New York, July 26 (IANS) There may be substantial amounts of trapped water in the interior of the moon, researchers have said.
By analysing satellite data, researchers at Brown University in the US discovered rich amounts of indigenous water within the volcanic deposits or within layers of rocks spread across the lunar surface after ancient volcanoes erupted on the moon, Xinhua news agency reported.
This suggests that water may be rich in the moon’s mantle, the layer between the crust and the core, according to the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The study’s lead author, Ralph Milliken, said past findings of water on the moon did not appear to come from indigenous sources.
The moon is believed to have been formed from debris of an object that hit the Earth early in the solar system’s history, but the essential hydrogen to form water could hardly survive the heat in the formation of the moon.
Li Shuai, who co-authored the story, said: “Water did somehow survive or that it was brought in shortly after the impact by asteroids or comets before the moon had completely solidified.
The exact origin of water in the lunar interior is still a big question.”
The finding also sheds light on future lunar exploration as water could potentially be extracted from the volcanic deposits.