THIS FALSE-COLOR GRAPHIC SHOWS THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON. THE WARMER COLORS INDICATE HIGH TOPOGRAPHY AND THE BLUER COLORS INDICATE LOW TOPOGRAPHY. THE DASHED CIRCLE SHOWS THE LOCATION OF THE MASS ANOMALY UNDER THE BASIN. NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Key Takeaways:

  1. Scientists have discovered an enormous structure beneath the surface of the Moon, weighing 2.18 billion billion kilograms and stretching over 300 kilometers in depth.
  2. The discovery was made using NASA’s GRAIL mission, which measures changes in the Moon’s gravitational field.
  3. The mass is believed to be remnants of the asteroid that formed the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the largest preserved craters in the Solar System.
  4. Computer simulations suggest that the asteroid may have remained embedded in the Moon’s mantle instead of sinking into the core.
  5. The South Pole-Aitken Basin is of great interest to scientists as it provides insights into the Moon’s interior composition and its history.

Our Moon continues to reveal intriguing secrets, and scientists have made a remarkable discovery beneath its surface. In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have announced the detection of an enormous structure that spans over 300 kilometers in depth and weighs a staggering 2.18 billion billion kilograms. The finding was made possible through NASA’s GRAIL mission, which measures subtle gravitational field changes on the Moon.

The massive structure is believed to be remnants of the asteroid that formed the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the largest preserved craters in the Solar System. Lead author Peter B. James likened the magnitude of the find to burying a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii underground. The discovery is significant because it provides insights into the internal composition of the Moon.

Computer simulations conducted by the research team offered possible explanations for the anomaly. One scenario suggests that when the asteroid collided with the Moon approximately 4 billion years ago, it became embedded in the Moon’s mantle rather than sinking into the core. Another hypothesis revolves around the solidification of the Moon, proposing that the concentration of dense oxides formed as the magma ocean cooled and settled.

The South Pole-Aitken Basin holds great importance for space agencies due to its unique characteristics. It serves as a laboratory for understanding the Moon’s interior composition and its geological history. Additionally, studying this region provides valuable information about the impact of catastrophic events on rocky planets’ surfaces.

The discovery of this enormous subsurface structure adds to our understanding of the Moon’s formation and evolution, shedding light on the fascinating secrets hidden within Earth’s closest celestial neighbor.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments