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Mysterious and enormous mass of material identified under the largest crater of the Moon

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A mysterious mass whose constitution or origin is unknown is identified under the largest crater of the Moon. The study, conducted by researchers at Baylor University, describes the presence of a large mass of unknown material under the Aitken crater, located near the south pole of the moon.

This material, which could also be characterized by the presence of metals from asteroids that impacted this region in the past, has a mass five times larger than that of Big Island, one of the Hawaiian islands, which has an area of ​​almost 10,500 square miles.

The chain in which this material is found is 2000 miles wide, oval in shape and several kilometers deep. It is in a position for which it cannot be observed directly from the Earth. It was identified thanks to the data, in particular those relating to gravity and topography, coming from NASA space vehicles, that of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

This large mass, whatever it is and wherever it prevents, has partly baffled astronomers but still seems of great interest and will certainly be analyzed on several occasions in the near future. The mass of material begins at just under a kilometer deep and extends in-depth for more than 300 miles. This is also why direct analyzes are not easily possible.

Of course, some hypotheses already exist. Already in the past, several simulations have shown that, with the right conditions, it is possible that an asteroid can disperse large quantities of iron and nickel in the upper mantle of the Moon, ie the layer that is placed between the outer part and the core.

The researchers, who have re-performed these simulations, confirm that the nucleus of an asteroid, sufficiently fragmented during the impact, could remain “suspended” in this area of ​​the lunar body indefinitely. Another hypothesis sees a large concentration of dense oxides associated with the last stage of ocean solidification of lunar magma.

Sean Cox

I am a Physics professor at Florida A&M University and an amateur astronomer with a keen interest in not just my own areas of specialization, but also biology, robotics and computer science (I am also an amateur C++ programmer and Python developer). While my current responsibilities do not allow me to spend a whole lot of time writing about science research, I thoroughly enjoy doing so when I get the chance, and started Bitobit News to engage in that hobby and also to try to get at least a few other people interested in the wonderful world of science.

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