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Space & Astronomy

Mystery 'gel' found on far side of the Moon

September 3, 2019 | Comment icon 15 comments



What is this substance and how did it get here ? Image Credit: China National Space Administration
Scientists operating China's Yutu-2 lunar rover have discovered a strange 'shiny gel' inside an impact crater.
Situated within the 2,500km-wide South Pole-Aitken basin, the rover, which landed on the Moon as part of China's groundbreaking Chang'e 4 mission back in January, first noticed the anomalous gel after spotting a shining object while trundling across the lunar surface.

Exhibiting a shape and color that stands out against the surrounding regolith, the gel has been described as having "a mysterious luster" and is situated right in the middle of an impact crater.
While scientists have yet to conclusively identify the substance, some have speculated that it could be a type of glass created from the heat of the impact that formed the crater.

The rover had been due to power down for one of its regular 'naps' just prior to the discovery, but when the anomaly was spotted engineers decided to postpone the process so that it could be investigated.

Without additional instruments however, conclusively explaining the substance may prove a challenge.

Source: Independent | Comments (15)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by It's Just An Opinion 2 years ago
Saying it's molten glass is silly. It would take less then 30 minutes for that to freeze solid, and all the drone would have to do is poke it to confirm, but the scientists didn't say they thought it was molten glass the commentators did. The scientists said it was a gel. and I doubt they postponed a shutdown just to study it from 40 feet away at the top of a crater with zoom. They found an odd substance on the moon. I think by now scientist would be able to distinguish molten glass from something else. You should bring it to earth and see what it tastes like.
Comment icon #7 Posted by XenoFish 2 years ago
The lunar tardigrades are breeding.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Hankenhunter 2 years ago
I for one welcome our blobulous overlords. Just keep them away from my jello or there be...repercussions.
Comment icon #9 Posted by bison 2 years ago
The Apollo astronauts reportedly found natural glass on the Moon, caused by meteoric impacts. The same explanation has been suggested in this case.  That's quite a reach, though. The Chinese scientists are supposed to have called the substance 'gel-like'. Why do that if the glass explanation was viable? They presumably had grounds for distinguishing the strange substance from glass. On Earth, meteoric glass is typically green or yellow-green, and not transparent. Perhaps the substance found on the far side of the Moon is of some other color, or transparent, as gels often are. The implications ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
Can it be water mixed with lunar dirt?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I think this very interesting, it seems that their explaination or a shiny area caused by an asteroid or meteor impact makes sense.
Comment icon #12 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
I am something of a result of the 80s when i hear "gel" i think boy bands will want it for their hair, gel is a goo glass is hard did they poke a finger in the mucus?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Hazzard 2 years ago
Im thinking glass formed by a meteor impact. The "gel" is probably a translation error.
Comment icon #14 Posted by ItwasAliens 2 years ago
I?m thinking alien chromosomes..
Comment icon #15 Posted by AlphaGeek 2 years ago
Its the cheese oozing to the surface. Duh.


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