NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shuttle has watched water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon, a finding that may be valuable as the agency intends to return astronauts on the lunar surface. Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) – the instrument onboard LRO, estimated scattered layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the lunar surface, which described lunar hydration changes through the span of a day, as revealed by the paper distributed in Geophysical Research Letters.
“The study is a critical step in advancing the water story on the Moon and is a conclusion of aggregated information from the LRO mission,” said John Keller, LRO deputy project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Scientists suspected that the Moon had no water, whatsoever, with any water existing for the most part as pockets of ice in permanently shaded craters near the poles. Recently, they recognized surface water in scanty populations of particles bound to the lunar soil, or regolith. The water on the Moon is more common at higher latitudes and it tends to move quickly as the surface warms up.
Scientists assumed that the hydrogen ions present in the solar winds might be the reason why there is water on the lunar surface. However, when the Moon moves behind Earth it is protected from the solar winds, the water should disappear. But, the water noticed from the LAMP does not lessen when the lunar surface is protected by the surface of Earth and the region influenced by its magnetic field, it implies that the water does not appear because of the solar wind but it builds up over time.
Claude Denni was born and raised in San Jose. Claude has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Daily Democrat here in Californiar and NPR. As a journalist for Coastal Morning Star, Claude covers national and international developments.