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Rocks brought by China's space mission reveal secrets of moon history - 10/19/2021 - Science

Rocks brought by China’s space mission reveal secrets of moon history – 10/19/2021 – Science

the first Lunar rocks brought to Earth Chinese scientists announced on Tuesday (19) that they showed that the Earth’s satellite had volcanic activity less time than previously thought.

last year, Chinese space mission brought rocks and soil from the Moon to Earth, something that hasn’t happened in four decades and represents a major breakthrough for China’s space programme.

In the analysis of this article, scientists found Basalt, a form of cooled lava, from 2030 million years, bringing the last known volcanic activity on the Moon close to 900 million years.

Analysis of the samples “reveals that the interior of the moon was still developing about two billion years ago,” the Chinese Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

However, these samples came from older parts of the moon’s surface, leaving the scientific community without information about much of the satellite’s recent history.

The Chang’e 5 mission, named after the Chinese lunar goddess, collected two kilograms of samples from a previously unexplored part of the moon, the Mons Ruecker volcano, in a vast area called Oceanus Procellarum (“Oceanus Procellarum”).

Scientists chose this area because they believed that it was formed recently due to the low density of meteorite craters on its surface.

“These results are very exciting, because they provide incredible insights to understand the formation and evolution of the Moon over time,” said Audrey Bouvier, professor of planetary science at the University of Bayreuth (Germany), in a video message presented in a newspaper. Press conference this Tuesday in Beijing.

The latest findings, published in three articles in Nature, Tuesday, raise new questions for scientists trying to decipher the satellite’s history.

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“How did the moon maintain its volcanic activity for so long? The moon is small and it should disperse heat quickly. At least that’s what we thought,” Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher Li Xianhua, one of the authors, told reporters about the studies.

Chang’e 5 mission samples were a big step for Chinese space program, which sent a robot to Mars and another to the hidden side of the moon.