Volatile-Rich Lunar Soil: Evidence of Possible Cometary Impact

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Jan 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4068, pp. 69-71
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4068.69


A subsurface Apollo 16 soil, 61221, is much richer in volatile compounds than soils from any other locations or sites as shown by thermal analysis-gas release measurements. A weight loss of 0.03 percent during the interval 175° to 350°C was associated with the release of water, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen, and minor amounts of hydrocarbons and other species. These volatile components may have been brought to this site by a comet, which may have formed North Ray crater.