Scientists have believed for years that the moon doesn’t have water, only to find that its interior proved them wrong, challenging our current understanding on how the satellite was formed The current most accepted theory is that it formed in a violent collision between Earth and another planet-sized object.But if this had been the case, there wouldn’t have been any water left. The fantastic amount of created heat would have been enough to melt any bit of water. But now a study by Nature magazine shows water was delivered to the lunar surface from the interior in volcanic eruptions three billion years ago which points out that water has been a part of the moon for millions of years.
The discovery was made while scientists were studying lunar volcanic glasses, pebble-like beads collected from our planet’s satellite. For decades they have been trying to decipher the nature of a class of chemical elements known as volatiles in these glasses.
“We developed a way to detect as little as five parts per million of water,” said Erik Hauri, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC.
“We were really surprised to find a whole lot more in these tiny glass beads, up to 46 parts per million.”
“This confirms that water comes from deep within the mantle of the Moon,” said lead author Alberto Saal, assistant professor of geological sciences at Brown University.
“It has nothing to do with secondary processes, such as contamination or solar wind.”
Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!