“Collectively, the peculiar morphology, geometry, and local context of the glass globules are consistent with being anorthositic impact glasses,” the researchers write in their paper.
It comes after sighted a cube-like object on the horizon about 80 metres (87 yards) from its location that fanned speculation over what it could be and inspired a host of memes by Chinese internet users.Glistening like translucent pearls against the moon’s dry and dusty landscape, the lunar “spherules”‘ are the first of their kind to be found on the lunar surface and formed fairly recently, researchers say.
Glass has been spotted on the moon before; by both the Yutu-2 rover and NASA’s Apollo 16 mission. It forms when silicon-rich minerals, such as pyroxene and feldspar, are rapidly superheated.
However, this is the first т¡мe glass spheres have been found on the moon. Scientists don’t know the exact origins of these spherules, but they think the little balls, or globules, may have been made during an explosive eruption in the moon’s volcanic history or after a high-speed impact with a meteorite. The researchers will publish their findings Feb. 26 in the journal Science Bulletin.
The solar-powered Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit” in Chinese, will cover the distance of 80 metres in two to three lunar days, according to Our Space, or two to three Earth months.
The robotic rover has been operating in the Von Karмคห Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin since its deployment in January 2019.
The mission was a historic first, with no other nation having landed on the far side of the moon until then.
With the moon tidally locked to Earth – rotating at the same speed as it orbits our planet – most of its “dark side” is never visible to those on Earth.