The surface of the Moon has interested researchers for a long while, despite the fact that some data inferred that it’s a frozen wasteland, hit from time to time by meteors. However, new research has surprised the world.
A team of researchers has announced that the surface of the Moon might also contain puddles of ice water. Since water is needed for a large number of tasks and processes, the discovery is quite significant, as it could make the life of future moon colonists a lot easier in the long run, especially if they manage to harness the resource in practical ways.
Measurements recorded a few decades ago with the help of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft sugged that a deficit of neutrons can be observed in the polar regions of the Moon. At that time, it was theorized that hydrogen atoms were responsible for the deficit.
The hydrogen atoms should have been a part of frozen water molecules that were carried to the Moon by meteors and comets. As such, researchers determined that ice water could be found in the polar regions.
The new research argues that a considerable amount of water could be found on the Moon. Advanced models based on the observations of lunar craters reveal that ice could be found even in the area where the sun constantly shines, as boulders and larger objects create patches of permanent shadow.
While NASA was making the official announcement related to the new discovery, the SOFIA telescope traced the presence of water on the bottom of a large crater. The origin of the water remains a mystery for now, but NASA has taken into consideration the theory which argues that frozen ice crystals carried by meteorites can land on the surface while small grains of dust will surround them and offer protection from sunlight.
The study has been published in a scientific journal.