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Titanium treasure found on Moon

By Haris Afzal on Saturday, October 8, 2011 with 0 comments

Titanium treasure found on Moon
PARIS: A new map of the Moon has revealed an abundance of titanium ore that is up to 10 times richer than on Earth, a

finding that could one day lead to a lunar mining colony, astronomers said on Friday.

The discovery was made thanks to a camera aboard the US Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which swept the surface of the

Moon, scrutinising it in seven different light wavelengths.

Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, who presented the research at a conference in Nantes, western France with Brett

Denevi of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, sifted through the data for telltale jumps in the ratio of ultra-violet to visible

light.

They established this signature thanks to rock samples brought back to Earth by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972 and images of

the area around the mission's landing site by the Hubble space telescope.

Titanium is as strong as steel but nearly half as light, which makes it a highly desired and also very expensive metal.

On Earth, titanium is found, at the very most, in around one percent of similar types of ore. But the new map found

abundances in the lunar maria that range from about one percent to 10 percent, the conference organisers said in a press

release. In the lunar highlands, abundance was around one percent.

The meeting gathers, for the first time, members of the European Planetary Science Congress and the American Astronomical

Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.(AFP)

Category: Entertainment News

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