Nasa spots 'hopping' water molecules on the Moon

A new finding by NASA has spotted water molecules ‘hopping’ around on moon, paving way for future human missions to the moon.

Nasa spots 'hopping' water molecules on the Moon

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has recently spotted water molecules moving around on the near side of the lunar surface heated up during the moon’s day cycle.

According to previous researches, the main source of water – hydrogen ions from solar wind that would be cut off when the Earth travels between the moon and the sun.

However, the new findings did not see any decrease when the Earth cut off solar wind to the moon, suggesting that it could feature a more sustainable source of water than previously believed.

The discovery was made through data collected by the LRO’s Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), an ultraviolet spectrograph that was built to map ultralight wavelength reflections on the lunar surface.

“This is an important new result about lunar water, a hot topic as our nation’s space program returns to a focus on lunar exploration,” said researcher Kurt Retherford. 

Using the instrument, the team measured sunlight bouncing off the moon’s surface. They showed that water molecules are attached to lunar soil. When surface temperatures peak at around the moon’s noon, the water molecules detach from the soil and bounce off to a nearby location where it is cold enough.

This evidence suggests that the moon’s surface is filled with molecules of water bouncing around. This discovery opens doors for future lunar colonies, where astronauts could mine the moon for water and convert it to hydrogen, which could then be used as fuel.