Japanese Team Observes Carbon Emitting from Moon

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, May 7 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese research group has observed carbon emitting from almost the entire surface of the moon, using Kaguya, a Lunar explorer of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

An article about the team's finding will be published on U.S. journal Science Advances on Thursday.

The discovery may prompt a review of conventional theories on the process of how the moon came to be, since it has been thought that almost no carbon exists on the astronomical body that orbits Earth.

The widely accepted theory at present is the so-called giant-impact hypothesis that the moon was formed as a result of a collision between ancient Earth and a Mars-sized celestial body. Carbon and other volatile elements on the moon are believed to have evaporated at the time of the impact, which made it a high-temperature fireball.

Analyzing data from a plasma observation device mounted on Kaguya, Shoichiro Yokota, associate professor at Osaka University, and other members of the team found that carbon ions are emitting from almost the whole surface of the moon.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press