Science & Technology

China finds high-pressure minerals in Moon samples

Beijing, Jun 22 (EFE).- Chinese scientists found high-pressure minerals in samples collected on the Moon’s surface by the Chang’e 5 probe, the state newspaper Global Times reported Wednesday.

Experts from the Geochemical Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found fragments of seifertite and stishovite, minerals formed from silicon dioxide subjected to high temperatures and pressures, in samples of materials on the solid rocks of the Moon.

They also found silicon dioxide and silica glass. These high-pressure minerals formed from meteorite impacts reveal the evolution of lunar soil and the temperature and pressure of the rocks at the time of the collisions suffered by the surface of the satellite.

Since the exploration of the Moon began, few traces of high-pressure minerals have been found in the samples collected by the different missions.

This is the first time seifertite has been detected in samples collected outside of Earth, according to the newspaper.

Scientists said the silicon dioxide remains may come from the Aristarchus crater, located in the Oceanus Procellarum, the area where the Chang’e 5 landed to collect 1.73 kilograms of lunar rock samples.

The Chang’e program (named after a goddess who, according to Chinese legend, lives on the Moon) began with the launch of a first probe in 2007.

In recent years, Beijing has invested heavily in its space program and achieved milestones such as the successful landing of a probe on the far side of the Moon in January 2019, an achievement that no country had achieved to date. EFE


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