Meteorite Impacts on the Moon Revealed a Greater Source of Lunar Water Than Initially Thought


After many studies and missions to the Moon, the idea that the Earth’s satellite is dry and dusty it’s diminishing. Scientists have found water on the Moon in volcanic deposits, chilly poles, and craters. However, new areas filled with water can be found in the lunar subsoil, just a few inches from the Moon’s surface. Now, meteorite impacts on our natural satellite revealed a greater source of lunar water than initially thought.

How Were the New Deposits of Water Discovered on the Moon?

In 1999 some amounts of water were detected by a flyby. After that, NASA’s flyby and the Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 were the ones to exposed water in 2009. At that time scientist didn’t know were the source of water was coming and they take into consideration the solar wind or the meteorites to be the factors.

However, new researchers found that the lunar water was there all along. Between 2013-2014, NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) have used its Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) to circle the Moon and to read the Moon’s thin atmosphere. The results were amazing; more than 736 positive detections have been registered. From the discoveries, two hundred and fourteen of these constituted thirty-three water releases, and twenty-nine were from the impact between meteoroids with the Moon.

The Question Is if the Meteorites Contain Water or Not?

The meteorites contain water but not enough to create that abundance seen on the Moon. From the analysis of the detected water, the meteors couldn’t leave this abundant trace of water, because they don’t carry so much inside. Instead, the impact was the source that could expand the water across the surface.

So Where Does the Lunar Water Come From Then?

From the research of the top eight centimeters of the lunar surface, they found that the soil is dry. But if they go more in-depth, at almost three meters, they found out that lunar water is uniformly distributed, and has a concentration of 0.05 percent. Moreover, some calculations show that after the impact of the meteorite, around 200 tons of water is lost. If this information is correct, it means that the Moon had always had water, and maybe much more than we could think.


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