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Mysterious jelly on the moon turned out to be a molten section of the lunar rock


Scientists from China announced a clue to the strangea phenomenon recorded last year by the Chinese moon rover Yutu-2, which revealed an unusual phenomenon on the slope of the Von Karman crater. In the crater located in the area of ​​the Aitken South Pole, on the far side of the moon, a substance with a characteristic brilliance was discovered, which initially called it “gel” or “jelly”. Further more detailed studies showed that the substance does not contain liquid, and the gloss is explained by the glassy surface of the substance, which was formed as a result of melting.

Detailed analysis at the Academy of SciencesChina and based on data from the panoramic Yutu-2 camera, spectrometer (VNIS) and security camera, was carried out in the study of the “moon gel” using infrared and visible lighting. Low light allowed scientists to detect only the presence of 38% plagioclase in the substance. The presence of 45% mineral and 7% pyroxene and 6% olivine in the lunar regolith confirms the lunar origin of the substance.

Brilliant Chinese scientiststhe inclusions of the rock were 52 x 16 cm in size and were painted dark green. According to the hypothesis of astronomers, this material is most likely a breccia - a cemented molten mass of angular rock. Earlier, similar samples were already received by the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions. However, then, in the 70s of the last century, the Americans received samples of lunar soil No. 15466 and No. 70019, which were black. According to scientists, the formation of breccias occurs when small micrometeorites fall onto the surface, as a result of which the regolith (surface loose lunar soil) melts.

The breccia revealed by the Chinese, meanwhile, wasin a small crater with a diameter of only 2 meters, which can be formed when a meteorite falls with a maximum diameter of about 2 cm. However, such a small object will not be able to lead to the release of energy necessary for melting regolith over an area of ​​52 by 16 cm.

Therefore, scientists have suggested thatThe discovered breccia is a product of the fall of another meteorite and was recorded in the Von Karman crater by a shock wave. In the near future, this area will not be re-examined by spacecraft, so it is not yet possible to confirm the version.

Source: sciencedirect