Water found on moon’s surface

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Kathmandu. A study by the US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found evidence of water on the moon’s surface. This has been confirmed by NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). According to SOFIA,  for the first time water has been discovered in the sunlit surface of the moon. SOFIA discovered water molecules in one of the largest craters visible from Earth in the southern hemisphere of the moon, the Clavius crater.

Some forms of hydrogen had been discovered previously during observations of the moon’s surface, but it had been unable to distinguish between water and hydroxyl. As per the information obtained from SOFIA, the location has water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million, which is roughly equivalent to a 12 ounce bottle of water, trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy.

Dr. Paul Hertz, Director of the Astrophysics Department at the Science Mission Directorate at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., stated, “Now that we know water exists on the moon, this discovery challenges our understanding of its surface and raises complex questions about the resources relevant to deep space exploration.” In comparison, the amount of water that SOFIA has discovered on the surface of the moon is 100 times less than in the Sahara Desert in Africa. Despite the small amount, the discovery raises new questions about how water is formed on the surface of the moon. An even bigger question is as to how the water remains in the moon’s harsh, atmosphere devoid condition.

NASA has ambitious plans to build a human settlement on the moon and is already preparing to send a human mission to the lunar surface by 2024 under the Artemis program. It is eager to learn about the presence of water on the moon and is preparing to send a woman, followed by a man, to the lunar surface by 2024. NASA also aims to ensure a permanent human presence on the moon over the next decade.

SOFIA’s discovery is the result of all previous research to investigate the presence of water on the moon. When the Apollo astronauts first landed on the moon in 1969, it was considered completely dry but for the past 20 years, NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite has confirmed that there is permanent shadowy snow around the moon’s poles.

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