Researchers Discovered Water on the Oldest Rocks of Moon

Feb 19, 2013 16:03 IST

oldest lunar rocksResearchers in the third week of February 2013 detected water traces inside the crystalline structure of one of the oldest lunar rocks which were obtained through Apollo missions on Moon. As per the study conducted by University of Michigan, the lunar highlands represent original crust which is actually crystallised from Magma Ocean that was found mainly on the molten early Moon.

Researchers made use of the Infrared spectroscopy for analysing water content in a part of plagioclase feldspar from lunar anorthosites. Plagioclase feldspar from lunar anorthosites are basically the lunar rocks which are formed of over 90 percent plagioclase.

It is believed that these bright-coloured highlands rocks formed early in the history of the moon when plagioclase crystallised from the magma ocean and came up to the surface. The infrared spectroscopy work found out about the presence of 6 parts per million of water in lunar anorthosites.

The water content that was measured is not actually liquid water but hydroxyl groups which were distributed in mineral grain. These hydroxyl groups that were detected are evident that the interior of the Moon contained water during the early molten state of it. Later the crust was solidified and played a crucial role in lunar basalts developments.

Because there are some oldest rocks from the Moon, therefore it is believed that water would have been there in the Moon when it was formed. Earlier theories revealed that Moon was formed when the Mars-sized body bumped into the young Earth. Eventually the debris broke off and combined into new body. It was believed that a lot of water would have been evaporated in the space, leaving Moon arid.

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