Report

Detection of Adsorbed Water and Hydroxyl on the Moon

Science  23 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5952, pp. 562-564
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178105

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Abstract

Data from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on Cassini during its flyby of the Moon in 1999 show a broad absorption at 3 micrometers due to adsorbed water and near 2.8 micrometers attributed to hydroxyl in the sunlit surface on the Moon. The amounts of water indicated in the spectra depend on the type of mixing and the grain sizes in the rocks and soils but could be 10 to 1000 parts per million and locally higher. Water in the polar regions may be water that has migrated to the colder environments there. Trace hydroxyl is observed in the anorthositic highlands at lower latitudes.

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