In the 1950s, researchers observed the first manifestation of what is known as transient lunar phenomena, short flashes of light which tend to appear randomly on the surface of the moon. The events tend to occur several times per week, and it can last for several hours.
Several theories which attempt to tackle the origin of this phenomena, among which we can count the impact of small meteors or the lunar dust which can react to the powerful energy waves sent by the sun.
A team of researches has strived to track down the source of the phenomena, and the researchers are confident about the results of their efforts. It is well-known that seismic activity is present on the moon. The new theory argues that the movement of the surface allows gas trapped within the lower layers to escape. When this gas reaches the surface, it can reflect the sunlight, leading to the appearance of the flashes.
A new telescope might find the source of the mysterious flashes of light on the moon
To track down the source, the researchers decided to build their lunar telescope, which is placed in a rural area of Spain. This custom observatory can be controlled remotely from Bavaria, Germany.
The telescope employs two high-power cameras which survey the surface of the moon during the night. When the two cameras detect a flash of light at the same time an alert is sent to the researchers while the device continues to captures videos and images.
The lead researcher has stated that the system works as intended, but more can be done to make it more effective. The team plans to use artificial intelligence which should be able to differentiate between the authentic flashes and the other events which may look similar, like objects passing on the sky. A similar setup will be used during an upcoming satellite mission as the researchers want to observe the phenomena from the orbit. It is likely that new information will surface in the future.