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This is significant because moganite is a mineral that requires water to form, reinforcing the belief that water exists on the Moon.
"Moganite is a crystal of silicon dioxide and is similar to quartz. It forms on Earth as a precipitate when alkaline water including SiO2 is evaporated under high pressure conditions," says Kayama. "The existence of moganite strongly implies that there is water activity on the Moon."
Kayama - Team - Lunar - Methods - Compositions
Kayama and his team analyzed 13 of the lunar meteorites using sophisticated methods to determine chemical compositions and structures of their minerals. These included electron microscopy for high-magnification, and micro-Raman spectroscopy to determine the structure of the minerals based on their atomic vibration.
Moganite was found in only one of those 13 samples, confirming the team's theory that it could not have formed in the African desert. "If terrestrial weathering had produced moganite in the lunar meteorite, there should be moganite present in all the samples that fell to Earth around the same time. But this was not the case," says Kayama.
Part - Moganite - SiO2 - Minerals - Impact
He adds that part of the moganite had changed into the high-pressure SiO2 minerals stishovite and coesite, which he believes was most likely formed through heavy impact collisions on the Moon.
This is the first time that moganite has been detected in lunar rocks. The researchers say the meteorites probably came from an area of the Moon called Procellarum Terrane, and that the moganite was formed through the process of water evaporation in strong sunlight. Kayama's...
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