Chang’E-5 samples reveal high water content in lunar mineralsOPEN ACCESS 

Chuanjiao Zhou, Hong Tang, Xiongyao Li, Xiaojia Zeng, Bing Mo, Wen Yu, Yanxue Wu, Xiandi Zeng, Jianzhong Liu & Yuanyun Wen

Nature Communications, Volume 13, Article number: 5336
Published: 10 September 2022


“The formation and distribution of lunar surficial water remains ambiguous. Here, we show the prominence of water (OH/H2O) attributed to solar wind implantation on the uppermost surface of olivine, plagioclase, and pyroxene grains from Chang’E-5 samples. The results of spectral and microstructural analyses indicate that solar wind-derived water is affected by exposure time, crystal structure, and mineral composition. Our estimate of a minimum of 170 ppm water content in lunar soils in the Chang’E-5 region is consistent with that reported by the Moon Minerology Mapper and Chang’E-5 lander. By comparing with remote sensing data and through lunar soil maturity analysis, the amount of water in Chang’E-5 provides a reference for the distribution of surficial water in middle latitude of the Moon. We conclude that minerals in lunar soils are important reservoirs of water, and formation and retention of water originating from solar wind occurs on airless bodies.”