A recent study that received support from the NASA Astrobiology program aims to uncover more about the surface of the moon. Samples of lunar basalts have been analyzed by the researchers with the help of advanced cools.
These basalts formed on the moon when magma reached the surfaced and cooled at an accelerated pace. Several samples have been collected from meteorites that crashed on Earth or during the Apollo missions.
One of the most productive sample collection missions involved two Astronauts and the Apollo 17 lunar module. During several spacewalks, the two astronauts collected rake samples with the help of the lunar rake. The two allowed the astronauts to gather a small sample of rocks and rock fragments with a maximum size of 2.5 centimeters.
NASA explores the loss of zinc on the Moon
The team of researchers tracked the amount of zinc and chlorine isotopes found in the samples to determine if incompatible element enriched rocks can offer evidence about the various melts which took place on the Moon. The results confirm models that showed that zinc and other valuable volatile minerals were lost in the aftermath of the planetary process that took place after the formation of the object. These events include significant impacts and other aggressive phenomena.
In the past, early scientists believed that large parts of the moon could be covered in oceans, and named them mare, after the Latin word for sea. Instead of being oceans of liquid water, they are agglomerations of hardened lava.
During the early days of the moon, the interior was hot enough to produce magma, which found its way to the surface and led to the formation of volcanoes. Meteorite and asteroid offered another escape for lava. Most of the crust is represented by a rocky surface covered in the regolith. The regolith will record imprints, including the famous step made by Neil Armstrong. More data can be found in a paper published in a scientific journal.