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Water ice detected on Moon's poles

Gibbous moon

Scientists have finally found a definite proof of water on the surface of our natural satellite.

Indian Space Research Organization’s spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 shows a data which confirm the presence of water in a solid state on lunar poles.

Shuai Li, a Geophysics, and Planetology from the University of Hawaii led a team in collaboration with other scientists to study a data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument, which flew on Chandrayaan-1 during 2008 mission.

Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008 with a mission to detect the presence of solid water on the surface of the Moon. It used infrared light to absorb the behavior of molecules and differentiate between a liquid, solid or gaseous state of Water.

The ice found on the moon’s South Pole is concentrated around the cluster of craters whereas, on the North Pole, ice is widely spread or appears to be more isolated.

According to scientists, moon can acquire the temperature of 100 C during the daytime, which makes it extremely difficult to have any solid ice on the surface and since the gravitational forces of moon are not as strong as on Earth, it cannot support a liquid water on its surface, which tends to ionize when it comes in contact with solar winds from the Sun.

Scientists estimated that water can stay in a solid state only in shadowed regions of the Moon, where the temperature is extremely cold.

And because of a tilt in the axis of the Moon and temperature which never rises above -157C, lunar poles mark as the best place where water could stay in solid-ice state for a long duration of time.

Scientists around the world believe the water-ice can be used as a resource for the future human missions to the surface of the moon and it serves as one more reason to terraform the Moon in future. 

Although the scientists have detected the presence of the solid water on the Moon they are still not sure about how the water came there in a first place.

Some of the researchers believe that the water on the Moon came from the bombardment of comets and asteroids on its surface.

 

@WateronMoon

 

Harmanjeet Singh Gurm

 

REFERNCE: NASA. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/ice-confirmed-at-the-moon-s-poles

PNAS. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/08/14/1802345115