Tech UPTechnologyThe Moon has a hundred times more water than...

The Moon has a hundred times more water than previously thought

luna1A study by scientists from the Carnegie Institution of Washington (USA) has determined thatthe interior of the Moon contains as much water as the upper mantle of the Earth, which is an amounta hundred times higher than previously thought.

The finding, published today inScience, comes after decades of research that began with the missionsApollo from NASA in the 1960s and 1970s. These missions brought in volcanic crystals with samples of water and other volatile elements. Analyzing these samples, for the first time the researchers have measured the water in the molten inclusions of the Moon and thus have found that some parts of the lunar mantle have as much as the Earth’s upper mantle.

The study reveals that the pearls melted during the eruptions and solidified before falling to the surface. Unlike most volcanic deposits,melted inclusions are coated in crystals that prevent water and other materials from escaping during the eruption. The expeditions have shown that these deposits also exist on Mars, Venus, Io (a moon of Jupiter) and are now being analyzed by the mission.Messenger on Mercury.

James Van Orman, co-author of the work, has pointed out that “the interior of the Moon seems to be quite similar to the interior of the Earth” since the analyzed data shows that the concentrations of water and volatile elements such as fluorine, chlorine and sulfur in the lunar magma, are “almost identical” to the concentrations that are recorded in solidified magma in the middle of the ocean on Earth.

This findreinforces the theory that the Moon and Earth have “a common origin”that, as explained by Van Orman, some scientists base that a great impact on the origins of the planet caused the expulsion of matter into the orbit from which the Moon was formed. However, this theory also has its “flaws.” Thus, there are experts who assure that an impact such as the one described in this theory should have killed the water due to the heat, so it could not end up being part of the satellite. Another possibility to consider would beconsider volcanic activity as a possible source of icefound in the shadows of the craters at the lunar poles.

 

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