The Moon is mysteriously rusting despite lack of air & liquid water

Katie Ramirez
September 5, 2020

Lead author of the research Shuai Li from the University of Hawaii who got the breakthrough has previously led extensive studies on the ice water found by the Chandrayaan 1's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument which is also known as M3.

"At first, I totally didn't believe it".

Thanks to scientific research, the world knows a fair amount of information about the Moon. This should not have happened based on the conditions on the moon.

The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field, and the solar wind extends this bubble to form a long, downwind magnetic tail.

Iron is highly reactive with oxygen, and forms the reddish rust commonly seen on Earth. Undergoing deep analysis of the spectra from the polar region of the Moon, Li found that unlike the presence of iron-rich rocks on other parts of the Moon, the polar surface had the presence of Hematite.

"It's very puzzling", NASA quoted planetary scientist Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii, as saying. "The Moon is a awful environment for hematite to form in". The moon enters this tail three days before it's full, and it takes six days to cross the tail and exit on the other side.

"So, Earth's atmospheric oxygen could be the major oxidant to produce haematite".

During these six days, the Earth's magnetic tail covers the surface of the Moon with electrons, and all sorts of odd things can happen.

How and why did the Moon start rusting? In 2007, Japan's Kaguya orbiter discovered that oxygen from Earth's upper atmosphere can actually travel through this magnetotail, allowing it to traverse the 239,000 miles (385,00 kilometers) of space from Earth to the Moon. That data could also help explain another mystery: why smaller quantities of hematite are also forming on the far side of the Moon, where the Earth's oxygen shouldn't be able to reach it.

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Bailey is best-known for his appearance in the Channel 4 comedy Black Books , alongside Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig. Here we go again, hopefully this time I can last long enough so my mum can see me dance.

When scientists at NASA and the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology evaluated the information just recently, they were shocked to discover tips of hematite, a kind of iron oxide referred to asrust There are a lot of iron-rich rocks on the moon- however rust is just produced when iron is exposed to oxygen and water.

"This discovery will reshape our knowledge about the moon's polar regions", Li said.

"Earth may have played an important role on the evolution of the Moon's surface".

This theory could also explain why rust has been found on other airless bodies like asteroids.

The Moon has been inching away from Earth for billions of years, so it's also possible that more oxygen hopped across this rift when the two were closer in the ancient past.

It has been suggested that dust particles that regularly hit the Moon could free these water molecules, mixing with iron and then leading to rust.

To gather more data for these unresolved puzzles, NASA is building a new version of the instrument that has collected all of this existing data about the moon's mineral composition.

Another reason why the rust could be present is because of the ice that is present on the Moon, found under lunar craters on the Moon's far side.

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