The forthcoming rare celestial event on January 31, in which three lunar events will come together in an unusual overlap called as ‘super blue moon’, will give scientists a special opportunity to understand the evolution of the surface of the moon.
The January 31 supermoon, which is the first blue moon of 2018, marks the last in a trilogy of supermoons. In addition, a lunar eclipse will take place in the morning on January 31, temporarily giving the moon a reddish color known as a blood moon.
The eclipse will offer researchers a chance to see what happens when the surface of the moon cools quickly helping them to understand some of the characteristics of the regolith -the mixture of soil and loose rocks on the surface – and how it changes over time.
Using the astronomer’s equivalent of a heat-sensing orthermal camera, the team will conduct their investigation at invisible wavelengths where heat is served lengths where heat is sensed from the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii, “The whole character of the moon changes when we observe with a thermal camera during an eclipse, ” said Paul Hayne of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Source – IANS
For more info