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NASA's new mission finds out that the Moon excretes water when hit by meteorites



Before 2008, we only knew that our Moon was a dry and barren place. A ground with craters and totally static, so to speak. No movement, no changes, like a desert. But that year was the first definitive discovery of water in the satellite. From NASA, they explained that hydroxyl molecules (one volume of oxygen and one other than hydrogen) were scattered across the lunar surface.

Now we do not know only this, but the Moon contains tons of water and that many of them are released with a meteor shower. Obviously, it is not as aesthetic as it once believed and who knows what hidden mysteries we are still surprised …

What have we not seen?

During the initial exploration of the Moon and the analysis of all the samples carried by Apollo and the lunar missions, we believe the Moon's surface was dry, explained Mehdi Benna, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Flight Center.

However, the most recent missions have turned what we have created. In fact, there are high concentrations of ice water in the permanently shaded areas of the lunar poles, he added the scientist

It is estimated that there are between 100 and 200 million tonnes of water, or rather, water ice, which has recently been discovered.o. This is mainly in the shadows of the craters closer to the poles, where sunlight never reaches the sun maximum temperature it reaches -120C.

But how did you not know it before? What had happened years ago was the satellite sampling. We have the Astronauts of Apollo, who came to the surface and brought rocks, mainly from areas close to Ecuador of the Moonsaid NASA scientist Jennifer Heldmann.

The thing is that there is not much water ah. In fact, it will be like looking for it in its busiest location. That's how it started. For us, here on Earth today, it is as if it had landed in the desert and claimed that the rest of the planet is the same, says Jim Green, Director of the Planetary Science Division of the same organization.

Frozen poles

One year after the discovery of water on the moon (2008), NASA deliberately I sent a mission to the south pole of the satellite where more ice was found. In the following figure you can see the distribution of the frozen section on the surface, both in the south pole of the moon (left) and in the north pole (right). The blue color indicates its location, the gray scale indicates the surface temperature (darker areas are the cooler areas). And solid water is concentrated in the shadows of the craters, in the darkest and cooler places.


The Moon detected by the Moon Mapping Instrument Mineralogy NASA.

But there were still doubts about the amounts of H2O that could be found at the central latitudes. However, data from the new mission, a LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer), sent to study the dust and the lunar atmosphere, already give some answers, for example massive amounts of water is released during the meteor shower.

Moon bomb

Between 2013 and 2014, the LADEE mission explored its atmosphere and, in April of this year, was published in the magazine Nature Geoscience what the lunar surface periodically releases water.

In a few years, our system goes through comet reefs, which do not really affect us, because most of them are burned in the terrestrial atmosphere. But because Moon does not have the thick protective layer, the meteor shower they hit its craters.

What we have discovered is this the surface releases water when the Moon is bombarded by micrometeorites. What is particularly noticeable during the meteor shower, Mehdi Benna, research leader, explained.

When these affect its surface, the crter material remains vaporized. There is also a wave of shock that spreads outwards. This shockwave bears enough energy to release the water, Benna said, adding that it is being expelled in space, and this is where LADEE detects from its orbit.

In addition, they showed that the stronger the meteorite flow, the more particles of water will be released in space from the Moon.

We always believe that the Moon is a peaceful and desolate place. And now, with these facts, we see that in fact is very active and receptive, Benna stressed.

Relative fluid

And although the Moon actually hosts large amounts of water, it is necessary to mention it that humidity ah is a relative term.

As the head of the research explained, the water concentration is not too high in the moon's liquid layer. In fact, it is hidden under a layer of eight centimeters of completely dry soil and the moisture content is 0.05%, which remains more barren than the most barren desert of our planet. This means that this "wet" subsoil could never become a fertile ground, explained byABC.But even so, it is a fundamental discovery for future explorations that improves understanding of the geological past of the natural satellite and its ongoing evolution, NASA reported.

And learning more about ice, water and lunar humidity, how we got there and how it interacts with the environment is the focus of next missions to our closest white neighbor.


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