Lunar Mystery: Is the Moon Rusting?

It seems that our Moon is turning red every day, and some people attribute this phenomenon to human activity. So, is the Moon rusting? And does human technological activity have anything to do with this? To a certain extent, terrestrial atmosphere is the reason for it, but according to new research, but this may not be the only reason behind this phenomenon. Also called iron oxide, rust is created when oxygen and water combine and interact. Mars is the best example of this, and it’s the rust that gives the Red Planet its red hue. But if our satellite has no atmosphere, how can it be rusting? Let’s dig deeper into the Moon’s rusting subject to see what our planet’s future looks like. 

Why is our Moon rusting?

Based on the latest Moon rusting research, the reason for Moon rusting is the solar wind. Charged particles are flowing out from our Sun and bombarding the Moon with hydrogen. Hydrogen contributes to hematite (iron compound) forming, causing chemical reactions. But this situation is puzzling because rust results from the interaction of oxygen and water – so this reaction should not be possible on an oxygen-free satellite.

NASA offers one of the possible explanations. According to the agency, Earth’s magnetic tail covers the lunar surface with electrons. Dust particles float off the ground, and dust storms form. For this reason, earthly oxygen travels to our satellite and interacts with water molecules there, generating rust.

How long will it take for the Moon to fully rust?

Moon Rusting

Based on a recent Moon rusting update, there are oxygen and water particles on our satellite, and during full moon phases, Earth’s magnetic field provides solar wind protection. But this causes the Moon rusting activity to continue. Luckily, there’s not that much oxygen and water on the Moon for this process to accelerate. In 2007, a Japanese orbiter said that our planet’s magnetic field carries terrestrial oxygen to our satellite’s surface. As a result, we have tail comets.

During full Moons, our satellite blocks 99% of the solar wind, so hydrogen no longer causes oxidation. This means that our satellite will fully rust after many passages of solar winds and eclipses. In other words, many thousands of years will pass before this happens. 

What does the moon rusting mean?

According to Orbital Today, Moon rusting is a confirmed fact. However, some questions concerning our satellite’s rust remain unanswered. It seems that there are some small traces of rust on the far side of the Moon, just where terrestrial oxygen can’t reach our satellite’s surface. What remains unclear is how Moon water interacts with surface minerals. Trying to solve Moon rusting mysteries, we will investigate what our satellite’s mineral composition is all about.

To understand what’s happening with the Earth and Moon while our satellite is oxidizing, we should first investigate our planet’s magnetotail. This structure has oxygen ions that solar photons are ejecting into space during solar action. As a result of this interaction, this type of reaction becomes iron oxide or rust.

Water molecules on Earth are mixing with our satellite’s surface’s iron molecules, so when terrestrial oxygen is present, corrosion starts producing hematite that causes our satellite to oxidize. In other words, the reason the Moon is rusting is hematite.

Is it true that the moon is turning red?

Our satellite may be turning red because of oxidation but that’s not the reason for the reddish hue we sometimes see during full lunar phases. The lunar surface only appears in red because of the light waves passing through our atmosphere. However, Moon rusting reasons are not related to light scattering. 

The blood Moon usually happens when there’s a total lunar eclipse. While this event doesn’t hold any astronomical significance, the satellite is turning red or ruddy brown. This visual effect is associated with many myths and legends, but it holds no real significance.

Are asteroids rusting too?

A similar theory applies to rust traces found on other oxygen-free bodies like asteroids. It seems that water impacts dust particles and allows iron present here to rust. However, many questions remain unanswered, because it is still unclear how traces of hydrogen and oxygen interact with minerals present on other celestial bodies – especially considering we do not have all the facts about the composition of other bodies.

To solve this mystery, NASA is trying to build a new version of the instrument that collects information on lunar mineral composition. They will map lunar craters, study their water ice, and perhaps be able to reveal some details on hematite, too. Since lunar hematite forms through the lunar surface’s oxidation, gaining a better understanding of these processes should provide more knowledge about our satellite and perhaps even our home planet.

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