The inside of the moon may have as much water as Earth's mantle, finds an analysis of moon crystals returned by Apollo astronauts.
New analysis of ancient bits of lunar magma shows that water concentrations inside the moon were as high as what exists in Earth's upper mantle.
The discovery raises questions about how the moon formed and the source of the water found inside a crater on the moon's south pole.
Contrary to popular belief, the early moon could have been as wet as Earth's mantle, new analysis from an Apollo lunar sample shows.
The discovery stems from sophisticated analysis of tiny bits of ancient magma sealed inside solid crystals. The so-called "melt inclusions" are no bigger than the width of a human hair.
They were found serendipitously by a Brown University freshman tasked by his teacher to look for anything unusual in a thimbleful of material brought back to Earth during the last Apollo moon mission in 1972.
"When he found it, I just couldn't believe it. He said to me, 'Why didn't you tell me about this?' I never even explained to him about melt inclusions because I thought that in the sample he was looking at there was very little chance that he would find it. And he found it," Alberto Saal, associate professor of geological sciences at Brown, told Discovery News.