Is Moon Rusting? Scientists Puzzled to Find Earth as Exact Cause

"The Emergence of Life on Earth Played an Important Role on the Evolution of the Moon

In a freaky discovery, planetary scientists have detected oxidized iron mineral hematite on the surface of Moon even though the celestial body lacks both oxygen and liquid water for its formation.

"Interestingly, hematite is not absolutely absent from the far-side of the Moon where Earth's oxygen may have never reached, although much fewer exposures were seen", said Li.

"It's very puzzling. The Moon is a awful environment for hematite to form in", said Shuai Li, a planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii, in a recent statement.

"At first I didn't really believe it", said Abigail Freeman, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. With the moon having no liquid water or air, it should not be possible for rust to form, especially considering that the sun is also bombarding both the Earth and moon with hydrogen, making it even harder for rust to form on the moon. Li was quoted by ANI as saying that it was very puzzling to find the presence of Hematite on the polar regions of the Moon as the Earth's sole natural satellite does not have optimum conditions for the formation of Hematite unlike Earth where huge reserves of Hematite are formed.

Researchers propose that fast-moving dust particles, which regularly pelt the Moon, could release surface-borne water molecules and mix them with iron in the lunar soil.

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Ahead of a slew of new missions to Earth's natural satellite, researchers have detected a freaky and unexpected anomaly on the lunar surface: the airless, liquid water-free Moon is rusting. He said, "The atmosphere of the moon is bad enough to become haematite". "The Earth may have played an important role in the evolution of the moon's surface".

"This reminded me of a discovery by the Japanese Kaguya mission that oxygen from the Earth's upper atmosphere can be blown to the lunar surface by solar wind when the Moon is in the Earth's magnetotail". As more haematite exists on the lunar nearside, there's a chance that it may be related to Earth. As oxidization occurs due to a loss of electrons, this solar wind should cancel it out, even if liquid water and oxygen were present in large quantities on the Moon. Dust particles may float on the surface of the moon from the earth, and moon dust may fly away in a dust storm, According to NASA.

This theory could also explain why rust has been found in other air-free bodies such as asteroids. One of these features will be able to map water ice on the moon's poles - and may also be able to reveal new details about hematite, NASA said in a statement. "It could be that little bits of water and the impact of dust particles are allowing iron in these bodies to rust", she says.

"I think these results indicate that there are more complex chemical processes happening in our solar system than have been previously recognized", JPL scientist and study co-author Vivian Sun said in the NASA news release. "We can understand them better by sending future missions to the Moon to test these hypotheses". The probe also carried an instrument built by NASA that could analyze the moon's mineral composition.

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