The US space agency NASA has confirmed for the first time that water is present on the part of the moon exposed to sunlight and it is not limited to cold and shady areas.
The discovery was made by NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia).
The observatory discovered water molecules (H2O) on the Earth’s face at the Moon’s face, Clavis Carter, located at the Moon’s the South Pole.
Earlier, some forms of hydrogen were discovered on the surface of the moon, but the difference between water and its close chemical relative hydroxyl (OH) could not be ascertained.
Data from this location reveals that there is 100 to 412 parts per million of water that is spread over the surface of the entire moon.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division, said that they have received indications of H2O that it may be in the Sunlit side of the moon.
He said “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.”
According to NASA, if the amount of water discovered on the surface of the moon is compared to the Sahara Desert, there is a hundred times more water in this desert. However, despite the small amount, this discovery raises the question of whether the moon’s How water was created and maintained on difficult and airless surfaces.
Water is a valuable resource in the depths of space and is the most important component of life, yet it remains to be seen whether the water discovered on the moon is easily accessible for use.
But NASA says it is excited about the discovery of water because it will send a woman and a man to the moon’s surface in 2024 for the first time under the Artemis program.
When astronauts first landed on the moon in 1969, it was thought to be completely dry, but over the past 20 years, various missions have confirmed snow in dark pits in the moon’s polar regions.
During these missions, evidence of hydration was discovered on the surface of the moon’s bright spots, but they could not identify whether it was H2O or OH.
Research team leader Casey Honeyball said that before Sofia’s observations, they knew there was some kind of hydration on the moon, but they don’t know how much, and whether it’s water molecules or something.”
During the study, a 106-inch diameter telescope with a Boeing 747SP jetliner provided a clear view of groundwater vapour.
Sofia made this amazing discovery in bright parts of the moon with the help of this fan object of the telescope, infrared camera.
Sofia flights will continue to find answers to these questions so that the first map of water resources for future human missions to the moon can be drawn.
This issue of Nature Astronomy will also publish another study by NASA experts which states that this water may be trapped in small shaded areas where the temperature can be up to minus Celsius and this series can extend to the full moon.