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Glass Granules On Moon

The authors expect that the world will reach a stage where we will be able to collect this water through future lunar trips and exploit it for terrestrial uses

Researchers believe that small glass beads on the surface of the moon, which were formed from the impacts of a mass collision of meteorites over long periods of time, may contain quantities of stored water in a form similar to the image of water stored in the icy state near the poles of the moon.

Scientists believed that the moon’s soil was dry, but the analysis of samples taken from the Chinese “Chang’e-5” mission indicated that the moon’s soil contains more water derived from the solar wind than previously thought. According to the results of the study, which was published on March 27 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Find an isotope of hydrogen

The co-author of the study, Hu Hui, a researcher at the College of Engineering and Earth Sciences at Nanjing University in China, said that the glass beads that formed in the wake of the intense heat of meteorites colliding with the surface of the moon were studied using microscopes and spectroscopy.

The team found that they contain water with the same isotopes of hydrogen – atoms of the same element that differ according to the number of neutrons they contain – as those found in the charged particles emitted by the sun.

Previous research had shown that these grains could contain oxygen, so the researchers suspect that hydrogen from the sun combines with this oxygen to form water.


that due to the lack of an atmosphere to protect it, the moon is constantly exposed to meteorites, which means that these glass spheres can spread across its surface.

The team estimates that there could be about 300 billion tons of water stored inside these globules, an amount similar to the amount of water ice on the moon in the permanently shadowed craters near the moon’s poles, and likely to be much easier to access in the future.


The glass beads are characterized by having homogeneous chemical compositions and smooth exposed surfaces, and they are characterized by an abundance of water, which reaches about 2000 micrograms in each grain.

The negative correlation between the abundance of water and the composition of hydrogen isotopes reflects the fact that the water in the glass beads comes from the solar wind, according to the press release published on the EurekAlert website.

A sustainable source of water

The co-author of the study indicates that these glass grains also showed evidence of water loss near their edge, even at the relatively low temperatures of the moon, which is good news for astronauts, because it means that these blocks can be disintegrated by the temperature of the moon itself.

And Huey confirms that finding hydrogen isotopes, and therefore water, in these glass balls is remarkably high, and added that the balls resulting from the collision are abundant on the moon, as well as in many other celestial bodies, so it is likely that they are a major means of storing water through our solar system.


A previous study published in the journal “Nature Geoscience” in 2019 indicated that the impact of small meteorites on the surface of the moon causes the release of tons of water stored in the lunar soil for a long time.

Glass Granules On Moon

According to the study, meteorite impacts are what cause the release of water from the “Regolith” layer that covers solid rocks on Earth, the Moon, Mars, some asteroids, terrestrial planets and other moons.

The authors suggest that the water stored in the glass beads could represent a potential water source for future lunar exploration that is relatively easy to extract.

The authors expect that the world will reach a stage where we can collect this water through future moon trips, and exploit it for terrestrial uses.


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