The Moon seems like a pretty static place. After all, there’s little atmosphere and apart from occasional meteorite impacts, nothing much happens. Or so we thought. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission found that every month when the moon is full, the moon crosses through the Earth’s magnetotail, bathing our satellite in high energy charged particles that may create dust storms and electrical static.
Astronauts have never been on the Moon during this period. Landings have never taken place when the moon is full. But as Roland Piquepaille on ZDNet’s Emerging Tech blog discusses, if astronauts return to the moon to establish a base, they will have to face the challenges of the magnetotail, which could clog up vents and even give astronauts electric shocks!
[via Science Daily, image by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab]