Environment & Animals
Oxygen particles would travel from Earth to the Moon, allowing the iron to rust.
American researchers have made a surprising discovery concerning the Moon. By analyzing data from the Chandrayaan-1 probe, which orbiting our natural satellite between 2008 and 2009, they discovered the presence of iron oxide present on the moon. On Earth, the chemical formula Fe2O3 is more commonly known as “rust”. Science and the Future explains that this red-brown mineral is found in particular on the poles.
(📸: Shuai Li) pic.twitter.com/lkpuLx3ZxR
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This discovery is even more astonishing that the Moon does not have an environment conducive to this kind of chemical reaction, producing rust. “I didn’t believe it at all at first. [La rouille] just shouldn’t exist because of the conditions on the moon ”, Shuai Li, lead author of the study, said in a NASA statement.
Researchers imagine that this oxidation of iron on the Moon would actually be caused by the Earth. During the full moon, low amounts of oxygen in the upper atmosphere could travel to the moon thanks to the Earth’s magnetic field, the scientific site says. By meeting iron on the moon, oxygen would allow it to oxidize for billions of years. “This discovery could upset our knowledge of the polar regions of the Moon”, comments Shuai Li. “The Earth would play an important role in the evolution of the lunar surface”. Indeed, thanks to its magnetic force, the Earth would manage to protect its satellite from the particles of the solar wind.