Study suggests water on the Moon came from Earth

May 9, 2013
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Scientists and researchers have discovered that droplets of water found in lunar rocks brought back from the Moon are identical on a chemical level from that of samples of ancient Earth. The rocks used in the study came from samples brought back by Apollo 15 in 1971 and Apollo 17 in 1972, the latter being NASA's last mission to the moon.

The droplets in the rocks were found trapped in crystals on the inside, which protected the water droplets from volcanic eruptions, allowing them to be preserved through all these years and giving scientists the opportunity to look back at what the Moon's ancient history as far back as 4.5 billion years ago.

According to past research, much of Earth's water is believed to have been supplied by meteorites that crashed into our planet billions of years ago. The debris from the collision is said to have formed the moon, and since the intense heat from the explosion failed to vaporize all the water, it remained stagnant, which is what researchers are finding in the rock samples.

Scientists can tell where these water droplets originated from in the solar system based on ratio of the two chemicals deuterium and hydrogen. The water droplets in the rocks were found have small amounts of deuterium, which suggests that the water came from an area close to the sun, as opposed to further out in the solar system. The chemical structure essentially matched the levels of these aforementioned meteorites, which has scientists concluding that water found on the Moon very likely came from the Earth.

[via The Guardian]

[Source: Science Magazine]


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