What’s this? Are they crystals? Chinese scientists asked that when they discovered it. It was last July. The Chinese Yutu 2 Rover, part of the Chang 4 moon mission, found it. They were on the other side of the moon. It was a strange colored substance, unknown in nature and “gel-like”, almost like crystals. The finding was only released by the Chinese authorities in September. Since then, researchers around the world have wanted to learn more details about the mysterious crystals of the moon.
Mission scientists repeatedly refused to share the results of their analyzes. Now, a year later, Chinese scientists have published an article in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Explain what your rover found. The unexpected finding led planned activities to find out the type of slimy material that was released last year.
It is not a gel, but a stone. In their article, Gou Sheng and colleagues analyzed data from the Yutu 2’s panoramic prevention cameras and confirmed the strength of the glossy material.
They describe the substance as a glossy dark green blow-molding gap. It is very likely that they are crystals. They are created by the heat generated by the impact of a meteorite or by a volcanic eruption. The material is similar to the moon impact melt gap samples brought to Earth by NASA’s Apollo missions.
The analyzes were limited by the fact that the spectrometer measurements were carried out in very poor lighting conditions. The Chinese mission is exploring a completely unknown area of the moon.
The exact results of the regolith composition presented in this study may not be entirely accurate. But the authors do an excellent job of accurately documenting their approach and assumptions. Thus, their results can be understood in the context of this extremely challenging problem.
Chinese scientists’ interpretation of the nature of the substance appears reasonable. Corresponds to previous interpretations based on available images.
The article also pays attention to the environment. The authors suggest that the lunar regolith consists of a mixture of materials from multiple sources. The ejection of materials from the impact of the nearby Finsen crater is practically considered the main source.
The Chang 4 spacecraft landed on the other side of the moon in the Kámán crater with a diameter of 180 km in January 2019. The Yutu 2 Rover is currently preparing for its 20th lunar day. It will start around July 14 (a lunar day lasts about two weeks in the earth). During its lunar day 19, which lasted from June 14th to 27th, the Chinese rover examined a small crater that also contains reflective material. It could be another sample of molten glass formed during an impact. The mysterious crystals of the moon can appear in many other unexplored places.