Sunday, January 18, 2009
Harrison Schmidt. Courtesy: NASA
Back in the 1960's, scientists claimed that the Moon rocks returned by the Apollo astronauts may keep researchers busy for years, they weren't just joking. Analysis on one of the rocks collected during the Apollo17 mission helped to solve a longstanding puzzle about the Moon. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of technology carried out the most detailed analysis ever of the oldest pristine rock from the Apollo collection.Magnetic traces recorded in the rock provide good evidence that 4.2 bn yrs ago the moon had a liquid core with a dynamo, like Earth's core today,that produced a massive magnetic field.
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