China says it has found a strange gel-like substance on the surface of the moon, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily reports.
"Yutu-2 rover, part of China's Chang'e-4 mission, has discovered an unusually colored "gel-like" substance during its exploration activities on the far side of the moon," the newspaper tweeted.
The substance was found by a rover on a crater on July 25 during the eighth day of an exploration mission.
Mahesh Anand, a planetary scientist at the Open University in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek the material could be some type of glass.
“The fact that it has been observed associated with a small impact crater, this finding could be extremely exciting as it would indicate that a very different material could just be hiding underneath the very top surface,” he said. “This would assume even a greater significance if these material turn out to have experienced interaction with water-ice (as the possibility of existence of water-ice in the top few meters of the lunar South polar region is predicted on the basis of recent remote sensing dataset).”
Added Walter Freeman, a physicist at Syracuse University: “There’s a bit of precedent for this on Earth: at the site where the first nuclear bomb was tested in New Mexico, there is a glassy mineral called ‘trinitite’ formed from the heat of the explosion,” he says. “The same thing happens around meteorite impacts here.”
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