For a long time no sample of the Moon had come to Earth. Now for the first time in more than 40 years, a sample of the Moon has been brought to Earth with the help of Chang’e-5 of China. It also contains lava about two billion years old, which gives information about volcanic activity on the Moon. In December 2020, the Chang’e-5 lander returned from the Moon with about 1,731 grams of samples.
As Nature reports, this first mission by a team of Chinese scientists used only a small area to confirm predictions about the Oceanus Procellarum region where the spacecraft landed. These two-billion-year-old specimens indicate volcanism. Which are at least a billion years newer than samples from NASA’s Apollo astronauts or the Soviet Union’s unmanned Luna missions.
Newest sample of lava
“This is the youngest-ever lava flow from the Moon,” said Katherine Joy, a planetary scientist at the University of Manchester, UK. These samples fill an important gap in the geology of the Moon and will also help scientists understand the history of other Solar System bodies, the report said. On 1 December 2020, the Chang’e-5 lander landed in the volcano Mons Rumkar area in Oceanus Procellarum.
surface temperature of 100 °C
It also encountered temperatures in excess of 100 °C on the surface of the Moon. Oceanus Procellarum, a Latin word meaning ‘ocean of storms’. This region extends 2,500 km from north to south near the Moon. It is believed that relatively new lava exists in the region, indicating recent volcanism on the Moon.