The mystery of the lunar mantle could shed light on the evolution of a habitable planet – .

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The mystery of the lunar mantle could shed light on the evolution of a habitable planet – .


Thorium detected across the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin reveals how the mantle material was violently ejected during the impact that formed the basin. On this map of the moon’s south pole, thorium abundance is represented by a color scale, with areas of high thorium shown in red, tending towards purple and gray for lower abundances. (Image credit: NASA/LRO/Lunar Prospector/D. Moriarty)

The moon’s complex geological history could serve as a pointer to understanding other rocky worlds in the universe, including those that are potentially habitable, according to a new pair of research papers.

The NASA-backed studies are based on data from the agency’s long-standing Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) – which has spent the past twelve years mapping the moon in high resolution – as well as old data from the lunar prospector. retired NASA and Indian Chandrayaan- 1 space missions.

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