New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: The Moon may be rusting along the poles, suggest the images sent by Chadrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday.

"ISRO's maiden mission to the Moon has sent images which show that the Moon may be rusting along the poles,” Singh, who is the Minister of State for the Department of Space, said.

"The sign of this finding is that even though the surface of the Moon is known to have iron-rich rocks, it is not known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust," he added.

Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say that this could be because the Earth's atmosphere is lending a helping hand which, in other words, means that the Earth''s atmosphere could be protecting the Moon as well, the statement said.

"The Chandrayaan-1 Moon data indicates that the Moon's poles are home to water, this is what the scientists are trying to decipher," the statement added. 

Recently, planetary scientists detected oxidized iron mineral hematite on the surface of Moon even though the celestial body lacks both oxygen and liquid water. 

Moon is rusting without air, liquid water on its surface, reveals discovery; know the possible reasons

In addition, Moon is constantly bombarded with a stream of hydrogen from the solar wind, a reducing agent that acts in opposition to oxidation, which makes the formation of hematite difficult even in the presence of right conditions.

"It's very puzzling," NASA quoted planetary scientist Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii, as saying. "The Moon is a terrible environment for hematite to form in." So he turned to JPL scientists Abigail Fraeman and Vivian Sun to help poke at M3's data and confirm his discovery of hematite.

"At first, I totally didn't believe it. It shouldn't exist based on the conditions present on the Moon," Fraeman said. "But since we discovered water on the Moon, people have been speculating that there could be a greater variety of minerals than we realize if that water had reacted with rocks."

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta