OREANDA-NEWS. The lunar soil delivered to Earth by the Chinese Chang'E-5 probe is 1.96 billion years old. This conclusion was reached by an international group of scientists, including an expert from Washington University in St. Louis, Bradley Jolliffe, writes Science.

According to scientists, having carried out the mineral and chemical composition, they established the age of two samples of basalt lavas. According to their data, 1.96 billion years is a relatively young age for such volcanic rocks. These data indicate that active volcanism on the Moon persisted for a long time after it's formation. At the same time, due to what this activity was maintained, they do not yet know. It is known that there are no high concentrations of heat-emitting elements in the Moon's mantle.

Experts also noted that the age of all samples of volcanic rocks delivered from the Moon by the Apollo missions turned out to be older than 3.1 billion years. However, they assumed that there may be younger formations on the moon.

The researchers hope that further study of these samples will determine the chronology of the formation of shock and other structures not only on the Moon, but also on all rocky planets of the inner zone of the Solar system.

The Chang'E-5 spacecraft delivered 1,731 grams of lunar soil samples to Earth on December 17, 2020.