Just when someone thinks they know everything about something, it comes up with a new surprise to confuse everyone. The moon is one of the most well-known celestial bodies and a significant amount is known about it, or so everyone thought. There have been reported sightings of mysterious flashes of light on the moon’s surface, and no knows why or what’s causing them.
In an attempt to understand more about these strange light flashes on the moon, scientists are planning to observe and study them more closely than ever before. The ‘transient luminous lunar phenomena’ occur several times a week and illuminate parts of the moon’s landscape for a brief period of time before disappearing again, which is very odd. Occasionally, there’s even a sort of reverse effect which causes the lunar surface to darken, rather than lighten, which has also been observed in the past few weeks.
While there is a lot of speculation circling around about the lunar mystery lights’ origins, there are no solid theories. That said, astronomers from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, plan on figuring out what they are. To do this, they’ve set up a telescope which will use artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically detect the flashes. The most whenever a flash of light is spotted by the AI, the telescope will collect video or photographs of the phenomena which will enable the scientists and researchers to further study and understand the flashes.
This actually isn’t the first time these strange flashes of light have been observed on the moon. The transient lunar phenomena have been known since the 1950s, however, this is the first time they have been observed systematically and for such a long time, according to Hakan Kayal, a professor of space technology. Kayal believes that seismic activity on the moon is releasing gases from the interior that may potentially reflect sunlight, which would explain these phenomena, which could last for many hours. Kayal hopes to prove this theory with more research as well as some more concrete evidence.
While this theory works for the longer, drawn outbursts of light, there is currently no explanation for the briefer flashes. No scientist can give a cause for these flashes of light as the simply don’t have an answer. That said, science has attempted to offer a wide variety of explanations. These include the impact of a meteor, which would cause a brief glow. Another cause of such flashes may be when electrically charged particles of the solar wind react with moon dust. There’s plenty of possible expansions, but which one is right?