Multiple glass materials discovered in Chang'e-5 lunar regolith samples

(Xinhua) 08:16, January 10, 2024

This combo photo shows cross-polarized micrographs of different lunar soil particles displayed at an exhibition themed on lunar soil research achievements in University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province on April 19, 2023. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese experts have discovered and conducted systematic research on diverse glass materials found in the lunar soil brought back by the Chang'e-5 mission, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Physics.

Researchers at the institute comprehensively analyzed the morphology, composition and microstructure of glass substances found in powder samples obtained from the lunar regolith using scanning and transmission electron microscopes.

They discovered diverse glass materials with different physical origins -- liquid quenching, vapor deposition and irradiation damage -- and constructed a catalogue based on that information.

The researchers also found naturally formed glass fibers on the lunar surface for the first time, indicating there is a possibility that the lunar soil can be used to process and produce glass-building materials.

The study has been published in the National Science Review journal.

The Chang'e-5 probe returned to Earth on Dec. 17, 2020, having retrieved a total of 1,731 grams of lunar samples, mainly rocks and soil from the moon's surface.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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