Samples from Chang’e-5 show how the moon’s volcanoes work.
A group of Chinese scientists looked at lunar samples brought back by China’s Chang’e-5 mission and came up with a new idea about how young volcanoes formed on the moon as it cooled 2 billion years ago.
In the past, scientists thought it was volcanic activity late on the moon. This could be due to the abundance of water or radioactive materials on the moon. But the data from Chang’e-5 showed that its mantle source region was dry and didn’t have anything that made heat.
The study, which came out on Saturday in the journal Science Advances, showed that the presence of fusible, easy-to-melt parts in the mantle could cause young volcanic activity on the moon.
Researchers from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS) looked at 27 Chang’e-5 basalt clasts. What did they do in the beginning? It’s to find out how things have changed over time.
They found that the young Chang’e-5-source magma might have more calcium oxide and titanium dioxide than the older samples brought back by the Apollo missions.
China’s Chang’e-5 probe has found volcanic activity.
China’s Chang’e-5 probe has found volcanic activity that is only 2 billion years old. This disproves the idea that the moon has been geologically dead since the Apollo samples were made at least 3 billion years ago.
Chen Yi, an IGGCAS researcher and the paper’s corresponding author, said that recent melting of the lunar mantle can be done by either raising the temperature or lowering the melting point.
The study shows that the late-stage lunar magma ocean cumulates in Chang’e-5 samples that are high in calcium and titanium. It melts faster than old snow.
Scientists thought that adding flammable materials to the moon’s interior could have lowered the temperature at which the mantle melted, which could have set off the young volcanic activity on the moon.
According to Su Bin, lead author of the research at IGGCAS, “Chang’e-5 magma formed at the same depth as older Apollo magmas. But it was 80 degrees Celsius cooler.
“That means that the lunar mantle slowly cooled by 80 degrees Celsius over a period of about 3 billion years,” said Su.
Researchers say that the work shows that there is a plausible way to explain the young volcanism on the moon that is consistent with the new Chang’e-5 samples.
According to Chen, “this work can help scientists learn more about how the temperature and magma of the moon fluctuate over time. Source: Xinhua News Agency.