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Hong Kong scientists have lift-off for research project using moon rock and dust

Hong KongHealth & Environment

Hong Kong scientists have lift-off for research project after expert wins bid for use of moon rocks and dust to study lunar volcanic activity

HKU’s Dr Qian Yuqi beats off stiff competition to secure use of precious samples gathered by mainland Chinese moon shot in 2020Qian says he hopes the research will lead to development of expertise in planetary science in Hong KongHong Kong societyLo Hoi-yingPublished: 6:19pm, 7 Aug, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Rocks and dust from the moon have touched down in Hong Kong and researchers said the rare samples would help pave the way for future developments in lunar research in the city.

Dr Qian Yuqi, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), on Monday unveiled the 822.6 milligrams of lunar material, which included some of the youngest moon rocks ever found.

He picked up the precious samples in person from the China National Space Administration’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Centre in Beijing late last month.

“This is the first time Hong Kong, as the main applicant, has obtained lunar samples. We hope to use geological methods to study the lunar magma’s process, from the beginning of the eruption in the moon’s core to travelling up the vent, to know more about its temperature and speed of eruption,” Qian said.

He applied to borrow the samples for a year. Qian submitted a proposal and orally defended it in front of a panel of Chinese space agency experts in April against strong competition.

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