Water on Moon's Surface Hints at Water Below

By Keith Cowing
October 30, 2013
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Water on Moon's Surface Hints at Water Below

Scientists supported by NASA have detected water locked in mineral grains on the Moon. The findings hint at unknown water sources deep below the lunar surface. Data for the study came from the NASA-funded Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

Chandrayaan-1 used M3 from orbit to remotely detected magmatic water in the central peak of the Moon’s Bullialdus impact crater. Rocks from the peak originate from beneath the lunar surface and were excavated by the impact event that formed the crater.

Examining internal magmatic water on the Moon will help scientists understand how the Moon formed and how lunar magmatic process changed as it cooled. This information is valuable to astrobiologists who study in the formation and evolution of planetary bodies in order to determine the conditions that lead to habitability.

The findings were published August 25 in the journal Nature Geoscience

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