Samples brought back from China’s lunar journey indicate recent volcanic activity

Samples brought back from China’s lunar journey indicate recent volcanic activity


The rock samples brought back from the moon by China’s Chang’e-5 mission in December contain evidence of the youngest lunar lava ever analyzed. The researchers used tiny fragments of the 2-kilogram rock from the Chang’e-5 lander to confirm predictions about the Oceanus Procellarum region where the spacecraft landed.

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The rock samples brought back from the moon by China’s Chang’e-5 mission in December contain evidence of the youngest lunar lava ever analyzed. The researchers used tiny fragments of the 2-kilogram rock from the Chang’e-5 lander to confirm predictions about the Oceanus Procellarum region where the spacecraft landed.

Xiaochao Che and colleagues from the Sensitive High-Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP) Center in Beijing led the Chang’e-5 dating analysis. However, they worked with a broad international consortium.

The data show that volcanism on the moon lasted longer than expected. The researchers will now ponder new ideas about what kind of heat source might have supported the behavior.

Also read | China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft returns to Earth with lunar samples: report

Dr. Katherine Joy, a co-author from the University of Manchester, UK, was quoted by the BBC as saying, “One of the other options we are discussing in the Per is that the moon may remain active longer because of its orbital interactions could with the earth. “

“Perhaps the moon wobbled back and forth in its orbit, causing what is known as tidal warming. Just as the moon creates ocean tides on Earth, Earth’s gravitational effect could potentially stretch and bend the moon to create frictional melts. “

According to the scientists, the more craters they see on a surface, the older this terrain must be. Also, the presence of very few craters indicates a recently relocated or remodeled surface.

Professor Brad Jolliff of Washington University in St. Louis, USA, who plans to be another co-author of the consortium, hopes that China will send its next sample return mission to an area on the far side of the moon called the South Pole Aitken Basin.

Also read | Chinese space probe returns to earth with rocks from the moon

“When Chang’e-6 goes to the Aitken South Pole, it will give us the age of the oldest major impact basin on the moon, and that provides a very different part of the calibration, in the range of four to four-and-a-before one Half a billion years ago. We don’t know how big the large impactor flow was at that time, and a sample from the south pole region of the Aiken Basin has the potential to answer that question, “he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The lunar samples were collected by a robotic vehicle, with the sampling taking up to 19 hours, said the Chinese space agency. Chinese space explorers have brought the Return School aboard the orbiting module to bring it back to Earth.

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