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Space & Astronomy

Large unknown mass discovered on the Moon

June 11, 2019 | Comment icon 28 comments

What lies underneath the Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin ? Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
Scientists have identified a large, anomalous mass embedded deep beneath the Moon's largest crater.
The unexpected find, which could be metal left behind by an asteroid that once struck the lunar surface, was discovered deep beneath the 1,550-mile-wide Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin.

"Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground," said lead study author Dr. Peter James of Baylor University, Texas.

"That's roughly how much unexpected mass we detected."
The anomalous mass, which is weighing down the basin floor by over half a mile, was found thanks to data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission.

"When we combined that with lunar topography data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we discovered the unexpectedly large amount of mass hundreds of miles underneath the South Pole-Aitken basin," said Dr James.

"One of the explanations of this extra mass is that the metal from the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the Moon's mantle."

Source: Fox News | Comments (28)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by hereticspl 3 years ago
So your saying we have the same situation as the cold war?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 3 years ago
Similar in many ways. Not the same.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
What, apart from mind numbingly obvious reasons such as the spirit of exploration, the science and the national prestige you mean? Here goes: Well there is the fact that the Moon is virtually unexplored. Samples have been returned from only 9 locations on the Moon (6 Apollo and 3 Soviet Luna missions). The landing sites had to be safe and easy to land and so where atypical of the Moon as a whole. In other words, although we know much more about the Moon than we did before Apollo we still no relatively little. Since understanding how the Moon formed is critical to understanding how the Earth fo... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 years ago
Absolute drivel. Where was the profit in Arctic and Antarctic exploration? Where was the profit in climbing Everest? You need to stop projecting your materialism and lack of imagination on to the rest of humanity.
Comment icon #23 Posted by hereticspl 3 years ago
Calm down princess your getting a bit worked up. Were talking about billions of dollars and that money has to come from somewhere. Imagine trying to source funding and your only pitch is do it for the greater good or for our sense of exploration you'll be laughed out of the boardroom. Getting this off the ground in that short a time frame means corporations are investing bucket loads of money and they dont just do that out of the goodness of their hearts.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Peter B 3 years ago
The billions of dollars in private investment is coming from people like Elon Musk (PayPal) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon). They have huge amounts of money available to indulge their interests, which for them is Space. And yes, they're doing it for profit as well as out of some greater personal interest. But yes, there's also a lot of ego involved too: if humanity spreads out across the Solar System in coming decades and centuries, the people who will be remembered as starting the process are going to be people like Musk and Bezos; I'm pretty sure Musk and Bezos are aware of this, and I suspect they'... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by hereticspl 3 years ago
What's the situation like In regards to land ownership, i read that the un has declared space as the property of all mankind and most major space capable nations have signed the treaty. How do you think the un is going to enforce their rules now that space colonization is becoming a reality?
Comment icon #26 Posted by Farmer77 3 years ago
The US has no problem tearing up treaties if they believe it will profit them. Theyll go first and the rest of the world will follow suit.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Peter B 3 years ago
IIRC the Outer Space treaty says that countries can't claim territory not on the Earth but says nothing about private companies... Watch this space, I guess. (*pa-dum-tish!*)
Comment icon #28 Posted by hereticspl 3 years ago
It doesn't say anything about building anything either does it? So if someone builds something on a patch of land as far as I'm concerned that's as good as claiming it

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