Scientists discover high water content in fresh lunar soil samples

(ORDO NEWS) — Studies by Chinese scientists have shown that samples of lunar soil brought back by the Chang’e-5 mission have a high content of water formed under the influence of the solar wind, the Global Times reported September 12.

The formation and distribution of surface water on the Moon remains controversial, despite remote sensing data showing water (OH/H2O) dominance on the Moon’s surface due to a lack of direct evidence from sample analysis.

Recent studies of lunar soil samples brought back by the Chang’e-5 mission by a research team from the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have shown that the surface of lunar soil samples contains a high content of water bound by the solar wind.

Using infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), scientists estimated a minimum water content of 170 parts per million associated with the impact of solar wind protons on lunar soil.

The results of spectral and microstructural analyzes show that the formation and storage of water produced by the solar wind is influenced by exposure time, crystal structure and mineral composition of minerals.

The study confirmed that minerals in lunar soils are an important reservoir of water and serve as an important guide to the distribution of surface water in the mid-latitude of the Moon. The results of the study were recently published in the international scientific journal Nature Communications.

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