The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has found clear evidence of iron and titanium oxides under the surface of the moon. This might actually help us in better understanding the evolution of Earth.
Scientists have thought about how the moon formed for decades now. The main theory shows that a world of the size of Mars has collided with Earth billions of years ago. This world shattered after the impact and also destroyed part of the proto-Earth’s surface. The debris which was found surrounding the Earth formed a ring. The moon that we all know, the one of today, is the result of that ring.
The chemical composition of the moon does not clearly show that the theory is accurate. The highlands on the moon, which are visible from Earth, show bright regions that have rocks with small amounts of metal-bearing minerals. It would have made sense if Earth was already layered, with metals sunk to the core. However, the dark maria planes formed at the same time and have higher metal abundance than Earth’s rocks.
The new findings could explain the difference. This new research has as its help a device that’s called Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument, which is a radar probe that is designed to map the lunar form, to look for present water ice and to test communications technologies.
The instrument drilled the terrain of the northern hemisphere of the moon and looked for an area called the dielectric constant. This constant is a number that compares the ability of a material to transmit electric fields with that of the vacuum of space. This is very important as it can find ice in the shadows of craters, where it is protected from the sun. It can also find more metals, like titanium oxides and iron, which can be found on the surface.