Coming Soon to the Moon: Volcanoes?

Core magma could rise to surface as moon cools
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2012 12:49 PM CST
Coming Soon to the Moon: Volcanoes
We may someday see volcanoes on the moon.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The globe might be warming, but the moon is getting cooler—and that means someday, the magma inside it could erupt. It wouldn't be the first time: The moon also had volcanoes hundreds of millions of years ago, the Daily Mail notes. Now scientists in Amsterdam say the cooling temperature will reduce the lunar magma's density, prompting it to move upward. "What a sight that would be," says a researcher.

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Some 30% of the rock on the moon appears to be molten, pointing to huge volumes of liquid magma at its core. But right now, that magma is too dense to rise, the scientists found after investigating rocks from the Apollo missions using what they call "the most brilliant X-ray beam in the world." Researchers believe that long ago, titanium-rich rocks moved from the moon's surface to its core and became magma. After it cools, it could rise to the surface again, creating an active volcano. (Read more volcano stories.)

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