Astrochemistry: April 2017

Water and hydroxyl, once thought to be found only in the primitive airless bodies that formed beyond roughly 2.5-3 AU, have recently been detected on the Moon and Vesta, which both have surfaces dominated by evolved, non-primitive compositions. In both these cases, the water/OH is thought to be exogenic, either brought in via impacts with comets or hydrated asteroids or created via solar wind interactions with silicates in the regolith or both.