Changesite-(Y), with the chemical formula (Ca8Y)Fe2+(PO4)7,[1] is a mineral found forming colorless transparent columnar crystals[2] in basalt particles on the Moon.[3] Changesite-(Y) is a member of the merrillite[4] group of phosphate minerals.[4][5][2]


Changesite-(Y) is named after Chang'e, the Moon goddess in Chinese mythology. The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program's fifth lunar exploration mission, Chang'e 5, is China's first sample-return mission to the Moon.[5] China National Space Administration and China Atomic Energy Authority jointly announced in Beijing on September 9, 2022, that the new mineral, Changesite—(Y), was found by scientists at the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology from lunar surface samples returned by the country's Chang'e 5 robotic mission and has been approved by the International Mineralogical Association and its Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification.[1][6]


Changesite-(Y) contains the element Helium-3, which is useful in fueling nuclear fusion reactions.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b Miyawaki, Ritsuro; Hatert, Frédéric; Pasero, Marco; Mills, Stuart J. (19 October 2022). "IMA Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) – Newsletter 69". European Journal of Mineralogy. 34 (5): 463–468. Bibcode:2022EJMin..34..463M. doi:10.5194/ejm-34-463-2022. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b "China Focus: Chinese scientists discover new lunar mineral". Xinhua. 2022-09-09. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  3. ^ Faisal Khan (10 October 2022). "'Changesite'-(Y) is the sixth new mineral discovered on the Moon". Medium. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b Zaho, Lei (2022-09-09). "Chinese scientists discover new mineral on the moon". Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  5. ^ a b Tamim, Baba (2022-09-09). "China claims discovery of a new mineral on the moon for the first time". Interesting Engineering. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  6. ^ "China discovers new mineral on Moon". The Hepburn Advocate. Australian Associated Press. 2022-09-09. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  7. ^ Kristin Houser (25 September 2022). "China has discovered a brand new moon mineral". Free Think. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  8. ^ "China has returned helium-3 from the moon, opening door to future technology". The Hill. 18 September 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.