Research press release


Nature Geoscience

Water in the Moon


Katharine Robinson とG. Jeffrey Taylorは、過去6年間に報告された、アポロ計画により得られたさまざまな月試料中に捕獲された水分子に関する測定をまとめた。彼らは、水分子の濃度とその化学的性質は岩石種類によって変化することを見つけた。例えば、火山性ガラス中の水濃度は、地球のマントルの一部と同程度に水分を含んだマグマ起源と一致するが、他の玄武岩はより乾燥したマントル生成源由来であると考えられる。


Water molecules detected in lunar rocks originate from various areas of the Moon's interior, and some areas are wetter than others, according to a paper published online this week in Nature Geoscience. The Moon was thought to be dry until six years ago when water was detected in lunar samples.

Katharine Robinson and G. Jeffrey Taylor compiled measurements, reported over the past six years, of water molecules trapped within various lunar samples returned by the Apollo missions. They found that the concentration of the water molecules and their chemistry varies between rock types. For example, the water concentration in volcanic glasses is consistent with an origin from magmas that were as wet as parts of the Earth’s mantle, whereas other basaltic rocks are thought to derive from much drier mantle sources.

Taken together, the measurements suggest that the distribution and chemical composition of water varies in the lunar interior-a clue to understanding how the Moon formed and evolved over time.

doi: 10.1038/ngeo2173


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