Now Playing Tracks

IMAGE:  Lunar volcanic glasses like the ones gathered by the Apollo 15 mission contain trace amounts of water.
_____________________________________________

NOT ONLY DO WE ALL LIVE UNDER ONE MOON,
THE EARTH AND THE MOON SHARE THE SAME WELL

New investigations of the isotopic composition of volcanic lunar rocks, of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, and the Earth, are finding evidence that the mix of hydrogen and deuterium (‘heavy hydrogen’) is consistent between all three – indicating that they all share a common source of much of their water.

Until the past few years lunar science has tended to be of the mindset that the Moon is tremendously dry – not in the sense that it was missing great aquifers or subsurface lakes – but rather in the sense that the mineralogical content of the Moon included next to no traces of water embedded in it. This has changed. The Moon is not awash in H2O, but it most certainly does contain water bound into minerals at levels ranging from parts per billion to several parts per million.

Read more from the Scientific American network …

_________________________________

Alberto E. Saal et al, Hydrogen Isotopes in Lunar Volcanic Glasses and Melt Inclusions Reveal a Carbonaceous Chondrite Heritage - in Science 14 June 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6138

 Water is perhaps the most important molecule in the solar system, and determining its origin and distribution in planetary interiors has important implications for understanding the evolution of planetary bodies. Here we report in situ measurements of the isotopic composition of hydrogen dissolved in primitive volcanic glass and olivine-hosted melt inclusions recovered from the Moon by the Apollo 15 and 17 missions.

After consideration of cosmic-ray spallation and degassing processes, our results demonstrate that lunar magmatic water has an isotopic composition that is indistinguishable from that of the bulk water in carbonaceous chondrites and similar to that of terrestrial water, implying a common origin for the water contained in the interiors of Earth and the Moon.

6 notes

  1. mucholderthen posted this
To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union