A damp moon: Water found inside and out


Spacecraft reveal higher than expected abundances of the liquid on the lunar surface and in volcanic rocks

By Ron Cowen

October 24th, 2009; Vol.176 #9 (p. 10)


access

Scientists’ understanding of the moon could be all wet. Its surface is surprisingly dewy and its interior contains more water than previous analyses of moon rocks have indicated, according to new studies.

Observations from three spacecraft suggest that water is widely distributed over a thin layer of the lunar surface rather than locked up in icy enclaves predicted to lie at the moon’s poles. The results, detailed in a trio of papers to be posted online September 24 in Science, suggest that liquid water may be more available to future moon explorers than had been thought. Concentrations in sunlit soil might average about 1,000 parts per million, the equivalent of roughly a quart of water per ton of material. That water doesn’t remain on the moon, but comes and goes each lunar day. 

Read More

Share

< Prev
Next >

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s