anomaly on the surface of the moon.  Exposed heat mass can feed on volcanoes

A huge ‘bubble’ of heat has been detected on the dark side of the Moon. Scientists suspect that the source of the anomaly is a piece of granite hidden under the surface of our satellite. This rock, common on Earth, is rarely found anywhere else in the solar system. And for good reason.

The moon’s reverse side, which is also called the dark side, which is the side that is not visible from Earth, holds many mysteries. Although we know what they look like, the data from some observations can surprise scientists. One such anomaly was described in the scientific journal “Nature”.

See also: shimmering rings and little moons. Saturn through the lens of the Webb telescope

Thermal puzzle

A team of American scientists analyzed data from the Chinese Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 probes, which measured microwave radiation on the far side of the Moon. Near the North Pole, the instrumentation recorded a thermal anomaly – a large “smudge”, about 20 times warmer than the surrounding rock.

– This means that this point was hot, not necessarily on the surface, but possibly below it. The study’s lead author Matthew Siegler of Southern Methodist University in Texas explained that the only explanation for this phenomenon is heat coming from deeper layers of the lunar crust.

The analysis showed that the heat came from radioactive elements that are found on the moon only in the company of granite. Rocks are common on Earth and usually require the formation of water and tectonic movements. However, these factors are absent on the Moon, which makes granite extremely rare there.

Visualization of the “dark side” of the moon based on data from the LRO probeNASA Science Visualization Studio

Old blot

The “spot” discovered under the lunar surface is likely the result of cooling lava feeding volcanoes that were relatively active after the formation of the moon, perhaps 3.5 billion years ago. This formation of solidified lava that never erupted is known as a Batholith. In Poland, it occurs in the Giant Mountains and the High Tatras.

Siegler explained that “every large block of granite that we find on Earth was feeding a large group of volcanoes.” – Batholiths are much larger than the volcanoes that feed them. It is, for example, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a remnant of an ancient volcanic chain.

The Lunar Bath Basin is located in an area of ​​the Moon previously identified as volcanic. However, scientists were surprised by the size of the “spot” – it can reach 50 kilometers in diameter. Finding this huge block of granite can help scientists better understand the ancient history of our satellite.

“If there was no water, extreme conditions would be necessary for the formation of granite,” Siegler said. – Here we have a system without water and without tectonic plates, but with granite. Does this mean that there was water on the moon, at least in this place? Or was it particularly hot there? the world wondered.

Also check: This celestial spiral was the site of a disaster

Main image source: NASA Science Visualization Studio

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