An international team of scientists in most of the Royal Ontario Museum has discovered that the formation of ancient cliffs on the moon can be directly related to the large-scale effects of meteorites.
Scientists have conducted new research on a unique breed collected by NASA astronauts during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. They found that it contains minerals that could only form at incredibly high temperatures (over 2300 ° C / 4300 ° F). Such temperatures could only be achieved by melting the outer layer of the planet as a result of a strong blow.
In rocky rock, scientists have identified the presence of cubic zirconium, a mineral phase often used in place of diamond in jewelry. Processing of this phase is possible only when the rocks are heated to a temperature above 2300 ° C.
Despite the fact that over time, the rock has moved to a more stable phase (a mineral known as baddeleyite), the crystal retains the distinguishing features of a high-temperature structure.
Studying the structure of the crystal, scientists have revealed its age – it turned out that baddeleyite formed more than 4.3 billion years ago. As a result of this observation, it was concluded that the high temperature phase of cubic zirconia should have formed before this time. This suggests that meteorite impacts played a key role in the formation of new rocks on the early Moon.
Thus, a new study shows that meteorite impacts that occurred more than 4 billion years ago could lead to rock mixing, creating a complex range of rocks on the lunar surface.
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