bright side". The surface layer is thicker, older and has more craters. In addition, there are fewer "mares" (dark basalt seas created by lava) than on the light side.
Chang'e-4 allegedly landed in a crater named Von Karman, a 180-kilometer wide recess of the southern hemisphere on the dark side. That crater is in the Eytka's pool - a much larger hole carved on the south pole of the moon.
It is the oldest, deepest and deepest moon on the moon, and it is formed millions of years ago, when asteroid with a diameter of at least 500 kilometers hit the moon. The impact was so strong that the asteroid penetrated the bark of the moon and entered the deep layer called the sheath.
One of the objectives of the mission is to study the matter of the casket scattered around the landing site. It can offer insight into the internal structure and history of the moon.
The data that collected the spacecraft into the orbit already showed that the surface of the pool is distinguished by the composition of the hills that surround it. However, parts of the crate on the surface are just one of the possible explanations.
The moon vehicle will make panoramic images of interesting locations, while a spectrometer will examine the minerals at the bottom of the crater, as well as rocks scattered around the place where the asteroid hit. In addition, a specially engineered radar will "peek" under the surface, up to a depth of about one hundred meters, to gain insight into the structure of the surface crust of the moon.
Opportunity for astronomers
For the dark side of the moon, it was long believed to be the ideal place for a special kind of radio astronomy, which uses low frequencies because it is protected from radio waves emitted from the Earth. Frequencies below ten megahertz can not be used for astronomical research from the Earth, because they interfere with radio stations and various natural factors.
Chang'e-4 carries an instrument called a low-frequency spectrometer, which uses these frequencies, and will be assisted by a similar device from the Queyao satellite in the moon's orbit. The goal is to create a low-frequency radio map in the sky and to examine the behavior of the Sun.
Liu Tongji of the Chinese Space Agency in 2016 said: Because the dark side of the moon is protected from Earth's electromagnetic waves, it is an ideal place to study the universe and solar torches, as well as to receive signals from the deep universe. "
So this mission will fill some "holes in astronomical research and will allow scientists to study space phenomena in a way that has not been possible before.
Moon and radiation
Several space agencies planned in the near future to send people to the moon for longer missions. It is therefore important to understand the potential risk of radiation.
Earth's dense atmosphere and strong magnetic field provide good protection against galactic cosmic radiation of charged particles coming from the Sun. But the astronauts on the moon can not count on this protection and will be exposed to particles traveling through the universe at speeds near the speed of the lightning, which could endanger their health.
German scientists have submitted dosimeters, which measure radiation doses that absorb the human body due to the subsequent expeditions and because of the better understanding of the nature of the cones from the Sun.