Posted January 25, 2019
"Further impacts on the Moon in later times would mix earth rocks with lunar rocks, including the future landing site of Apollo 14 (below) where they were collected by the astronauts and returned home to Earth."
The results, published overnight in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters, found that a sample collected during Apollo 14 in 1971 contained traces of chemical minerals common to Earth and very unusual for the Moon .
The sample was leased by NASA to the University of Warren, where it was explored in collaboration with researchers from the Swedish Natural History Museum, Australian National University and the Houston Lunar and Planetary Institute.
Study author Professor Alexander Nemcine from Kurtin's School of Earth and Planetary Sciences said the 1,8-gram sample showed a mineralogy similar to that of a granite that is extremely rare on the Moon but commonly found on Earth.
What's inside the sealed boxes of NASA's Apollo-mission mission? – "Can Solve Nasa's Biggest Mysteries"
"The sample also contains quartz, an even more unusual discovery of the moon," Professor Nemcine said. "By determining the age of the zircon found in the sample, we were able to determine the age of the hospitable rock of about four billion years, making it similar to the oldest rocks on Earth. In addition, the zircon chemistry in this sample is very different from that of all other zirconia grains analyzed in lunar samples, and remarkably similar to the zircon found on Earth. "
Professor Nemchin said that the chemistry of the lunar sample of the zircon shows that it is formed at a low temperature and possibly in the presence of water under oxidized conditions, which makes it characteristic of the Earth and very irregular for the moon.
"It is possible that some of these unusual conditions have become very local and very short on the Moon, and the sample is the result of this short deviation from normal," said Professor Nemchin.
However, the simplest explanation is that this piece was formed on Earth and brought to the surface of the Moon as an asteroid-generated meteorite that struck the Earth about four billion years ago and cast material into space and the moon.
The Daily Galaxy through the University of Kurtin