Mysterious mass of moon metal discovered under lunar south pole
NASA wants to send astronauts in 5 years to check out the area. They may want to bring metal detectors.
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Scientists say there's something unusual and metallic buried beneath the moon's south pole. No, it isn't a lost lunar Atlantis built by ancient aliens, but more likely the remnant of a colossal collision that formed the largest crater in the solar system.
The basin near the bottom of our sole natural satellite is an oval-shaped crater several miles deep and up to 1,242 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide. If you're wondering why you may not have seen it before, that's because it's on the moon's far side.
Memorable moon photos from NASA and beyond (pictures)
"One of the explanations of this extra mass is that the metal from the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the Moon's mantle," James says, adding that the crater is believed to be 4 billion years old -- almost as old as Earth itself.
Another possible explanation is that the mass might be a product of the moon's ancient ocean of magma solidifying.