The interior of the Moon, Earth’s natural satellite, may be more abundant in water than initially believed, according to a new study.
This latest research goes a long way from past surveys. Initially, scientists believed the Moon to be a dry and arid space. However, newer studies revealed traces of water in the shadowed regions from the poles of the Moon. Now, the latest report claims that there may be more than just traces.
Lunar Interior to Hold Undetected Water Reserves?
Brown University scientists are behind this newest study. These studied lunar pyroclastic deposits or more precisely, layers of rock that probably developed after large volcanic eruptions. According to research, magma associated with such explosions reaches the surface of the Moon after traveling from very deep within the natural satellite.
“Therefore, because the products of the magma have water, the deep interior of the moon must also contain water,” states Ralph Milliken, a Brown University geologist and the study lead.
Milliken also considers that the water traces at the poles could actually be the result of solar wind hydrogen. He pointed out that the presence of water in the lunar interior could also be carrying a series of further implications.
Namely, this could mean that water must have reached the Moon very early on in its formation. This would have happened before the satellite fully solidified.
Scientists believe that, if proven correct, the existence of water in the lunar interior could make future Moon mission more ‘plausible’. Water is an expensive and difficult to transport resource. Finding a direct source of water on the Moon could open up many options for humans set to work on the satellite.
Reportedly, the team of researchers will next try to take a closer look at the pyroclastic deposits. In doing so, they may determine how or why the water concentrations vary among the deposits.
Milliken also pointed out that these deposits would make great targets for future sample gathering mission.
The current study is based on data supplied by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 probe. Research results are available in the Nature Geosciences journal.
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