Chinese scientists have discovered a fresh lunar mineral by means of a crystal lurking inside samples collected from the moon in 2020.
Changesite(Y), named for the mythological Chinese goddess of the moon, Change, is really a phosphate mineral and columnar crystal. It had been within lunar basalt particles being examined in laboratories in China.
The discovery was created by researchers at the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology who found an individual crystal of Changesite(Y) using X-ray diffraction while studying particles collected on the moon.
The finding was announced at a press conference on Sept. 9. The Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC (opens in new tab)) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) confirmed it as a fresh mineral, according (opens in new tab)to Chinese state media Global Times.
The discovery means China may be the third country to find a new lunar mineral, following a USA and former Soviet Union, which conducted the Apollo crewed lunar landings and Luna sample return missions, respectively.
The Chang’e 5 mission landed in Oceanus Procellarum in December 2020 and was the initial lunar sample return mission because the 1970s.