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Ep. 37, Page 2
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Comic 2861 - Ep. 37, Page 2

15th May 2019, 7:27 PM in Episode 37 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
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smbhax 15th May 2019, 7:27 PM edit delete
A new BBC article reports that China says their Chang'e-4 lunar rover, exploring the relatively unexplored far side of the moon, has found rocks from the Moon's mantle—that's the layer beneath the crust—on the surface in the Moon's vast South Pole Aitken Basin, a crater that "covers nearly a quarter of the Moon's circumference," and is thought to have been caused by the tremendous impact of a 170km asteroid at least 3.9 billion years ago.

Theory has said an impact of that scale could have smashed all the way through the moon's crust to the mantle, and this could be the first confirmation of that. The mission's initial scan of the rocks claims to have found them to differ significantly from typical lunar surface rocks, with a chemical profile fitting what scientists think lunar mantle rocks could have; if these are indeed pieces of the lunar mantle, they "could now help scientists understand the chemical and mineralogical composition of the mantle, which could shed light on the origins and evolution of the Moon itself."