Moon may have water trapped under its surface: Scientists

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jul 2017 08:54:56



THE Moon may have huge reservoirs of water trapped under the surface in the form of volcanic ‘glass beads’, which could be extracted and used by astronauts in future lunar colonies, scientists have found.

A new study of satellite data found that numerous volcanic deposits distributed across the surface of the Moon contain unusually high amounts of trapped water.

The finding of water in these ancient deposits, which are believed to consist of glass beads formed by the explosive eruption of magma coming from the deep lunar interior, bolsters the idea that the lunar mantle is surprisingly water-rich.

Scientists had assumed for years that the interior of the Moon had been largely depleted of water and other volatile compounds. In 2008, researchers detected trace amounts of water in some of the volcanic glass beads brought back to Earth from the Apollo 15 and 17 missions to the Moon. In 2011, further study of tiny crystalline formations within those beads revealed that they actually contain similar amounts of water as some basalts on Earth, suggesting that the Moon’s mantle contains as much water as Earth’s. “The key question is whether those Apollo samples represent the bulk conditions of the lunar interior or instead represent unusual or perhaps anomalous water-rich regions within an otherwise ‘dry’ mantle,” said Ralph Milliken, an associate professor at Brown University in the US.