Abstract: It’s said scientists had found significant amounts of water ice in craters at the moon’s south pole. However, the author has different views on this. The author considers that the material these scientists detected might not be water ice but solid or liquid hydrogen under lunar crater’s extreme cold environment. The existence of solid or liquid hydrogen in lunar craters should be one of the important options for today’s lunar science.
It’s said scientists had found significant amounts of water ice in the craters at the moon’s south pole. However, the author has different views on this. In fact, some scientists also believe that yet the question remains whether the detected hydrogen abundance is actually water ice or is hydrogen in some other form(1).
The temperatures of some lunar craters (Hermite, Peary and Bosch craters) is as low as minus 249 °C (2). The presence of a lower temperature in these craters cannot be ruled out, such as minus 252.87°C (the boiling point of hydrogen) and minus 259.14°C (the melting point of hydrogen)(3). So, it is very possible that there may exist a liquid hydrogen or solid hydrogen inside these lunar craters.
The existence of solid or liquid hydrogen in lunar craters can be consistent with the following facts:
(1) The main lunar rocks are anorthitite, basalt and breccia, whereas no aqueous rocks such as sandstone, shale and limestone which are very common on our Earth have been detected on the surface of the Moon. Elements in Moon minerals are all low-valence, for example, divalent or zero valence for iron. This shows that minerals on Moon were formed under a strict reducing environment without the existence of water (4);
(2) Lunar minerals are generally devoid of water. The main lunar minerals are pyroxene [(Ca,Fe,Mg)2Si2O6], anorthite [(Ca,Na)(Al,Si)4O8], olivine [(Mg,Fe)2SiO4], ilmenite (FeTiO3) and spinel (MgAl2O4); no any hydrous minerals, whether protogenous or secondary, such as clay, mica and amphibole, have been found on the Moon (4);
Science needs the options. The existence of solid or liquid hydrogen in lunar craters should be one of the important options for today’s lunar science. Scientific community has no right to refuse or to ignore it. The paper may well prove stimulating to their thinking about such questions. Isn’t it an attempt to solve the dilemma we face together?
Science & Mars Journal: Issue 9, Volume 4
Name: Tianxi Sun, Professorial Senior Engineer
Affiliation: Environmental Protection Bureau, Suzhou, China
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The text was not peer reviewed. Author guarantees its originality and quality.