“Knowing how water is produced, stored and replenished near the lunar surface would be very useful for future explorers to extract and utilize it for exploration purposes.”
The study, titled “A solar wind-derived water reservoir on the Moon hosted by impact glass beads,” is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The past two decades of lunar exploration have seen the detection of substantial quantities of water on the Moon’s surface. It has been proposed that a hydrated layer exists at depth in lunar soils, buffering a water cycle on the Moon globally. However, a reservoir has yet to be identified for this hydrated layer. Here we report the abundance, hydrogen isotope composition and core-to-rim variations of water measured in impact glass beads extracted from lunar soils returned by the Chang’e-5 mission. The impact glass beads preserve hydration signatures and display water abundance profiles consistent with the inward diffusion of solar wind-derived water.