China’s Yutu-2 rover has spotted two intact spheres of translucent glass up to an inch thick on the far side of the moon.
Images returned by the rover, which landed on the moon in January 2019, show the glass globules looking like a couple of tiny ball bearings.
Small glass ‘spherules’ are actually common on the moon, although they’re typically less than 0.03 of an inch (3mm) in diameter.
These newly-found glass spheres are much bigger, measuring around 0.5-inch to 1-inch (1.5 cm to 2.5 cm), according to the scientists.
Glass forms on the moon when silicate material – rock-forming minerals – are subjected to high temperatures.
It’s known that volcanic glass deposits were formed during explosive eruptions in the moon’s history, when it was volcanically active.
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