Scientists say the moon provided protection for our baby planet billions of years ago.
“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – could be present on the sunlit side of the moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics department at the scientific mission directorate at NASA’s Washington headquarters, in a statement. “It simply came to our notice then. This finding challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources important for deep space exploration. “
Water is a valuable resource in deep space and a key component of life as we know it. It remains to be determined whether the moon’s water is readily available for use as a resource, NASA said.
“We still don’t know if we can use it as a resource, but studying the water on the moon is key to our plans to explore Artemis,” NASA tweeted.
The Artemis program is a plan to send the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface in 2024.
“If we can use the moon’s resources, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help with new scientific discoveries,” said Jacob Blacher, chief research scientist at NASA’s Directorate of Human Research and Exploitation. .
The discovery was made by NASA’s Stratospheric Infrared Astronomy Observatory (SOFIA), a “flying telescope” that focuses on discoveries about the atmospheres of planets and moons, according to Forbes.
Named the world’s largest aerial observatory, SOFIA has modified the 747, which flies high into the Earth’s atmosphere to provide its nearly 9-meter telescope with a clear view of the universe and objects in our solar system, NASA said.
Flying over 99% of the dimming water vapor in our atmosphere, SOFIA observes in infrared wavelengths and can detect phenomena that cannot be seen with visible light.
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