The moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite and is thought to be as old as the Earth itself. It is the fifth largest moon in the solar system and dominates the night sky. For hundreds of years people have observed the moon in the night sky and wondered what it was made of. Many guesses have been ventured including: cheese, chalk, pure light, but none of these are correct. So what is the moon made of? Read this article to find out.
What is the Moon made of?
There have been many scientific studies done of the moon, but scientists are only able to theorize about the internal structure. It is thought that the moon is very similar in structure to Earth; in that it has various layers. The Moon is believed to have 3 layers, the core, the mantle and the crust.
Through observation, scientific probes and a lunar landing the composition of the Moon’s surface (crust) is well documented. The crust of the Moon is composed of oxygen, silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium, aluminum and other trace elements. It is rocky in nature with a soil layer much like Earth. The majority of the Moon’s surface is made up of anorthosite rock. The surface of the moon has many crater marks and basins formed by the collision of asteroids and comets with the Moon.
The mantle or the layer below the crust is thought to be composed of the minerals olivine, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene. Scientists also think that it is likely that the Moon’s mantle contains more iron than the Earth’s mantle.
The core of the Moon, or the innermost layer, is believed to be made of metallic iron, with small amounts of sulfur and nickel. The core is also theorized to be partly molten due to the presences of anorthosite rock.