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Space & Astronomy

Is there a piece of our moon behind Mars ?

By T.K. Randall
November 8, 2020 · Comment icon 5 comments

Has Mars been concealing a piece of the Moon ? Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
Scientists have discovered that an asteroid trailing behind Mars could actually be a fragment of the Moon.
The space rock, which is known by the catchy name (101429) 1998 VF31, is one of a number of trojan asteroids in our solar system - objects which share the same orbital path as one of the planets.

What makes this particular example so interesting, is the fact that its composition seems to hint that it may in fact be a piece of the Earth's moon which must have been chipped off during a collision at some point in the distant past before ending up trailing the orbit of Mars.

Researchers at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) in Northern Ireland used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile to examine how sunlight reflects off the asteroid's surface and then compared the data to that of other bodies in the solar system.

They were surprised to find that the Moon was the closest match.

According to study co-author Galin Borisov, the data was a "dead-ringer for parts of the Moon where there is exposed bedrock such as crater interiors and mountains."

While it isn't a dead certainty that the asteroid is a piece of the Moon, it is certainly an intriguing find and could represent further indication of the solar system's violent past.

Who knows, there could even be other - perhaps larger chunks of the Moon out there still to find.

Source: | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by susieice 4 years ago
I saw this yesterday. Seems we've had these before.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Manwon Lender 4 years ago
Thanks very much for sharing, this is very interesting to me personall! Because it also makes it possible that some meteorites in people's collects could also be Moon rocks. Few people who collect them have the money to have them analyzed properly, and Moon rocks are very very valuable, so this may cause collectors to have pieces from their collections checked out which is good for Science and our knowledge in general. Moon rocks that have fallen to earth have been found at different locations over the years, but recently one that was found sold for an extremely large sum in 2020. moon rock kn... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by MissJatti 4 years ago
The piece is playing Hide and Seek
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
You would have to Google it for sure, but I think I read about geologists finding what they thought were Mars rocks in Antarctica.  About 8-10 years ago maybe.  Do you know of it?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Manwon Lender 4 years ago
I wouldn't be surprised at all Tate, Alaska, Antarctica, and deserts are the easiest places to hunt for Meteorites. Because you see them or their impact sights especially against a white back ground. In the desert, at first they become buried, but as time goes by and weathering occurs they become exposed again. when hunting for them you must look for rocks that do not blend in with the material at that location. A metal detector is also a must since all meteorites contain some form of metal. I have a small collection that I found over the years none of mine are rare, but its still cool to sit... [More]

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