We all know that there is no presence of oxygen and liquid water on moon, and then too moon is rusting?(rust on moon), It is quite a mystery. We are familiar with the process of rusting. When water and oxygen interact with iron it results in rust. We often see rust on nails and on planet Mars too.
The planet Mars has red colour due iron rich minerals, in simple words the surface of Mars contains lots of Iron Oxide, this is about Mars. What about Moon?
The data was collected from “Chandrayaan – 1” lunar mission. Shuai Li found that the lunar poles had iron rich rocks. And its spectral signature matched with hematite. Hematite is commonly found on the earths surface and it is a specific type of rust. According to the researchers the hematite is the result of oxidation of iron on the Moon’s surface due to oxygen from Earth’s upper atmosphere. Moon has iron – rich rocks but there is no presence of oxygen and water. And these are the two important elements to carry out the process of rusting.
Earth constantly face solar winds and so does the moon, but earth has its magnetosphere to protect it from the wind. The Moon lacks this protective layer. When Earth face solar wind the magnetic layer tends to elongate at the opposite side. The tail has a capacity to block 99% of solar radiations which protects the moon when the moon is in full moon phase. This gives enough room to form rust on the Moon.
The tail formed during solar wind tends to carry the oxygen from upper layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The data from Chandrayaan 1 shows that the poles of the Moon do contain water ice. However, we still need more data to understand the exact reason behind the Moon’s rust.