January 30, 2023

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Water from the sun has been found on the moon: ScienceAlert

A new analysis of dust has been retrieved from Moon It is suggested that the water associated with the lunar surface could have come from the sun.

More specifically, it could be the result of bombardment of hydrogen ions from the solar wind, crashing into the lunar surface, interaction with metal oxides, and binding with displaced oxygen. The result is water that can hide in lunar regolith in large quantities at mid- and high latitudes.

This has implications for our understanding of the source and distribution of water on the Moon – and may be relevant to our understanding The origins of water on Earth.

The moon looks like a very dry ball of dust, but recent studies have found that there is a ball a lot of water over there More than anyone suspected. Obviously, they don’t float in lakes and lakes. it’s a bound in lunar regolithpossibly latent Like ice in permanently shaded cratersand isolated in Spherules of obsidian.

This naturally leads to questions, such as exactly how much water is there? How is it distributed? Where did it come from? The last question probably has multiple answers.

Some of it could come from asteroid influences. some from the ground. However, one possible source is not the first thing that comes to mind when imagining cosmic rain clouds.

To be fair, the sun isn’t exactly dripping with moisture, but its winds are certainly a reliable source of high-velocity hydrogen ions. The directory that includes Analysis of lunar dirt from the Apollo missions previously raised the strong possibility that the solar wind is responsible for at least some of the lunar components of water.

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A team of researchers led by geochemists Yuchen Xu and Heng Sitian of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found chemistry in grains recovered by the Chang’e-5 mission that support a solar source for lunar water.

They studied 17 grains: 7 olivine, 1 pyroxene, 4 plagioclase, and 5 glass. These were all, unlike the low latitude samples collected by Apollo and Luna, from a mid-latitude region of the Moon, collected from the youngest lunar volcanic basalts known, from a dry basalt bed.

Using Raman spectroscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, they studied the chemical composition of these grains’ outer edges—100 nm. grain shell It is the most exposed to space weather and therefore changes a lot compared to the interior of the grain.

The majority of these edges showed a very high hydrogen concentration ranging from 1,116 to 2,516 ppm, and very low deuterium/hydrogen isotope ratios. These ratios are consistent with the ratios of these elements present in the solar wind, indicating that the solar wind collided with the moon, depositing hydrogen on the lunar surface.

They found that the solar wind-derived water content at the Chang’e-5 landing site should be about 46 parts per million. This corresponds to remote sensing measurements.

To determine whether hydrogen could be preserved in lunar minerals, the researchers then conducted heating experiments on some of their grains. They found that after burial, the grains could actually retain hydrogen.

Finally, the researchers ran simulations about the preservation of hydrogen in lunar soil at different temperatures. This revealed that temperature plays an important role in the infusing, migration, and outgassing of hydrogen on the Moon. This means that much of the water derived from the solar wind can be retained at mid- and high latitudes, where temperatures are cooler.

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A model based on these findings suggests that the moon’s polar regions could be richer in water from the solar wind – information that could be very useful for planning future lunar exploration missions.

Polar lunar soil could contain more water than Chang’e-5 samples. says cosmochemist Yangting Lin Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“This discovery is of great importance for the future use of water resources on the Moon. Also, by sorting and heating the particles, the water in the lunar soil is relatively easy to exploit and use.”

Research published in PNAS.