Levels of Hydrogen on the Moon Are "Too High"

Moon rock casts doubt upon the formation of the Moon.]

The discovery of "significant amounts" of water in moon rock samples collected by NASA's Apollo astronauts is challenging a longstanding theory about how the moon formed, scientists say. Since the Apollo era, scientists have thought the moon came to be after a Mars-size object smashed into Earth early in the planet's history, generating a ring of debris that slowly coalesced over millions of years. That process, scientists have said, should have flung away the water-forming element hydrogen into space.
"I still think the impact scenario is the best formation scenario for the moon, but we need to reconcile the theory of hydrogen," study leader Hejiu Hui, an engineering researcher at the University of Notre Dame, told SPACE.com.
The levels of hydrogen bode well for efforts to establish a base on the Moon.

Couldn’t a single large comet impact totally throw off the expected results?
What were the odds of a meteor coming on over Russia the exact same day a “harmless” asteroid was expected to pass? Expected results are based on assumptions which may be good most of the time but the improbable does happen. What improbables could have happened in the last 4 billion years?
psik

Couldn't a single large comet impact totally throw off the expected results?
Excellent point but your second sentence did not compute
Couldn't a single large comet impact totally throw off the expected results? What were the odds of a meteor coming on over Russia the exact same day a "harmless" asteroid was expected to pass? Expected results are based on assumptions which may be good most of the time but the improbable does happen. What improbables could have happened in the last 4 billion years? psik
I thought of that too but they actually address that in the article. I am no geologist but from what they are saying it sounds like the type of hydrogen and the minerals it was combined with would not have been created after the formation of the moon. I believe the hydrogen they are referring to is imbedded in old rock. Of course there is always the possibility of a sampling issue here. We only have a limited number of rocks from a few areas of the moon so you have to be careful about drawing conclusions especially if there is a significant amount of evidence to support the currently accepted theory. I suspect these findings may simply require tweak of the existing theory or perhaps with more research and more samples it may turn out that the findings are completely in line with what we already know. Its interesting though and always fun when there is a chance that our prevailing view of things might need to be rethought.

Maybe Psik could come up with a model to find out what actually happened (?); he is good at that stuff. All you need is a tennis ball (Earth) and a little pebble (asteroid)…

Of course there is always the possibility of a sampling issue here. We only have a limited number of rocks from a few areas of the moon so you have to be careful about drawing conclusions especially if there is a significant amount of evidence to support the currently accepted theory. I suspect these findings may simply require tweak of the existing theory or perhaps with more research and more samples it may turn out that the findings are completely in line with what we already know. Its interesting though and always fun when there is a chance that our prevailing view of things might need to be rethought.
It is really weird that we haven't had robots prospecting the Moon for years. Radio control would be so much easier than to Mars. They are talking about a robot factory on Mars to precede colonists. Wouldn't that be easier on the Moon? psik
It is really weird that we haven't had robots prospecting the Moon for years. Radio control would be so much easier than to Mars. They are talking about a robot factory on Mars to precede colonists. Wouldn't that be easier on the Moon? psik
There is always talk about things like that on Mars but there is no actual program or funding to do such a thing. Mars seems to generate a lot more interest than the moon because there is still a remote but real chance that we may find evidence of current or past life on Mars where as that possibility has been essentially ruled out for the moon. Although the three second round trip radio delay means that real time control of robots on the moon would still be somewhat hazardous, automated robots would be easy to do on the moon. In fact there is a competition called the Lunar X Prize which is meant to inspire private inventors to design launch and land a robot on the moon ( see HERE] if you're interested). The moon is a great place to try out new technologies and learn how to live beyond the protection of low earth orbit without the risk of traveling 80 million miles to Mars, but unfortunately the public isn't really interested in good science and they could care less about technology unless they can use it personally so its hard to get funding for projects to send man or machine to the moon right now.

At least I think the whole story shows that the principle of falsification might be methodologically correct, but in reality it cannot always easily be applied. The more complex science becomes, the more potential falsifications are heavily theory loaded. I don’t think the planet collision theory is falsified yet. But if more non-fitting evidence comes in, who knows?

Couldn't a single large comet impact totally throw off the expected results?
Excellent point but your second sentence did not compute How the hydrogen would become part of the rocks might be affected by when a comet impact occurred during the formation of the Moon. Maybe the results they are getting could only occur in an improbable event. But the meteor over Russia on the same day as an expected "harmless" asteroid pass demonstrates that improbably events do occur. So in the 4 billion year life of the Moon there could have been any number of improbably events. psik

Am not big into invoking improbable events, even over 4Ga.

A scientific explanation that’s rational, robust, situationally-consistent, & seemingly universally applicable would be preferable.

To suggest one possible reason for an observation of “too much Hydrogen” on/in the Moon, perhaps one could invoke the decelerative ‘trapping,’ over 4Ga, of protons (i.e., from the solar wind & cosmic rays).

(A more familiar & terrestrial/geological analogy would be the decelerative trapping of alpha particles having originated the large deposits of commercially-valuable Helium in rock strata bearing alpha-emitting radioactive nuclei.)

It could have come from Earth :slight_smile:

Could almost say, hot off the press.

Widespread hematite at high latitudes of the Moon

Shuai Li1,*,
Paul G. Lucey,
Abigail A. Fraeman,
Andrew R. Poppe,
Vivian Z. Sun,
Dana M. Hurley and
Peter H. Schultz

Science Advances 02 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 36, eaba1940
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1940

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/36/eaba1940

 

Abstract
Hematite (Fe2O3) is a common oxidization product on Earth, Mars, and some asteroids. Although oxidizing processes have been speculated to operate on the lunar surface and form ferric iron–bearing minerals, unambiguous detections of ferric minerals forming under highly reducing conditions on the Moon have remained elusive. Our analyses of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper data show that hematite, a ferric mineral, is present at high latitudes on the Moon, mostly associated with east- and equator-facing sides of topographic highs, and is more prevalent on the nearside than the farside. Oxygen delivered from Earth’s upper atmosphere could be the major oxidant that forms lunar hematite. Hematite at craters of different ages may have preserved the oxygen isotopes of Earth’s atmosphere in the past billions of years. Future oxygen isotope measurements can test our hypothesis and may help reveal the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere.


 

I’m thinking if escaping oxygen collects, why wouldn’t escaping hydrogen?

One may be being too old & crusty here, but when one sees the word “oxidization” (which should have been rendered as ‘oxidation’) in the first sentence of the abstract of a seven-authored & presumably peer-reviewed article, one kind of cringes. And one would think that photochemical action & radiations (incl. cosmic rays) would have been the logical first explanatory stop in attempting to rationally account for chemically-active Oxygen on the lunar surface.