<h3>Scientists posted some surprising findings today about the moon.<\/h3>\r\nThe British <a href="https:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/science\/2020\/oct\/26\/water-exists-on-the-moon-scientists-confirm">Guardian reported<\/a> that the scientists at Nasa\u2019s ASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US, gathered some of the most compelling evidence yet for the existence of<a href="https:\/\/see.news\/?s=water"> water<\/a> on the moon \u2013 and it may be relatively accessible.\r\n\r\n"The discovery has implications for future missions to the moon and deeper space exploration," the newspaper wrote.\r\n\r\nWith no significant atmosphere insulating it from the sun\u2019s rays, it had been assumed that the moon\u2019s surface was dry \u2013 until the 1990s, when orbiting spacecraft found indications of ice in large and inaccessible craters near the moon\u2019s poles.\r\n\r\nLater on, in 2009, imaging spectrometers onboard India\u2019s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft recorded signatures consistent with water in light reflecting off the moon\u2019s surface.\r\n\r\nThe technical limitations, however, make it still impossible to know if this really was H2O (water) or hydroxyl molecules (consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom) in minerals.\r\n\r\nNow, Casey Honniball at ASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and colleagues have detected a chemical signature that is unambiguously H2O, by measuring the wavelengths of sunlight reflecting off the moon\u2019s surface.\r\n\r\nThe data was gathered by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), a modified Boeing 747 carrying a 2.7-metre reflecting telescope.\r\n\r\nThe water was discovered at high latitudes towards the moon\u2019s south pole in abundances of about 100 to 400 parts per million H2O.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat is quite a lot,\u201d said Mahesh Anand, professor of planetary science and exploration at the Open University in Milton Keynes. \u201cIt is about as much as is dissolved in the lava flowing out of the Earth\u2019s mid-ocean ridges, which could be harvested to make liquid water under the right temperature and pressure conditions.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe existence of water has implications for future lunar missions, because it could be treated and used for drinking; separated into hydrogen and oxygen for use as a rocket propellant; and the oxygen could be used for breathing. \u201cWater is a very expensive commodity in space,\u201d said Anand.\r\n\r\nHowever, harvesting it from dark, steep-walled craters where the temperature rarely climbs above -230C \u2013 which is where the bulk of any frozen water was assumed to lie \u2013 would be a perilous undertaking. \u201cIf it turns out that there is a lot of water in these non-permanently shadowed areas, then that is potentially a very large area, and it is accessible because it is in sunlight,\u201d said Ian Crawford, professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London.\r\n\r\n<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The reason for which the water exists, remains, however. One possibility is that it is dissolved within lunar \u201cglass\u201d, created when meteorites hit the moon\u2019s surface. "Alternatively, tiny ice crystals could be distributed between grains of lunar soil. The latter would be far easier to extract," said Anand.<\/span>\r\n\r\nAnother is how deep this newly confirmed water source extends. "If it were restricted to the uppermost few microns or millimetres, then its practical significance would be minimal \u2013 although it would still beg interesting scientific questions about how it got there," Prof Crawford said.\r\n\r\nBritish scientists are also developing a robotic drill to take samples of lunar soil from depths of up to a metre, as part of a Russian mission scheduled for 2025.