July 29, 2016

Moon has more water than previously thought

The moon has more water than scientists once thought, casting doubt on theories of its creation, according to a study.

Scientists measured seven samples of magma trapped as “melt inclusions.” within crystals, according to a paper in the journal Science. Lower quantities of water and volatile compounds on the moon, when compared with the earth and other inner planets of the solar system, have long been taken as evidence the moon formed during a gained impact that has enough energy to create seas of magma, according to the Carnegie Institution’s Erik Hauri, the study’s lead author.

Today’s finding challenges that view, he said. That findings suggest that the impact from a Mars-sized body that formed the moon was either much hotter or much cooler than previously thought. If the moon impact was cooler, then some material including water wasn’t molten and was locked in thee lunar interior.

If there was more energy, then the rocks boiled and created a temporary atmosphere, Hauri said. While the atmosphere would have been dense and short-lived, it might have allowed the still-forming earth and moon to exchange water. The presence of water tells us how much potential it has to sustain our life.

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