Jul 12, 2008

Water found in Moon Samples

A group of researchers led by Brown University geologist Alberto Saal has discovered water inside ancient moon samples brought back to earth by astronauts of Apollo missions in 1960s and 1970s. The discovery strongly suggests that water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence. And this discovery could change the way we think about the past of moon.

The lunar water was found inside volcanic glass beads brought by Apollo astronauts. The glass beads range in color from green to yellow-brown to red and were formed from droplets of molten lava that spewed from fire fountains reaching down deep within the primitive lunar interior. Researchers found up to 46 ppm of water within the glass beads.

Then they used modeling to estimate how much water originally existed in the magma within the moon's interior and estimated that the glass beads may contain upto 745 ppm of water. This value is similar to solidified lava that came up from the Earth's upper mantle through undersea vents. What does it means? It means, either the moon got water from Earth during its violent creation, or else water gathered from elsewhere within 100 million years of the impact as the moon solidified. Only further research will clearify these assumtions.


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