The moon may contain a hundred times as much water as previously thought, ongoing NASA research suggests.
That water is locked away deep inside the lunar mantle. The water content would be around as high as that in the Earth’s magma:
“The lunar melt inclusions contain 615 to 1410 ppm water[...]. These volatile contents are very similar to primitive terrestrial mid-ocean ridge basalts and indicate that some parts of the lunar interior contain as much water as Earth’s upper mantle,” the publication in Science states.
As water is such a light substance and the Moon’s gravity is relatively low, scientists had previously thought much of the water would have escaped to space. The present water quantities cannot escape because they are trapped within olivine crystals, a volcanic mineral that is also abundant in the Earth’s mantle.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org