(Peer-Reviewed) Age and composition of young basalts on the Moon, measured from samples returned by Chang'e-5
Xiaochao Che 车晓超 ¹, Alexander Nemchin ¹ ², Dunyi Liu 刘敦一 ¹ ³, Tao Long 龙涛 ¹, Chen Wang 王晨 ¹, Marc D. Norman ⁴, Katherine H. Joy ⁵, Romain Tartese ⁵, James Head ⁶, Bradley Jolliff ⁷, Joshua F. Snape ⁵, Clive R. Neal ⁸, Martin J. Whitehouse ⁹, Carolyn Crow ¹⁰, Gretchen Benedix ² ¹¹, Fred Jourdan ², Zhiqing Yang 杨之青 ¹, Chun Yang 杨淳 ¹, Jianhui Liu 刘建辉 ¹, Shiwen Xie 谢士稳 ¹, Zemin Bao 包泽民 ¹, Runlong Fan 范润龙 ¹, Dapeng Li 李大鹏 ³, Zengsheng Li 李增胜 ³, Stuart G. Webb ⁸
¹ Beijing Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probe Center, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
中国 北京 中国地质科学院地质研究所 北京离子探针中心
² School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
³ Shandong Institute of Geological Sciences, Jinan, Shandong 250013, China
中国 济南 山东省地质科学研究院
⁴ Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
⁵ Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
⁶ Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
⁷ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and The McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
⁸ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
⁹ Department of Geosciences, Swedish Museum of Natural History, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
¹⁰ Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
¹¹ Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Science, 2021-10-07

Orbital data indicate that the youngest volcanic units on the Moon are basalt lavas in Oceanus Procellarum, a region with high levels of the heat-producing elements potassium, thorium, and uranium. The Chang’e-5 mission collected samples of these young lunar basalts and returned them to Earth for laboratory analysis.

We measure an age of 1963 ± 57 Ma for these lavas and determine their chemical and mineralogical compositions. This age constrains the lunar impact chronology of the inner Solar System and the thermal evolution of the Moon. There is no evidence for high concentrations of heat-producing elements in the deep mantle of the Moon that generated these lavas, so alternate explanations are required for the longevity of lunar magmatism.
Age and composition of young basalts on the Moon, measured from samples returned by Chang'e-5_1
Age and composition of young basalts on the Moon, measured from samples returned by Chang'e-5_2
Age and composition of young basalts on the Moon, measured from samples returned by Chang'e-5_3
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