Sunday, January 13, 2013

Activity on the Moon: Transient Lunar Phenomena

At local sunrise Aristarchus (r) and the southern boundary ridge of its namesake plateau catch the advancing terminator long before the surrounding plain of Oceanus Procellarum. The Copernican-age crater, its bright interior and ejecta, much younger than its ancient companion Herodotus (l), is the number one location for reports of Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP). At the same time, the basalt plains immediately south of the plateau, are estimated to be the youngest mare segment on the entire Moon [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Cruz Roa & Andr es Felipe
University of Tolima
Astronomy Group Urania Scorpius
Ibague, Tolima, Colombia

Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP) observed on the surface of the moon, are of high rarity, low repetition rate and very short observation times, resulting in that there is little information about this topic. This necessitates the importance of studying them in detail. They have been observed as very bright clouds of gases of past geological lunar activity. According its duration, there have been registered in di erent colors (yellow, orange, red). Its size can vary from a few to hundreds of kilometers. The TLP Usually occur in certain locations as in some craters (Aristarchus, Plato, Kepler, etc.) and at the edges of lunar maria (Sea of Fecundity, Alps hills area, etc.). The exposure time of a TLP can vary from a few seconds to a little more than one hour.

In this paper, a literature review of the TLP is made to build a theory from the existing reports and scienti c hypotheses, trying to unify and synthesize data and concepts that are scattered by di erent lunar research lines. The TLP need to be explained from celestial mechanics and planetary astrophysics to explain the possible causes from phenomena such as outgassing moon, moonquakes and the gravitational interaction. Extrapolating these hypothetical physical knowledge, arguments are exposed for Lunar degassing theory showing this as the most consistent. It's build also a the theory of how to observe, describe, explain and predict the TLP.

Read the research paper (pdf), HERE.

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