New study suggests that Earth is sending oxygen to the Moon


Some Japanese scientists have discovered that the Earth may be carrying oxygen ions of biological origin to the Moon through the magnetosphere, later these ions are fixed to the lunar surface.

A new study published Monday in the journal Nature suggests that there are oxygen-containing biological particles to be transported from Earth to the Moon, pushed by ions from a magnetospheric wind. This means that our planet may be losing oxygen, letting it escape to the Moon for millions of millions of years.

This report also explains how this flight is happening – the Moon is only protected from the energy sent through the solar wind during five days of the month, when the Earth passes between our satellite and the Sun, thus the terrestrial magnetic field Not only serves to protect the planet from the energetic particles that make up the solar wind. Subsequently, when interacting with the solar wind, it gives rise to an ion barrier made up essentially of hydrogen and some oxygen ions with a lot of energy. If the Moon passes through this shield, it can receive some of these oxygen ions, which remain on the lunar surface to a maximum depth of 2 micrometers.

This new discovery was made possible by the data collected by the Japanese space probe Kayuga, who accompanied the Moon on its journey around the Earth and counted the ions the satellite received when passing through that region, reading these data also revealed the existence of High concentrations of oxygen ions with a lot of energy that did not originate in the solar winds.

All this helps us to understand where the oxygen and hydrogen that has been found on the Moon come from and let us find out if these elements can be transformed into water on the lunar surface. “The ecosphere is stabilized by the Moon. The plants do photosynthesis to produce oxygen, and then the oxygen is transported to the Moon”, said Kentaro Terada, one of the study’s participants.

At the moment, Japan is more interested in returning to the Moon in search of more certainties.