The moon’s far side has translucent glass beads. Where do these beads come from?

2022-06-03 0 By

China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover recently discovered a centimeter-sized translucent glass ball on the far side of the moon, the first time a hand-sized translucent glass ball has been found on the moon in the world.Glass is a material found everywhere on Earth, but why is there glass on the moon?Was there once a civilization on the moon, something left over from that time?There are a lot of misconceptions about glass. First of all, what is glass?To glass, actually a lot of people exist a lot of misunderstanding, think glass is only a kind of transparent, hard and brittle object.In fact, to understand what glass is, we need to understand it at the level of atomic structure.We know that matter is made up of atoms. If the atoms are arranged in a long distance order in a matter, then the matter is called a crystal. If the atoms are in a short distance order and long distance disorder, then this state is also called a “glass state”.The atoms inside glass are in a disordered arrangement, like a liquid, so scientists have long assumed that glass is just supercooled liquid.Technically, glass is a liquid.On the left is a regular crystal structure (atoms arranged in order) and on the right is a glassy structure (atoms arranged in disorder). The main reason for this chaotic structure of glass is that the viscosity of glass increases rapidly with the decrease of temperature, but the rate of crystallization in the process of cooling is too slow.This means that the atoms in the glass are so viscous that they gradually become more difficult to move around, making them unable to move to their lattice points when the temperature drops, leaving them where the liquid used to be, resulting in this glassy disorder.How did the glass beads on the moon come from?After seeing the forming principle of glass, do you have a different understanding of glass?In fact, glass is not only a “man-made product”, naturally formed glass is not a few, the existence of glass in the universe is not uncommon.As long as the composition is right and the melt temperature drops properly, it is possible to form glass.During the Apollo missions, astronauts had already found plenty of glass beads on the moon, but they weren’t as transparent as this one.The glass spheres were an opaque black and contained a lot of debris and pores.In general, there are two main natural causes of glass formation, one is volcanic eruption, the other is meteorite impact.In both cases, a high temperature environment can be generated. Under the action of high temperature, a large amount of melt is formed. When various components are mixed and undergo a certain cooling process, it is possible to form glass structures.Glass is typically made of silicate, borate, and alkali metal oxides, all of which are also present on the moon.A team led by Dr. Xiao Zhiyong from Sun Yat-sen University recently discovered that the translucent glass beads were located on the far side of the moon.The color, shape and output characteristics of these transparent glass spheres were analyzed using data from the panoramic camera onboard Yutu-2.It turned out that the marbles were not formed by lunar volcanic activity, but by meteorite impacts.Due to the low iron content in the lunar soil in this area, colorless glass structure is more easily formed after the condensation of high temperature melt.In addition, the researcher analyzed that the cooling rate of the melt during the process of condensation is less than 5℃/min, which is the combination of these conditions to form this relatively rare nearly transparent centimeter-grade glass sphere.The formation of such glass spheres in the moon can record some important historical information of the moon, which not only has an important guiding role for our understanding of the moon, but also can inversion of important information about the early impact history of the inner solar system.In general, glass is a very common type of material in the universe, and the moon’s large number of glass spheres are not the product of alien civilizations, but are subject to more alien meteorite impacts on the far side of the moon, where there is more to be explored.