Building a Moon Base To Monitor Radiation on Earth

According to the International Journal of Remote Sensing a moon base can track the degree of irradiation here on Earth.  Cosmic radiation alters terrestrial climate by ionizing water to create clouds. Solar radiation on the other hand can increase temperature and cause blackouts.

Chinese scientists propose that we construct a reverse telescope on the moon so that we can begin to track this radiation closer to it’s source at the Earths poles (aurora borealis), where it is difficult for satellites to get to. In so doing we can more closely monitor and anticipate the effects of climate change.

Solar cosmic rays are ejected from the sun during coronal mass ejections. That radiation is then transported throughout the solar system on a highway of interplanetary magnetic flux rope. During an event called magnetic reconnection flux rope collides with our atmosphere spiralling down the polar axis to create the “aurora borealis” .

It is this magnetic re-connection combined with a bunch of smaller microscopic holes in the frontal magnetic bowshock that allows radiation to penetrate our atmosphere and alter climactic patterns.

Wentao Duan, and Shaopeng Huang and Chenwei Nie published the article titled Conceptual design of a Moon-based Earth radiation observatory and supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 4150855 and China Scholarschip Council under grant 201706280348

The Moon-based Earth Radiation Observatory (MERO) would complement surveillance satellites orbiting the Earth by providing a safe, long lasting alternative that can more closely observe polar entry points for cosmic radiation.

However, the moons shape, size and irregular orbit make finding the right location for an observatory crucial.

“Based on the analysis of data from the JPL Horizons Ephemeris System for an 18.6-years precession cycle, we show that due to the irregularities of the lunar orbit, for a MERO to maintain an all-time whole Earth disk coverage, it needs to be located within the region of 80.5º W–80.5º E and 81.5º S–81.5º N on the nearside of the Moon and requires a minimum angular instantaneous field of view of 2.07º.

Additionally, it should have a 360º horizontally and 15.5º vertically orientation adjustability.”

MERO also runs the risk of being exposed to enough sunlight that it could disrupt accurate readings but regardless scientists argue the extra 10% polar coverage of a multi-station network is well worth trying out given the increasingly disturbing effects of climate change.

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