How is Its Composition Determined?
Several theories about the origin of the Moon have been making the rounds of astronomy circles. Among all these theories, the Big Impact theory is by far the most convincing according to the scientists.
Other than such theories, various unmanned and manned missions to the Moon, satellites in the orbit, geochemical mapping, and geophysical techniques have played a crucial role in helping us study the geology of the Moon's surface.
What is the Moon Made of?
Its crust is predominantly made up of anorthositic rocks. It contains oxygen, silicon, iron, magnesium, calcium, and aluminum. Its thickness is estimated to be around 50 km from the surface. Other than these elements, the crust also features traces of hydrogen, potassium, titanium, uranium, and thorium.
As we go deeper, we come across the mantle of the Moon. This layer is made up of minerals such as olivine and orthopyroxene. Studies reveal that the Moon's mantle is much richer in iron content than that of the Earth.
The center of the Moon, i.e., the core, is about 300 to 350 km in radius and constitutes approximately 20 percent of the total lunar body. Scientists believe that its core is made up of metallic iron with traces of nickel and/or sulfur. Studies pertaining to the time-variable rotation of the Moon suggests that its core is in a semi-molten state.
In November 2009, NASA revealed that they had found evidence of the presence of water on the Moon. This discovery, by NASA's LCROSS lunar impact mission, has been one of the greatest achievements for mankind. As of now, we can only hope that more of such expeditions end up on a successful note, so that we get to know more about our celestial neighbor.