Jun 24, 2019 | Updated: 08:43 AM EDT

Chinese Rover Discovered Strange Rocks From the Moon's Mantle

Jun 08, 2019 05:18 PM EDT

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Chang'e-4
(Photo : Seeker)
Chang'e-4 (Screenshot taken from video "Why Did China Send a Probe to the Far Side of the Moon?")

CHINA - 2019 proved to start well for the astronomical scientists of China. Early in January, the spacecraft they sent on the far side of the moon has landed successfully. Recently, the Chinese space probe has yet taken another giant leap. The Chinese rover collected lunar mantle material and made available for scientific research on the origin of the moon.

Chang-e 4, the Chinese lander, came with a rover partner called Yutu-2 and it used the reflected radiation process in the analysis of the materials that are found in its landing site. The spacecraft landed inside the Von Karman crater. Because of its strategic landing position, the rover was able to spot layer after layer of two particular mineral types. Surprisingly, these two types of minerals are not a match with the usual minerals found in the lunar crust.

The authors of the study suggest that these minerals might be representations of materials that are part of the upper mantle material of the moon. The study was published in the Journal Nature.

When confirmed, the samples of mantle rocks from the moon will open the doors for further research to be conducted. It will give researchers a new perspective on how to look at the inner materials that make up this celestial companion of the Earth. Perhaps, it could even open the doors for more information as to how the moon was formed and its composition. Reaching an understanding of its evolution will allow people to better understand how human life can survive on the moon or in other extraterrestrial locations.

"If the materials discovered are truly representatives of the moon's mantle, then that information is pretty cool," Sara Russell said. Russell a Planetary Science professor from the National History Museum based in London.

What we know about the moon today, including how it came to be and how it behaves are all based on the samples of moon rocks and other materials by the Apollo missions. These rocks have become an invaluable part of the studies about the moon, but these rocks can only tell so much. The said rocks were all taken from the lunar surface from one side of the moon, so scientists believe that there is more to the moon than the current trove of information that humanity currently has.

"This is definitely an exciting step in the moon's discovery. It takes us a step forward from what we already know," stated Clive Neal, an expert in lunar geology from the University of Notre Dame. Neal added that further explanations are still needed to be provided and more possibilities and theories need to be explored.

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