Suns Mysterious History Might Be Buried in Moons Crust Scientists Say

Suns Mysterious History Might Be Buried in Moons Crust Scientists Say

first_imgStay on target Rare Harvest Moon Will Light Up Night Sky on Friday the 13thIndia Finds Lost Vikram Lander on Moon’s Surface The sun’s rotation rate during its first billion years still remains a mystery, yet this spin rate impacted solar eruptions and sparked life on Earth. Now, a group of NASA scientists are suggesting that the Moon’s crust might contain insights on the sun’s secret past, including how it shaped other parts of the solar system.Four billion years ago, when the sun was an infant, it experienced outbursts of intense radiation and spewed hot, high-energy clouds and particles across the solar system, said a NASA press release. According to the scientists, these solar tantrums might have depended on how quickly the sun rotated on its axis⁠—the faster the rotation, the quicker the sun would have made some planets inhabitable. Plus, these outbursts could have caused life to develop on our planet, while stripping others of their atmospheres and nourishing chemicals.We got lucky. Had the Sun rotated any faster as a baby, its violent outbursts would have eliminated the possibility of life on Earth. How do we know? The Moon’s crust is telling us. More: https://t.co/7P9zz8ROyh pic.twitter.com/nhFa1kHi1M— NASA (@NASA) June 18, 2019While investigating the sun’s strange rotation rate, Prabal Saxena, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, thought about why the Moon and Earth, which are made of some of the same materials, contain different amounts of potassium and sodium in their soils. Rosemary Killen, a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard, also brought up the question of why lunar regolith (Moon soil) lacks these elements. That’s when both hypothesized that the history of the sun could be buried in the Moon’s crust.Saxena, Killen, and their colleagues tackled this idea by using sophisticated computer simulations to learn about how solar activity impacts sodium and potassium levels and how a star’s rotation rate affects its flare activity. Their computer simulation results, which are detailed in a study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, demonstrated that the sun rotated slower than 50 percent of baby stars and according to their estimates, the sun took at least 9 to 10 days to complete one rotation during its first billion years.By simulating the evolution of the solar system under a slow, medium, and fast-rotating star, the team discovered that the slow-rotating star could send the right amount of charged particles into the Moon’s surface and blast enough potassium and sodium into space over time, which led to the amounts we see in Moon samples today.“The reason the Moon ends up being a really useful calibrator and window into the past is that it has no annoying atmosphere and no plate tectonics resurfacing the crust,” Saxena explained. “So as a result, you can say, ‘Hey, if solar particles or anything else hit it, the Moon’s soil should show evidence of that.’”More on Geek.com:Researchers Detect Mysterious Material Under Moon’s Largest Crater India Unveils Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft for Moon Landing MissionWatch: Water Is Being Ejected From the Moon During Meteor Showerslast_img

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