Glass Found on the Moon


China’s lunar rover has discovered a pair of enigmatic glass balls on the Moon’s surface.  Yutu-2’s panoramic camera photographed the semi-transparent spheres, which measure up to four centimeters across.  The strange objects, according to a research released earlier this year, are on the Moon’s far side, which Yutu-2 has been studying since 2019.  Unfortunately, the robot, which was the size of a washing machine, was unable to determine the chemical composition of the “spherules.”


They’ve been identified as potential research targets since they could give light on the Moon’s early history.  Small glass spheres, which are typically smaller than three millimeters in diameter, are a regular sight on the moon. They’re made when silicate material is heated to extremely high temperatures, which are both abundant on the moon. Spherules are typically leftovers from the Moon’s volcanic activity or are generated by meteorite strikes. 


The balls discovered by Yutu-2 were most likely caused by the tremendous heat created by the latter. “Transparent and translucent glasses on the Moon are less than 1 mm in diameters, and larger ones are dark and opaque,” the study states. “As demonstrated by their complete forms and surface exposure, the globules were produced or exposed lately.” 


More research on the spherules could reveal new details about the Moon’s mantle composition and impact events. The research was released in the Science Bulletin magazine. Since arriving on the far surface of the Moon in early 2019, Yutu 2 has gone a complete kilometer.


On Jan. 11, it marked three years of researching the stony satellite’s far side as the first rover ever to accomplish so.  Yutu-2 has produced a number of strange discoveries in the past. China’s space agency released an image of a “mysterious house” acquired by the rover on the moon’s far side in December. 


Near the Von Kármán crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a cube-shaped object stood out from the lunar horizon. Scientists couldn’t settle on what it was, but conspiracy theorists on the internet were certain it was an alien building. Yutu-2 had to close in on the target and take a better picture after a few weeks. Experts eventually deduced that it was a strangely formed rock.