Ocean of Storms on the Moon was a giant asteroid trail

29 Oct

OceanLunar SeaOcean of Storms on the near side of the Moon – was followed by a giant asteroid on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite, the Japanese say planetary scientists in a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

For the person who is watching the moon with the naked eye, the moon is made of dark and light spots. The dark spots are flat lowlands, which are astronomical tradition called seas, bays, lakes, swamps and oceans.

The first atlas of the lunar “water” on the near side of the Moon was made in the mid-17th century, Italian scientists Giovanni Richcholi and Francesco Grimaldi, and since then, the list has not changed.

A group of Japanese planetologists led Ryosuke Nakamura (Ryosuke Nakamura) of the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology in Tsukuba (Japan) found that the largest lunar Sea, Ocean of Storms length of 2.5 thousand kilometers, is the trace of the asteroid by studying the chemical composition rocks in it with the tools of Japanese probe “Kaguya”.

The authors have tried to understand the reason why the visible side of the Moon is almost completely covered by seas and plains landforms, while the back of the hill and dominated by other types of elevations.

Nakamura and his colleagues suggest that this can be explained by the fact that during the formation of the visible side of the moon it was under threat of asteroid bombardment. Following this idea, planetary scientists have tried to find traces of this impact in the chemical composition of the rocks of the Ocean of Storms.

As the scientists explain, the fall of a large asteroid was to “tear off” and the melt is frozen crust of the Moon, and to reveal more liquid upper layers of the lunar mantle. Open magma hardens quickly, becoming a special kind of mineral – low-Ca pyroxene (LCP). Thus, if the Ocean of Storms and other large sea on the near side of the moon emerged from the asteroid strikes, they should contain a large proportion of LCP-pyroxene.

Based on this consideration, Nakamura and colleagues studied data on chemical composition of the rocks in the Ocean of Storms and other regions of the moon collected by the Japanese probe “Kaguya” after two years of work on the lunar orbit. Scholars have noted the points on the map of the moon with the greatest concentration of pyroxene and compared them with the location of the seas on its surface.

It turned out that most of the deposits of LCP-pyroxene is within the Ocean of Storms, in deep craters, exposing rock outcrops of the mantle to the surface of the moon. In smaller lunar seas, such as the Sea of ​​crisis or in the Sea of ​​Moscow, there were no traces of pyroxene, which points to the special nature of the Ocean of Storms.

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Earth, Galaxy, Planet


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