An unprecedented discovery of water molecules on the surface of the moon
Tuesday – 10 Rabi ‘al-Awal 1442 AH – October 27, 2020 CE
Having water in abundance on the moon is critical to future missions of astronauts or robots (NASA)
Washington: “Middle East Online”
While research 11 years ago indicated that water is relatively scattered in small quantities on the surface of the moon, researchers are now talking about the first unambiguous discovery of water molecules on the surface of the moon. Meanwhile, another team reports that there are nearly 40,000 square kilometers of permanent shadows that may contain pockets of water in the form of ice.
Water is a valuable natural resource, and its abundance on the moon may become very important for future missions of astronauts or robotic robots, which seek to extract water and use it for purposes such as drinking or making fuel.
A team led by Casey Honeybull of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland discovered water particles on the surface of the moon trapped in grains of debris or in metal fragments called natural glass due to the similarities between them and glass.
The previous visions and observations were of a degree of ambiguity and ambiguity with which it is impossible to differentiate between water and hydroxyl, which is similar in the molecular structure, but the new discovery relied on a method whose results were clear and not shrouded in mystery.
The only way for this water to continue to exist on areas of the moon’s surface lit by sunlight is for it to be trapped in mineral grains, which protects it from the frigid environment and harsh conditions.
The researchers used data from the Sofia Airborne Observatory, a Boeing 747S aircraft. B has been modified to accommodate a telescope.
The second study, which was also published in the journal Nature Astronomy, focused on the so-called cold traps on the moon, which are areas of its surface where temperatures do not fall below minus 163 degrees Celsius.
The researchers said that this cold enough to keep the frozen water in a stable state for billions of years.
Using data from NASA’s “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter” spacecraft, researchers led by planetary scientist Paul Hain of the University of Colorado in Boulder discovered small shadows that may number in the tens of billions, many of which are no larger than the size of a small coin. Most of these shades are located in the polar regions.
“Our research shows that a large number of areas of the moon that were previously unknown to us could be home to water ice … Our results indicate that water may be more prevalent in the lunar polar regions than was previously thought, which makes possible Easier to access, extract and analyze ».
The researchers indicated that water is produced on the moon, or it comes from external sources, and is stored in the polar regions of the moon.
NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, a mission viewed from an angle as paving the way for a later flight that will carry a crew to Mars.
Resources available to find water on the moon’s surface will be beneficial for these efforts.