Life on Earth would not have been possible without the Moon – it maintains the stability of the axis of rotation of our planet and supports the change of seasons. However, it is still being conducted on how the moon was formed. A popular hypothesis states that the Moon was formed from a body the size of Mars, which collided with the Earth. However, a new study provides new insights that may challenge previous versions.
An analysis published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters sheds new light on the composition of dust found at the bottom of the craters of the moon. Essam Heggy from the University of Southern California School of Engineering and his team studied Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data on the composition of fine dust in craters. Researchers have concluded that the surface of the moon may be richer in metal oxides than scientists thought.
The team found higher concentrations of metals in deeper craters. Scientists say there may be an even higher concentration of metal deeper below the surface. The findings also cast doubt on the current understanding of how the moon was formed, since the satellite is richer in metals than the earth. Alternatively, more metal may hint at complex cooling of the early molten surface of the moon.