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The moon may have secretly sucked water out of the earth for billions of years

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There are water molecules and ice on the moonso how did they get there? Asteroid and comet collisions probably led to some of them, but a new study suggests another source of water on the moon: the Earth’s atmosphere.

Hydrogen and oxygen ions break out of the upper atmosphere of our planet and then combine The moon could create up to 3,500 cubic kilometers (840 cubic miles) of permafrost or groundwater, scientists say.

It is thought that hydrogen and oxygen ions are displaced to the surface of the Moon when the Moon passes through the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere (a drop-shaped bubble around the Earth that is affected by its magnetic field). It occurs five days in each lunar month.

Due to the solar wind that pushes this bubble, some of the Earth’s magnetic field lines are broken: only one end is tied to the planet.

When the Moon interferes with the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere, some of these broken compounds become entangled, causing hydrogen and oxygen ions that previously came out of the Earth’s atmosphere to suddenly rush back.

“It’s like the moon in the soul – a rain of water ions, which returns to Earth, falls on the surface of the moon,” says geophysicist Gunther Kletchechka from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

There is no magnetosphere on the moon, so when ions hit the surface of the moon, permafrost is formed, researchers say. Part of this frost as a result of various geological processes can be driven to the surface and converted into liquid water.

Researchers believe that these ions have been slowly accumulating for billions of years since Late heavy bombingthe period of time when the early Earth and Moon were inundated with heavy blows from other celestial bodies sweeping through space.

Gravitational data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter were used to closely examine the lunar polar regions and several large craters. The team noticed anomalies that may indicate fractures of rocks capable of delaying permafrost.

“The impact of craters, forming structural expansions and faults, allow suitable networks of pore spaces to accommodate large underground reservoirs of liquid water,” – the researchers write in their published paper.

“Shell calculations have suggested that several thousand cubic kilometers of the aqueous phase may have accumulated in this way in the bowels of the moon over the past 3.5 billion years.”

Distribution of surface ice at the moon’s south pole, left, and north pole, right. (NASA)

Scientists believe that water on the moon comes from several sources – including reactions of hydrogen and oxygen caused by solar winds – many of which could have come from this method.

The projected accumulation would be enough to fill Lake Huron in North America. Covering with craters and cracked rocks will provide the necessary cover to prevent water from evaporating back into space.

NASA is looking to establish a long-term human presence on the moon, and for this there must be an appropriate lunar station with a nearby water source. This latest study could help experts decide where to locate this station.

“As NASA’s Artemis team plans to build a base camp at the moon’s south pole, water ions that originated many eons ago on Earth could be used in the astronauts’ life support system.” – says Kletsechka.

The study was published in Scientific reports.

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