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Nov 14, 2023

The Apollo missions showed scientists that the craters on the Moon were from impacts rather than volcanoes, overturning previously held hypotheses. Now, new research using data collected by China's Chinese Chang’E 1 and 2 orbiters has discovered a hot spot under the surface. Using an instrument that made observations at microwave wavelengths, the team mapped out temperatures and found one particular suspected volcano, known as Compton-Belkovich, glowed in the microwave. However, surface evidence shows the volcano last erupted about 3.5 billion years ago, and the heat is coming from radioactive elements in the solid rock. That radioactivity led scientists to conclude that under the surface lies a large chunk of granite - magma that cooled underground - providing evidence for the most Earth-like volcanism found on the Moon to date.

Join planetary astronomer Franck Marchis as he discusses these interesting new findings with lead author Matt Siegler, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. (Recorded live on 28 September 2023.)

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