Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: A recent study using data from the Chandrayaan-1 mission has suggested that high-energy electrons in Earth’s magnetosphere might be contributing to the formation of water on the Moon’s surface.
- The research indicates that electrons in our planet’s plasma sheet, a region of trapped charged particles within Earth’s magnetosphere, may play a role in weathering processes on the lunar surface, potentially leading to the formation of water.
- The study builds upon previous research that showed oxygen in Earth’s “magnetotail” is causing rusting on iron in the lunar polar region.
The analysis of remote sensing data collected by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper during the Chandrayaan-1 mission revealed that water formation in the magnetotail appeared to be consistent whether the Moon was inside or outside of it. This suggests the presence of water formation processes or sources not directly associated with solar wind protons.