We are aware of the presence of ice on Moon, but its origins remain somewhat obscure. A recent study suggested that flows electronswhich indirectly reach the lunar surface from both the Earth and the Sun, contribute to the formation of frozen water on the Moon.
These electrons impact the Moon as it enters and exits Earth’s magnetic tail, the region that remains in space as our planet moves forward. Magnettail contains a plasma strip consisting of highly charged electrons and ions attracted by the Earth’s atmosphere and solar wind radiation coming from the Sun.
Previously, scientists investigated the role of the magnetotail and the wider magnetosphere in the formation moon water. The magnetosphere results from the Earth’s protective magnetic field deflecting the solar wind away from the Sun, causing various effects on its surface, reports Shuai Li from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
However, remote analysis testifies about the opposite. Earlier studies suggested that hydrogen ions from the solar wind were responsible for the formation of lunar water. However, it turned out that water continues to form even when the lunar surface is protected from solar winds within the magnetotail.
Researchers believe that other forces are at work here, in particular electrons. One possible mechanism is that high-energy electrons interact with the lunar soil, releasing trapped hydrogen, which can then combine and form water.
To confirm these conclusions it will be necessary further research and experiments on the lunar surface. Still, the proposal is intriguing and one of several avenues scientists are exploring to uncover the origins of lunar water.