Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Significant water, everywhere on the Moon

Keith Cowing

Three articles will appear in Science Magazine tomorrow - one paper each describing results on lunar observations from three spacecraft: Deep Impact aka EPOXI, Cassini, and Chandrayaan-1. Three different spacecraft - three different instruments - all saying the same thing about the presence of water and other materials on the Moon.

The EPOXI paper says that water has been "unequivocally" confirmed and that "the entire lunar surface is hydrated during at least some portions of the lunar day".

In another paper, previously unreleased 1999 flyby data from Cassini shows hydroxyl concentrations on "the sunlit face of the Moon". Water was detected in concentrations as high as "10 to 1,000 parts per million" and according to the paper "Regardless of its origin, water is found on the lunar surface in areas previously thought to have been depleted in volatiles."

The Chandrayaan-1 paper says "data suggests that the formation and retention of OH and H2O is an ongoing surficial process. OH/H2O production processes may feed polar cold traps and make the lunar regolith a candidate source of volatiles for human exploration."

Why has NASA waited, Cowling asks, HERE.


Chris Brown said...

Cool so whats next will that save americans from the crap we are going through now????

Anonymous said...

If there is water on the moon then it will be useful for the persons on the earth. london Escorts