In this 1969 file photo, Astronaut Edwin E ‘Buzz’ Aldrin Jr. walks on the surface of the moon. Future lunar travelers face a radiation dose 30 percent to 40 percent higher than originally expected from radioactive lunar soil. Credit: AP
Future lunar explorers counting on the moon to shield themselves from galactic cosmic rays might want to think about Plan B.
In a surprising discovery, scientists have found that the moon itself is a source of potentially deadly radiation.
Measurements taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show that the number of high energy particles streaming in from space did not tail off closer to the moon’s surface, as would be expected with the body of the moon blocking half the sky.