Home > Astronomy, Moon, Solar System > UT Study Confirms Solar Wind As Source For Moon Water

UT Study Confirms Solar Wind As Source For Moon Water


Three years ago University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers helped to discover water on the surface of the moon. Now, they are piecing together the origin of that water: solar wind.

Solar wind is the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun. Scientists have speculated it to be responsible for water on the surface of the moon.

Last year Larry Taylor, distinguished professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, confirmed comets as the source for water inside the moon. This year, Yang Liu, research assistant professor, and Taylor have confirmed solar wind as the source for water on the outside—by depositing positively charged hydrogen atoms, or protons, onto its surface, allowing it to combine with the moon’s oxygen to create water.

“When those protons hit the lunar surface with enough force, they break apart oxygen bonds in soil materials to join together and form water,” said Liu. “This does not happen on Earth because our atmosphere and magnetic field protect us from being bombarded by these protons, but the moon lacks this protection.”

Full Story: http://www.utk.edu/tntoday/2012/10/15/study-confirms-solar-wind-source/
Also: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20870-solar-wind-particles-likely-source-of-water-locked-inside-lunar-soils

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