A new research has found that under the moon’s surface of the Aitken basin of South Pole, there is something that is weird and dense. The massive patch could represent an asteroid’s remains that had been buried all this time when it had crashed into moon’s surface to form a basin. This new hypothesis has been formed on basis of the data gathered from GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) of NASA and the missions of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. When scientists brought together both the data, they witnessed a mismatch in the topography in the surface and in the moon’s gravitational pull.
The lead author of the study Peter B James said that it is like taking a metal pile of five times bigger than Hawaii’s Big Island and then getting it buried underground. He added that it is roughly the quantity of unexpected mass that we detected. This research has relied on important two missions in the portfolio of moon exploration in NASA. The mission of GRAIL has two spacecraft that spend a year around the moon. Each spacecraft uses the other one for making the moon’s gravitational pull.
The Orbiter of Lunar Reconnaissance has spent around 10 years and made billion measurements of exact height of moon’s surface.
As far as the Aitken basin of the South Pole is concerned, topography is striking. This feature is a crater that stretches 1240 miles all over the moon’s far side which makes it largest crater that planetary scientists would know of. It is near the moon’s South Pole and it is believed that it was formed 4 billions of years back. Therefore when experts saw the rise in the moon’s gravitational pull lining up the neighborhood of the Aitken basin of South Pole. Scientists were thinking if this anomaly would be traced back to this crater. James said that the extra mass’ explanation is that the asteroid’s metal which formed the crater is implanted in the mantle of the moon.
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