Korea’s Danuri Lunar Probe Reveals Surprising Discoveries on the Dark Side of the Moon

2023-12-17 11:07:42

A panoramic view of the Shackleton Crater at the South Pole of the Moon, created by combining photos taken by Korea’s Danuri and the US Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera. The inside of the crater was taken by Danuri, and the outside was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The science journal Nature reported on the 14th (local time) that Korea’s lunar probe ‘Danuri’ has uncovered surprising information about the back side of the moon that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Nature reported that at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting held in San Francisco from the 11th to the 15th, Korean scientists observed an unprecedented level of high-energy electromagnetic radiation from the far side of the Moon (the backside of the Moon as seen from Earth). He said that he had announced the facts. The moon rotates with the same cycle as it orbits the Earth, which is why only the ‘front’ side of the moon can be seen from the Earth. Danuri, Korea’s first lunar exploration orbiter, was launched in August last year and has been orbiting the moon since December, four months later, conducting lunar observations in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The high-energy electromagnetic radiation from the back of the moon reported at the meeting is the observation result of the gamma (γ) ray spectrometer mounted on Danuri. Regarding the observation of high-energy electromagnetic radiation only on the far side of the moon, Nature said, “Different electromagnetic radiation means that an object has different properties of transmitting electricity. If the electrical conductivity is high, the temperature is higher or there is more water inside. “It means that one side of the moon is different from the other (in terms of internal composition), which scientists currently cannot explain,” he said. Regarding this, Jeong Min-seop, a senior researcher at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, said, “Planets like Earth often have an even distribution of internal materials, but most satellites in the solar system, including the moon, usually have different front and rear environments. However, it has not yet been revealed why this is the case,” he explained. Danuri is currently on a mission longer than its expected lifespan of one year, and its actual lifespan is expected to be determined by whether the internal solar battery operates after the solar eclipse scheduled for March 2025. Nature explained about Danuri, “It is the first Korean spacecraft to go beyond Earth orbit, and it will pave the way for Korean astronauts to explore the lunar surface in the next few decades.” Reporter Park Ki-yong [email protected]
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