Scientists Identify Strange Gel-Like Substance On Far Side Of Moon
Remember that weird 'gel-like' substance scientists discovered on the far side of the moon? No? Well, thankfully you don't need to start racking your brain too much about what's going on with that, as the mystery's already been solved! Turns out it's just some rock.
Basically, last yaer, China made space history with the first-ever successful soft landing on the far side of the moon, using its Chang'e-4 lander. Not long after, it then unleashed its Yutu-2 rover, which started to wander around the Von Kármán to see what was up.
The rover send back images of some strange 'gel-like substance' with a 'mysterious lustre', which sounded to us mere mortals like a sort of disgusting, otherworldly space snot.
After being imaged in late July 2019, details of the substance were revealed on the Yutu-2 drive diary, which was published by Chinese government-sanctioned science outreach blog Our Space.
It was here that the mysterious 'gel-like' term was thrown out there, making its way into headlines and leaving us all with an image of some peculiar lunar slimeball.
Well, now we know what it is, and thankfully experts have confirmed it's not just what the man on the moon left behind after a bad bout of hayfever.
Instead, analysis of the imagery and studies of the lunar regolith brought back by Apollo astronauts have proven that the bizarre substance is actually rock.
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Yes, it's perhaps a little underwhelming, or slightly relieving, depending on how you see it.
However, in fairness, itis rock that's been melded together in a huge blast of heat - possibly, scientists think, from a meteor impact - which does start to make things a bit more exciting.
Outlining their findings in a paper, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the team of researchers wrote: "Chang'e-4 rover discovered a dark greenish and glistening impact melt breccia in a crater during its traverse on the floor of Von Kármán crater within the South Pole Aitken (SPA) basin on the lunar farside.
"The discovered breccia, being 52 × 16 cm, resembles the lunar impact melt breccia samples 15466 and 70019 that returned by the Apollo missions.
"It was formed by impact-generated welding, cementing and agglutinating of lunar regolith and breccia."
Featured Image Credit: China Lunar Exploration Project