China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft has made significant discoveries on the far side of the moon, shedding new light on its geological history. Equipped with Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) technology, the spacecraft’s rover, Yutu-2, has successfully mapped the upper 1,000 feet of the moon’s surface with incredible detail.
The LPR technology works by sending radio signals into the moon’s surface and creating a map based on the echoes that bounce back. This innovative method has allowed scientists to unveil billions of years of previously hidden lunar history. The data collected by Chang’e-4 have revealed fascinating insights into the moon’s composition.
The uppermost layer of the lunar surface, spanning around 130 feet, consists of various layers of dust, soil, and broken rocks. Additionally, a crater formed by an impact was also discovered in this layer. However, the real surprise came when scientists delved deeper.
Beneath this layer, the researchers identified five distinct layers of volcanic rock that flowed across the moon’s surface billions of years ago. What is particularly intriguing is that the data suggests volcanic activity on the moon gradually declined over time. The lava flows in later eruptions were found to be significantly less compared to earlier ones.
This discovery supports the belief that the moon is now “geologically dead” since volcanic activity is estimated to have ceased roughly 1 billion years ago. However, it is important to note that there could still be magma deep beneath the lunar surface, waiting to be explored further.
Chang’e-4’s mission is far from over. Building on its initial success, the spacecraft will continue to provide valuable insights into different geological formations on the moon in the future. These findings not only contribute to our understanding of the moon’s past, but also pave the way for future lunar exploration and possible lunar missions.
The discoveries made by China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft mark another milestone in lunar exploration. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of our closest celestial neighbor, these findings open up new possibilities for scientific research and human exploration on the moon. Stay tuned for further updates as Chang’e-4 continues its groundbreaking mission on the far side of the moon.
“Zombie enthusiast. Subtly charming travel practitioner. Webaholic. Internet expert.”