A new map of the south pole of the Moon identifies the geological characteristics of the Schrödinger basin, considered an important area from a scientific point of view, and draws up several proposed routes that rovers will one day be able to follow on exploration missions there .
The map, published by The Planetary Science Journal and the work of researchers at the University of Arkansas (USA), marks three possible routes to travel through the Schrödinger basin in search of rocks.
Schrödinger’s, located near the south pole, is the second youngest impact basin on the Moon and includes various features of the crust and rock types that are important for understanding the geological history of our satellite.
The study’s lead author, Ellen Czaplinski, noted that some of the physical characteristics of the rocks (lithologies) in this basin may come from deep within the Moon’s surface, so “investigating them closely is extremely important to answer high priority scientific objectives ”.
The National Research Council of the United States outlined in 2007 the scientific objectives and goals of future lunar missions, including exploration of the South Pole-Aitken basin, the oldest and deepest impact basin on the Moon.
The Schrödinger basin, which is within the Aitken, presents a unique opportunity to study rocks that possibly originated deep below the surface, Czaplinski said.
Many of these rock types are exposed along several kilometers long rock outcrops in the ring of Schrödinger’s Peak, which formed with the basin.
The sampling of these rocks has, according to the expert, “a high scientific potential to better understand the context of the Schrödinger lithologies”.