Moon rocks returned by Chang'e-5 show lunar volcanic activity 2 billion years ago
Two pieces of the lunar volcanic rocks brought back by China's Chang'e-5 mission have been dated as about 1.97 billion years old, making them the youngest volcanic rocks identified on the moon so far, according to an international research published in the journal Science on Friday.
Professor Alexander Nemchin from Space Science and Technology Center of Australia's Curtin University, lead author of the research, said researchers determined the age of the lunar rock samples during remote sessions with the Beijing laboratory using large mass spectrometers that have helped revolutionize geology, similar to Curtin's Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probe Facility (SHRIMP).
The samples were collected during the Chang'e-5 lunar mission in December 2020, and were the first fresh rocks and debris from the moon to be brought to Earth in more than 40 years.
They were retrieved from the Oceanus Procellarum (Latin for "Ocean of Storms") on the moon's near side – the vast, dark lava plains visible from Earth with the naked eye.
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