Sun’s history may be hidden on the Moon

(ORDO NEWS) — If you want to know about the history of the Sun, then look at the Moon.

That’s the recommendation of a group of scientists who hope to use future Artemis lunar missions to help understand our home star’s life history.

The sun has always influenced all bodies in the solar system. We receive from the Sun not only heat and light, but also a constant rain of high-energy particles and solar wind.

And this is happening not only today, but every day for the past 4.5 billion years.

However, on planets like Earth, we have lost the ancient history of the Sun’s influence on us. Wind weathering, water erosion, and the constant cycles of plate tectonics are taking away any changes the Sun may have made to our crust and either blowing them away or burying them deep in our mantle.

But dead worlds hold much better records, according to a new paper recently published in the preprint journal arXiv.

And since the Moon is the nearest dead world to us, as well as the target of the Artemis mission series, we must go in search of it there.

Of course, since the formation of the Moon, there has been some activity on its surface, such as lava flows and impacts of asteroids and comets. But this activity, according to the authors of the report, helps rather than hinders.

Lava flows can isolate large areas of the Moon’s surface from further interaction with the Sun. If we manage to get under the flows and into the Moon’s deeper regolith, we’ll get a snapshot of solar history before the lava flowed.

And while impacts tend to mix things up, they also expose deeper layers of the surface, giving us easy access to them.

The researchers described several key quantities that we can measure from lunar samples and how they relate to solar activity.

For example, we can look at how long a sample has been exposed to cosmic rays and use that to model the rate of cosmic ray production on the Sun over the past few billion years.

We can also look at the trails left by high-energy particles as they penetrate the crust to get the same information.

Over time, the lunar soil slowly turns into breccia, and this process changes depending on the amount of solar radiation. By comparing different samples at different depths and locations, we can understand how the Sun’s brightness changes over time.

According to the White Paper, there is no better place in the solar system to look into the ancient history of the sun.

Simply put, the Moon is a solar time capsule.

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