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The oldest and biggest crater on the moon was likely created by a powerful asteroid impact that threw up material from deep inside, scientists say.
Analysis of data from China's Chang'e-4 mission has revealed substances from the moon's interior on the surface of the crater where the probe landed.
Discoveries - Von - Karmann - Crater - Mission
The discoveries at the Von Karmann crater, where the mission landed in January, provides further evidence that an enormous collision occurred at least 3.9 billion years ago.
Researchers on the study have suggested the possibility of bringing the material back to Earth for further study.
China - Mission - January - Mission - Rover
China’s Chang’e-4 mission landed on January 3. The mission's rover Yutu-2 has been studying material in the landing site, in the smaller Von Karman crater that lies within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin.
The largest and oldest crater on the Earth's satellite, the SPA basin is located on the lunar far side measuring about 2,500-km-diameter wide.
Yutu-2 - Rover - Von - Karman - Crater
The Yutu-2 rover has been roaming the Von Karman crater and collecting samples which it has now measured.
Professor Chunlai Li and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of sciences saw differences between the spectral data that they obtained compared that observed belonging to typical surface material found on the moon.
Findings - Crater - Presence - Pyroxene - Minerals
The findings from the crater suggest the presence of low-calcium pyroxene and olivine minerals, which may originate from the upper mantle, on the surface.
The authors of the study argue that this material was dug up by an event that penetrated below the SPA surface layer at a nearby crater 72-km-diameter Finsen crater event, and transported to the landing site.
Asteroid - Collision - Billions - Years
It likely came from a massive asteroid collision that happened billions of years ago.
The authors wrote: 'A basin this large would be the best candidate to have penetrated below the crust and deep into the lunar interior, excavating lunar mantle and distributing it on the surface...
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