Astronomers have discovered hidden layers under the moon’s surface

Astronomers have discovered hidden layers under the moon’s surface

The lander carried the solar-powered Yutu 2 spacecraft, which has since explored the 186-kilometre-wide Von Karmann crater in the moon’s southern hemisphere.

The rover carries an instrument that sends radio waves back to Earth and records how they reflect back at the surface.

In this way, the tool helps astronomers create a cross-section of the Earth and the contrasts between the different materials there.

At 90 metres, the teams were waiting for us

Astronomers have checked data from Yutu-2 many times before, but this time, researchers are reported to have accessed deeper and deeper measurements from as high as 300 meters below the surface.

For the first 40 metres, the researchers couldn’t see anything unusual, except for an old crater that was covered in dirt and dust.

But at a depth of about 90 to 300 meters, they discovered a series of previously hidden layers that “likely indicate a series of basaltic eruptions that occurred billions of years ago,” the researchers wrote in the study published in 2019. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

The analyzes revealed five different layers, ranging in thickness from about 20 meters to more than 70 metres. It is believed that at least three layers consist of volcanic rock basalts.

The discovery is one of many that have recently shed light on what lurks beneath the dust on the lunar surface.

In July 2023, for example, astronomers announced that they had found a 3.5-billion-year-old solidified magma beneath the surface, possibly from a type of volcano never before seen there.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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