New research is challenging the image of a dry Moon. Many astronomers believe our lone satellite is devoid of volatile elements such as carbon, which would have burned off in the superheated collision between Earth and a Mars-size object that formed the Moon. But a new study from Japans Kaguya lunar orbiter (seen in an artists rendition above) finds that carbon ions are ubiquitous across much of the Moons surface, researchers report this week in Science Advances. The uneven distributionions were more common along the Moons dark, basaltic plainsrules out external sources such as solar winds or micrometeoroids, suggesting that the Moon has its own internal carbon. The findings contradict analyses of rocks retrieved during the famous Apollo missions, New Scientist reports, and will likely lead to new ideas about the conditions under which the Moon formed.
sciencemag.org, 8 May 2020
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