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Moon may have more water than earth

world Updated: May 28, 2011 01:36 IST

The moon's interior may contain 100 times more water than previously thought, perhaps as much as the Earth's interior has, a new study has claimed.

Scientists have recently discovered water in moon, which was long thought to be a dusty and dry place, after examining lunar rocks brought to Earth in 1972 by the final manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17.

Now, researchers from Case Western Reserve University who analysed the volcanic samples of the ancient lunar crust believe there could be 100 times more water than previously thought, the Daily Mail reported.

In fact, the measured quantities, could be as high as the water contained in the Earth's upper mantle — the viscous layer of semi-molten rock that lies just beneath this planet's crust, the scientists said.

If this is the case, it challenges a long-held theory about the moon's formation. Most experts believe a huge impact early in Earth's history ejected material into space that became the moon.

But the force involved should have vapourised much of the future moon's water. Finding large amounts of water in the moon's interior casts doubt on this idea, the scientists reported in the journal Science.