What is the true extent of the earth's crust and what materials make it up? The question has intrigued researchers like James O'Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese Space Agency. In collaboration with Christine Houser, geophysicist and seismologist at the Earth-Life Science Institute in Japan, the researcher created an animation that unravels the mysteries of the composition of the visible layer of the Earth.
The video explains that the earth's crust represents only 0.5% of the entire mass of our planet. Although it has a depth of approximately 50 kilometers in some parts of the Earth, the depth of the crust reaches only 5 kilometers in the deepest areas of the ocean.
Based on several studies carried out, scientists indicate that about 57.8% of the visible layer of the Earth is composed of silica, the same element that makes up sand. In addition to water, which makes up 4.8% of its composition, the crust is also composed of different types of oxides, including calcium, iron and magnesium.
Interestingly, the temperatures in the Earth's mantle are not high enough to make it glow red. The scientists who created the video came to the possible conclusion that, in fact, the layer has a characteristic green color.
Beyond the Earth, scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute presented in late April the first complete geological map of the Moon. On a scale of 1: 5,000,000, the map of knowing the types of rocks present in the "cosmic neighbor" closest to our planet.
The experts used information from six regional maps from the Apollo era, in addition to updated information from recent Moon satellite missions. The old maps were redesigned to align them with the modern data set, preserving previous observations and interpretations.
With the fusion of new and old data, the researchers have also developed a description of the stratigraphy of the Moon, the branch of geology that studies the strata or layers of rocks. Thus, it was possible to solve problems of previous maps, where rock names, descriptions and ages were sometimes inconsistent.