News / Science & Technology

Earth, Moon Share Water Source

File--The moon seen from the Belarusian capital Minsk, during a partial lunar eclipse, lat April 25, 2013. Scientists believe the Moon and Earth share the same source of water.File--The moon seen from the Belarusian capital Minsk, during a partial lunar eclipse, lat April 25, 2013. Scientists believe the Moon and Earth share the same source of water.
x
File--The moon seen from the Belarusian capital Minsk, during a partial lunar eclipse, lat April 25, 2013. Scientists believe the Moon and Earth share the same source of water.
File--The moon seen from the Belarusian capital Minsk, during a partial lunar eclipse, lat April 25, 2013. Scientists believe the Moon and Earth share the same source of water.
VOA News
The Moon and Earth share the same source of water, according to new research. The latest analysis is based on new data collected by NASA spacecraft as well as the Moon rocks brought back by the Apollo missions. It shows that water inside the Moon’s mantle comes from primitive meteorites, which also supplied most of the water on Earth.

The research raises questions about the formation of the Moon. Prevailing theory holds that the moon was formed about 4.5 billion years ago from a disc of debris left over from a giant object that collided with the early Earth. Such an impact, scientists believed, would have created so much heat that hydrogen and other volatile elements would have burned off, meaning the Moon would have started completely dry.

Now, scientists are starting to believe the water on the Moon has been there all along.

“The simplest explanation for what we found is that there was water on the proto-Earth at the time of the giant impact,” said Alberto Saal, associate professor of Geological Sciences at Brown University and the study’s lead author. “Some of that water survived the impact, and that’s what we see in the Moon.”

While the findings do not necessarily negate the notion that the Moon was formed by a giant impact, scientists still can’t explain how water was able to survive.

“The impact somehow didn’t cause all the water to be lost,” Saal said. “But we don’t know what that process would be.”

Scientists were able to determine the origin of the Moon’s water by measuring the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the water molecules trapped inside Moon rocks and comparing that ratio to water molecules from different areas of the solar system.

Objects formed closer to the Sun have less deuterium than objects formed further out in the solar system. Researchers found that the ratio in the Moon rocks matched those on meteorites in the asteroid belt near Jupiter, which are thought to be among the oldest objects in the solar system. This, scientists say, means the source of the water on the Moon is primitive meteorites.

As much as 98 percent of the water on Earth is believed to come from primitive meteorites, according to the study, suggesting a common source of water for the Earth and Moon.

The research was co-authored by Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, James Van Orman of Case Western Reserve University, and Malcolm Rutherford from Brown and published online in Science Express.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid