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This New Technology Could Make Us Discover The Secrets Of The Moon’s History

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While the Yutu 2 rover makes curious discoveries on the Moon, researchers continue to focus on our beloved satellite by studying the latest samples of lunar rocks available to us. Thanks to a new technology of sampling and analysis, in the future we may find out what is still hidden from us from the past of the Moon.

This new technique was used in a study published yesterday in Nature concerning a sample of lunar rock known as Troctolite 76535 and we have arrived thanks to the Apollo missions. This is a very particular sample because, in the eyes of experts, it contains the chemical characteristics that can sample all the key phases of lunar evolution. In short, by studying the Troctolite 76535 agglomeration, it is possible to place new limits on the crucial phases of satellite evolution.

As the main author of the William Nelson study and his colleagues went down to the detail of the analysis, they used a particularly sensitive instrument, an electronic micro-sound, not so different from scanning electron microscopes, along with spectrometers. In doing so, they were able to perform very specific measurements of individual elements, discovering an extremely heterogeneous distribution of chemicals in the rock.

This detail excludes, therefore, a previous theory that rocks like Troctolite 76535 have crystallized over 100 million years, as foreseen by the Large Magma Ocean model. According to this, the Moon was once in a state of fusion with rocks and minerals in an ocean of magma, in the crystallization phase. However, the unexpected heterogeneous distribution of minerals such as phosphorus within Troctolite 76535 concluded that this sample could not have remained hot for more than 20 million years.

In short, the new analysis conducted at the University of Hawaii in Manoa with modern tools and unprecedented modelling techniques is a clear sign of the possibility of discovering more and more details about the past of the Moon even by the old champions, revealing those that up Nelson himself said: ♪ These old champions keep their value, especially considering that the team of care of NASA’s lunar champions has done a great job of preserving them. The new analysis of these samples can teach us new things about how the Moon could have been formed and therefore other objects in early formation in our Solar System.

In the meantime, NASA unfortunately postponed the Artemis mission to 2025, pushing the return to the lunar soil.

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