Our familiar near side looks darker in some places – the result of vast ancient lava flows, called the Persians – while the other side is covered in craters and craters, but not the Persians.
Astronomers have long wondered why the sides of the moon are so different. However, a study published last week in the journal Science Advances has come up with a new explanation for this lunar mystery.
The researchers found that the impact that formed the trough would have created a huge cloud of heat that would spread inside the moon, according to the statement. This plume would have carried some material close to the moon, feeding the volcanoes that created the volcanic plains.
The question is how this temperature affects the internal dynamics of the Moon. What we show is that under any reasonable conditions at the time of SPA formation, these heat-producing elements end up being concentrated on the near side.
“We speculate that this contributed to the mantle melting that led to the pyroclastic flows we see at the surface.”
The volcanic plains on the far side of the moon are home to a group of Elements including potassium, rare earth elements, and phosphorous, among others – are known as the Procellarum KREEP Topography (PKT) and are rare elsewhere on the Moon.
The researchers ran computer simulations of how giant-effect heat alters heat transfer patterns within the Moon and how this might redistribute KREEP in the lunar mantle.
According to their model, KREEP would have passed through the heat wave emanating from the area of impact “like a surfer” if the impact had been a direct hit or simply a wound to the moon. As the heat plume spread under the moon’s crust, this material eventually moved to the closer side.
“How the PKT formed is the single most important open question in lunar science,” Jones said in a press release.
“And the South Pole-Aitken impact is one of the most important events in the history of the Moon. This work brings these two things together and I think our results are really exciting.”
“Creator. Social media addict who loves hipster. Web fan. Passionate alcohol fanatic.”
“Friendly zombie fanatic. Analyst. Coffee buff. Professional music specialist. Communicator.”