Scientists Explained What It Means To Detect Carbon On The Moon
The unexpected detection by Japanese scientists of carbon ion emissions on the entire surface of the Moon does not fit with the hypothesis of the formation of a satellite by the collision of the Earth with another planet, one of the participants of the joint project Masaki Matsushima from the Department of Earth and planet research of the Tokyo Polytechnic Institute told RIA News.
According to him, there are several theories about how the Moon appeared 4.5 billion years ago. Among them-the splitting of the Earth, the joint formation of the Earth and the Moon, gravitational capture, and there is also a dominant hypothesis-about a "giant collision."
Earlier this month, a group of scientists from various scientific centers in Japan analyzed data obtained from the Japanese satellite "Kaguya" and announced the detection of carbon ions throughout the Moon, which are classified as volatile elements.
"It was believed that the Moon once had an ocean of magma, based on the analysis of rock samples. However, if there were an ocean of magma, the volatile elements would disappear. This is not compatible with the hypothesis of a large collision," Matsushima said.
As you know, the Earth and the Moon have a similar composition of the crust, which suggests their formation from almost the same material.
"As far as I understand, just a giant collision can not lead to the initial formation of the Moon and the Earth, which has been proposed by a number of mathematical simulations. There are other hypotheses - slow collision, multiple collisions, and others," Matsushima explained.
According to him, data on the Moon's magnetic field was obtained on Board the Kaguya probe using a Lunar Magnetometer (LMAG).
"They suggest that the radius of the Moon's core is less than 400 kilometers and that the lunar Dynamo produced a magnetic field that has been preserved as magnetic anomalies in the lunar crust. My approach to understanding the origin and evolution of the Moon is based on this," the scientist said.
"In this sense, I myself do not have a new theory of Moon formation. This is still a mystery, and it is just interesting," he stressed.
Another participant in the project based on data from the Kaguya probe, a scientist from Osaka University, Seichiro Yokota, told RIA News that the previous model of the Moon's origin by a giant collision did not provide for the existence of volatile elements such as water and carbon on this satellite at the time of its appearance. This is the so-called "dry theory."
"The new theory suggests that to some extent there were light-volatile elements on the Moon to some extent. With the development of computer technology, collision models have emerged that allow for the presence of volatile elements. Our discovery may provide an opportunity to review the origin and evolution of the Moon from the point of view of a new theory," said Ekota.
It is believed that during the collision of cosmic bodies, a planetary disk of molten debris is formed around them.
"We expect that the previous theory of a simple giant collision will turn out to be the theory of a "raw" giant collision. It assumes a complex structure of the disk, in which the upper parts were dominated by heavier elements," the scientist said.
According to him, he still believes in the theory of "giant collision", based on much evidence that has emerged from observations and theoretical conclusions.
"I also believe that the earth's synestia (mass of vaporized rock) due to a giant collision could allow a certain number of volatile elements on the Moon," explained Ekota.
The most likely theory of a "giant collision" is still considered by a researcher at the Institute for space and astronomical research of the Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA) Kazushi Asamura.
Commenting on joint research with colleagues, he confirmed to RIA Novosti that "there are some models of a giant collision that allow for light-volatile elements" on the Moon. Of course, we are not talking about a gaseous substance, they can be in the ground in the form of atoms and molecules, the scientist explained.
In the Department of Earth and environmental research at Kumamoto University, another participant in the joint study of carbon on the Moon, Hidetoshi Shibuya, explained the importance of the finding.
"All theories in planetology are speculative for me. Therefore, what we found is important not because it contradicts the standard theory, but because a new fact has emerged to explain any theory (the origin of the Moon)," Hidetoshi Shibuya told RIA News.
Carbon found by Japanese scientists on the Moon is believed to have had a significant impact on the formation and development of planets, but previously it was believed that The earth's satellite does not have it.