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Space & Astronomy

There is water on the Moon, scientists confirm

By T.K. Randall
October 26, 2020 · Comment icon 32 comments

It's official - there is definitely water on the Moon. Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
Today's discovery about the Moon has turned out to be an absolute confirmation of the presence of water.
Last week we reported that NASA was about to announce an 'exciting discovery' based on data from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

This discovery has since been revealed to be an unequivocal confirmation of water on the Moon - and quite a lot of it, too.

Until the 1990s, the surface of the Moon was thought to be bone dry, but since then, hints of ice have been found suggesting that our lunar neighbor may actually be a lot wetter than scientists realized.

Now at last, by measuring the wavelengths of sunlight reflecting off the lunar surface, scientists have been able to confirm once and for all that there definitely is water on the Moon.

It was identified in the high latitude regions of the Moon's south pole and in abundances of 100 to 400 parts per million, which planetary scientist Mahesh Anand has described as "quite a lot".

"It is about as much as is dissolved in the lava flowing out of the Earth's mid-ocean ridges, which could be harvested to make liquid water under the right temperature and pressure conditions," he said.
The discovery is encouraging as it means that future manned missions to the Moon could potentially utilize this valuable resource to produce oxygen, fuel and drinkable water.

Exactly how difficult it will be to extract and process it however still remains a bit of a mystery as it is not clear if the water is dissolved within lunar 'glass' or stored in tiny ice crystals in the lunar soil.

It is also not clear how far down the water extends.

"With billions of potential water reservoirs scattered over the polar regions, the focus should be shifted away from the handful of well-known large craters and towards the multitude of potential landing sites our study reveals," said Paul Hayne of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (32)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by MysteryMike 4 years ago
Shame, I thought for sure they were gonna announce moon spiders living on the moon. ;P
Comment icon #24 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
I was going to attempt one but this put a stop to it. Your not from Alabama are you?
Comment icon #25 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
I feel its harder to be a conspiracy theorist....having to deal with all the nay sayers all the time is pretty stressful. I mean have you ever tried to explain a conspiracy theory? Its almost impossible.
Comment icon #26 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 years ago
Comment icon #27 Posted by Rolci 4 years ago
Water on the moon is news now? Wow. And here I was thinking that it was clear to everyone that the whole solar system was formed from the same stuff. All our oceans here on Earth were not transported here from a distant galaxy after the formation of the Solar system ya know... Why would it be abundant here and missing everywhere else? 'Cause we're somehow special? Though I'm not surprised if I'm to be honest. I've learned that most folks do think Earth is special. They actually think that when we look back in 100 years' time, when we have colonized other planets and there are settlements on al... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Free99 4 years ago
All this time it was right there and if there is water there will be some type of life there. Microscopic but it�s still basically where it starts. As our technology grows and magnification it won�t be long when someone somewhere on this planet zooms in on some distant planet and something there is looking back at them.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Peter B 4 years ago
Yes, water on the Moon is news. When the Apollo Moon rocks were examined back in the 60s and 70s, one of the first things which became apparent was that they were similar to Earth rocks, except that they contained essentially no water. The similar lack of other volatile chemicals (that is, low boiling points) turned out to be a clue which led to the development of the current theory for the formation of the Moon. So yeah, one of the distinctive features of the Moon is its lack of water, and this new discovery is
Comment icon #30 Posted by Peter B 4 years ago
I think finding life on the Moon is unlikely. Yes, you need water for life, as far as we know. But life also needs a lack of solar radiation. That's what we have on Earth, but not on the Moon. The other thing about the Moon water - it's locked inside glass, and so can't freely flow and probably couldn't be accessed by any lifeform.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Rolci 4 years ago
You mean life as you know it needs a lack of solar radiation. Obviously where there is solar radiation life forms that thrive on solar radiation will evolve. Imagine a planet where life evolved in darkness and where the beings get their energy not from sunlight but from the planet's thermal energy. (We have such life forms right here on Earth.) Then suppose that these life forms are sensitive to visible (to you) light, that the light you consider "visible" is the kind of light that kills them. (Just like UV light kills bacteria). They look into their telescopes (that filter out visible light... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Timothy 4 years ago
Please share your lame joke?  People need a lift at the moment, and lame jokes are a great vessel for humility and being able to laugh at oneself! 

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