Rust, an iron oxide, requires both oxygen and water to occur naturally, so you’d think the moon — a celestial body that is mostly dry and completely absent of oxygen — wouldn’t have any rust whatsoever.
A new study published in Science Advances took data from Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 orbiter and discovered that the rock at the moon’s poles had a different composition compared to other areas of the moon.
Ice water exists in lunar craters, but that water exists on the dark side of the moon, far from where the rust occurred.
Thanks to the fact it exists in such close proximity to earth, the moon plays host to trace amounts of oxygen, travelling from earth’s upper atmosphere all the way to the moon.
The current theory is that dust particles that often hit the Moon are helping release release water molecules, mixing those water molecules with iron on the surface.
Li found that the side of the moon that faces the earth has more rust than the areas that don’t face the earth.
"But since we discovered water on the Moon, people have been speculating that there could be a greater variety of minerals than we realize if that water had reacted with rocks".
To begin with, water does exist on the Moon, in small quantities.
A new study has found rust on the moon, which is weird, but not entirely unexplainable.
It shouldn’t exist based on the conditions present on the Moon," said JPL scientist Abigail Fraeman, one of the scientists Li reached out to.
So why does rust currently exist on the Moon?
The moon is rusting and earth is to blame https://t.co/JkNtScupGb— CNET News (@CNETNews) September 3, 2020