NASA Reveals They've Found Water On The Moon
NASA finds water on the moon, so dryland wasn't their destination. Nor was it their destiny.
The Moon is more than a desolate desert of space dust and rocks. NASA has confirmed that there is water up there, right on the surface. Currently, it's unknown if that water is usable, but NASA wants to head back to the orbiting sphere in the near future to learn more.
NASA made the announcement in a video on Twitter, which you can see below. As posted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, water was found on a sunlit portion of the Moon for the very first time using the SOFIA telescope, which is located on an airplane.
NEWS: We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope. We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans. Join the media telecon at https://t.co/vOGoSHt74c pic.twitter.com/7p2QopMhod— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) October 26, 2020
The Clavius crater--one of the largest crater formations on the Moon--is where scientists found the water, which was visible from Earth. "The detection is very unique for molecular water," says planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii Shuai Li, who is co-author of one of the new studies about this finding (via CNET). Based on the findings, it could not be anything else.
The reason NASA used a flying telescope was because of the amount of water vapor in the air, as the lower part of the atmosphere on Earth has plenty of water vapor already in it. The SOFIA telescope flies high in the air, cutting out most of the water vapor in the lower atmosphere.
NASA wants to head back to the moon and establish a base on the surface with the Artemis program, mentioned in the video above. And they want to be there by the end of the next decade. "Water on the surface of the moon can be used for several very important things, such as sustaining astronauts, creating oxygen and hydrogen for rocket fuel or power generation, or conducting horticulture experiments," said computational modeling expert at Australia's science agency, CSIRO, Craig Lindley.
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