Analysis of regolith showed that more hydrogen can be found at higher latitudes of the Moon

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that the concentration of hydrogen in regolith on the Moon is higher at higher latitudes.

Previous research has shown that when the solar wind hits regolith on the Moon’s surface, hydrogen ions tend to stick to the outer layers of the granular material.

Previous studies have also shown that the amount of hydrogen that remains on the regolith is quite stable. As new hydrogen is deposited, older hydrogen is released into space.

But if a meteorite hits the surface or a lunar earthquake occurs, the “old” regolith may be buried under the “new” regolith.

In such a situation, the “older” regolith can still give off gas, but it cannot be replenished with new hydrogen ions. Thus, the concentration of hydrogen will decrease over time.

Previous research has also shown that some of the hydrogen can bond with oxygen atoms in the regolith and form either hydroxide or water.

In this new work, the researchers found evidence that less hydrogen is released at higher latitudes due to lower temperatures.

To learn more about the amount of hydrogen, hydroxide and water in the lunar regolith, the researchers studied samples collected by the Chang’e-5 mission.

Previous research has shown that temperatures at or near the lunar equator average about 380 Kelvin.

Temperatures further north, where the Chang’e-5 survey was conducted, were somewhat lower, averaging 350 Kelvin.

The scientists found that concentrations of hydrogen, hydroxide, or water were higher in this area, and they hypothesized that cooler temperatures meant less outgassing.

The researchers believe that in places even further north, hydrogen concentrations are likely to be even higher.


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