Recently a team of researchers from the Tohoku University led by Japanese scientist Masahiro Kayama has identified new mineral which is called as moganite within a lunar meteorite which is discovered in the hot desert of Northwest Africa. This is a profoundly significant finding since it is a mineral which requires water for its formation. As such the belief of the existence of water on Moon is again reinstated.
Moganite is typically a combination of silicon dioxide and is very much akin to what we know as quartz. It mainly takes its shape on Earth in the form of a precipitate at the time when alkaline water including SiO2 gets evaporated under severe pressure conditions. Kayama made this statement. He further added that the presence of moganite shows proof of the fact that water is present on the surface of Moon.
Kayama and his team went through an extensive research work whereby they examined 13 of the lunar meteorites with the help of highly developed technologies to find out their chemical composition as well as the structures of their minerals. Some of the methods employed by the team involved electron microscopy for high-magnification and also the micro-Raman spectroscopy to analyze the structure of the minerals from their atomic vibration.
After the extensive study, it was found that only one of the 13 samples contained the mineral, Moganite. This result proved that the theory of Kayama and his team was genuine in the sense that if terrestrial weathering had led to the formation of moganite within the lunar meteorite, then the mineral should have been present in all the samples that fell on the Earth during the same time. But it was not the case, as per the statement of Kayama.
He further stated that parts of the moganite had converted into high-pressure SiO2 minerals stishovite as well as coesite, which he thought to have formed as a result of a massive collision on the Moon. The researchers are of the view that the meteorites have come from such a portion of the moon which is known as the Procellarum Terrane and the moganite was structured at the time of evaporation of water in the presence of intense sunlight.
Kayama’s conclusion of his study reveals the fact that deep under the surface of the moon, hidden from the sun’s flare; there should be an abundance of the crystal of water ice.