NASA’s “Stratospheric Infrared Observatory” (SOFIA) confirmed for the first time on Monday (26th) that water was found on the surface of the moon that can be irradiated by sunlight. This indicates that water can be distributed on the surface of the moon, not limited to cold and insensitive Sunlit area. This will be good news for the astronauts stationed on the moon base in the future. There is water to drink and rocket fuel to be made without worrying about lack of resources.
According to the Associated Press, a team led by Honeyboll, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was observing through NASA’s research aircraft SOFIA. There is also moisture in the outer regions of the moon. The areas exposed to sunlight.
Humans have discovered that there is some form of hydrogen on the moon. But it has not been able to tell whether it comes from water or is a hydroxy group. SOFIA finally found water molecules near the sunny southern hemisphere of the moon, near Clavis Crater (Clavius, a huge ancient impact crater). The found water content is equivalent to about 12 ounces (355 millilitres) of water in 1 cubic meter of soil. These water molecules are likely to exist in the gaps between dust and other particles or trapped in volcanic glass.
Regarding SOFIA’s discovery, NASA Director of Astrophysics Department Paul Hertz said: “We have found signs that water may exist on the side of the moon irradiated by sunlight”. He pointed out that the discovery challenged the human understanding of the surface of the moon. Also, it raised resource issues related to deep space exploration.
Leading the research, Casey Honniball from the University of Hawaii pointed out that before SOFIA observed the moon, humans knew that the moon had hydrates. But did not know how many water molecules it contained.
In another study, a team led by Paul Hayne, assistant professor at Colorado State University’s “Atmospheric and Space Physics Laboratory”, said that more than 40,000 square kilometres of the moon can store water ice. This is 20 more than previously estimated at 20%. The ice-rich areas are near the poles, with a temperature of -163°C. This is enough to preserve water ice for millions or even billions of years.
Past studies have shown that the moon’s poles are the darkest and the coldest, with millions of tons of ice. However, through the data provided by NASA’s “Stratospheric Infrared Observatory”, scientists have discovered more locations where ice may exist. Hein said that the research will help to find more land to choose from when looking for water on the moon.
These two related studies published in the academic journal “Nature Astronomy” (Nature Astronomy).
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