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Cosmic rays alter chemistry of lunar ice

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Artist's illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. CRaTER is the instrument center-mounted at the bottom of LRO. Illustration by Chris Meaney/NASA.

Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and multi-institutional colleagues report they have quantified levels of radiation on the moon’s surface from galactic cosmic ray (GCR) bombardment that over time causes chemical changes in water ice and can create complex carbon chains similar to those that help form the foundations of biological structures. In addition, the radiation process causes the lunar soil, or regolith, to darken over time, which is important in understanding the geologic history of the moon….
Read more: www.physorg.com

Written by physicsgg

March 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Posted in ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS, SPACE

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