August 18, 2019 | 5:49 PM IST
science

Scientists find H2O on Moon

On the basis of data provided by Nasa’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that orbited the moon from October 2013 to April 2014, scientists have found that the moon releases water during meteor showers. These outbursts coincided with 29 known meteoroid streams that passed near Earth during the eight months, informs a report. The newly identified meteoroid streams were observed on Jan 9, April 2, 5 and 9 2014.
The experts said that about 8 centimetres of lunar soil is hydrated when the meteors strike. In other words, in order to release water, the meteoroids penetrate around 8 centimetres below the surface. When a speck of comet debris strikes the moon, it vaporises on impact, creating a shock wave in the soils.

The findings could help unravel the deposits of ice in cold traps in the dark reaches of craters near the poles. Experts have found that most known water found on the Moon is located in its chilly poles, volcanic deposits and shadows of craters, where temperatures are so low that water vapour and other volatiles that encounter the surface will remain stable for probably several billion of years.

Earlier, models had predicted the same, but the experts overlooked the phenomenon. In order to release water, the meteoroids penetrate around 8 centimetres below the surface.
According to LADEE project’s scientist Richard Elphic the Moon does not have much of Water (H2O) or hydroxyl (OH) a more reactive relative of H2O.
The experts have, however, ruled out the possibility of water coming from meteoroids themselves.

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