Chinas Yutu lunar rover finds moon geography more complex than thought

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working on China’s Chang’E-3 lunar mission has found multiple distinct geographic rock layers beneath the surface of the moon, indicating a much more complex geographical history than was previously thought by most in the scientific community. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their analysis of data sent back by the Yutu rover. © 2015 Phys.org More information: A young multilayered terrane of the northern Mare Imbrium revealed by Chang’E-3 mission, Science 13 March 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6227 pp. 1226-1229 . DOI: 10.1126/science.1259866AbstractChina’s Chang’E-3 (CE-3) spacecraft touched down on the northern Mare Imbrium of the lunar nearside (340.49°E, 44.12°N), a region not directly sampled before. We report preliminary results with data from the CE-3 lander descent camera and from the Yutu rover’s camera and penetrating radar. After the landing at a young 450-meter crater rim, the Yutu rover drove 114 meters on the ejecta blanket and photographed the rough surface and the excavated boulders. The boulder contains a substantial amount of crystals, which are most likely plagioclase and/or other mafic silicate mineral aggregates similar to terrestrial dolerite. The Lunar Penetrating Radar detection and integrated geological interpretation have identified more than nine subsurface layers, suggesting that this region has experienced complex geological processes since the Imbrian and is compositionally distinct from the Apollo and Luna landing sites. Journal information: Science China’s Yutu rover is still alive, reports say, as lunar panorama released Citation: China’s Yutu lunar rover finds moon geography more complex than thought (2015, March 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-china-yutu-lunar-rover-moon.htmllast_img

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