It is not necessary to fly to the Moon to get lunar soil even if the sample is required from the other side of this planet. A meteorite originating from the other side of the Moon has recently got into the hands of scientists. The meteorite investigation required precision instruments and grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Büro Für Wissenschaftlich-Technische Zusammenarbeit Des Österreichischer Austauschdienst (Bureau for Scientific and Technical Collabration of Austrian Exchange Service).
A piece of lunar soil (its weight being slightly less than one kilogram) was knocked out by a meteorite blow and later fell on the Earth. Judging by a microparticle of zircon mineral the specialists not only calculated its age, but also made conclusions about the event that had taken place on the Moon at that time. It has appeared that about 2 billion years ago the rock containing a particle of zircon endured some planetary cataclysm and melted, and 500 thousand years ago a piece of rock was thrown away from the lunar surface into space by a meteorite blow.
Meteorite Dhofar 025 was found in 2000 in the desert on the Arabian Peninsula (Oman). It weights 751 grams and consists of breccia - sintered fragments of various minerals from lunar continents. Several years were spent on investigation of this celestial stone. To determine its age, the researchers of four Russia institutes jointly with Austrian colleagues found a microscopical grain of zircon in it – the mineral consisting of oxides of zirconium, lead, thorium and uranium.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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