Moon's Water May Come From ... Earth
New study suggests it arrived via ancient meteorites
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2013 2:10 PM CDT
A total lunar eclipse beginning as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth.   (AP Photo/NASA/Bill Ingalls)

(Newser) – Scientists discovered water on the moon only a few years ago, and until recently, the prevailing theory was that it got there via comets. Now they're not so sure. New research on rocks brought back from the Apollo 15 and 17 strongly suggests a different possibility: The moon got its water from Earth via meteorites, reports the LA Times. How so? It's widely believed that the moon was formed from debris knocked off Earth by a collision with a Mars-sized body known as the "Big Whack" around 4.5 billion years ago.

It wasn't thought any water survived the impact, but this new study, published in Science, suggests it did—perhaps because the collision formed a barrier of hot gases that protected the water, one of the researchers tells Time. "I'm inclined to think that the measurements, and the primary interpretation, make sense," agreed a scientist who was not part of the study. "[But] this is a piece of the puzzle rather than a solution to the puzzle."

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
1492
May 12, 2013 11:37 PM CDT
It had to come from the great "Whacko" 4.5 billion years ago. Or from Mars, Pluto, Mercury, the Sun.... 1942
kawahchan
May 11, 2013 11:29 AM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: We are so exciting to announce Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Physics and Astronomy has jointed the Southern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA). SARA is a telescope consortium that operates two 1-meter-class telescopes located at two premier observatory locations : Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and Cerro Tololo International Observatory in Chile, South America. This is a pen to 2014 & 2016 (R) Texas Governor RICK PERRY, hopefully, Gov. PERRY will signature our new forward's A&M Graduate School programs of Master's Degree and Ph.d. in SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY [following MIT and Germany's universities] at: 1) Texas A&M University-College Station; 2) Texas A&M University-Commerce, East Texas; 3) Texas A&M University-Galveston / Corpus Christi, South Texas. It is a very great challenge to create Artifical Life (sciences) on Earth to apply to the future Moon, and the Kepler-62 System (they are 62B, 62C, 62D, 62E, 62F) ~ NASA A&M-Commerce also welcome a new Department Head Professor Matt A. Wood (from UT-Austin) for College of Physics and Astronomy.
JoeQ
May 10, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
(the summary doesn't do justice to the full article)