24/7 Space News
The Moon's heart revealed for the first time
Artist's impression of the lunar interior. From the surface down to the centre: a thin crust, a very thick mantle, a lowviscosity zone at the core-mantle boundary, a fluid outer core, and a solid inner core. Geoazur/Nicolas Starter
The Moon's heart revealed for the first time
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) May 05, 2023

Half a century after Apollo 11 initiated the first lunar surveys, a collaborative team of scientists from CNRS, University of the Cote d'Azur, Cote d'Azur Observatory, Sorbonne University, and Paris Observatory-PSL has unveiled a previously unknown aspect of the Moon's internal structure: a solid core akin to Earth's. Alongside this groundbreaking discovery, the researchers also provide evidence explaining the presence of iron-rich materials within the lunar crust. Their findings were published in Nature on May 3, 2023.

While the formation and evolution of the Moon continue to be debated, its deep interior structure has now been established. Over fifty years since humanity's first lunar missions, it is now undeniable that the Moon has a solid inner core encircled by a fluid outer core, much like Earth. This hypothesis has been confirmed through the efforts of scientists from CNRS, University of the Cote d'Azur, Cote d'Azur Observatory, Sorbonne University, and Paris Observatory-PSL.

Approximately two decades after the fluid outer core's identification, the team has uncovered the presence of a solid inner core with a diameter of around 500 km, comprising roughly 15% of the Moon's total size. This inner core is composed of a metal with a density similar to iron. Previously, the fluid outer core was identified through methods related to the Moon's rotation. However, the solid core remained elusive due to its small size. The researchers have now confirmed its existence using data from various space missions and lunar laser ranging.

In addition to this significant discovery, the team has found evidence supporting the lunar mantle overturn hypothesis, which suggests that material movement occurred within the mantle, the layer between the core and crust, during the Moon's evolution. This phenomenon helps explain the presence of iron-rich elements on the lunar surface. The process may have involved material rising to the surface, forming volcanic rocks that were then deposited in the lunar crust. Subsequently, materials denser than the surrounding crustal material sank back down to the core-mantle boundary.

This research offers valuable insights into the history of the solar system and events such as the disappearance of the lunar magnetic field, which was originally a hundred times stronger than Earth's present magnetic field but has since become almost non-existent.

Related Links
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
What will the Artemis Moon base look like?
Colorado Springs, United States (AFP) May 4, 2023
The next time NASA goes to the Moon, it intends to stay. Under the Artemis program, the US space agency plans to maintain a human presence, for the very first time, on a celestial body other than Earth. But building a lunar base is no small feat. It will need power generators, vehicles and habitats, and the space industry is racing to meet the technological challenges. "It's the Super Bowl of engineering," Neal Davis, lead systems engineer for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle at space company Dynetics, ... read more

Virgin to launch commercial spaceflights in June

SpaceX set to launch Vast's commercial space station and inaugural human spaceflight mission

NASA launches SBIR Ignite Catalyst Program for founders and entrepreneurs

Prep in the pool for Europe's next astronauts

Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site can launch new-generation rockets

New standard will aid in development of spaceport descriptions

China's reusable experimental spacecraft successfully lands

Rocket Lab to launch small satellite swarm for NASA

Ubajara drill site gets green light: Sols 3823-3824

Check And Double Check: Sols 3821-3822

These sounds are out of this world

Chasms on the flanks of a Martian volcano

Tianzhou-5 cargo craft separates from China's space station

China's cargo craft Tianzhou 6 ready for launch

Tianzhou 6 docks with Tiangong space station

Final frontier is no longer alien

How NASA's work led to commercial spaceflight revolution

SpaceX launches 51 Starlink satellites from California

UK gives Viasat clearance to acquire Inmarsat

Virginia Tech, George Mason to develop networking for satellite constellations

Upcoming ISS project will test 3D materials for satellite manufacturing

Great balls of fire! 'Rocket debris' lights up Japan night

General Atomics delivers spacecraft simulator supporting NASA TSIS-2 program

Arianespace to launch the first active debris removal ClearSpace mission with Vega C

Researchers measure the light emitted by a sub-Neptune planet's atmosphere for the first time

Webb looks for Fomalhaut's asteroid belt and finds much more

Webb takes closest look yet at mysterious planet

Hubble follows shadow play around planet-forming disk

NASA: Up to 4 of Uranus' moons could have water

New video series captures team working on NASA's Europa Clipper

Work continues to deploy Juice RIME antenna

Juice's first taste of science from space

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.