The Moon is harbouring large quantities of a rare gas that could help solve our growing energy requirements, according to a new study. The gas, known as Helium 3, has the potential to fuel nuclear fusion power plants, providing a clean source of energy for the future.

Helium 3 was first detected on the Moon in samples collected by Neil Armstrong in 1969. The gas reaches the lunar surface via the solar wind, which bombards the Moon due to its lack of a protective magnetic field, like the one we have surrounding Earth.

Since its discovery, the quantities of Helium 3 present on the lunar surface have been debated, but a new study has estimated that there could be as much as 1.1 million metric tons, down to depths of several metres. To put that into perspective, just 25 metric tons of Helium 3 would be enough to power the entire United States for a year.

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