The team of Chinese scientists has determined where water comes on the moon. In 2020, China's Chang'e-5 lunar lander using an onboard spectrometer, he revealed hydrous rocks in the lunar soil. However, at that time, experts had questions about the origin of the detected liquid.
Where did the water on the moon come from?
The Chinese module actually detected hydroxyl-bearing rocks formed as a result of interaction with water. As laboratory analyzes have shown, the hydroxyl groups in lunar rocks come from two different sources. A small part of them was formed under the influence of the solar wind on the surface of the satellite (similar results were obtained when studying soil samples delivered to Earth by Apollo 11). The other was presented in the form of apatites. According to scientists, such a number of hydroxyl groups could not be formed only under the influence of the solar wind. Water also participated in their formation.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers note that they found an average of 30 hydroxyl ppm in the samples. The main part of the hydroxyl (a group of organic and inorganic compounds in which the hydrogen and oxygen atoms are linked by a covalent bond) contained in apatite, which is formed both on the Moon and on Earth.
Scientists believe that water played an important role in the formation and crystallization of late lunar basalt magma.
Where exactly were the samples taken?
The samples were collected on the territory of the largest lunar plain — Ocean of Storms — during the hottest time of the lunar day, at a temperature of about 93 degrees Celsius when the surface was driest.