According to two studies published on Monday, which could potentially refresh astronauts on future space missions – and perhaps fuel – on the lunar surface. There may be a lot more water on the moon than previously thought.
About a decade ago the lunar bone was thought to be dry when a series of discoveries suggested that our nearest celestial neighbor was trapped in surface water. on Monday, Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy suggest including ice stored in permanently shaded “cold traps“, that lunar polar region may have more water than previously thought.
Previous research has found signs of water by scanning the surface – but they were unable to distinguish between water (H2O) and hydroxyl, an atom composed of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom. But a new study provides more chemical evidence that the moon contains molecular water, even in areas with sunlight.
The researchers scanned the lunar surface at a more precise wavelength than before – six microns instead of three, Using data from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sophia) Airborne Telescope.
Casey Honniball, the co-author of the Hawaii Institute Geophysics and Planetology, said this allowed them to “unambiguously” distinguish the spectral fingerprint of molecular water.
Researchers believe, that the water can be trapped in glass beads or other objects and that defend it from harsh environments(lunar surface). More observations will help understand where the water came from and how it is stored, Honeybill told AFP.
Honniball said: “If we find the water is abundant enough in certain locations we may be able to use it as a resource for human exploration”, “It could be used as drinking water, breathable oxygen, and rocket fuel.”
In the second study, it is believed that water ice is trapped in a lunar crater that can never see sunlight as The second study looked at areas of the moon’s polar regions.
NASA discovered water crystals in a deep hole near the moon’s south pole in 2009 as the big hollow was discovered earlier. But a new study has found evidence of billions of micro-craters that can cradle a small amount of ice in each water.