Chao Chen and Qing Liang et al found the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin as the biggest mascon on the moon and put forward a fault structure hypothesis for the Apenninue Mountain, which is significant for the study of the origin and evolution of the moon.
The above special-issue papers reporting on the Chang'E selenodesy results were jointly accomplished by experts from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO), the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and other institutions. They will appear on Vol. 39 Issue 10 of the "Science in China Series G: Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy" and Vol. 54 Issue 20 of the Chinese Science Bulletin.
Since the 1990s, there has been a new worldwide upsurge of lunar exploration missions. As did the other lunar spacecrafts launched about the same time frame, the CE-1 lunar orbiter focused on selenodesy so that it could remedy the low resolution and poor coverage problems of past data, and would open the door to recovering lunar evolution by detecting new lunar topography, gravity fields or interior structures. Furthermore, it would prepare for future Chinese spacecraft landing on the surface of the moon.
Lunar topography, chemical composition and thickness all show obvious dichotomy. In-depth investigation into the lunar dichotomy and characteristics of basins, mascons, impact craters and volcanic highlands is the only way to throw light on the history of lunar evolution. Based on the CE-1 lunar DEM model CLTM-s01 published in 2008, researchers from SHAO took a comparative planetary science approach and successfully found some impact basins (i.e. the quasi-impact basin Sternfeld-Lewis and impact basin—Fitzgerald-Jackson) and one crater (i.e. the crater-Wugang) on the far side, and one middle scale volcanic deposit highland (i.e. the 2.8 km highland-Yutu) on the nearside. Moreover, they analyzed and identified some middle scale impact basins and classified them according to their circular characteristics. Based on the Bouguer gravity anomaly, researchers from the China University of Geosciences confirmed that the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin is the biggest mascon on the terrestrial planets in the solar system. Comparing the Apenninue Mountain of the moon with the Himalayas on the earth, they put forward a hypothesis about the possible existence of a big fault structure band, which would possibly change our previous knowledge that there is no motion in the interior of the moon.
Due to certain operational limitations, it is difficult to calibrate the data collected by the CE-1 orbiter. The researchers tried to get around various problems with novel techniques (especially related to the interferometer spectrometer imager), and made the previously inapplicable data useful for estimating the distribution of lunar materials. Besides, Chinese astronomers creatively monitored the critical arcs of the CE-1 trajectory with a VLBI measurement platform. As forward-looking technologists, they also performed open-loop radiometric tracking of the spacecraft and other unprecedented test experiments, while further participating in same-beam observation of the Japanese SELENE spacecrafts. We believe these pioneering works would make a significant contribution to our country's future deep space exploration.
The research was supported by the Lunar and Mars exploration missions in China. It was also funded by the "Hundred Talent" project and the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC No. 10973031), as well as the Key Direction Research Program KJCX2-YW-T13-2 of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The acquired valuable results have established a solid foundation for future investigation in the lunar topographic characteristics and evolution of basins.
Huang Yanhong | EurekAlert!
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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