Mirrors, you use it when you comb and style your hair or just do your quick skincare routine. When you’re about to go out for an important event – a job interview, a romantic date to commemorate an anniversary, or just a night out with your pals, there is a high possibility that you will peer a good look for a minute or two in front of a mirror to check how you look.
To peer in front of a likeness of yourself is possible because of the mirror’s smooth surface and the science behind light and how our eyes work. According to website Wonderopolis, the phenomenon occurs when rays of light called photons from an object strike the mirror’s smooth surface, these rays bounce back with the same angle. These rays are then perceived by one’s eyes as a mirror image.
But mirrors are not only useful in just gazing one’s likeness but also for scientific purposes as well.
Did you know that there are a hundred mirrors in the moon as we speak? These were left behind by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong when they first stepped foot on the Moon’s surface on board the Apollo 11 mission.
After more than half a century, they still lie there. Why did these astronauts leave such a thing on the Moon’s surface you may ask? A simpleton might think that they are simply littering their craft’s debris on an extraterrestrial terrain but heed not. These mirrors were left so that scientists can use them in their research.
And boy do these mirrors did their job quite well. Over the past fifty years or so, scientists have shot laser beams to the mirrors on the Moon and studied the results of it when they receive a signal back on Earth.
One shocking revelation from this series of tests is our eventual departure with our closest extraterrestrial neighbor. Scientists have found out that we’re drifting farther of no more than one and a half inches (3.8 centimeters) annually with Luna.
However, during the past few years, scientists over at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have been receiving a lot of weaker signal strength back from the lunar mirrors. This is particularly troubling for this will hamper the progress of the work experts in the field who have invested their whole careers in all these years.
Scientists have speculated that moon dust may be to blame. They think that it might be blocking the laser beams sent from Earth. Whatever the case, scientists are trying to make do of what is with their situation at the moment.
They have found out more meaningful discoveries amidst the weaker signal from our moon, aptly called Luna. Such findings include that the moon has had a magnetic field of its own billions of years ago. With this discovery at hand, scientists are on the lookout for what may have caused its disappearance and what is in the Moon’s core that could have helped generate it.
Folks over at NASA are not settling down with this matter though. Specialists over the space agency try to adjust their readings and calculations in order to make room for the discrepancy in data. Also, they have been developing a new form of technology to send more efficient beams to the moon.
The research, developed by a French team, uses the infrared wavelength of light to shoot to the mirrors on the Moon. It is more capable to penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere compared to what was used earlier on by scientists but they didn’t yield many results.
Thus this reinforces that moon dust is highly probably to blame. Unless NASA and their team will send a team soon to do some good ‘ol spring cleaning on the moon or install new mirrors on the surface, we should continuously cheer on scientists behind the scenes – not afraid to do the grind and make do of what they are provided with.