File photo: The moon rises over a building in Netanya, Israel, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
(Copyright 2017, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
It may not be as widely available as say a bottle of Poland Spring, but the water is on the Moon may be more widely available than previously thought, gives new hope for its potential.
The analysis, which appeared in the journal Nature Geoscience earlier this month, the wind will let the researchers understand where the water comes from. It can also indicate whether it can be used for life or for conversion into rocket fuel, breaking it down into its basic elements, hydrogen and oxygen.
“Regardless of the specific composition or the formation mechanism, we conclude that the OH/H2O [Hydroxide/Water] may be present on the Moon under thermal conditions more broad than previously recognized,” the study abstract reads. The research was conducted by Michael Poston and Joshua Bandfield, Rachel Klima and Christopher Edwards.
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“By putting some of the limitations of the mobile water, or the O on the surface is, we can help you reduce the amount of water that could reach the cold traps in the polar regions,” said Poston in a NASA press release.
The Water was first discovered on the Moon in 2009 by three spacecraft, according to a report from the Space.com. However, it was found that the water was caught in the “cold traps” on the Moon’s poles. But that is no longer the case.
According to NASA, a cold trap is a region that is “so cold that the water vapor and other volatiles which come into contact with the surface will remain stable for a longer period of time, perhaps up to a few billions of years.”
It is still unclear how accessible the water is, but the study suggests that it can be found on the surface of the moon, both during the day and the night. It is also unclear what the source of the water is, although the team did not rule out that the water could come from the Moon itself, using minerals.
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“Some of these scientific problems are very, very difficult, and it is only through the use of multiple sources from different missions that we have to focus on an answer,” said NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter project scientist John Keller in the release.
The study follows recent reports that suggest that there may be an underground network of lava tubes on the Moon, which may provide access to the surface of ice, as well as the water.
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