The use of isotope dating and a technique based on Timeline of the lunar crater, which involves estimating the age of an object in space in part by calculating craters on its surface, the team determined that lava flowed in Oceanus Procellarum as recently as two billion years ago.
Chang’e 5 was China’s first lunar sample return mission and the first probe to return lunar material since 1976. Launching in late November And Back in early December 2020It is one of at least eight phases in China’s entire lunar exploration program.
Nemchin says there is no evidence that radioactive elements that generate heat (such as potassium, thorium and uranium) are found in high concentrations under the lunar mantle. This means that these elements may not have caused the lava flows, as scientists thought. Now, they will have to search for other explanations for how the flows are formed.
The moon’s volcanic history can teach us more about planet Earth. According to the giant impact theory, the Moon may just be a piece of Earth that broke apart when our planet collided with another planet.
“Anytime we get new or improved information about the age of things on the Moon, it has an indirect effect not only on understanding the universe, but on volcanoes and even general geology just on other planets,” he says. Paul Burne, an associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, was not involved in the study.
Not only has volcanic activity shaped the shape of the moon, as these ancient lava layers are visible to the naked eye today as huge dark spots on the moon’s surface, but it may also help answer the question of whether we are alone in the universe, Byrne says.
“The search for extraterrestrial life requires in part an understanding of habitability,” Byrne says. Volcanic activity plays a role in cultivating the atmosphere and oceans, which are essential components of life. But what exactly these new discoveries tell us about possible life elsewhere is not yet clear.