Flashes of light coming from the Moon have puzzled stargazers struggling to explain how or why the phenomenon occurs for more than half a century.
However, a scientist from Germany now believes he is on the cusp of answering what is behind the strange occurrence known as a transient lunar phenomenon (TLP).
Hakan Kayal believes he will be able to uncover the secrets of the lunar phenomena by using a telescope he and his team custom-built in a private observatory in Spain – the remote location has it 100km from the nearest light pollution.
The “low budget system” combines two telescope tubes on a single mount.
Each telescope is equipped with cameras connected to two separate computers using AI software to distinguish the source of the flash.
Each telescope will constantly scan the surface of the moon at night, capturing data when both cameras record a luminous event on the moon’s surface.
Mr Kayal said the goal was to train the AI to distinguish lunar flashes from other bright phenomenon – such as meteorites or birds passing in front of the camera – so the possible causes of TLP can be whittled down.
“One main task for us is to further develop our software for the detection of the events with as low false alarm rates as possible,” he told Popular Science.
“We already have a basic version which works but there are improvements necessary.”
Scientists have known of TLP since the 1950s, but Kayal said they have not been sufficiently long-term observed until now.
He hopes his research will prove his theory that “when the surface moves, gases that reflect sunlight could escape from the interior of the moon”.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019