June 19, 2024

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Scientists concluded that the moon “cast its magic.”

Scientists concluded that the moon “cast its magic.”

It seems that scientists have discovered the reason behind this moon It is made of strange, heavy rocks: in the very distant past, it “gutted itself out.”

For decades, scientists have agreed that the Moon formed from debris left behind by the young Earth when another planet collided with it, about 4.5 billion years ago. This debris collected, then cooled and solidified to form the Moon as we know it today.

What happened from there and beyond, researchers from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) at the University of Arizona are trying to describe in a new study published in the journal nature geology Which you refer to Futurism.com.

Researchers have found that the surprisingly high concentration of titanium found in lunar rocks, such as those carried during the Apollo missions in the 1970s, could be the result of heavy metals such as Ilmenite (rich in both titanium and iron), which first sank into the core and then rose again to the surface.

“Our moon has literally been destroyed,” said Jeff Andrews Hanna, an associate professor at LPL and co-author of the study.

In its early days, the Moon was covered by a massive object Magma oceanWhich made its composition unstable.

They sank, they melted, they rose again

“Because these heavy metals are denser than the underlying mantle, gravitational instability is created,” explained Weigang Liang, lead researcher and lead author. Therefore, “we expect this layer to sink deeper into the Moon's interior.”

However, for some reason, the titanium-rich rock appears to have first mixed with the mantle, melted, and then risen back to the moon's surface.

Citing a 2022 study conducted by Chinese researcher Nan Zhang – who is now a co-author of the latest study – and assuming that some Past impact on the moon It may have driven heavy titanium metals into her core, as Andrews-Hannah said it “turned on a light bulb.”

As with all theoretical explanations of planetary geology, much more research will be needed Lunar rock samples To get to the bottom of the topic about how heavy moon rocks are. But for now, the data seems to match.

“Our analyzes show that the models and data tell a remarkably consistent story,” Liang said.

“When NASA's Artemis astronauts finally land on the moon to begin a new era of human exploration, we will have a very different understanding of it than we did when Apollo astronauts first set foot on it.”