The South Pole-Aitken basin is shown by the shades of blue in this false-color image.
It’s Different Than Other Craters
The dashed circle shows the location of the mass under the basin. Scientists say there's something unusual and metallic buried beneath the moon's south pole. No, it isn't a lost lunar Atlantis built by ancient aliens, but more likely the remnant of a colossal collision that formed the largest crater in the solar system.
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That's roughly how much unexpected mass we detected," said Peter B. James, assistant professor of planetary geophysics at Baylor University, in a release. The basin near the bottom of our sole natural satellite is an oval-shaped crater several miles deep and up to 1, miles 2, kilometers wide.
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If you're wondering why you may not have seen it before, that's because it's on the moon's far side. Another possibility is that the large mass might be a concentration of dense oxides associated with the last stage of lunar magma ocean solidification. James said that the South Pole-Aitken basin—thought to have been created about 4 billion years ago—is the largest preserved crater in the solar system.
While larger impacts may have occurred throughout the solar system, including on Earth, most traces of those have been lost. James called the basin "one of the best natural laboratories for studying catastrophic impact events, an ancient process that shaped all of the rocky planets and moons we see today. More from Astronomy and Astrophysics. Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more.
Huge, unexplained 'mass' spotted under the Moon | The Independent
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Moon anomaly: ‘MASSIVE’ deposit beneath Moon’s largest crater is ancient asteroid metal
More information: Peter B. James et al. DOI: Provided by Baylor University.
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This document is subject to copyright. The force of gravity is affected by the amount of mass present and even varies on Earth, such as around the equator or on summits like Mount Everest. This is not at all surprising because the Moon is frequently targeted by rogue meteors and asteroids. Most of the Moons craters, which are visible from Earth, are evidence of the numbers impacts the glowing orb sustained over the last 4.