In addition to dust, craters and desert, there is also water on the moon. Researchers have now discovered the source of the water, with surprising results.
Hawaii – The Moon, although located on average 384,400 kilometers from Earth, has been well researched. However, there are always new discoveries about this celestial body that keep researchers busy. A recent study shows, for example, that there are regular earthquakes on the moon. The presence of water on Earth’s satellite is also a recurring theme. It has been confirmed that water exists on the moon, but experts are still confused about its source.
A research team from the University of Hawaii has now discovered that Earth’s electrons may form water on the Moon.
New study: Electrons create water on the moon
A research team led by planetary scientist Shuai Lee (University of Hawaii at Manoa) has made the discovery that water that occurs as ice on the Moon may be related to the beating of electrons on the Moon’s surface. These come from the Earth and the Sun or solar wind.
As the Moon orbits the Earth, it passes through the Earth’s magnetic tail. The surroundings of this magnetic tail are a plasma layer filled with charged ions and electrons. As the Moon flies in and out of Earth’s magnetic tail, particles collide with the Moon.
Earth’s magnetic tail shields the Moon almost entirely from the solar wind as it passes through it. Conversely, this means that when the Moon is outside the magnetotail, it is completely exposed to the solar wind. It was assumed until now that the solar wind, which consists of high-energy particles such as protons, is primarily responsible for the formation of water.
New discovery: the interaction of electrons with the surface of the moon
There are almost no solar wind protons inside the magnetotail, so it was previously assumed that the composition of water would then drop to zero. However, according to scientist Li, the composition of water in the magnetotail is almost identical to the time when the Moon is outside the magnetotail.
This was a big surprise to the research group. She suggested that additional processes could occur within the magnetotail or that there might be new sources of water not directly related to solar wind protons. However, more experiments are needed. The study was conducted in magazine Nature astronomy published He refers to measurement data collected by the Indian mission “Chandrayan 1” between 2008 and 2009.
The composition of water is crucial to the colonization of the Moon
Researchers believe that electrons could play an important role in the formation of water. “In particular, irradiation by high-energy electrons shows effects similar to solar wind protons,” Lee explains in one article. Advertisement on the university website. Electrons, for example, could interact with a moon rock and release trapped hydrogen, which could then form water molecules.
This means that water production occurs in shady areas as well as in sunlit areas. This discovery is crucial to NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to achieve long-term human settlement on the moon. Human settlements can benefit from water resources. (Josephine Schroeder)
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