https://safirsoft.com Lunar samples returned by Chang'e-5 refer to recent volcanoes

"Modern" is relative - the samples are almost two billion years old. Sample dating results are now available, and it is clear that although the deposits are old, they are small enough to be a bit odd.

To the Moon and Back

China has now successfully landed several probes and rovers on the Moon as part of a larger exploration program. Chang'e 5 represented the next step, as it had an exercise to obtain subsurface samples and a return vehicle that could bring them back to Earth. The spacecraft landed successfully nearly two years ago and returned about 2 kg of rock from the Moon to Earth a few weeks later. With more theoretical understanding of the formation of the moon. It has carefully selected the Chang'e 5 landing site, a large volcanic deposit called Oceanus Procellarum, which is believed to be one of the moon's smallest regions. But "young" covers many areas, with estimates ranging from 3.2 billion years old to 1.2 billion based on the number of vents.

Determining the exact age of the deposit has several benefits. First of all, the moon presents a "clock" that covers the entire solar system. This is the only place where we can match the number of holes with ages obtained from the rock samples. Then we use these numbers to put the age on other objects based on their number of slots. The time range of Chang'e landing site 5 includes the periods when we do not have a history of radioactive failure.

In addition, understanding the time of volcanic activation of the Moon to produce large deposits such as Oceanus Procellarum can help us create more accurate models of the Moon's formation and evolution. Volcanic activity requires heat, and this heat comes from a combination of body composition and composition, which includes radioactive isotopes that produce excess heat. Labeling time

The samples used in the new study are very small: two cubes, each about three to four millimeters on each side. However, this small size represents an important mixture of minerals (clinopyroxene, plagioclase, olivine, quartz, cristobalite and ilmenite). However, the cluster composition is consistent with other volcanic deposits on the Moon, and most of the differences between the two samples can be attributed to the rate of cooling. The International Collaboration used lead isotopes to estimate the history of many sites in each sample. (Igneous rocks often contain solids at different time points and thus can produce an age range.) The results showed that one sample was 1.893 ± 0.280 billion years old and 1.966 ± 0.059 billion years old. Combining all data from both samples results in an age of 1.963 ± 0.059 billion years.

In the good news, all areas of uncertainty overlap. And while radioactive antiquity can be altered by some factors, there is no indication that these factors play a role here. There are no signs of contamination with other substances, whether they were present at the site of the explosion or due to nearby impacts.

The overall configuration fits well with the remote sensing that is performed on the circuit and the hardware on which China has landed. Thus, in general, the evidence suggests that the entire ocean may have been stored about two billion years ago.

Consequences

When it comes to the crescent clock of the solar system, the new date of Oceanus Procellarum outlines a proposed timeline, showing the effects since its formation. Less than expected by these schedules. Other models are date-appropriate, so the data does not need substantial revision.

There is an even greater surprise in explaining the evolution of the Moon. "This means that about 2,000 cubic kilometers of basaltic magma erupted about a billion years after the measured lunar basalt near the landing site." If these dates generally show sediments, the volcanic moon would have been more active than we expected. In other parts of the Moon, recent volcanic deposits are associated with elements such as potassium and thorium, which provide heat through radioactive decay. The presence of these elements appears to be because it can show that radioactivity provides more heat needed to melt things. The samples obtained by Chang'e 5 contain higher levels of these radioactive elements but no more than other volcanic reserves, so the idea of ​​a linear relationship between radioactivity and volcanic age is not correct.

So we still have some mystery about how the Moon will be able to support such massive eruptions in the long term. Evidently, eruptions on a smaller scale continued later, due to local changes in regions where hot material was trapped. But it's unclear if these processes could support something like the Oceanus Procellarum eruptions.

Science, 2021. DOI: 10.1126/science.abl7957 (About DOIs.)

Lunar samples returned by Chang'e-5 refer to recent volcanoes
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