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:

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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)
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)
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)
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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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