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Scientists Discover Moon’s Solid Inner Structure

A close-up photograph of the lunar surface by the Artemis I Mission. Image Credit: NASA.

A groundbreaking study has just unveiled an astonishing secret buried deep within the Moon. Prepare to be awestruck as we delve into the enigmatic lunar world, where a solid core has been discovered, unraveling the long-held secrets of its internal structure. This extraordinary revelation sheds light on the captivating presence of iron-rich materials gracing the Moon's surface.

A new study reveals the Moon’s solid core, unlocking secrets of its internal structure and explaining the presence of iron-rich materials on its surface.

Moon’s Solid Inner Structure Confirmed 50 Years After Apollo 11

Half a century after Apollo 11’s groundbreaking lunar surveys, researchers from CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, Côte d’Azur Observatory, Sorbonne Université, and Paris Observatory-PSL have unveiled the Moon’s solid core, similar to Earth’s. Their work, published in Nature on May 3, 2023, also provides evidence explaining the iron-rich materials found in the lunar crust.

Unraveling the Mystery of the Moon’s Deep Interior

While the Moon’s formation and evolution remain debated, its deep interior structure is now confirmed. It possesses a solid inner core surrounded by a fluid outer core, mirroring Earth. This conclusion stems from the collaborative efforts of the aforementioned institutions.

Solid Inner Moon Core: 500 km in Diameter, 15% of the Moon’s Size

The team discovered a solid inner core about 500 km in diameter, constituting roughly 15% of the Moon’s total size. Comprised of a metal resembling iron in density, the core remained undetectable due to its size. Researchers used lunar laser ranging and data from various space missions to confirm its existence.

Lunar Mantle Overturn: Explaining Iron-Rich Surface Materials

The scientists also identified evidence supporting the lunar mantle overturn hypothesis, which suggests material movement within the mantle during the Moon’s evolution. This process clarifies the presence of iron-rich elements at the lunar surface. Material may have surfaced, forming volcanic rocks that deposited in the lunar crust before denser materials sank back to the core-mantle boundary.

Shedding Light on Lunar History and Magnetic Field Disappearance

This study significantly contributes to understanding the solar system’s history and events, such as the disappearance of the lunar magnetic field, which was originally 100 times stronger than Earth’s current magnetic field and is now virtually non-existent.

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