Our Moon is a lot more than our every night companion that has triggered a lot of fairy tales and stories. Astronomically speaking, the Moon plays a huge role in regulating our planet’s wobble on the axis. Weather on Earth wouldn’t have been the same without the presence of our natural satellite.
According to Fox News, there’s new evidence for lava existing on the Moon roughly 2 billion years ago. Chang’e 5, meaning the fifth lunar exploration mission from the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program and also the first linear sample-return mission of China, brought back some rock samples from our natural satellite. They revealed the presence of lava long ago.
Samples of young lunar basalt lavas samples
The Oceanus Procellarum region is the place where samples of young lunar basalt lavas were collected. A drill was used for collecting the samples, and their age was determined due to radioactive dating.
The research team wrote:
Orbital data indicate that the youngest volcanic units on the moon are basalt lavas in Oceanus Procellarum, a region with high levels of the heat-producing elements potassium, thorium and uranium.
It’s a mystery why lava existed on the Moon long after the object’s formation.
U.S.-based co-author Brad Jolliff, who is a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, declared:
In this study, we got a very precise age right around 2 billion years, plus or minus 50 million years,
It’s a phenomenal result. In terms of planetary time, that’s a very precise determination. And that’s good enough to distinguish between the different formulations of the chronology.
We should all think about the Moon with great respect. Despite its role in the evolution of Earth, it’s still our only natural satellite. Saturn is the champion of the Solar System, having the most moons: 82.