London: Water in moon’s interior is likely to be as abundant as on the Earth. A study of lunar rocks brought by the Apollo mission reveals that there could be as much water in the lunar mantle as in the earth's mantle.

Analysis of the samples suggests there could be 100 times more water in the lunar mantle, the thick rock layer beneath the surface crust, than was previously thought, the journal Science reports.
 
Prof James van Orman, from Case Western Reserve University, US, who led the research, said: “These samples provide the best window we have to the amount of water in the interior of the moon. The interior seems to be pretty similar to the interior of the Earth, from what we know about water abundance.”
 
Trapped water was found in tiny volcanic glass beads returned to the Earth in 1972 by the final manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17.

The rock samples were collected by astronauts during the Apollo 17 mission, which was the last manned mission to the Moon.

Idea challenges moon’s formation

If this is the case, it challenges a long-held theory about the moon's formation, according to a newspaper. Finding large amounts of water in the moon's interior casts doubt on this idea.

Most experts believe a huge impact early in Earth's history ejected material into space that became the moon. But the force involved should have vaporized much of the future moon's water.

(Agencies)