For the first time ever, in an unparalleled development, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has discovered water on the sunlit surface of the moon.
According to the report, the discovery proves that water is distributed all over the surface of the moon and it is not confined to cold and shadowed places as previously thought.
Even though NASA had observed some form of hydrogen on the Moon’s surface, it was unable to differentiate between water and hydroxyl, its close chemical relative.
As per the details, SOFIA has located water molecules in Clavius Crater. Located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere, Clavius Crater is one of the biggest craters that are visible from Earth.
The amount of water discovered on the moon is between 100 to 412 parts per million– roughly equal to a 350-milliliter bottle of water– that is trapped in a cubic meter of soil.
To put it into perspective, the Sahara desert has 100 times more water than what is discovered on the Moon’s sunlit surface.
But the NASA researchers were not able to confidently answer some important questions. For instance, how was this water created and stored in the Clavius Crater?