Strange Glass Balls Found on Moon Hint at Asteroid Impact

China has discovered semi-transparent glass balls on the surface of the moon, and they're thought to be the result of ancient asteroid impacts.

The glass balls were spotted by China's Yutu-2 lunar rover, which landed on the far side of the moon in January, 2019 as part of the Chang'e 4 mission.

The rover has since traveled more than 1,000 meters on the moon's surface, according to the country's Xinhua news agency, stirring up dirt and learning about the terrain and subsurface structure.

According to a study by Chinese researchers, the Yutu-2 rover was exploring the Moon's South Pole-Aitken Basin region when it came across "two translucent glass globules".

team did not obtain any data that allowed them to work out what they were made of but location in which they were found suggest that balls are most likely glass that resulted from past asteroid impact

The energy release from the impact would have been enough to turn nearby rock and soil into liquid, which eventually cooled to form the balls.

Researchers know that glass exists on the lunar surface. Indeed, the November study described it as "ubiquitous" in the moon's surface material—a result of "volcanism and hyper-velocity impacts".

Most often they are less than a millimeter in size, although some are quite large with a diameter of several centimeters and are considered "macro-sized".

The balls discovered by Yutu-2 fall into this latter category, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters across, ScienceAlert reports.

The finding could provide promising objects for study that may help reveal the early impact history of the moon, according to Xinhua.

Our Space, a Chinese social media channel associated with the China National Space Administration, described the object as a "mysterious hut" and an "obstrusive cube".

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