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Is there water on moon...? The question that comes into everybody's mind when one looks at the sky, has now finally the answer...!! And the answer is 'Yes'..!!
On June 18, 2009 two robotic spacecrafts had launched by NASA to investigate the moon. The latest results by these spacecrafts show that there is water on moon. The spacecrafts are LCROSS ( Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite ) and LRO ( Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ) . The results have revealed that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, and that the moon is chemically active and has a water cycle.
The NASA's findings are featured in six papers published in the October 22 issue of Science...
I have made a brief list of main points in the findings....
- LCROSS and LRO have took out a plume of material from shadowy regions of the crater ( nearly 10 miles above the rim of the crater ) where it may have hidden from sunlight for billions of years and examined it to reveal the presence of water, mostly in the form of pure water ice grains.
- Water being the most valuable finding, the LCROSS and LRO also found some more volatile compounds such as methane, ammonia, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
- These volatiles may be remains of a asteroid or a comet impact but these are also evidence of a cycle through which water ice reacts with lunar soil grains.
- After a detailed study of distribution of hydrogen, it revealed that water is not uniformly distributed within the shadowed cold traps, but rather is in pockets, which may also lie outside the shadowed regions.
- Robots up there on moon, also discovered relatively large amounts of light metals such as sodium, mercury and possibly even silver.
- The ratio of volatiles to water in the lunar soil indicates a process called "cold grain chemistry" is taking place. Which can also happen in other airless bodies in space.
- Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA said, "water ice was somehow delivered to the moon in the past, or chemical processes have been causing ice to accumulate in large quantities, Also, the diversity and abundance of certain materials called volatiles in the plume, suggest a variety of sources, like comets and asteroids, and an active water cycle within the lunar shadows."
- In future by determining the environment and the place where the water could exist on moon, the exact locations having easily accessible water can be zeroed down
- The most exciting dream of humans to live on the moon may come true in future...!! So lets hope for the same...:)