Saturday 25 May 2019
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business-standard - 10 days ago

Chinese probe reveals secrets of Moon s dark side

Scientists on Wednesday said they could be a step closer to solving the riddle behind the Moon s formation, unveiling the most detailed survey yet of the far side of Earth s satellite. In January, the Chinese spacecraft Chang e-4 -- named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology -- became the first ever craft to touch down on the far side of the lunar surface. Similar to other bodies in our Solar System, the Moon is believed to have gone through a phase during its formation when it was partially or entirely composed of molten rock. As it cooled, so the hypothesis goes, denser minerals sank to the bottom of the magma-ocean, while lighter materials gathered near the surface to form its mantle. The team landed its probe in the Von Karmen Crater in the Aitken Basin at the Moon s South Pole -- home to one of the largest impact craters known in the Solar System. They detected materials such as olivine and low-calcium pyroxene that are rare elsewhere on the surface. Authors of the study, .

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