Now we have evidence of the "noble" origin of the main satellite of the Earth! Experiments done by NASA in the lunar atmosphere and its surrounding dusty environment confirmed the long-standing theory about the presence of neon on the moon (neon is one of the most noble gases, but what does he do there with argon and helium isotopes?). The concentration of each of these elements also varies with the time of day.
“The presence of neon in the moon’s exosphere has been the subject of much controversy, but until recently there was no convincing evidence,” said Mehdi Benna from the NASA Goddard Center for Space Flight in Greenbelt, Maryland. "We were very pleased that, finally, our guesses about the presence of neon on the Moon, moreover, in such a large number, were confirmed," the lead author of articles describing the results added.
However, despite the relative abundance of the element in its atmosphere, this is not enough to create any visible glow.
These elements have their sources, for example, the solar wind. This constant stream of charged particles from the star collides with the moon. Heavy elements remain on the surface of the satellite, while light and more volatile elements, such as neon and argon, are returned to space. But some fail to do this because of gravity.
While we are talking, the “atmosphere” is motionless there, because it is held by the exosphere - a diffuse cloud of atoms, ions and small dust particles held in place by the weak attraction of the moon. Under such conditions, a person cannot breathe and feel anything, since the exosphere is 100 trillion times less dense than the air on Earth. However, something that interacts with the solar wind may one day form something new on the lunar surface. However, unfortunately, such a thin and fragile exosphere can easily be broken by the exhaust of the rocket carrier.
"It is very important to learn more about the lunar exosphere before a person goes there for exploration," said Benna.
The presence of a special layer on the moon hinted at a long series of sketches made by astronauts from the Apollo 17 spacecraft. They claimed that they had witnessed the glow of the horizon of the natural satellite of the Earth, as well as the appearance of strange long "braids" that occur before sunrise.
The ship "Apollo 17" was launched in Virginia on September 6, 2013. The built-in LADEE spacecraft weighing 383 kg (or 844 pounds) arrived at the lunar orbit in 30 days, and a month later began its 100-day scientific study of the lunar atmosphere. The mission had to be completed on April 17, 2014, after the ship had a strong impact on the surface of the satellite.