On Monday, researchers from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) confirmed for the first time that molecular water has been discovered on the sunlit surface of the moon, indicating “water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.”
Researchers also said that the discovery will benefit future exploration plans.
As per the report from NASA, the water was spotted near the Clavius crater on the moon.
The Clavius crater is considered one of the largest crater formations on the moon. Paul Hayne — the lead author of one of the studies published on this topic, revealed that the crater, as mentioned above, could be seen with the naked eyes.
Casey Honniball — another lead author of a similar study, has talked about water quantity on the celestial satellite. As per Honniball, there is roughly the equivalent of a 12-ounce bottle of water within a cubic meter of lunar soil. It indeed is not much, but once NASA gets more information on it, there are chances that scientists might get to do proper research on the water molecules to understand its chemistry.
“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate said in a statement. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”