Some of the moon’s water would come from Earth’s atmosphere

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With the appearance of various new lunar projects (including the project artemis of NASAwith the aim of sending people to the moon within a decade) the search for water on the surface and below the surface of the moon is gradually becoming a crucial issue, both for the evolution of knowledge and for possible exploitation projects for future missions, inhabited or even the installation of one moon base.

A terrestrial origin of moon water?

Most of the water on the moon is commonly attributed comets or asteroids that fell during their impact on the moon in the time of Great Late Bombing — about 4 billion years ago, in the youth of the solar system, it is widely believed that the planets of the inner solar system, as well as the moon, suffered significant asteroid impacts. Some scientists are also beginning to see the solar wind as a potential source of water on the moon: they think it may contain water ions hydrogen andoxygen that could recombine molecules water on the moon.

If none of these hypotheses were denied, a team of scientists in a proposes new study A third hypothesis: What if the lunar water came directly from Earth?

In their model, it would be more accuratethe atmosphere upper part of our planet that could be a water source for the moon. In a natural and continuous way, the planetary atmospheres suffer losses of gas Atmospheres in outer space: This is called theatmospheric exhaust. This flight – which can have several causes – has contributed to the emergence of life on Earth through the escape of hydrogen, among other things, and has also led to the disappearance of a large part of the Martian atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere emits hydrogen and oxygen ions, which scientists say could recombine into water molecules on the moon.

The magnetic field as a motor

According to the study, this flow of hydrogen and oxygen ions from the earth’s atmosphere to the moon’s surface is only due to the effect of the magnetic field of the earth : the latter generates the magnetosphere, shielding the Earth from a large portion of charged solar particles. Scientists actually suggest that these ions are transported to the moon as they travel through the tail of the magnetosphere — which is also the main source of northern lights — and that for five days during the moon revolution.

But the process seems somewhat complex: the moon causes disturbances during its passage in the tail of the magnetosphere, which partially causes the ions that have escaped from the earth’s atmosphere to fall back there; The moon, so in flux and lacking a protective magnetosphere, collects ions that would combine once on the moon to form the permafrost moon at the poles.

The presence of ions capable of forming water molecules was confirmed in this region of the magnetosphere during the lunar transit

Scientists have more than one argument for this: thanks to recent measurements made by various space agencies around the world, the presence of ions capable of forming water molecules has been confirmed in this region of the magnetosphere during the lunar transit.

In parallel, the team of scientists analyzed the gravimetric data collected by the probe Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiters at the lunar poles to confirm presenceanomalies indicates the presence of water in certain places (in the state Celebration From where fluid) contained in certain porous rocks of the Moon’s polar regions: the latest estimates suggest a presence of more than 3,500 km3 of water in the polar regions of the moon with the sole origin of terrestrial atmospheric escape!

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