Volcanoes were common on Moon. Much of its history saw volcanically active. It is believed that the first such activity occurred more than 4 billion years ago. Scientists are of the view that magma still is available under its surface. However, Moon has today no active volcanoes. According to the sample brought back by Chang’e-5, scientists have managed to get an insight into such eruptions on the Earth’s lone natural satellite. The Chang’e-5 probe brought back the first sample in more than 40 years. It was the fifth mission by China under its Lunar Exploration Program. It was China’s first mission to return a sample from Moon. The spacecraft brought samples back in December last year. The samples weighed 1,731 grams.
The samples included lava that was emitted during volcanic activity on Moon. The lava is said to be around two billion years old. A study conducted by scientists revealed that volcanism is younger than what NASA or the Soviet Union found in the 1960s and 70s. NASA and the Soviet Union (now dissolved) in the past launched several missions to Moon. The mission brought back lunar samples. The Apollo program by NASA saw the first manned lunar mission in the late 1960s. Scientists now said that the samples brought back by the Chang’e-5 probe are from the youngest lava from the Moon. They are hopeful that a detailed study of the samples will fill a gap in the Moon’s geology. Also, it will help in understanding the history and evolution of other bodies in the solar system.
The success of Chang’e-5 probe helped China to become the third country in the world to return samples from Moon. Before this, the United States and the Soviet Union held this record. Chang’e-5 was also the first sample-return mission since 1976. The Luna mission by the Soviet Union had last brought lunar samples back to Earth. Chang’e-5 landed on the Moon at the Oceanus Procellarum region on December 1. It examined its surroundings for two days and gathered samples with the help of instruments like spectrometer, scoop, drill, and more. It survived extreme temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius. This was the first mission to land at Oceanus Procellarum.