Chinese Scientists Make New Findings from Chang’e-5 Samples, Provide New Insights into Lunar Volcanic Activity

Lunar sample No. 001 brought back by China’s Chang’e-5 probe is on display at the National Museum of China in Beijing on Feb. 27, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) conducted further studies and research on lunar samples from the Chang’e-5 robotic mission, which revealed the thickness of basalt in its landing region and they estimated that the area had experienced at least volcanic eruptions. four times, according to a recent article published on the CAS website.

The Chang’e-5 mission successfully brought 1,731 grams of lunar minerals back to Earth. The landing site in the northeast basin of the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum (43.06°N, 51.92°W) was believed to be one of the youngest lunar surface basalt units with rich heat-generating elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium.

Previous studies have indicated that these elements are the main cause of lunar volcanic activities, which explains the importance of the new findings from the Chinese tests. They are also expected to further enhance people’s understanding of lunar volcanic activity and the history of internal thermal evolution.

Chinese scientists, including Du Jun, Liu Yang from CAS State Key Laboratory of Solar Activities and Space Weather and researchers from Peking University, CAS Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and Shandong University, made basalt thickness estimates in the Chang’e-5 landing area.

Their findings show that the region has experienced at least four volcanic lava eruptions, and the average basalt thickness value is estimated at 230 meters, 70 meters, four meters and 36 meters.

Their studies also show that the volume of lava eruptions increased significantly during the moon’s late volcanic active phase, around 2 billion years ago.

The late lunar volcanic active phase has always been a hot topic in lunar scientific research, according to the CAS, and further research on Chang’e-5 basalt samples should provide new insights into existing lunar thermochemical and kinetic models. , providing strong evidence of the duration and extent of volcanic activity.

By studying samples recovered by China’s Chang’e-5 mission, Chinese researchers have revealed high water content in lunar minerals, and said the results will offer the world direct evidence of the existence of water on Earth. the Moon, verifying previous monitoring results, according to the China Direct reported on Monday.

And on September 9, Chinese scientists announced that they had discovered a new mineral on the Moon for the first time and named it Changesite-(Y), making China the third country to discover a new mineral on the Moon. the moon.

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