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Signs Of Water Are Found On The Moon... See How Much

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Author Topic: Signs Of Water Are Found On The Moon... See How Much  (Read 133 times)
Mandy Esser
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« on: September 24, 2009, 11:16:09 am »

Where the water comes from

Combined, the findings show that not only is the moon hydrated, the process that makes it so is a dynamic one that is driven by the daily changes in solar radiation hitting any given spot on the surface.

The sun might also have something to do with how the water got there.

There are potentially two types of water on the moon: that brought from outside sources, such as water-bearing comets striking the surface, or that that originates on the moon.

This second, endogenic, source is thought to possibly come from the interaction of the solar wind with moon rocks and soils.

The rocks and regolith that make up the lunar surface are about 45 percent oxygen (combined with other elements as mostly silicate minerals). The solar wind — the constant stream of charged particles emitted by the sun — are mostly protons, or positively charged hydrogen atoms.

If the charged hydrogens, which are traveling at one-third the speed of light, hit the lunar surface with enough force, they break apart oxygen bonds in soil materials, Taylor, the M3 team member suspects. Where free oxygen and hydrogen exist, there is a high chance that trace amounts of water will form.

The various study researchers also suggest that the daily dehydration and rehydration of the trace water across the surface could lead to the migration of hydroxyl and hydrogen towards the poles where it can accumulate in the cold traps of the permanently shadowed regions.

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