For centuries, humans have looked up into Earth’s night sky and wondered what lies inside the moon, which is the closest celestial body to Earth. Scientists have discovered what lies inside the moon in the latest scientific discovery. Therefore continue reading to find out what these researchers discovered
In a recent study, scientists are suggesting that they have found the mysterious nature of the moon’s inner core which has been in existence for centuries. In the most updated research published by the researchers in the journal Nature, a team of researchers explained that the inner core of the moon is a solid ball with a density that appears like that of iron. Hence, this solid ball is surrounded by a liquid outer core. In addition, the team is suggesting that this latest discovery will help the world in learning more about the formation of the solar system.
How the team of researchers discovered what lies inside the moon
The scientists that participated in this research discovered this by studying data obtained from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. In 2011, the American Space Agency sent two spacecraft into orbit around the moon. These powerful spacecraft flew over different parts of the lunar surface and measured gravitational forces between them. Hence, the outcome of this observation enabled scientists to figure out the most accurate gravitational map of the moon to date.
Scientists have relied on seismic data as the most accurate means of analyzing the interior composition of celestial objects in the solar system. In addition, quakes often generate acoustic waves while moving through the inside of a planet and moon. Upon generating these waves, they reflect them from the material inside the celestial body to our space probe. Hence, this reflection enables our scientists to figure out the structure of the interior of the moon or planet.
During NASA Apollo missions in the 20th century, the agency studied the moon so closely that they obtained seismic data which was extremely imprecise to accurately describe the state of the moon’s core. However, NASA has discovered evidence of an iron-rich core under 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) of silicate mantle rock of the moon’s core. This implies that the moon’s core may be as deep as Earth’s core or even deeper.
How Scientists Verified their most recent Discovery
Arthur Briaud, the leading scientist in this latest study worked with his team to collect relevant data from numerous space missions and lunar laser-ranging experiments. In addition, the researchers used the data to determine the level of deformation of the moon by its gravitational interaction with Earth. The information also helped to reveal the variation in the moon’s distance from Earth.
The scientists also estimated the average density for every hemisphere. In addition ,this estimation was based on measurements obtained by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, which involved two spacecraft orbiting around our moon starting from 2011 to 2012.
From their analysis, the researchers discovered that the inner core of the moon exists as a solid ball which led to a more accurate understanding of the formation of the moon billions of years ago. This discovery has made scientists rethink the evolution of the Moon’s magnetic field. This implies that researchers across the world will need to investigate more on the formation history of the moon, its composition, and its structure.
Scientific discoveries like this often create an opportunity for new astronomical knowledge. Researchers will still have to conduct more studies to accurately understand how our satellite was formed. What do you think about this fascinating astronomical discovery?