Tokyo: Researchers have found a soft layer deep inside the moon which is also extremely hot.
An international research team, led by Dr. Yuji Harada from Planetary Science Institute, China University of Geosciences suggested that the interior of the Moon has not yet cooled and hardened and the heat would have been effectively generated in the layer by the gravity of the Earth.
The research team performed theoretical calculations to understand what type of internal structure of the Moon leads to the observed change of the lunar shape and these results were derived by comparing the deformation of the Moon as precisely measured by Kaguya (SELENE, Selenological and Engineering Explorer) and other probes with theoretically calculated estimates.
It was found that the observed tidal deformation of the Moon could have been well explained if it was assumed that there was an extremely soft layer in the deepest part of the lunar mantle. The previous studies indicated that there could be the possibility that a part of the rock at the deepest part inside the lunar mantle might be molten. This research result supported the above possibility since partially molten rock becomes softer.
This research provides a chance to reconsider how both the Earth and the Moon have been evolving since their births through mutual influence until now.