Moon has deep core - similar to earth

The moon possesses an iron-rich core with a solid inner ball nearly 150 miles in radius.

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011, 13:31 PM IST

Washington: The moon possesses an iron-rich core with a solid inner ball nearly 150 miles in radius, which is similar to that of the earth, according to a new study.

A team of NASA-led researchers applied new technology to seismic data from the Apollo mission and detected what many scientists have predicted: the moon has a core.

"The moon`s deepest interior, especially whether or not it has a core, has been a blind spot for seismologists," says Ed Garnero, professor at the Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, study co-author, reports the journal Science.

Sensitive seismographs scattered across earth make studying our planet`s interior possible. After earthquakes these instruments record waves that travel through the interior of the planet, which help to determine the structure and composition of earth`s layers, according to a NASA statement.

Just as geoscientists study earthquakes to learn about the structure of earth, seismic waves of "moonquakes" (seismic events on the moon) can be analysed to probe the lunar interior.

Garnero and his graduate student Peiying Lin found the deepest interior of the moon to have considerable structural similarities with the earth.

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