In an exciting surprise, samples collected by China from the moon last year, after an unprecedented space mission 4 decades ago, showed that this body witnessed volcanic activity longer than scientists thought, according to a study revealed by researchers, Tuesday.
Last year, China sent into space the “Changi 5” mission, which was tasked with collecting and bringing rock samples from the Moon to Earth. The mission also aims to help identify the technologies needed to send Chinese astronauts to the moon by 2030.
“It was still developing.”
It was also observed, especially in the samples collected from the moon, the presence of quantities of basalt material dating back two billion years, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, according to AFP.
The academy said during a press conference on Tuesday that the analyzes “reveal that the moon was still in a stage of development” during that period.
For her part, Audrey Bouvier, professor of planetary science at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, explained in a video message that “these results are very interesting, because they allow understanding the formation and evolution of the moon over time.”
“That’s what we thought”
It is noteworthy that it was known that volcanic activity on the moon dates back to 2.8 billion years. But scientists lacked knowledge about the later stages in the moon’s history.
For his part, Li Shanhua, one of the journalists participating in the study, asked reporters, “How did the moon maintain volcanic activity for so long?” He said, “Given the moon’s smallness, the heat would have dissipated quickly. At least that’s what we thought.”
These discoveries were published Tuesday in the reference science journal Nature.
It is noteworthy that last year, China became the third country to collect samples from the moon, after the United States and the former Soviet Union in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century. The last attempt in this area was Soviet, with the manned mission “Luna 24”, which was successfully conducted in 1976.
The Chinese probe, which was sent to the moon last year, erected the Chinese flag at the site. The mission constituted a new station in Beijing’s space program. The giant Asian country also achieved a major blow in 2019 by successfully sending an exploration vehicle to land on the hidden part of the moon, in a global precedent of its kind.