The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter NASA satellite orbiting our only since June 2009, with the Observatory Stratospheric Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft with a telescope of 2.7 meters, first discovered in history the presence of water on the lunar surface illuminated by the sun .
“For the first time, the presence of water has been confirmed on the lunar surface illuminated by the sun,” said Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate this afternoon.
“We had hints that H2O, the familiar water we know, might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon. We now know it’s there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources. relevant to deep space exploration. “
Previous research revealed water detections on the moon’s surface near the south pole. But the molecular water signature at the wavelength used in this research could also be associated with hydroxyl, which is oxygen bonded to hydrogen. Inorganic chemistry, alcohols tend to include hydroxyl, which helps make molecules soluble in water. Hydroxyl is also an ingredient in drain cleaner.
“Before the SOFIA observations, we knew there was some kind of hydration,” said lead study author Casey Honniball in a statement. “But we didn’t know how much, if any, were actually water molecules, like the ones we drink every day, or something more like a drain cleaner. The water on the Moon is exactly like that on Earth and you could drink . “
The Sahara desert has a hundred times more water than SOFIA detected on the lunar soil, according to NASA. And the presence of this water raises questions about how it was created and how it exists even on the lunar surface.