NASA scientists first find water on the sunny side of the moon

Scientists explained that astronomers have long known about water in the form of ice on the surface of the moon, but so far it has been found

only in deep and shady craters at the polescelestial body. However, a recent flight by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) confirmed the existence of new water deposits - there were twice as many of them than the researchers had assumed.

“For the first time, we can confirm the presence of water atsolar side of the Moon thanks to data obtained from the SOFIA telescope, - said the head of the agency Jim Bridenstein on his Twitter. - We don't know yet if we can use it as a resource. Finding water on the Moon is key to our Artemis research plans. ”

In the course of previous research, scientists have found onthe surface of the moon is hydrogen. However, scientists, due to the limitations of the method, were unable to determine if this is hydrogen present in water or hydroxyl, which is close to it in chemical composition. SOFIA research confirmed the presence of water in the Clavius ​​Crater. What's more, the device found it in concentrations ranging from 100 to 412 ppm - roughly 0.35 liters per square meter of lunar soil. This is about 100 times less than in the Sahara Desert.

Scientists estimate that in total on the moonmaybe about 38 thousand sq. km. permanently shaded areas of various shapes and sizes that store ice. Previously, the estimates were half that. “In cold traps, the temperature is so low that if water gets into them, it will not go anywhere for billions of years,” the agency noted.

NASA researchers have already put forward several theoriesas to how this water originated. She could get to the moon due to micrometeorites that regularly fall on the surface of a celestial body. The second version is the origin on the lunar surface itself, where hydrogen reacts with oxygen-containing minerals in the lunar regolith, creating hydroxyl. Then, after being treated with solar radiation, it turns into water.

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