Using computer simulations, NASA scientists were able to re-create the primal moon by removing the small craters that were contaminating its surface, and the result allowed NASA to determine that the moon's geographical poles were not always where we see them today.
NASA's new study confirms that the moon's geographical poles are traveling, and scientists at the NASA Goddard Space Mission Center used computer simulations to arrive at this conclusion. By erasing all small craters, astronomers under the leadership of NASA/GSFC, Vishnu Vishwanatana, have recreated the first moon.
The removal of these craters as a result of an asteroid impact has enabled them to determine the movement of poles, dated 4.25 billion years ago, so that information from computer simulations can be used to understand the evolution of our satellite. Again, it will be important to determine the state of resources on the Moon, such as frozen water, which is one of the key reasons NASA wants to explore the moon poles.
"," says Vishnu Vishwanatan of NASA/GSFC.
Study of the Moon Poles
The displacement of the moon poles is certainly not something new, so that we are talking about true polar wandering. . However, this study confirms their movement and illustrates the extent to which the poles are changing. In fact, NASA GSFC researchers have explained how the moon poles, after a collision with the asteroid, were "wrong" for a distance equivalent to 10 degrees latitude, or about 300 km.
The movement of poles, explained by TPW, is the result of the rotation of the solid body relative to the axis of rotation. It occurs when a rotating object is affected by phenomena such as changing its mass distribution. As a result, the change in the moon has shifted, and the poles have changed their position over time.
The study, published in the journal, is based on the study and removal of about 5,200 craters in diameter between 20 and 1,200 km. To achieve this result, scientists used the Moon's topography maps extrapolated from data obtained by the laser altimeter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Without knowing how much water ice is contained on the poles, scientists have suggested that if the moon changes its poles to a warmer and less shaded region, the water ice can sublimate. With sublimation, i.e., the transition from solid to gaseous, frozen water would have little time to accumulate in large quantities on the poles.
According to Vishwanatan, small craters on the Moon have always been considered insignificant for the purpose of studying the changes that have taken place on our satellite, but computer simulations have shown that they are all important, and NASA's GSFC scientists are now planning to continue this process of removing the lunar craters from the simulation.
Not only is the future goal to remove the topography changes that have occurred as a result of past volcanic eruptions, but the team of astronomers hopes to get even more precise answers about the lost poles, but it is hoped that it will happen at the same time that a person returns to the Moon, starting with the first robotic missions of the NASA CLPS programme, so it will be possible to test the presence of ice water on the southern pole of the Moon, confirming the theory developed by scientists, and then better prepare for Artemis-3 and the sustainable return of a person to the Moon.