The moon is the closest object to Earth in the solar system, and it has been the subject of several studies and projects. It is known that there is no air and no liquid water on the surface.
Since the two major conditions that contribute to the formation of rust are missing, researchers are puzzled by the discovery of haematite on the moon since the substance is a form of iron oxide which requires the presence of both air and liquid water to form on Earth.
Another important factor is represented by the fact that the moon is assaulted constantly by the solar wind, which should prevent the appearance of an oxidization phenomenon by restoring the electrons, which would be lost during the process, effectively preventing the appearance of haematite even under the right conditions.
The haematite was discovered and analyzed by the Chandrayaan-1 orbiter, which is operated by the Indian Space Research Organization. One of the tools present on the spacecraft is the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which can use hyperspectral imaging to perform an in-depth spectrocospic analysis that offers significant details about the chemicals found on the surface of the moon.
Researchers used the tool track down ice water deposits located near the lunar poles n 2018. A scientist who was looking at the data observed some unusual patterns. At first, it was thought that they are tied to water-rock reactions, but further research revealed the presence of haematite.
An interesting detail is represented by the fact that haematite seems to be more abundant on the side of the moon, which is aimed towards Earth. The presence of hematite can also be tied with traces of liquid water and meteor impacts, which were spotted in the past.
Further research will take while the current information has been published in a scientific journal.