Moon Water Made by the Sun?
Solar wind sparked creation of lunar water, study says.
(Related: "Water on the Moon Confirmed by NASA Crashes.")
Until now the only known method of delivering water to inner solar system bodies such as Earth and the moon was through collisions with water-rich asteroids or comets from farther out in space—beyond the system's "snow line," where it's cold enough for water to condense into ice.
But a team led by planetary scientist Yang Liu says it's found another way, thanks to evidence of water and a water precursor molecule—hydroxyl—locked inside lunar soil samples brought to Earth by NASA astronauts. Water consists of two hydrogen atoms bound to one oxygen atom, while hydroxyl is one part hydrogen, one part oxygen.
Liu's team found that—compared with water on Earth, asteroids,