Washington, Jan 07 (ANI): A NASA research team has revealed that Moon has a core similar to Earth's after applying state-of-the-art seismological techniques to Apollo-era data.
Uncovering details about the lunar core is critical for developing accurate models of the Moon's formation. The data sheds light on the evolution of a lunar dynamo - a natural process by which our Moon may have generated and maintained its own strong magnetic field.
The team's findings suggest the Moon possesses a solid, iron-rich inner core with a radius of nearly 150 miles and a fluid, primarily liquid-iron outer core with a radius of roughly 205 miles. Where it differs from Earth is a partially molten boundary layer around the core estimated to have a radius of nearly 300 miles.
The research indicates the core contains a small percentage of light elements such as sulfur, echoing new seismology research on Earth that suggests the presence of light elements-such as sulfur and oxygen-in a layer around our own core.
The researchers used extensive data gathered during the Apollo-era Moon missions. The Apollo Passive Seismic Experiment consisted of four seismometers deployed between 1969 and 1972, which recorded continuous lunar seismic activity until late 1977.
"We applied tried and true methodologies from terrestrial seismology to this legacy data set to present the first-ever direct detection of the Moon's core," said Renee Weber, lead researcher and space scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
The findings have been published in the online edition of the journal Science. (ANI)