Strange red dust reveals oxidizing Moon, according to scientists - The discovery of hematite in high-latitude regions of the Moon has led scientists studying the planets to suspect that oxygen from the Earth's atmosphere may have "oxidized" their satellite, according to an article published by the journal Science Advances.
And is that, hematite, also called oligisto or acerine, is the mineral form of ferric oxide. That is, an oxidized form of iron that, in the Earth, requires the presence of both air and water to form.
Although it is very common on Earth, it did not appear to be common on the natural satellite.
The surface and interior of the Moon lack oxygen and the existence of highly oxidized iron in the samples collected by the astronauts in the Apollo missions had not been confirmed, as explained by the agency EFE.
In addition, the hydrogen contained in the solar wind bakes the lunar surface in a process that opposes oxidation, a reducing agent that 'donates' its electrons to the materials with which it interacts.
For its part, oxidation occurs due to the loss of electrons, so even if all the right elements were present for the oxidation to occur, the solar wind should nullify it, according to Science Alert.
"It's very disconcerting," acknowledged planetary scientist Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.
Strange red dust reveals oxidizing Moon
"Our hypothesis is that the lunar hematite was formed by the oxidation of iron on the lunar surface by oxygen present in the Earth's upper atmosphere pushed continuously to the lunar surface by the solar wind in periods, for several billion years when the Moon has been in the magnetic wake of the Earth," he added.
Its name derives from the Greek term that alludes to the red color of its dust, and was discovered in data collected by the Chandrayaan-1 orbiter of the Indian Space Research Agency.
Thanks to hyperspectral images used by the Lunar Mineralogy Mapper (M3) to perform a granular spectroscopic analysis, scientists obtained a detailed breakdown of the mineral composition of the Moon's surface.
In this regard, Li and his colleagues identified ice deposits in high latitudes around the lunar poles in 2018. But when I was examining the data, Li noticed something unusual.
"When I looked at the M3 data in the polar regions, I found some different spectral characteristics and patterns than those seen at lower latitudes or in the samples collected during the Apollo program," said Li.
"I was curious to determine if it was possible that there were reactions between water and rock on the Moon. After months of research I realized that what I was observing were traces of hematite," he added.
According to scientists, the sites where it is present are firmly linked to the content of water in high latitudes that Li and other researchers had previously located, and that are more concentrated on the face of the moon that always faces the Earth.
"The fact that there is more hematite on the near face of the Moon indicates that it may be related to the Earth," Li noted.
"This reminded me of a discovery by the Japanese Kaguya mission that oxygen in the upper layers of the atmosphere can be 'blown' when the Moon is in the magnetic wake of the Earth, " he recalled.
"In other words, our planet's atmospheric oxygen could be the biggest oxidizer in hematite production but water and the impact of interplanetary dust may also have played decisive roles," he added.
The detection of this material in high latitude regions of the Moon could be really useful in understanding the atmospheric evolution of the planet.
In addition, it would be deeply enlightening to understand the history of the Moon.
End of Strange red dust reveals oxidizing Moon
Microsoft renews Windows 10 virtual keyboard with emojis, GIFs, voice dictation and more modern design
After showing what the new design of its Start menu will look like, Microsoft continues to present changes for Windows 10 and this time has touched the virtual keyboard.
As they explain in their corporate blog, they have launched a new design for this loyal ally that is accompanied by really interesting features that greatly improve its performance.
As always happens in these cases, this update of the virtual keyboard is available within your betas program, but has already shown some of its new virtues: more modern look adapted to Fluent Design with more transparencies and tones, a major update in the emojis selector and the search for GIFs.
However, the best is voice dictation, which is now known as Voice Typing and will be available in several languages including Spanish.
Getting into the subject, the first thing that stands out is the location of the emojis panel, which is at the top of the keyboard and occupies only a small space on the screen. In addition, next to it appear GIFs that will be related to the own search engine that is integrated in the top.
As for this engine, Microsoft has pointed out that it will be adapted to all available languages and will try to make a better search relationship with the expression you are looking for so that you find in a much easier way the GIF or emoji perfect for the occasion.
On the other hand, voice dictation, will come with a very deep redesign of what they promise will come with automatic punctuation so you don't have to worry about commas, dots or question marks or exclamation marks.
Its appearance, moreover, will be much clearer than the one you currently have that only shows a small message at the top of the keyboard. This, for its part, will make the keyboard disappear and everything is much more visual.
Obviously, these changes are perfect for computers with touch screens, but it is a feature that can be activated on any PC running Windows 10.
As for its official release, the update is expected to be released in the first half of 2021 along with other improvements to the operating system.