Scientists have discovered that the biggest steel-alloy plate ever created, the biggest on record, is bigger even than the moon.
The plate, which measures 6.5 miles (10 kilometers) long and 1.4 miles (1.9 kilometers) wide, was discovered by an Australian scientist working with the University of Melbourne.
The team used X-ray scattering to measure the thickness of the metal plate, then compared the results to measurements of the moon’s surface and lunar rocks, which indicate that the plate is more than 10 times the diameter of the Moon.
“The thickness of this plate is actually much larger than the thickness at the surface of the Earth,” said study lead author Dr. Michael Hickey.
“So, it is more like the size of the lunar crust.”
In the past, researchers have thought the Earth-Moon boundary was about 4.4 to 5.3 miles (7 to 9 kilometers) deep, but Hickey and his team determined the true width to be only 1.7 miles (2 kilometers).
This new research shows that the plates are much more massive than the previously believed, Hickey said.
“We have discovered this plate that has a thickness that is much larger, and the only reason we haven’t found this plate before is that it’s hard to find, because we don’t know where it is.”
The new research could be used to test out the theory of how the moon formed, he said.
The researchers are now working on developing an instrument that can measure the amount of energy required to melt and melt the surface and then extract the rock.
“If we can find this material, then we could use it to find out if the moon was formed by a collision with a comet, or by an asteroid impact,” Hickey explained.
“It could tell us if there’s any evidence of water on the moon or water on Earth, or if there is any evidence that life has existed on Earth.”
Scientists are still trying to find the origins of the plate, but are hoping that one day they’ll be able to find it, too.
“One of the problems with this plate, and it’s not just this one, is that we’re not able to get it to the Moon,” Higgs said.
We know there is water on Mars, and we’ve been looking for signs of life on the Moon for a long time.
We have found water on Jupiter, but it’s only in the crust of that planet and not in the mantle of that rock.
So, what we need is this material from the Moon that is able to go down and penetrate that mantle and be able get down to the surface.
“Higgs has been working with NASA since 2001, working on missions that have sent astronauts to the moon and Mars.
He is currently a professor of astronomy at the University at Buffalo and is also a member of the NASA Lunar and Planetary Institute.
He has published more than 150 papers and book chapters on the topic of the origins and evolution of life, including “How the Solar System Was Made,” “The Search for Life on Mars” and “Life on Earth: Origins and the Search for a Common Ground.”
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Original article on Live Science.