As part of her PhD research, Patrizia Will of ETH Zurich analyzed six meteorite samples found in Antarctica, provided to her by NASA. Meteorites consisted of basalt rocks formed by the rapid cooling of magma flowing from the interior of the Moon. Importantly, there were many such basalt layers, thanks to which the internal ones were well protected against cosmic radiation and solar wind. As a result of cooling, i.a. glass. Will and her colleagues noticed that the glass particles contain traces of helium and neon from the interior of the moon.
The Noble Gas Laboratory at ETH Zurich has the world’s most sensitive spectrometer capable of detecting minimal amounts of helium and neon. Thanks to it, scientists were able to exclude that the gases they studied were formed on the Moon as a result of the effects of cosmic rays or the solar wind. According to their research, the only source of these gases may be the mantle of the Earth.
– The Swiss research is probably just the beginning. Now that they have shown how and where to find the noble gases of meteorites, a race of researchers to identify them will begin, says one of the most prominent experts in the field, Professor Henner Busemann. The scientist believes that soon scientists will try to find much more difficult to identify xenon and krypton. They will also look for hydrogen and halides. ‘It would be very good to know how some of these noble gases survived the rapid process of the Moon formation. Such knowledge will allow geochemists and geophysicists to create new models of how planets may have formed in the solar system and beyond, Busemann says.
Date Created: Today, 15:25