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Home / Science / The discovery could contain metal from an asteroid crash, says the Baylor University researcher – ScienceDaily

The discovery could contain metal from an asteroid crash, says the Baylor University researcher – ScienceDaily



Under the largest crater in our solar system – the Moon's South Pole Aitken Basin – a mysterious large mass of material was discovered that may contain metal from the asteroid that fell against the moon and the crater formed a study by Baylor University.

"Imagine burying a metal pile five times larger than the great island of Hawaii underground, so much of this unexpected mass was discovered," said lead author Peter B. James.

Ph.D., assistant professor of planetary geophysics at Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. The crater itself has an oval shape and is 2,000 kilometers wide – approximately the distance between Waco (Texas) and Washington (DC) – and several miles deep. Despite its size, it can not be seen from Earth because it is on the other side of the Moon.

The study "Deep Structure of the Moon-South Pole Aitken Basin" was published in the journal . Geophysical Research Letters .

To measure subtle changes in gravity around the Moon, the researchers analyzed data from spacecraft used for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (GRAIL) Gravity Recovery and Indoor Laboratory (NASA) mission. [1

9659003] "When we combined this with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's lunar topography data, we discovered the unexpectedly large amount of mass hundreds of miles below the South Pole Aitken Basin," James said. "One of the explanations for this extra mass is that the metal of the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the lunar mantle."

The dense mass – "Whatever it is, wherever it comes from" – He weighed the pelvic floor down more than half a mile down, he said. Computer simulations of large asteroid impacts suggest that, under the right conditions, an iron-nickel core of an asteroid is dispersed during a strike in the upper mantle (the lunar crust-core layer).

math and showed that a sufficiently dispersed core of the asteroid that caused the impact can still cling to the lunar mantle and not sink to the moon's core, "James said.

Another possibility is that the large mass of which is affected A concentration of dense oxides associated with the final phase of the solidification of the lunar magma ocean.

James said that the South Pole Aitken Basin – believed to have been formed 4 billion years ago – is the largest preserved crater in the North Sea is a solar system, and while most of the Solar System, including the Earth, may have had major impacts, most of these influences have been lost.

James called the Basin "one of the best natural laboratories for investigating catastrophic influences , an ancient process that has influenced everyone The rocky planets and moons that we see today.

This research was supported by the NASA Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) research team.

Research fellows were David E. Smith, Ph.D., principal investigator for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter; Paul K. Byrne, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, Jordan D. Kendall, Ph.D., Goddard Space Flight Center, H. Jay Melosh, Ph.D., Purdue University, and Maria T. Zuber, Ph .D., Principal Investigator of GRAIL.

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Materials Provided by Baylor University . Note: Content may be edited by style and length.


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