Water reserves of 250,000 tons have recently been discovered in the least expected place – Ensenme de Ciência

Our natural satellite, the Moon, has been a source of fascination and curiosity for millions of people for many years. That is why various groups of scientists have devoted efforts and resources to its study.

In a recent publication in the journal Nature Geoscience, a surprising discovery was reported: a group of Chinese scientists found more than 250,00 tons of water.

This is not the first time that structural water or ice has been found on the Moon, however, it is the first time that such large amounts have been reported.

It is known that the water found on the surface of our natural satellite undergoes daily cycles and is lost to space, this suggests that there must be a hydrated reserve in the depths of the lunar soil. This would allow water to be retained, released and replenished on the lunar surface.

In previous studies, water has been found in microscopic mineral particles caused by impacts, volcanic rocks, and pyroclastic glass beads, but until then the water cycle of the lunar surface had not been explained. Therefore, the existence of hidden reserves was suspected.

Discovery of water reserves on the Moon

A PhD student of Professor Sen Hu, named Hsin He, determined that “impact glass beads”, a ubiquitous component in lunar soil with amorphous nature, were an important candidate for research on hydrated layer or hidden water deposits.

Pro. Huiqun He, a PhD student under the direction of Cen Hu, proposed that impact glass beads, a ubiquitous component in lunar soil with an amorphous nature, were a potential candidate for hydrated layer or reservoir research. Unknown in lunar soil.

student tasked with systematically characterizing the petrography, major element composition, water abundance, and hydrogen isotope composition of impact glass beads recovered from the CE5 mission, with the goal of tracking and characterizing missing water reserves on the Moon. I went. ,

This group of scientists belonging to the Chinese National Academy of Sciences (CAS) concluded from samples collected by the Chang’e 5 (CE5) mission that there is about 270,000 tons of water in the form of ice on the Moon, where the glass beads obtained Contains a small amount of water.

According to Professor Sen Hu: “We estimate that the amount of water deposited by the impact of glass beads in the lunar soil could reach 2.7 × 1014 kg,” said the study led by this scientist.

The important thing about this discovery for the scientific community is that the water found in it can be used for future space exploration missions.

Image of water volume calculated by Professor Cen Hu’s team of scientists. Image attributed to Professor Sen Hu.

About the Moon and its creation

The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite and has fascinated humanity for millennia. The Moon is believed to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after the Earth’s formation, as a result of a collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized object called Theia.

During the collision, large amounts of debris were produced which eventually coalesced and melted to form the Moon. As the Moon cooled and solidified, geological features such as craters, mountains, and valleys formed.

The Moon’s diameter is about a quarter of Earth’s and its surface is covered with craters made by meteorite impacts, as well as vast plains of solidified lava called “seas” (maria in Latin). Additionally, the Moon has no significant atmosphere, so there is no wind or erosion to disturb its surface.

The Moon also orbits around the Earth, meaning it always points the same face toward the Earth. This is because the Moon takes the same amount of time to rotate on its axis as it does to revolve around the Earth. Despite its relatively small size, the Moon has a significant impact on Earth, affecting tides and climate.

In short, the Moon was formed by the collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object and has been in existence for about 4.5 billion years. Its surface is covered with craters, mountains, and lava plains, and it orbits the Earth, influencing its climate and tides.

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