Once again, the Chinese rover Yutu-2 has just made a fascinating discovery on the far side of the Moon. In any case, this is indicated by the officials of the Chinese space program who announced the discovery of mysterious glass marbles on the lunar ground.
The study describing the discovery of these beads has just been published in the journal Science Bulletin. In the article, the newly discovered objects are described as “translucent glass globules”. The diameter of the small spheres would be about one centimeter.
The Yutu-2 rover was able to make this discovery on the far side of our satellite thanks to its panoramic camera.
An unusual size
This is not the first time that glass has been found on the lunar surface. This material is usually formed due to meteor impacts, but it can also come from the Moon’s ancient volcanic activity.
Regarding this recent discovery, Chinese scientists indicate that glass marbles are quite unusual. The spheres are indeed larger than the pieces of glass that are most often discovered on the lunar surface. Additionally, the marbles have a rather unique light brown color and are translucent.
According to Dr. Zhiyong Xiao, associate professor at Sun Yat-sen University’s Planetary Environmental and Astrobiological Research Laboratory and first author, the globules simply “blew their minds” because of their uniqueness.
What this discovery implies
Xiao explains that the discovery of these marbles could suggest that similar glass spheres could be common on the far side of the Moon. It could thus be a resource that can be exploited in the future to build lunar colonies. The glass that we can produce will be used as raw material or as a tool.
In any case, even if it is a potentially interesting find, we are still far from building bases on the Moon. It will also take other observations and analyzes to be able to confirm this discovery made by the Chinese rover.