Finding Water on the Moon – Space News


Has frozen ice been discovered on the hot surface of the moon? It seems crazy!

In late October, NASA announced that astronomers had found ice on the surface of the Moon! But wait, didn’t we already know? And why should Australia care?

Well, we knew there was ice at the moon’s north and south poles, but the rest of the lunar surface was a mystery.

Astronomers knew about the water-like molecules on the surface, but were unsure whether it was H2O or the OH- molecule, which acts as an exhaust cleaner.

Ice, ice baby

NASA’s announcement was based on two scientific articles.

The first article used a NASA jet called the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

SOFIA collects the infrared light that the Moon receives from the Sun and reflects it on the Earth.

Each molecule has a unique way of reflecting light. By studying the infrared light of the Moon, we can tell which molecules are on its surface.

A team of astronomers using SOFIA has found H2O molecules on the sunny surface of the Moon by mapping one of the largest lunar craters, Clavius.

SOFIA found more or less enough ice to melt and fill a 360ml bottle per square meter.

At the same time, another group discovered ice in the shadows of the craters.

Sunny side up

Dr. Sascha Schediwy is a space scientist who studies the Moon. He was thrilled when NASA announced the news of the water on the sunny side of the moon.

Sascha leads ICRAR / UWA Astrophotonics Group in Western Australia. This group uses light in different ways to study space.

“This is a very exciting discovery. It makes human exploration of the moon more compelling, “says Sascha.

The surprising thing about these results is that astronomers have long thought that water ice could not exist on the sunny surface of the Moon.

The sunny surface of the Moon is also 127 ° C. This would boil water on Earth, but the Moon does not have an atmosphere.

This means that the shadows remain cool enough for the ice, while the nearby areas are roasting.

Quench your thirst with space water

So why is ice on the moon important?

Astronauts can drink the water, use it to protect themselves from radiation, and turn it into rocket fuel. A large ice deposit on the Moon is like a gold mine on Earth.

NASA plans to build an outpost on the moon starting in 2024 and they will need water to do so.

The trip to Australia on the moon

Australia will be involved in the construction of launch platforms and monitoring stations.

“Australia should be involved in the Moon settlement. We have a geographical advantage in the southern hemisphere. This is important for activities on the moon’s south pole, “says Sascha.

The Australian government has allocated a fund of nearly $ 20 million this year for space companies.

Sascha says Australia should send its own microsatellites to explore the Moon. These satellites could find more outpost sites and expand our space industry.

Discovering ice on the lunar surface means that we are one step closer to humanity exploring and settling in the Solar System.

I guess this makes the ice pretty cool!

This article was originally published on Particle. Read the original article.

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