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China National Space Administration and National Atomic Energy Agency of China announced that they were able to isolate lunar soil samples brought to Earth by a mission two years ago “Chang'e-5”, a new mineral. It was given the name “Chang'e Stone”.

In  December 2020, the capsule of the Chang'e-5 spacecraft (named after the Chinese goddess of the moon) delivered 1731 grams of lunar soil to the Earth. Scientists who examined the samples reported that these are the youngest lunar rocks ever studied. They even managed to find a small amount of water.

The discovery of a new lunar mineral was announced on the eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is traditionally associated with the moon and falls on September 10 this year. “This mineral was the sixth new mineral discovered by humans on the Moon. Our country became the third in the  world to discover a new mineral» — said on the website of the China National Space Administration.

After analyzing the lunar soil, Chinese geologists isolated a single-crystal particle about 10 microns in size from it and deciphered its structure. So it turned out that this was a mineral previously unknown to scientists. The discovery has already been confirmed by the International Mineralogical Association.

“According to the announced research results,” Chang'e Stone “, which has the shape of a columnar crystal, belongs to” phosphate minerals. Chinese scientists suggested that it contains particles of lunar basalt, — commented for opening colleaguesHead of the Department of Research of the Moon and Planets of the State Astronomical Institute named after Sternberg Moscow State University, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Vladislav Shevchenko.   From the practice of terrestrial geological research, it is known that phosphate minerals are most common in magmatic rocks, i.e. rocks associated with volcanic eruptions. At present, it is believed that the eruptions of basalt rocks on the Moon as a result of volcanism ended 3.2 billion years ago. However, according to some research data, at the landing site “Chang'e-5” it was possible to find lunar rocks much younger — 1.2-1.5 billion years old. Thus, the discovery of Chinese scientists, perhaps, will force us to reconsider the existing ideas about the history of the evolution of the Moon.

It becomes all the more valuable when you consider that in the same sample of lunar soil delivered by the automatic station “ Chang'e-5”, water particles were previously detected».

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