Astronomers: the moon can be fully determined water

© Milliken lab / Brown UniversityКарта water reserves on the moon, compiled according to the Indian probe ChandrayaanAstronomers: the moon can be fully determined water© Milliken lab / Brown University

. The Indian probe «Chandrayaan» helped the American scientists to compile the first map deposits of water on the moon and discover that on its surface can be constantly formed water molecules. The map and the findings of scientists published in the journal Science Advances.

«We made the first map, which allows to consider the lunar water as a mineral. Finding out where lies the water and in what quantities it can be found there, now we can start thinking about whether to get out of there, in order to provide astronauts with drinking water, and for the production of rocket fuel,» says Ralph Milliken (Ralph Milliken) from brown University (USA).

It is believed that the moon has developed a condition that prevents the accumulation and preservation of large quantities of water. The lack of atmosphere and weak gravity makes impossible the existence of H2O in liquid or vapor, and ice on an outdoor surface will gradually evaporate under the action of the solar wind.

However, water on the moon is still there — in 2009 the Indian probe Chandrayaan found water in the southern hemisphere of the satellite, and in 2012 probe LRO found frost in the craters at the North pole and hidden deposits of ice in dozens of other dark craters on the surface of the companion of the Earth. Their discovery forced scientists to speculate, where did the water on the moon, who brought her there and how she managed to survive, not off steam under the action of the rays of the Sun.

Millikan and his colleague Shuai Li (Shuai Li) recently found that large quantities of water are contained in nearly all the rocks of the moon, studying the data which were collected from the Indian probe «Chandrayaan-1» during his work on the orbit of the moon in 2008-2009.

This discovery has revealed one of the oldest mysteries of the titans and gave scientists the idea to calculate the total water reserves on the moon and map its deposits.

To solve this problem helped «Chandrayaan» and M3 spectrometer that can simultaneously measure both the temperature of the surface of the moon, and «try» the taste of its mineral composition. This property of the device helped scientists to find water in the depths of the moon, watching as the surface of the moon absorbs and reflects the infrared radiation at different wavelengths.

Map prepared using M3, surprised scientists. It turned out that water was distributed on the lunar surface very evenly, and not concentrated in the craters, as previously believed, planetary scientists, based on data from the LRO probe. Even more surprisingly, Milliken and I was able to find water near the equator companion of the Earth, where it is, as the researchers suggest, hiding in dark crevices and craters, or is inside of rocks, formed in the first days of life of the satellite.

Uniform patterns of water distribution, according to the researchers, suggests that the current «comet» and «asteroid» theory of the origin of the moisture on the moon is fundamentally wrong. Most likely, it was generated by the solar wind, whose particles, including hydrogen atoms, continuously bombard the surface of the companion of the companion of the Earth for 4 billion years.

This is supported by another oddity – the concentration of water on the moon can change dramatically with the onset of day and night, dropping or elevating to 200 parts per million, incredibly high value for dry and arid planet. Scientists assume that this may indicate fantastic things on the moon can be continuously formed water.

«We don’t know what causes these fluctuations, but their presence tells us that water is formed in the soil of the moon even today. It is, in principle, suggests that the water may again accumulate there even after you remove it from there, but we need to first understand the physics of this process before to say,» concluded Milliken.


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