Meet Our People - Sara – SSC - Swedish Space Corporation
The Moon is a surprisingly strong source of hydrogen atoms. It gives scientists an interesting new way to study both the Moon and any other airless bodies in the Solar System. According to conventional wisdom, the lunar surface is a loose collection of irregular dust grains. Any particle that hits it should bounce between the grains and be absorbed. In the process, the proton joins with an electron to become an atom of hydrogen. Although Barabash and his colleagues do not know what is causing the Moon to act as a hydrogen mirror, the discovery paves the way for a new type of picture to be made of the lunar surface. Also, because hydrogen is electrically neutral it is not diverted by the magnetic fields in space.