US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A new study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, allowed scientists to learn much more about what influenced the formation of the lunar surface.
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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