We get more convincing evidence of water on the moon
In the desert, in the north-west Africa, scientists have discovered a lunar meteorite contains strong evidence of the presence of the hidden reserves of water on the moon. According to the researchers, who studied the meteorite on our natural satellite of its reserves may be even so much that it will be enough to ensure the future of the colony. About his discovery, scientists have shared in the journal Science.
analyzing the meteorite discovered, scientists from Tohoku University (Japan) to determine the presence in its composition moganita - a mineral required for the formation of which is water. The researchers note that this is the first discovery of the mineral in a lunar rock.
"Maughan (SiO2) is widely distributed in the composition of small bodies of mineral silica and can be represented by a derivative of quartz. On Earth, it is formed as a precipitate when the alkaline water, which contains SiO2, abruptly evaporates under heavy pressure, "- says a leading researcher Masahiro Kayama.
"Having moganita strongly hints at the fact that the moon has a water activity", - adds the scientist.
For a long time, scientists believed that the moon is completely devoid of water. Perhaps, for the surface this statement is true, but the conclusions of some studies claim that in our natural satellite still has reserves of water - in the form of ice lurking somewhere beneath the dry lunar surface.
tense debate in the scientific community about where the water can be. Some studies suggest that it is centered around the moon's poles. In other, more recent states that it reserves can be distributed much more widely. Detection of the moganita is the first evidence that the ice on the moon, most likely located somewhere in the middle and low latitudes of the satellite. With the help of e-microsporia researchers analyzed the chemical composition of the 13 lunar meteors, all of which have been found in north-west Africa. Thereafter, using Raman microscopy within each analyzed object researchers found special mineral structure. The presence moganita when it was determined only in one sample, which may indicate that the mineral was formed not long after the stone hit the Earth.
"If the Earth's water is produced Maughan in a lunar meteorite, the same Maughan had to be present in all available samples of meteorites that fell to Earth. But we have not seen "- says Kayama.
According to scientists, this mineral was formed by evaporation of water from the lunar surface in the region called the Procellarum KREEP terrane. This area is famous for the fact that it is often exposed to direct sunlight. If this theory is correct, this means that under the surface of the moon (in particular the satellite region) may be hidden reserves of water, protected from direct sunlight and as a result of evaporation.
"We can provide the first direct evidence for the presence of water ice in the lunar mineral. In the Maughan traces of water less because Maughan is influenced by evaporation. But this observation is valid only for surface minerals. If we talk about the interior, then a lot of water can remain there in the form of ice, because ice is protected from direct sunlight. "
The scientists have even calculated how much water may be present in some lunar soil. It was found that water can be up to 0, 6 percent the mass of the satellite, which, according to Kayama, would be sufficient to future explorers and colonizers of the moon could extract up to 6 liters of water 1 cubic meter of rock. If the scientists are correct, then it is completely solve the issue of the need to provide water to future lunar colonies.
Unfortunately, confirm it with the help of lunar meteorites available images is not possible. Therefore, the last thing that was said will remain speculation until then, as long as people do not return to the Moon to new research.
Fortunately, the development there are several new missions. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced that two lunar expeditions, the purpose of which will be to find water sources and return to Earth samples of lunar soil with the back (far) side of the satellite.