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Moon rock collected by Apollo 17 astronauts reveals new particulars about lunar evolution

An picture of the Apollo 17 moon rock troctolite 76535. (Image credit score: NASA/Johnson Space Center)

A lunar rock delivered to Earth practically half a century in the past is revealing new details about the moon’s advanced historical past.

NASA’s Apollo 17 mission left the moon to return to Earth 49 years in the past Tuesday (Dec. 14) and humanity hasn’t been again to our pure satellite since. In a brand new research, researchers examined a moon rock collected by astronauts throughout Apollo 17. By measuring the composition of the rock, designated “troctolite 76535,” scientists have discovered patterns that time to a 20-million-year cooling interval throughout the moon’s historical past, defying earlier understanding of lunar evolution.

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