NASA announces water discovered on sunlit surface of the Moon
(KFVS) - For the first time, water has been discovered on the Moon.
During a news teleconference on Monday, October 26, NASA announced the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) discovered water on the sunlit surface of the Moon.
NASA said water molecules were detected by SOFIA in Clavius Crater, which is one of the largest craters visible from Earth and is located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere.
Scientists believe this discovery could mean that water could be in other areas on the lunar surface.
What SOFIA discovered is considered a very small amount, but still exciting.
“It’s incredible that this discovery came out of what was essentially a test, and now that we know we can do this, we’re planning more flights to do more observations,” said Naseem Rangwala, SOFIA’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
Scientists believe the water could be trapped into tiny beadlike structures in the soil that form out of the high heat created by micrometeorite impact.
“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,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
NASA said the new discovery about the Moon was made by SOFIA, which is a modified 747 that flies high in the atmosphere and is equipped with a special telescope.
The telescope can observe the universe and objects in our solar system in infrared wavelengths and which can detect phenomena impossible to see with visible light.
The new discovery was made by SOFIA is part of NASA’s continuing efforts to learn more about the Moon ahead of sending the first woman and man to the lunar surface in 2024 through the Artemis program.
The Artemis program is a collaboration with NASA’s commercial and international partners.
The scheduled trip to the moon is expected to aid scientists in possibly sending astronauts to Mars sometime in the 2030s and give a better under standing of the inner solar system.
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