Why is the Moon white? Have you ever heard of Plagioclase? #GeoNews #UTDGSS


have you ever looked up at the moon and

wondered why is it white do you know

what the color of the moon is it's

whitish grayish that sounds like a trick

question I'm going to assume gray guess

like gray and do you know why it's that

color I mean I would say it's made of

something that's white or great no clue

you know why it changes color or what

it's made out of because of its mineral

like composition actually very good


the moon is white because of the rocks

that the crust is composed of

plagioclase is the mineral that makes up

most of the crust we know this because

the astronauts brought back moon rocks

what is plagioclase plagioclase is a

common white mineral found in igneous

rocks this rock has large plagioclase

crystals in it you can see how similar

these plaid jerk laced crystals are to

the ones from the surface of the Moon

you have also probably seen plagioclase

without realizing it in granite

countertops if you look closely at

granite you can see the white clad yolk

laced crystals throughout most of the

white bodies in the solar system are

covered in ice the moon's whiteness

however is because of the abundance of

plagioclase in the crust

so how is it that the crest of the moon

contains so much plagioclase to find out

we have to look for and a half billion

years into the past

immediately after the moon formed its

entire surface was covered by an ocean

instead of water this ocean was made

entirely out of magma

what is that MA magma is molten rock the

moon four and a half billion years ago

was covered in a magma ocean all rocky

planets were originally covered in magma

oceans including the earth but what does

this have to do with why the moon is

white as the magma cooled minerals like

plagioclase formed the mineral sank or

floated in the magma based on their

density the heavier minerals sank to the

bottom while the lighter minerals like

plagioclase floated to the surface the

plagioclase grouped together in this top

layer to form the crust this is how the

surface of the lunar magma ocean

crystallized into plagioclase rich rock

the end result is the white surface that

we see today so the next time you wonder

why the moon is white just remember that

it really isn't quite so mysterious it's

made up of the same minerals that are in

your countertop moon is white because of

the lunar magma ocean cooling as a

result white cloud your case

crystallizes and forms the crust