Despite the fact that numerous evidence of ice was found on the moon, it is much drier than Earth. Some researchers say that the moon is drier than the driest desert of our planet. Interestingly, the Moon most likely formed after a space body the size of Mars crashed into the Earth several billion years ago. Breakaway pieces formed the moon, but thanks to a process that scientists can not yet explain, all the water remained on Earth.
Previous studies suggest that some of the water escaped from the epicenter of the impact before the moon was formed, but new data suggests something else. Based on the results of recent experiments, it can be assumed that water and other volatile substances largely remained on our planet, due to the way the moon was formed.
“We started with an existing computer simulation of the formation of the moon from a disk that arose after a gigantic collision and orbiting the earth,” said astrophysicist from the South-West Research Institute Robin Canup during an e-mail interview for Discovery News. “This model was connected to another model, which shows how the temperature and chemical composition of the disk changed over time.”
Computer model showing the amount of water on Earth
“The simulation showed that during this process, the Moon gained about half of its mass“ from the sediments accumulated on the inside of the disk, ”which was located between the Earth and the first orbit of the Moon, says Kenup. “With the growth of Protoluena, she continued to connect with these settling materials, expanding the trajectory of her rotation around the Earth.”
“When the moon retired a sufficient distance, it could no longer effectively accumulate sediments from the inside of the disk, which instead was poured in and assimilated by the Earth,” added Kenup. “We found out that this transition occurred before the condensation of depleted volatile elements, therefore the last half of the Moon’s mass is formed from precipitation poor for volatile elements”.
By the way, the work of the Kenup research group was published at about the same time that the article published in Science suggested that a volcanic rock could be responsible for the origin of at least some part of the earth’s water - which is completely opposite to the theory that comets brought water to surface. “We have not fully explored the water in our models,” - said Robin. “But in order for the Moon to retain water in its depths, there was a need for a water-rich Earth and / or a giant meteorite before the collision, which, I believe, is consistent with this new article.”
Kenup admits that her model has some limitations, for example, they can’t respond, as the moon has so much heavy zinc in this scenario. She also said that the group is planning further research in order to investigate the origin of our space region. You can read about this in the journal Nature.