NewsMoon formation: rocks from Apollo 17 reveal new clues...

Moon formation: rocks from Apollo 17 reveal new clues to puzzles

How did the moon come about? The moonstone troctolite 76535 is now providing researchers with new insights.

Mānoa – There are still many secrets about our neighbor, the moon. Much is still unclear within the history of its origins. But now researchers have discovered new clues to this mystery – of all things in moon rocks, which have been on Earth for decades.

In 1972 the eleventh manned mission was watched with excitement. For the first time, a scientist landed on the moon, according to NASA. Among other things, a special moon rock sample was brought back from the moon landing, the so-called troctolite 76535. This is a coarse-grained rock that has already helped to decipher some of the secrets of the celestial body. This enabled researchers to estimate how much water there might have been in the moon *. Now the moonstone is helping the scientists to decipher another puzzle.

The formation of the moon: a stone reveals the secrets of the earth’s neighbor

In their study, the researcher William Nelson and his colleagues from the University of Hawaii examined the moonstone that was brought to earth with the Apollo 17 mission, one more time. The rock weighs just 156 grams and consists of olivine and plagioclase, among other things. The researchers suspect that it came from the middle to lower crust of the moon before it came to the surface.

So far, research has assumed that troctolite 76535 was part of a larger magmar formation and only cooled slowly. But with the help of analyzes at the microanalytical level, Nelson and his staff were able to determine something completely different.

Moonstone Troctolite 76535 provides new information on the formation of the moon

The researchers were able to detect phosphorus in the former and sodium in the latter in the constituents olivine and plagioclase. So far nothing unusual, but it turned out that these elements were very unevenly distributed in the moon rock. From this the experts conclude that the stone could not have taken more than 100 million years to cool down. Because the heterogeneities in this lunar rock would not have been preserved for so long. The cooling period is now estimated to be closer to 20 million years. This means that the development of the lunar crust proceeded differently than previously assumed.

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Compared to the Newscientist portal, Nelson emphasized that the early moon development was obviously more complicated than initially thought. In addition, the researcher again emphasized the importance of analyzing old samples using new measurement methods. “You can always take a step back and examine old data sets with new techniques to uncover new information,” said Nelson.

Most recently, the discovery of a Chinese rover on the moon caused a sensation. He discovered a cube-shaped object * which is now to be examined more closely. (Sophia Lother) * fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

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