Saturday, 14 March 2015

Moon has at least nine layers beneath the surface

Moon has far more complex geologic history than previously thought, until recently, the researchers believe that the layers formed under the influence of ancient lava flows that interfere with lunar soil, regolith, loose material arising from the rocks.

There are at least nine layers beneath the moon's surface, reveal radar for detection of underground infrastructure, the first Chinese lunar rover Yutu.

In fact, there are at least nine layers below the surface of the moon, and the researchers believe that they occur under the influence of ancient lava flows that interfere with lunar soil, regolith, loose material arising from the rocks.

Chinese spacecraft Chang-3 landed on the moon in December 2013, together with a small lunar lander Yutu, or "
Jade rabbit", whose task is to study the lunar soil.

After a walk of 114 meters on the surface of the moon, Yutu stopped near a crater in the field called Mare Imbrium.

In contrast to the places where from 1969 to 1972, NASA landed the Apollo missions, and other locations that are frequented landers from the Soviet era, this area is younger and has a complex surface structure, said Siao Long, a researcher with the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, in an article published in the journal Science.

"Moon's geological history is far more complex than we anticipated," said a Chinese scientist.

The first data indicate that the eruptions of lava at least five times overlapped Imbrium valley, forming layers of basaltic rocks at a depth of about one kilometer.

Yutu radar detected five layers of lava in the upper 400 meters of the lunar soil.

"It is likely that there were several volcanic eruptions whose lava covered the valley at greater depths," said Siao, adding that the results are the first detailed data on the moon's surface.

"During the Apollo missions, the regolith is punctured only three feet deep," recalled Siao.

"Layered structure tells us that later volcanic activities were of a different type. It also means that the variable elements significantly influenced the final phase to history of our Moon," concluded the Chinese researcher.

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