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article imageNew study finds that Moon has 100 times more water

By Andrew Moran     Jun 14, 2010 in Science
Washington - According to a new study, the Moon has 100 times more water than previous estimates, which most likely was preserved from the hot magma when the Moon was forming 4.5 billion years ago.
Last year, the National Geographic reported that a lot of water was found to be on the Moon and a “significant amount.” It was discovered when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) crashed the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite and a two-ton rocket into the Moon’s South Pole in October 2009.
According to Space, scientists now believe there is actually 100 times more water than previous studies had estimated. Most of the water is lodged into lunar rocks and material.
Space researchers at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory believe the lunar water was preserved from the hot magma during the Moon’s formation 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists also think that the water is more widespread in the Moon’s interior than prior studies projected.
“For over 40 years we thought the Moon was dry,” said lead author of the study, Francis McCubbin, reports Physorg. “Recently, scientists detected water from Apollo samples on the order of 46 parts per million. We studied two other Apollo samples and a lunar meteorite using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), which can detect elements in the parts per million range. We combined the measurements with models that characterize how the material crystallized as the Moon cooled. We found that the minimum water content ranged from 64 parts per billion to 5 parts per million—at least two orders of magnitude greater than previous results.”
According to Planetary Science Research Discoveries, the Moon was formed when a Mars-sized body collided with the nearly formed proto-Earth, which put material into orbit around the proto-Earth and then resulted in the formation of the Moon.
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