Scientists have discovered that their preconceived notions about water on the lunar surface may be totally wrong.
Scientists have long believed that there is water on the moon, and that it may be concentrated at the polls and highly dependent on whether there is daylight or darkness. But new research suggests that those notions may be completely wrong, which could be bad news for future efforts to have manned colonies on the lunar surface.
Scientists believe they have found evidence that lunar water may be distributed widely across the surface rather than in more easily accessible pockets, and that it may not change depending on what time it is in the lunar day. The finding should help scientists better understand the origins of this water, but this new reality may mean it will be tough for lunar explorers to access this water.
The research indicated that the water always seemed to be presesnt somewhere on the surface, and that the compisition of the surface did not really matter. Previous studies indicated that water may be concentrated at the poles, but this study throws that into question.
“Water on the Moon is of intense interest for many reasons,” said SwRI’s Dr. Michael Poston, a coauthor of the paper, “Widespread Distribution of OH/ H2O on the Lunar Surface Inferred from Spectral Data,” published in Nature Geoscience online. “When you split water molecules, you end up with oxygen and hydrogen, critical components for breathable air and rocket fuel. Hydroxyl (OH) is a more reactive relative to water and not as attractive as water in terms of supporting a lunar station.”