Water molecule moving around moon discovered!

Water molecule moving around moon discovered!

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon, which may prove beneficial as the agency plans to put astronauts back on the lunar surface. The instrument Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) aboard LRO measured sparse layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the Moon's surface, which helped characterise lunar hydration changes over the course of a day. In advancing the water story on the Moon the study is an important step and is a result of years of accumulated data from the LRO mission. Till the last decade scientists thought that the Moon was arid, with any water existing mainly as pockets of ice in permanently shaded craters near the poles. Recently, they have identified surface water in sparse populations of molecules bound to the lunar soil, or regolith. But on the time of day, the amount and locations were found to vary based. At higher latitudes the lunar water is more common and tends to hop around as the surface heats up. Scientists had hypothesized that hydrogen ions in the solar wind may be the source of most of the Moon's surface water. When the Moon passes behind the Earth and is shielded from the solar wind, the "water spigot" should essentially turn off. when the Moon is shielded by the Earth and the region influenced by its magnetic field, rather than "raining" down directly from the solar wind ,the water observed by LAMP does not decrease suggesting water builds up over time. "These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the Moon. Lunar water can potentially be used to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management by humans; if these materials do not need to be launched from Earth that makes these future missions more affordable.

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