No one knows what’s in the giant crater on the dark side of the Moon

The south pole-Aitken basin (represented by the shades of blue in the center, that stretches 1,550 miles (2,500 km) and is one of the solar system, the largest of craters. The dotted circle indicates the site where the researchers found that there is a foreign material in the pool that contains the metal. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

Billions of years ago, something came from the dark side of the moon, and to cut a very large hole. Stretches 1,550 miles (2,500 km) wide and 8 miles (13 km) deep, the south pole-Aitken basin, as a huge gap, it is well-known from the earth’s inhabitants, it is one of the oldest and deepest crater on the moon, and it is one of the biggest craters in the entire solar system.

For decades, scientists have suspected that the huge basin was created by a head-on collision with a very large, very fast meteor. Such an impact would have ripped the moon’s crust apart and scattered the pieces of the lunar mantle on the crater’s surface, providing a rare glimpse of what the moon is really made of. (Spoiler: It’s not the cheese.) That theory gained some belief earlier in the year, when China’s Yutu-2 of the rover, and settled on the floor of the crater is on-board the Chang’e 4 is the date in January, found traces of a mineral that appeared to be coming from the moon’s mantle.

Now, however, in a study published Aug. 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, and toss the results, and the crest of the origins of the story in question. After the analysis of the minerals found in the six plots, the soil at the bottom of the south pole-Aitken basin, a team of explorers is claiming that the crater is the composition of all the crust and not the mantle, which suggests that, whatever the impact, which opened the crater millions of years ago, it did not hit hard enough to spray on the moon’s innards to its surface.

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“We do not see it on the back of the material on the site, as to be expected,” study co-author Zhang Hao, a planetary scientist at the China University of Geosciences, said in a statement. These recommendations, however, the rule has a direct impact of the high speed of the meteor, and the question is: What, if not a head-on meteor strike, the largest crater on the moon.

The illumination of the dark side

In the new study, the researchers used a technique called reflectance spectroscopy to the specific minerals in the lunar soil, on the basis of how the individual grains in reflected visible and near-infrared light.

Use of the equipment aboard the Yutu 2 of the rover, and the team did a reflection test on the six patches of the floor in the first couple of days after the Chang’e 4’s, land, venturing up to about 175 feet (54 meters) away from the lander. With the help of a database that is the moon, minerals on the basis of a number of factors, such as the size of the reflection, and deterioration as a result of the solar wind, the team will make an estimate of the concentration of minerals present in each of the areas.

A crystalline rock called plagioclase is by far the most abundant mineral in each sample, accounting for 56% to 72%, from the crest of the formation, the researchers wrote. As a primal ocean of lava is cool, the plagioclase is very common in the crust of the Earth and the moon are to each other, but it is less and less present in their robes. Although the team detected other minerals found in the earth’s crust that are more likely to occur in the moon’s mantle, such as olivine, the rocks can be made small, and the fraction of the soil samples to suggest that this is a part of the earth’s crust had broken through the crust.

This is a mineral make-up, this book is a giant, high-velocity meteors of the south pole‐Aitken basin millions of years ago, when such an effect is almost certainly, it would have scattered pieces of the mantle, over the surface of the moon.

So, what is that made out of the crater? The researchers did not speculate as to the new study. However, a previous study has shown that, as a renegade space rock is still the villain of the piece, but the hit may not be direct. In a study published in 2012 in the journal Science, is of the opinion that it is a slow-moving meteor, it would have had to hit it on the far side of the moon by an angle of about 30 degrees, and this has resulted in a large crater, which is never to upset the moon’s mantle. However, the researchers were the only simulations to go through.

If nothing else, the new research suggests that there is much more to explore in the south pole‐Aitken basin, for an answer, it is clear. See you on the dark side of the moon.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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