• Question: What is the moon made of?

    Asked by soozie to Amylou, Maria, Mark L, Mark U on 22 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Amy Evans

      Amy Evans answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      Hi soozie,

      Like the Earth, the Moon has layers. Scientists are still working on finding out what the internal parts of the moon are made out of but they think the innermost layer (the lunar core) is made of metallic iron, with small amounts of sulphur and nickel. The core of the Moon is probably at least partly molten.

      Outside the core and up to 50km below the surface is the mantle. Scientists believe that the mantle is mainly made of minerals called olivine, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene and contains a lot of iron.

      The outermost layer of the Moon is called the crust. Scientists have found more information on this bit and know that the crust of the Moon is madue from mostly oxygen, silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium, and aluminum.

    • Photo: Mark Uphill

      Mark Uphill answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hi soozie,

      It’s a little known fact that science is “wrong” and the moon is made of cheese. Seriously though, the history of science is littered with examples of things that were intially “believed” to be “true” that turned out to be “false”. This change in collective belief is what Thomas Kuhn termed a “paradigm shift”. As scientists I think its always useful to be sceptical about knowledge and the evidence that underpins the knowledge.