NASA confirms the presence of water on the moon's crater

NASA confirms the presence of water on the moon’s crater

NASA has confirmed the presence of water on the sunlit crater of the moon. NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) made the discovery. It means water on the lunar surface is not limited to the cold shadowed places but is spread all across the surface.

In an official statement, NASA said, “SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater.” The Clavius is located in the southern hemisphere of the moon and is one of the largest crater visible from earth. The data from SOFIA revealed water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million – roughly equal to a 12-ounce bottle of water in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The concentration is nearly 100 times lower than the amount of water found in the Sahara desert.

“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

Water is the main ingredient to support life on the lunar surface for the astronauts landing on the moon. NASA’s pioneer program Artemis is scheduled to launch in 2024. The mission will send the first women and the next man to the lunar surface in 2024.

“Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space,” said Honniball, postdoctoral fellow, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Yet somehow we’re seeing it. Something is generating the water, and something must be trapping it there.”

How the water is forming on the moon

Scientists believe that Micrometeorites raining down on the lunar surface, and carries small amounts of water. The water could then deposit on the lunar surface upon impact. Another possibility is that the Sun’s solar wind delivers hydrogen to the lunar surface and results in cause a chemical reaction with oxygen-bearing minerals in the soil to create hydroxyl. At the same time, radiation from the bombardment of micrometeorites could be transforming that hydroxyl into water. These water molecules then trapped into tiny breadlike structures.