Lunar missions that went to the moon recently have answers to the famous question that whether or not there is water on the moon. The analysis by NASA shows that the water can be found on the moon throughout on its surface. Water can also be found in a variety of terrains and is present during day and night time. These discoveries can help the researchers to figure out where the moon’s water came from and also the potential that how humans can tap that water in a resource in the future.
Currently, over 1.1 billion people lack the access to water and over 2.7 billion have the shortage of water at least once a month. World Wild Life estimated that by 2025, two-thirds of the global population will be facing water shortages. Since the discovery of water on the lunar surface, people have started theorizing how it will be to use that water in order to overcome the shortage on the earth. Joshua Bandfield, a senior research scientist with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado said, “We find that it doesn’t matter what time of day or which latitude we look at, the signal indicating water always seems to be present. The presence of water doesn’t appear to depend on the composition of the surface, and the water sticks around.”
The new results are in contradiction with the old ones which said that the moon’s pools have nothing but frozen water in them. NASA said that these water molecules can “hop” across the lunar surface until they get trapped in the crates located on the north and south pole. Cold traps are regions which are very cold. Water vapor that comes in contact with those areas and surfaces can stay stable for many billion years. In order to make the discoveries, the research team of NASA used remote-sensing instruments which takes energy from sunlight that reflects from the moon’s surface. These instruments can pick a particular type of fingerprint of the wavelengths where the water is present. The remote-sensing guides identify these amounts of water at 3 micrometers of wavelengths. This is beyond the visible light and closer to infrared radiation. These instruments are trying to pick up the natural glow of the moon and using it to determine the water.
There are questions on how the immobile or mobile this water will be for the transport and possible usage. The researchers are also trying to know where the source of the OH and H2O is found all over the lunar surface. Michael Poston, from Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, said, “By putting some limits on how mobile the water or the OH on the surface is, we can help constrain how much water could reach the cold traps in the polar regions.”
The NASA team will discuss further the recent discoveries for the sources of water on the moon. More research and more time to observe the moon will eventually find all the answers to their questions. John Keller, the LRO project scientist of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said, “Some of these scientific problems are very, very difficult, and it’s only by drawing on multiple resources from different missions that are we able to hone in on an answer.”