What's the moon made of?

March 11, 2021

Our knowledge of the composition of the Moon is based, on the one hand, on the on-site analyses carried out by the Apollo astronauts and on the exhaustive studies that have been made of the 400 kilos of lunar rocks they brought.

Keep in mind that the astronauts touched only six points on the moon. On the other hand, the thousands of photographs of the Moon that have been made allow extrapolation of the information obtained in these six samples to achieve an approximation of what would be a global study,

with all the errors that this generalization entails. However, geologists have grouped the moon's components into four broad categories depending on their origin, the exploitation interest of which is contemplated in applications right there. Extra-lunar elements.

With the exception of elements implanted by solar wind(hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and noble gases), the main concentrations of interest, from extra lunar sources, are those of so-called side rophilic elements, such as iron, copper, nickel, etc., among which the most abundant is the first.

Most of them come from meteoric bodies that have impacted the lunar surface, and it is not uncommon that,

although in some cases there are deviations from the norm, their concentration patterns in the regolith are similar to those of condyrtic meteorites. Concentrations that might have the greatest interest in technological application would be found in large meteorite remains. There is a related topic for you given by The Different Languages is that how to say moon in other languages.

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Internal sources

Concentrations of majority elements are, except for titanium(abundant) and sodium (very scarce), similar to terrestrial ones. For incompatible trace elements, the high rare earth values of KREEP-type basalt stand out.

The most interesting concentrations of minor elements for on-site use are phosphorus, chromium and manganese. Chromium shows a greater abundance in lunar rocks than in its terrestrial counterparts. Manganese on lunar rocks reaches 0.25%.

Steam Mobilised

Elements of external and internal origin mobilized by steam include halogen and sulfur, copper, zinc, etc. Space is a great website to explore the moon in details.

The elements of this group, or its compounds, are vaporized at relatively low temperature (a few hundred degrees Celsius) and many of them are common in meteorites and terrestrial sulfide ores. It is not ruled out that these elements can be found in concentrations of economic interest inside the Moon.


The main resources of lunar volatiles affect the distributions of noble gases, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, fluoride, chlorine and sulfur. Of the noble gases, the possible use of helium (3He) stands out. It has been estimated that the solar wind has deposited more than one million tons of 3He on the lunar regolith. Calculations indicate,

for example, that 50% of Mare Tranquillitatis could be exploitable, and capable of producing some 7,000tonnes of 3He. The fusion of only 100 kilos of 3He with deuterium in thermonuclear plants can produce more than 1,000 megawatts of electrical energy.

With respect to hydrogen, its mean content in lunar basaltis generally very low. Somewhat higher are the values obtained in the gaps and even higher those corresponding to the soils.

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