While it is true that we’ve been intimately studying the moon for several decades now, having sent human beings to our desolate satellite on several occasions, the lunar orb still has some secrets to cough up it seems.
In fact, the moon’s surface is now intriguing NASA so heartily that the agency is sending a rover to explore a mysterious structure on its surface.
NASA is to launch a ‘priority’ mission to explore mysterious mounds on the moon that have baffled scientists.
The US space agency has unveiled plans for a rover to visit the Gruithuisen Domes, geological features which experts believe were formed by a sticky magma rich in silica, similar in composition to granite.
On Earth, formations like these need oceans of liquid water and plate tectonics to form, but without such ingredients on the moon, experts are unsure how the domes formed and evolved over time.
Scientists have been baffled by the domes.
‘We’ve got a lunar mystery on our hands! The Gruithuisen Domes are a geologic enigma,’ said NASA’s Caroline Capone.
‘Based on early telescopic and spacecraft observations, these domes have long been suspected to be formed by a magma rich in silica, similar in composition to granite.
‘The real mystery is how such silicic magmas could form on the moon.’
She added: ‘In order to truly understand these puzzling features, we need to visit the domes, explore them from the ground, and analyse rock samples.
This is just one piece of NASA’s lunar lineup, with the agency set to send live astronauts back to the surface of moon within the decade.