A recent study has put to rest many debates on whether there is or not water on the moon. A team of scientists at the Tohoku University, Japan, found proof inside a lunar meteorite that was found in a Northwest African desert.
Inside the meteorite, they found a mineral called Moganite.
Moganite Needs Water to Form
The scientists claim that there’s water on the moon because Moganite needs water to form, so the moon really contains water.
Masahiro Kayama (the Tohoku University) led this study, stating that:
“Moganite is a crystal of silicon dioxide and is similar to quartz. It forms on Earth as a precipitate when alkaline water including SiO2 is evaporated under high-pressure conditions. The existence of moganite strongly implies that there is water activity on the Moon.”
After analyzing 13 different meteorites from the moon, Kayama and his team found that one of them contained Moganite, confirming the lunar water theory. They know that there was no way the mineral formed in the northwest African desert, added Kayama:
“If terrestrial weathering had produced moganite in the lunar meteorite, there should be moganite present in all the samples that fell to Earth around the same time. But this was not the case.”
This is the first discovery of Moganite in lunar rock. Japanese researchers believe that the meteorites that were discovered in the African desert might have come from an area of the moon called Procellarum Terrane.
“It’s all very exciting”
Scientists think that Moganite was formed after water was evaporated due to intense sunlight. Kayama theorizes that the moon might have hidden crystals of water ice under its surface and hidden from the sun.
A few space missions in the past found lunar ice or water in the moon’s poles. But this is the first time scientists found evidence of abundant water ice in other places than the poles of the moon.
Kayama concludes that analyzing water can provide exciting new information:
“Solar wind-induced water can give us new insight into the history of sun activity, and volcanic water provides us with information of lunar evolution together with water. It’s all very exciting.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.