How Earth’s Oxygen Rusted The Moon For Billion Of Years


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How Earth’s Oxygen Rusted The Moon For Billion Of Years

How Earth’s Oxygen Rusted The Moon For Billion Of Years

To the surprise of many planetary scientists, the oxidized iron mineral hematite has been discovered at high latitudes on the Moon. Iron is highly reactive with oxygen forming reddish rust commonly seen on Earth. The lunar surface and interior, however, are virtually devoid of oxygen, so pristine metallic iron is prevalent on the Moon and highly oxidized iron has not been confirmed in samples returned from the Apollo missions. Our hypothesis is that lunar hematite is formed through oxidation of lunar surface iron by the oxygen from the Earth’s upper atmosphere that has been continuously blown to the lunar surface by solar wind when the Moon is in Earth’s magnetotail during the past several billion years.


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