NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope captured these images of the Moon’s gamma rays.
The Moon is an indirect source of gamma radiation, and produces gamma rays through its interaction with cosmic rays.
Two scientists at Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Mario Nicola Mazziotta and Francesco Loparco, have been studying the Moon’s gamma radiation as a means to understand cosmic rays.
The Sun’s 11-year cycle also affects the cosmic rays that strike the Moon, and the gamma rays that result.
Gamma rays coming from the Moon, and the cosmic rays that cause them, both pose a threat to astronauts because both are ionizing radiation with great penetrating power.
This Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope data is helping scientists understand the gamma ray/cosmic ray risk on the Moon.
The Fermi images of the Moon’s gamma rays are another piece of the radiation puzzle.