A mineral, olivine, which is usually found in depth was discovered on the surface. An asteroid must have hit the moon and brought the mineral to light. In addition to the crust, the moon also has a mantle.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Chang’e 4 probe, which arrived on the moon last January, and the Yutu exploration tool (“Jade Rabbit”) have confirmed hypotheses on the way in which some craters of the moon were formed. This was possible because the Chang’e 4, for the first time, is allalare on the hidden face of the terrestrial satellite, richer in craters.
The findings were published in the latest issue of Nature.
During its first mission, the Yutu discovered a greenish mineral, olivine, on the surface of the moon. Usually, however, this mineral is found at greater depths. Further analysis showed that this mineral originated from a crater 72 km away.
Scientists have determined that the mineral was flung that far because of the violent impact on the lunar crust of an asteroid. The asteroid must have had a width of 170 km and has formed what is called the “South Pole-Aitken” basin.
The discovery of olivine on the surface confirms that the moon – similar to the earth – has a crust and an underlying mantle, the thickness of which is not yet known. It is estimated that the impact of the asteroid with the moon occurred 3.9 billion years ago.