The moon is rusting and Earth is to blame

Mineral Hematite Detected at High Latitudes on Moon | Planetary Science, Space Exploration

"Our hypothesis is that lunar hematite is formed through oxidation of lunar surface iron by the oxygen from the Earth's upper atmosphere that has been continuously blown to the lunar surface by solar wind when the Moon is in Earth's magnetotail during the past several billion years", said Dr. Shuai Li, a researcher in the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at the University of Hawaii. Humanity knows that there's no liquid water nor air to breathe on the cosmic object that revolves around our planet every day.

The earth is spread out in a magnetic field, and the solar wind pulls this bubble in a stressful direction to form a long magnetic tail. While scientists have previously found evidence of rusting on the Mars planet as well due to the presence of Iron, water and air, the recent finding related to the presence of rust on the lunar surface has completely surprised the scientists' community, ANI reported.

"At first, I totally didn't believe it".

"It's very puzzling", stated Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii, the lead author of the research study, which was released on ...

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) maiden mission to the Moon has revealed that there may be rusting on the Earth's natural satellite. "The Moon is a bad environment for hematite to form in". "It shouldn't exist based on the conditions present on the moon", said JPL scientist Abigail Fraeman, one of the scientists Li contacted.

"Interestingly, hematite is not absent from the Moon's far side where Earth's oxygen may have never reached, although much fewer exposures were seen". For starters, while the Moon lacks an atmosphere, it is in fact home to trace amounts of oxygen. In 2007, Japan's Kaguya orbiter discovered that oxygen from Earth's upper atmosphere can hitch a ride on this trailing magnetotail, as it's officially known, traveling the 385 000 km to the Moon. Water ice could even be mixed in with lunar regolith.

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One of the main clues was that rust was more concentrated on the side of the moon that faces Earth - indicating that it is somehow connected to our planet. One of the tools present on the spacecraft is the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which can use hyperspectral imaging to perform an in-depth spectrocospic analysis that offers significant details about the chemicals found on the surface of the moon. At the same time, iron oxidation can occur. "Earth may have played a significant role in the development of the moon's surface".

Another important factor is represented by the fact that the moon is assaulted constantly by the solar wind, which should prevent the appearance of an oxidization phenomenon by restoring the electrons, which would be lost during the process, effectively preventing the appearance of haematite even under the right conditions.

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This theory could also explain why rust has been found on other airless bodies like asteroids. "It could be that little bits of water and the impact of dust particles are allowing iron in these bodies to rust", she says. NASA plans to send dozens of new instruments and technology experiments to study the Moon beginning next year, followed by human missions beginning in 2024 all as part of the Artemis program.

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