Lunar Minerals and Ores
Date: Winter 2012-2013
If our planet and our moon had collided, or as some had said that they were both made from the same debris, would our moon have gold and other rich mineral deposits on it?
Here' i a report on a NASA experiment to obtain data on lunar surface composition:
Note that while they did find "a long list" of substances - there are explanations for this other than the proto-moon/earth collision.
Greg (Roberto Gregorius)
That is a good question.
The overall mineral content of earth and moon should be the same. But, the processes that concentrate gold and other minerals on earth did not happen on the moon.
So the answer would be yes, they are the same. But if anyone comes to you with a gold mine on the moon, do not believe them. The gold will be spread out through all the moon's rocks. Way too little gold in any one place to make any money mining.
Hope this helps!
The "answer" to your question illustrates an important concept. The value of a raw material depends upon the cost of extracting it and transporting to the point of use. Given the present cost of moving equipment to and from the Moon and/or other extra-terrestrial bodies are not cost effective.
Thanks for the question. Yes, if the moon collided with Earth, then some of Earth's soil would be transferred to the moon. In that case, the moon would have gold and other minerals, but not necessarily as concentrated deposits in it.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives
Update: November 2011