New Delhi, Sep 05: The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) maiden mission to the Moon has revealed that there may be rusting on the Earth's natural satellite.
ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 orbiter data review has given the evidence of the Moon having rust at its poles.
Rusting is something that can only occur if iron interacts with water and oxygen.
Scientists suggested Earth's magnetotail has a mediating effect on the hydrogen, which prevents rust from occurring, being delivered by the solar wind on the Moon.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s researchers believe that the Earth may have had a role to play in this rusting process. The Earth's atmosphere could be protecting the Moon as well.
The Moon is constantly bombarded by solar particles coming from the Sun. Without an atmosphere to protect itself, the hydrogen make it difficult to rust.
The magnetotail also helps carry Earth's upper atmosphere oxygen to the Moon that helps the formation of rust.
Another factor is may be water. Even though the rest of the Moon is dry, it's poles have long been suspected of hosting water.
Researchers propose that fast-moving dust particles, which regularly pelt the Moon, could release surface-borne water molecules and mix them with iron in the lunar soil.
Compounding the interaction, the resulting heat from these impacts could increase the oxidation rate.