Water reserves on the moon tied to the “earth's wind”
Numerous studies have confirmed that there is water on the moon. But its origin on a satellite of the Earth remained unknown for a long time.
It was believed that positively charged hydrogen ions, flying along with the solar wind, bombard the lunar surface and enter into spontaneous reactions, forming hydroxyl OH- and an H2O molecule. A new study suggests another route is possible, according to the Astrophysical Journal Letters .
Scientists have suggested that the water could have “come” from the Earth. Studies have shown that the satellite receives a stream of magnetospheric ions, known as the “earth's wind”. The presence of terrestrial ions near the moon was confirmed, in particular, by the Japanese satellite “Kaguya”.
Previous observations have shown high concentrations of oxygen isotopes that “seeped” from the Earth's ozone layer and penetrated into the lunar soil. It has also been found that a large number of hydrogen ions are present in the outer region of our planet's atmosphere, known as the exosphere.
These combined particle fluxes are fundamentally different from solar wind fluxes. Scientists have suggested that a kind of “water bridge” is formed in the Earth's magnetosphere (a plasma-filled region created by the geomagnetic field), which replenishes the lunar reserves.
The same process can occur on other planets, noted the authors of the scientific work. The study is also helping to better understand the evolution of water in our solar system.
Earlier it became known that the Moon survived a collision with a dwarf planet. This happened several billion years ago.