Recently researchers revealed that the moon’s largest man in the moon basin is made of volcanic plume rather than an asteroid. The study is published in the ‘Nature’ journal.
NASA’s GRAIL mission have gathered the new data which exposed that the Procellarum region situated near the moon, possibly arose not from a substantial asteroid smack, but from a huge volcano plume deep inside the moon’s interior. Novel data collected by the researchers’ states that, the Procellarum area is approximately spherical, having 1,800 miles diameter volcanic territory, which is as broad as the U.S.
The MIT researches along with various other institutions developed a high-resolution map of Procellarum and discovered that the border of the region is not spherical, but polygonal in shape having pointed angles, which can never be shaped by a massive asteroid. Moreover, the researchers declare that the polygonal region along with the pointed angles was developed by enormous cracks in the moon’s surface as it chilled around a heave plume of hot material from the deep interior.
However, the team of researchers mapped the Procellarum region with the help of data obtained from GRAIL, clone prods that orbited the moon from January to December 2012. The researchers gauged the distance between the prods as they pursued each other around the moon. As the prod moves into the area with low density, it slowed down; this is eventually trapped by the pull of gravity. As the prod moves around the moon in accordion manner, the distance between them stretches and contracts in response to variation in the gravitational attraction due to the mass variations in the lunar interior.
Maria Zuber and her team discovered that, “As of the variable distance between the prods, the force of gravity across the moon’s surface developed a high-resolution map that is further used to find out from where the lunar crust thickens and thins.
With the help of mapping, the researchers found that the Procellarum rim area consists of edges of approx about 120 degree angles. While, the asteroids, on the other hand, tend to make circular or elliptical craters, Zuber stated. Also, the Procellarum’s angular shape can never been developed by an impact.
Alternatively, the researchers discovered another case in which sometimes after the formation and cooling of moon, a huge plume of molten material arose from the lunar interior and this is the place, where Procellarum region is currently present. However, the steer difference in the temperatures of magma plume and the outer surface makes the surface to contract with the passage of time. It also makes pattern of features, which offered a medium for molten material to arise to the surface.