A new study claims that there is huge possibility that water may exist below the moon’s surface.
In order to figure out the possibility of a watery moon, space researchers modeled the moments when Earth and the moon were formed from the same material. It is believed that billions of years ago, the moon and the Earth were one.
As per the theory behind the birth of the moon, it was when a Mars-size rock, Theia, smashed into young Earth between 4.4 billion and 4.5 billion years ago, that the moon was formed.
It is believed that Theia’s smash into Earth heated up and vaporized material, sending some of the debris into space. According to the theory, the debris formed a disk of matter. The pieces of debris when came together cooled down and coalesced, it led to the formation of the moon.
Dave Stevenson from the California Institute of Technology and Miki Nakajima from the Carnegie Institute for Science conducted a recent study taking the earth’s formation theory as the subject.
The aim of their study was to know if the lunar origin story supports recent findings that water might exist on the moon. For the purpose of the study, the researchers looked at the range of temperatures possible during the proto-moon stage.
The study’s researchers pointed out in a statement that if the disk of material that formed the moon was very hot, then hydrogen and other elements with low boiling points would have jetted off into space. In that case, if there’s no hydrogen, there will be no water.
However, considering the situation when the disk was cool enough, then hydrogen wouldn’t have vaporized off into space, and instead would have remained on the lunar building blocks.
“The good news is that our models show that observations of a wet moon are not incompatible with a giant impact origin,” Nakajima said in the statement, reported Space.com.
The researchers concluded that more research is needed in this area as to figure how much water exists in the moon. The study work has been published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.