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This article was published on September 11, 2020

The Moon’s surface is rusting — and Earth may be to blame

Rust on the Moon shouldn’t be possible, but there it is — so how did it form? Actually, Earth may be to blame.

The Moon’s surface is rusting — and Earth may be to blame Image by: Unsplash: Mike Petrucci
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Deposits of water ice are seen in blue in this map produced by the Chandrayaan-1 mission more than a decade ago. Image credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS
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The magnetosphere of the Earth could provide the Moon with monthly respites from the solar wind, allowing hematite to form on the lunar surface. Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Aaron Kaase
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Maps showing concentrations of hematite on the surface of the Moon (shown in red). Image credit: Shuai Li
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The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft undergoing testing prior to launch. Image credit: ISRO

This article was originally published on The Cosmic Companion by James Maynard, founder and publisher of The Cosmic Companion. He is a New England native turned desert rat in Tucson, where he lives with his lovely wife, Nicole, and Max the Cat. You can read this original piece here.

Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion is also available as a weekly podcast, carried on all major podcast providers. Tune in every Tuesday for updates on the latest astronomy news, and interviews with astronomers and other researchers working to uncover the nature of the Universe.

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