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

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

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..."

Originally published