Sunday, July 5, 2020
Home Lead Story NASA's Spacecraft Observes Water Molecules Movement on Moon

NASA’s Spacecraft Observes Water Molecules Movement on Moon

The lunar water is more common at higher latitudes and tends to hop around as the surface heats up

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter(LRO) spacecraft has observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon, a finding that may prove beneficial as the agency plans to put astronauts back on the lunar surface.

Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) — the instrument 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, revealed the paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

“The study is an important step in advancing the water story on the Moon and is a result of years of accumulated data from the LRO mission,” said John Keller, LRO deputy project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.

Until 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.

More recently, they identified surface water in sparse populations of molecules bound to the lunar soil, or regolith.

The moon is seen near the Illimani mountain during a full lunar eclipse in La Paz, Bolivia, July 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters.

But, the amount and locations were found to vary based on the time of day. The lunar water is more common at higher latitudes and tends to hop around as the surface heats up.

Scientists had hypothesised that hydrogen ions in the solar wind may be the source of most of the Moon’s surface water. As a result, when the Moon passes behind the Earth and is shielded from the solar wind, the “water spigot” should essentially turn off.

However, the water observed by LAMP does not decrease when the Moon is shielded by the Earth and the region influenced by its magnetic field, suggesting water builds up over time, rather than “raining” down directly from the solar wind.

Also Read- ‘Social Media Should be Restricted Before Elections Start in India’

“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,” said lead author Amanda Hendrix, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

“Lunar water can potentially be used by humans to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management; if these materials do not need to be launched from Earth, that makes these future missions more affordable,” Hendrix added. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

18,999FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,779FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Infant Sleep issues Linked To Mental Health Problems in Adults

Researchers have found that sleeping problems in early childhood may be linked to the development of certain mental health disorders in adolescence. The study, published...

10,000 Bed Sardar Patel Covid-19 Centre To set up at Delhi

The 10,000-bed Sardar Patel Covid-19 Care Centre and Hospital, inaugurated here on Sunday by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, which will serve as a major...

UP Government to Set World Record in Tree Plantation Drive

The Yogi Adityanath government is all set to set a new world record by planting 25 crore trees on Sunday in a massive plantation...

Queer Representation in Bollywood

Soon, Akshay Kumar will be seen essaying the role of a transgender in "Laxmmi Bomb". Sonam Kapoor has explored the complexities of being a...

WHO Stops Hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in Covid-19 trials

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir...

Coronavirus Cases Sets Record Daily Jump : WHO

The world saw a record 24-hour increase in the number of coronavirus cases Saturday — 212,326, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. The United States,...

India Confident of Covid Vaccine, Trial Stage Marks ‘Beginning of the End’

As India races to bring a vaccine for Covid-19 by mid August, the government on Sunday said that it is entering the human trial...

Malaika Arora Shares Home Remedy to Boost Immunity

Dancing diva Malaika Arora has shared a "make in India" home remedy to boost immunity. Some people have started stepping out for work, but relaxed...

Recent Comments