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Massive Metal & # 39; Anomaly & # 39; Discovered 180 Miles Under the Lunar Surface



Scientists say they have discovered a large metal mass "embedded" under a crater on the moon, possibly the remains of a massive asteroid-rich billions of years ago.

According to a study published in April in the magazine Geophysical Research Letters, the mass is located approximately 180 miles below the surface of the 1,240-mile south pole-Aitken basin, the largest known preserved crater in the solar system.

"Imagine taking a pile of metal five times bigger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground," says lead author Peter B. James, founder of Baylor University's planetary research group, in a press release. "It's about how much unexpected mass we discovered. "

The metals were discovered using data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The study suggests two possible explanations.

One is that" the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the mantle of the moon "rather than sinking into the core after an impact about 4 billion years ago, James said.

The second is that the mass contains remnants of the moon's magma sea, where the oxides are concentrated there as it solidifies when cooled. billion years ago.

James said the dense metal mass ̵

1; "whatever it is, where it came from" – is so heavy it weighs down in the ground floor by more than half a mile.

"That's a great result," told NASA's moon geologist Daniel Moriarty National Geographic. "It really gives us a clue what happens in the moon's interior."