NASA has revealed the detection of water on the Moon in a discovery which could prove crucial for space travel further into our solar system.
There’s nothing quite like the collective anticipation that arises when NASA tells the world they’re about to make an announcement – and last week was no different, with the space agency declaring that they would be revealing something exciting, come Monday.
Well, Monday came and the news is here: there’s water on the Moon. And apparently, there could be much more than previously hypothesised.
Two separate studies published yesterday in the Nature Astronomy journal pointed to the discovery, revealing that the water was found to be trapped on the Moon’s surface inside “glass beadlike structures”.
🌔 ICYMI… using our @SOFIATelescope, we found water on the Moon's sunlit surface for the first time. Scientists think the water could be stored inside glass beadlike structures within the soil that can be smaller than the tip of a pencil. A recap: https://t.co/lCDDp7pbcl pic.twitter.com/d3CRe96LDm
— NASA (@NASA) October 26, 2020
As the moon lacks an atmosphere to protect it from the sun’s rays, it was previously believed any potential liquid would have evaporated – or else, if water was present, it would be frozen in deep, polar craters.
Yet contrary to this belief, the water was discovered near the Moon’s South Pole, in an area which is reached by the sun. This has led scientists to postulate that the presence of water may be much more widespread.
If the moon can hydrate so can you
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 26, 2020
The discovery is particularly exciting because it fuels the notion that life could be established on the Moon. If a lunar base were built, the recently-discovered ice (which can be converted into rocket fuel) could be used to help space missions travel further into the reaches of the solar system.
NASA’s Moon rover, VIPER, which will be the first US-owned rover one to land on the Moon in 48 years, is currently set to land on the South Pole in late 2023 and will further investigate the presence of water.
In the meantime, Twitter has offered its thoughts.
I volunteer to drink the moon water
— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) October 26, 2020
water on the moon implies sharks on the moon. moon sharks
— nicky the soup shark (@mostlysharks) October 26, 2020
That water they found on the moon has already been diverted to a property owned by Angus Taylor.
— Tony Martin (@mrtonymartin) October 26, 2020
NO COLD BEER ONLY WATER ON THE MOON? FUCK THE ARTEMIS AND THE JABRONI MOON
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) October 26, 2020
NASA confirms there is a small lizard on the moon just looking back at Earth and shaking its head a little
— Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater) October 26, 2020