Water Molecules On The Moon Spotted By NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Water Molecules On The Moon Spotted By NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

A hot rumor that spread during the weekend sparked the imagination of people. Several newspapers and websites published reports which claimed that NASA found traces of liquid water on the moon. While the information is a little accurate, we are quite far from collecting liquid water from the surface of the moon, as the US space agency spotted water molecules. Below you can learn more about the discovery and what is doable at this stage.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a specialized probe launched by NASA in 2009. The probe has been observing the moon since it reached the natural satellite. Recently, it recorded traces of water molecules which seemed to follow a specific pattern influenced by the lunar temperature.

Water is often thought to be the very spring of life. Some may tend to believe that water is quite rare in the universe, but that is not the case. Rock samples recovered from the moon contained trace amounts of what appeared to be water, which could be traced back to the formation of the satellite. It is also possible that some of the meteors which landed on the moon brought some water, too.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Discovered Water Molecules On The Moon

A new study sheds further light on the subject. The study used data collected with the help of the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (also known as LAMP), which is an advanced instrument present on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. A team of researchers analyzed the data collected within a period of seven years, from 2009 to 2016.

An exciting discovery was made as the team realized that a small number of water molecules were traveling around the moon, being influenced by the lunar temperature. It seems that the most significant amount of water is released during noon when the temperature reaches the upper limit. The water will then travel to areas where the temperature is low.

Some researchers noted that the study might have observed hydroxide molecules, formed by the union between an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom. Further research is being conducted, and the results of the study were published in a peer-reviewed journal.


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