Water on Moon may have originated on Earth, a new study has suggested. According to the study, water found in ancient rocks on Moon may have actually originated on the proto-Earth and even survived the lunar-forming collision event.
The study led by Jessica Barnes and colleagues at The Open University, UK, investigated the amount of water present in the mineral apatite, a calcium phosphate mineral found in samples of the ancient lunar crust.
“These are some of the oldest rocks we have from the Moon and are much older than the oldest rocks found on Earth, said Barnes.
“The antiquity of these rocks makes them the most appropriate samples for trying to understand the water content of the Moon soon after it formed about 4.5 billion years ago and for unravelling where in the Solar System that water came from,” Barnes said.
Researchers found that the ancient lunar rocks contain appreciable amounts of water locked into the crystal structure of apatite.
They also measured the hydrogen isotopic signature of the water in these lunar rocks to identify the potential source(s) for the water.
According to the researchers the remarkable consistency between the hydrogen composition of lunar samples and water-reservoirs of the Earth strongly suggests that there is a common origin for water in the Earth-Moon system.
This research has been funded by the UK Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC).