Water and Carbon in Rusty Lunar Rock 66095

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Science  26 Jul 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4148, pp. 346-349
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4148.346


Lunar rock 66095 contains a hydrated iron oxide and has an unusual amount of water for a lunar rock (140 to 750 parts per million), 90 percent of which is released below 690°C. The δof water released at these low temperatures varies from -75 to -140 per mil relative to standard mean ocean water (SMOW). The small amount of water released between 690° and 1300°C has a δ of about -175 ±25 per mil SMOW. These δ values are not unusual for terrestrial water. The δ18O of water extracted from 110° to 400°C has a value of +5± I per mil SMOW, similar to the value for lunar silicates from rock 66095 and different from the value of -4 to -22 per mil found for samples of terrestrial rust including samples of rusted meteoritic iron. The amount of carbon varies from 11 to 59 parts per million with a δ13C from -20 to -30 per mil relative to Pee Dee belemnite. Only very small amounts of reduced species (such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane) were found, in contrast to the analyses of other lunar rocks. Although it is possible that most of the water in the iron oxide (goethite) may be terrestrial in origin or may have exchanged with terrestrial water during sample return and handling, evidence presented herein suggests that this did not happen and that some lunar water may have a δD that is indistinguishable from that of terrestrial water.