ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2012) — Unlike Earth, our Moon has no active volcanoes, and the traces of its past volcanic activity date from billions of years ago. This is surprising because recent Moonquake data suggest that there is plenty of liquid magma deep within the Moon and part of the rocks residing there are thought to be molten. Scientists have now identified a likely reason for this peaceful surface life: the hot, molten rock in the Moon’s deep interior could be so dense that it is simply too heavy to rise to the surface like a bubble in water. For their experiments, the scientists produced microscopic copies of moon rock collected by the Apollo missions and melted them at the extremely high pressures and temperatures found inside the Moon. They then measured their densities with powerful X-ray beams.
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NGC 6752 contains a high number of “blue straggler” stars, some of which are visible in this image. These stars display characteristics of stars younger than their neighbors, despite models suggesting that most of the stars within globular clusters should have formed at approximately the same time. Their origin is therefore something of a mystery.
Studies of NGC 6752 may shed light on this situation. It appears that a very high number — up to 38 percent — of the stars within its core region are binary systems. Collisions between stars in this turbulent area could produce the blue stragglers that are so prevalent.
Lying 13,000 light-years distant, NGC 6752 is far beyond our reach, yet the clarity of Hubble’s images brings it tantalizingly close.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA