We are studying lunar meteorites and Apollo samples to learn more about the origin and early evolution of our natural satellite.
The Moon formed from the accretion of debris produced when an object the size of Mars crashed into Earth. The lunar surface was initially covered by a magma ocean, which slowly crystallised and solidified.
We are studying lunar basalts and anorthosites from two sources:
Our research addresses key questions about the early history of the Moon, including:
Lunar materials contain small but measurable amounts of water bound up within minerals. We are analysing the deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratio of this water to determine its origin.
Our findings suggest that the composition of lunar water was probably initially similar to Earth and that some was later fractionated.
We are measuring trace element abundances in minerals that crystallised from the lunar magma ocean. Initial results suggest that the magma ocean was heterogeneous in composition.
We use a combination of mineralogy and petrology techniques, including:
A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock, formed when lava cools relatively quickly.
An intrusive igneous rock, usually light-coloured and consisting primarily of plagioclase feldspar.
The ratio between deuterium (heavy hydrogen) and hydrogen in natural waters and other fluids. It reveals information about the origin and geological history of the fluid.