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Astronomers have peered inside the moon. / July 6, 2010 /

Japanese probe «Kaguya» found on the Moon olivine — containing magnesium and iron mineral that is part of the mantle. The presence of olivine in the mantle of the Moon will enable scientists to clarify the issues of origin of the satellite.

Most astronomers are of the opinion that the moon formed about 4.5 billion years ago (although recently the event was moved to 120 million years ahead) in the collision of Earth with a large celestial body, which blew out a huge chunk of the young planet’s molten matter. Future Moon was covered by oceans of lava, which floated on the surface of the lungs substance solidified in the crust, heavy substance, in turn, were drowned and subsequently formed the lunar mantle (the proof of the existence of the ocean of lava were also detected by the probe «Kaguya»).

It is believed that the processes that occurred during the formation of the moon, reminded the processes occurring on Earth. On our planet, one of the main components of the mantle is olivine, but on the moon to find it did not succeed — all evidence of the existence of this mineral were unreliable.

The probe «Kaguya» has found deposits of this mineral, forming a circular structure on the edges of lunar craters formed when falling on the surface of asteroid satellites in the days when the lunar crust was thin. The authors of the new work suggest that olivine, together with other substances mantle was thrown up through the shattered asteroid when falling parts of the cortex.

Fellow scientists took a positive view of their work. Astronomers say that until now researchers could not be found on the surface of the moon rock, which would have occurred from the mantle, rather than from different parts of the cortex. However, as emphasized by the authors themselves, in order to unequivocally «prescribe» olivine in the mantle, rather than the bottom of the crust, more research is needed.

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