A new study argues that chemical signatures and palpable material and physical clues infer that water is present on the moon. The cross-disciplinary study was elaborated by two diverse teams from the University of Hawaii.
Data collected by spacecraft, among which we can count the Lunar Prospector, and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite inferred that water ice could be found within the boundaries of the poles. The nature of this water remained elusive, but understanding more about it would facilitate the aim to the colonization of the satellite and Mars.
The researchers created a complex array of experiments to explore the connection between the hydrogen protons brought by the solar winds, the impact of micrometeorites, and the minerals found in the Lunar soil.
New Study Concluded That There Is Water On The Moon
Olivine, a special mineral used as a replacement for lunar material in experiments of this kind, was exposed to a high amount of deuterium ions which mimic the protons found in the solar winds. Samples irradiated at a normal temperature didn’t offer relevant information but after they were warmed the researchers observed the presence of molecular deuterium, an event which suggests that the hydrogen brought by the solar wind could be kept in the lunar rock.
In a second experiment, the irradiated samples were exposed to high-intensity laser heating, which should be on par with the effects caused by micrometeorite impacts. As the lasers hit the sample, the researchers observed the appearance of ions associated with the presence of singly ionized heavy water. By following this train of logic impact spots on the lunar surface trapped precursors of heavy water.
Using high-power electron microscopy the team surveyed the samples and traced miniature surface pits were water vapors could accumulate into liquid water. The study was well-received by the scientific community, and it could play an important role in the future. It was published recently in a scientific journal.