News

China’s Rover Collects First-Ever Samples From Under Lunar Crust

China’s Rover Collects First-Ever Samples From Under Lunar Crust
Technology
Yutu 2, the Chinese rover that landed on the earlier this year, just examined the first-ever samples of the Moon’s mantle.

The samples are believed to have been dug out by a meteorite impact so strong that it crashed through the Moon’s crust, according to research published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. With further study, these subsurface rocks could reveal how the Moon formed in the first place.

In its earliest days, the Moon was likely comprised by a vast ocean of magma . During that period, the scientists suspect that heavy metals like iron and magnesium — both of which were prevalent in the new samples — sank below the surface while lighter compounds floated upward, eventually forming the Moon’s crust.

“This is the first ground truth of what the interior of the moon is really made of,” Purdue University scientist Briony Horgan, who did not contribute to the new research, told New Scientist . “I would say the really important thing is that it’s different from the Earth.”

Studying the Moon’s mantle could give scientists new insights into how a large space body forms when the mantle doesn’t interact with water, as it did on Earth — and could help understand how other celestial bodies formed as well.
Read more on futurism.com
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Top Stories
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon’s surface in July 1969, it was not only a giant leap for mankind, but also the first time the satellite had ever...
Science
The mantle section researched in the study came from ophiolite section in Oman. This image depicts a similar ophiolite section from the Bay of Islands in Newfoundland. Credit Nick Dygert...
Technology
A team of researchers from Japan s Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology s want to drill into the Earth s mantle in the 2020s. The goal is to understand...
Science
Basalt, the dominant volcanic rock along the Pacific Ocean s Ring of Fire, is considered a melting product of the Earth s mantle. On the left is vesicular basalt, in...
Science
Lead researcher Ian Garrick Bethell, from the University of California Santa Cruz, said this shape shifting occurred when the Moon was mostly liquid beneath a thin outer crust of rock. This interaction...