Scientific research on the Chang’e-5 lunar samples has yielded fruitful results

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BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — More than 50 research results on lunar samples recovered by the Chang’e-5 mission have been published in prominent academic journals at home and abroad, pushing China’s lunar science research to the international fore, said the China National Space Administration. .

More than 150 scientists and researchers participated in the first-ever Chang’e-5 lunar sample research results symposium held by the China National Space Administration on Monday, discussing topics ranging from the characteristics of the Chang’e-5 lunar soil samples to the history of lunar volcanic activities, impacts of meteorites on the moon, climate change in space, new techniques for analyzing extraterrestrial samples, and more.

In 2020, China’s Chang’e 5 mission brought lunar samples weighing about 1,731 grams, the first lunar samples brought in more than 40 years.

The aforementioned authority said that 65.1 grams of lunar samples were distributed in five batches to the research units, after the first batch was delivered to Chinese scientists on July 12, 2021.

Experts attending the symposium were unanimous that the forum not only provided a valuable opportunity for researchers to exchange ideas, but also provided a platform for presenting vital scientific research results, which will further promote and facilitate the development of lunar science research and exploration in China.

The China National Space Agency indicated that one of the most prominent research results on these lunar samples was about the history of volcanic eruptions in the landing area of ​​the Chang’e-5 lunar probe, and was published in October 2021 in three research papers in the journal (Nature).

In the study, a research team at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences dated the age of the newest rock on the moon’s surface at about two billion years, which extends the “age” of lunar volcanoes by 800-900 million years, longer than previously known.

Chinese scientists also revealed how volcanic eruptions occurred on the moon in the following study, which was published one year later in the journal Science Advances.

The institute’s researchers proposed a new mechanism for how new volcanoes formed 2 billion years ago on the surface of the moon, which was cooling, and found that the decrease in the melting point of the mantle due to the presence of eutectic components could generate young lunar volcanoes.

The China National Space Administration noted that apart from exploring volcanic eruptions on the moon, Chinese scientists have also made progress in lunar mineral research.

And Chinese scientists announced in September 2022 that they had discovered a new lunar mineral by researching lunar samples. It is considered to be the first new mineral discovered by China on the moon and the sixth by mankind. The new discovery makes China the third country in the world to discover a new mineral on the moon.

The new mineral, dubbed chang’ahsat-(wei), is a kind of translucent, uncolored columnar crystal, discovered from analysis of lunar basalt particles by a research team from the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology, a subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Power Corporation. .

The China National Space Administration added that Chinese scientists also found clues about lunar water resources by studying lunar samples.

Scientists from the National Center for Space Science and the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also revealed that lunar soil grains retained more solar-infused water in the mid-latitude region than previously thought. This study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December 2022.

Scientists also expected to explore many water resources for future exploitation in the high latitude region of the Moon.

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