Scientists aim to solve the mystery of moon's 'tattoos'

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Scientists Aim To Solve The Mystery Of Moon's 'Tattoos'

Our moon has "tattoos"—over one hundred billowing designs mysteriously marking the surface of Earth's only natural satellite, according to NASA.

And now, scientists believe they're one step closer to divining the origin of the lunar ink.

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The tattoos appear alongside ancient magnetic fields buried in the lunar crust and the bright spots appear less weathered than their immediate surroundings.

One theory suggests that ions and electrons in the passing solar wind are susceptible to certain magnetic forces—which also possibly shield the surface from weathering.

According to a summary of the findings, "The new models reveal that the magnetic field can create a strong electric field when the solar wind attempts to flow through. It is this brawny electric potential of many hundreds of Volts that could deflect and slow particles in the solar wind. This would reduce the weathering from the solar wind, leaving brighter regions over protected areas."

Click through for photos of the moon:

17 PHOTOS
July blue moon
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Scientists aim to solve the mystery of moon's 'tattoos'
A picture taken on July 31, 2015 in Kuwait City shows the full moon. This is the second time in July that a full moon is seen, a phenomenon known as the 'blue moon' is the the first one since 2012 and will be the last until 2018. (Photo credit should read YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 31: A blue moon rises over the scoreboard during the sixth inning in a game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees on July 31, 2015 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
People are silhouetted against a rising blue moon as they ride an attraction at Worlds of Fun amusement park camp Friday, July 31, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. A blue moon happens when the moon rises in its full stage twice during the same month. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Fireworks explode as the blue moon rises in the distance at Worlds of Fun amusement park Friday, July 31, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. A blue moon happens when the moon rises in its full stage twice during the same month. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The 'blue moon' is seen above Washington on July 31, 2015. The blue moon is the second appearance of a full moon in the same calendar month. The next blue moon will not be seen until January 2018. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Blue Moon rises over the skyline of New York City from West Orange in New Jersey on July 31, 2015. (Photo credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A blue moon rises behind the torch of the Statue of Liberty seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., Friday, July 31, 2015. A blue moon happens when the moon rises in its full stage twice during the same month. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A blue moon rises behind Brooklyn seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., Friday, July 31, 2015. The blue moon happens when the moon rises in its full stage twice during the same month. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A Blue Moon rises Friday, July 31, 2015 as seen from Taguig city east of Manila, Philippines. A Blue Moon occurs when two full moons fall on the same month. The next Blue Moon will be in January 2018. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
People are silhouetted against a rising full moon as they ride an attraction at Worlds of Fun amusement park Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. When the full moon appears at 6:43 a.m. EDT (1043 GMT) in the U.S. Friday, it will become the second full moon of July. Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said the traditional definition of a blue moon is two full moons in a month. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A dandelion is silhouetted against a rising full moon at Worlds of Fun amusement park Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. When the full moon appears at 6:43 a.m. EDT (1043 GMT) in the U.S. Friday, it will become the second full moon of July. Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said the traditional definition of a blue moon is two full moons in a month. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Light from the setting sun reflects off the One World Trade Center tower as the moon rises in its waxing stage seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The moon will reach its full stage Friday in a phenomenon known as the blue moon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
FOLKESTONE, ENGLAND - JULY 31: The Eurotunnel terminal is illuminated by a rare blue moon on July 31, 2015 in Folkestone, England. Hundreds of migrants are continuing to attempt to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France and onto trains heading to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 30: The moon rises over people gathered on Glastonbury Tor ahead of tomorrow's Blue Moon on July 30, 2015 in Somerset, England. The full moon appearing on July 31 will be what's called a Blue Moon, which refers to the second of two full moons appearing in the same calendar month. The last time this happened was in 2012 and there isn't due another until 2018. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The moon sets behind the gilded statue of the angel Moroni atop the Indianapolis Indiana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Carmel, Ind., Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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But not everyone is convinced.

John Keller, project scientist for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, said, "Until you have somebody making measurements on the lunar surface we may not get a definitive answer..."

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