‘Slushy’ magma ocean led to formation of the Moon’s crust — ScienceDaily


Scientists have shown how the freezing of a ‘slushy’ ocean of magma may be responsible for the composition of the Moon’s crust.

The scientists, from the University of Cambridge and the Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon, have proposed a new model of crystallisation, where crystals remained suspended in liquid magma over hundreds of millions of years as the lunar ‘slush’ froze and solidified. The results are reported in the journal Geophysical Review Letters.

Over fifty years ago, Apollo 11 astronauts collected samples from the lunar Highlands. These large, pale regions of the Moon — visible to the naked eye — are made up of relatively light rocks called anorthosites. Anorthosites formed early in the history of the Moon, between 4.3 and 4.5 billion years ago.

Similar anorthosites, formed through the crystallisation of magma, can be found in fossilised magma chambers on Earth….

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