How the Moon’s Far Side Got Its Radioactive Spots

MOTHERBOARD explains the mystery behind the radioactive hotspots.

Now, a team of researchers has presented evidence that the ancient impact ejected radioactive material, in addition to other anomalous elements, from a long-lost layer that once existed between the molten mantle of the infant Moon and its crystallizing crust, and subsequently seems to have vanished from the lunar far side.

The results “have important implications for understanding the formation and evolution of the Moon”—especially why its near and far sides are so drastically different—and suggest that samples from SPA “must be considered amongst the highest-priority targets for the advancement of planetary science,” according to a study published on Friday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

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