New evidence suggests the Moon holds more water than ever previously believed

Illustration depicting how magma in ancient volcanic deposits on the Moon contains more water than expected. Image Credit: Olga Prilipko Huber

To some people, the Moon can seem like a rather boring place – gray, dusty and covered in craters. It is also usually thought to be bone dry, not the first place that comes to mind when you hear about water elsewhere in the Solar System, and for the most part that may be true, but now new evidence shows that the Moon may be a lot wetter in its interior than previously known.

The Moon’s surface is indeed extremely dry, other than patches of water ice in the shadows of some craters at the poles. Even the ice was a surprise when first discovered by orbiting probes. But now, researchers at Brown University have found evidence for water trapped within volcanic (pyroclastic) deposits, which suggests that the Moon’s mantle is rather water-rich. It was previously thought that the Moon’s interior had been depleted of water, but then in 2008, trace amounts of water were found in volcanic glass beads which had been brought back to Earth by the Apollo 15 and 17 missions.

Read the rest of my article on AmericaSpace.

 

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