(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing have found that the formation of glass on the Moon coincides with meteorite impacts on Earth, including the giant asteroid that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The collision of the Earth or the Moon with large meteorites can be accompanied by the release of a large amount of heat.
In this case, the silicate material at the collision points is converted into microscopic glass beads.
During the mission of the Chinese National Space Agency Chang’e-5, lunar soil was delivered to Earth, in which 215 balls ranging in size from 50 to 200 micrometers were found.
135 balls contained enough material to determine their age using a method based on the radioactive conversion of uranium to lead.
Because we know how long it takes uranium to decay, the relative amount of uranium and lead allows us to estimate the age of the sample.
Of particular interest were balls aged 68 million years – around the time a huge asteroid started the process of extinction of dinosaurs.
While the same age may be a coincidence, astronomers believe that a major collision in the asteroid belt could have resulted in the formation of many rocks that hit the Earth and the Moon at the same time.
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