Astronomers at Curtin University have discovered water on the asteroid Itokawa objects of the solar system. The results of scientific work suggest that astronauts can get water from asteroids and lunar rocks in the case of a manned landing on the moon. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Researchers have found that the solar wind, composed of charged particles (mainly hydrogen ions), creates water on the surface of dust particles on asteroids that crashed into Earth in the first days of the existence of the solar system. Initially, it was assumed that water came to Earth thanks to class C astroids (dark carbon objects), but isotopic analysis showed the existence of another unaccounted source.
Scientists analyzed samples of the C-class asteroid Itokawa, which were collected by the Japanese space probe ” Hayabusa “and brought to Earth in 2010. It turned out that the dust particles on the asteroid contain water molecules, which generally corresponds to 20 liters for every cubic meter of rock. According to the researchers, a similar process of chemical weathering can occur not only on asteroids, but also on larger cosmic bodies, including the Moon.