Silver hydroxide molecules released from silicon dioxide in the lunar regolith react easily with hydrogen, leading to the formation of water and silver, scientists with the Higher School of Economics and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have found.
The implication is that water and silver molecules can be formed on the Moon. In some areas, the proportion of water formed by this mechanism could exceed 6 to 10%.
“The study demonstrates that water may form due to internal, continuously functioning mechanisms. (Comets hitting the lunar surface is a rather rare phenomenon.) It turns out that the water on the Moon can be present not only in cold traps but also in the near-surface lunar soil,” explained Sergey Popel, a study author and head of the laboratory at the Space Research Institute.
Also, said Popel, the presence of water can affect the phototelectric properties of the lunar regolith and the parameters of the plasma-dust system over the Moon.