NASA has declared that significant amount of water has been found on the moon. The discovery was announced by NASA’s project scientist Anthony Colaprete at a midday news conference on 13th Nov 2009.
Although the findings suggest that the moon has about a dozen, two-gallon buckets of water, as the NASA scientist put it, it still remains drier than any desert on Earth. The water has been found after analysis of the preliminary data collected from the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, which was intentionally crashed on October 9th. The LCROSS crashed into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole. After the satellite struck, a rocket flew through the debris cloud, measuring the amount of water and providing a host of other data, Colaprete said.
The water on the moon has been attributed to several factors such as solar winds, comets, giant molecular clouds or even the moon itself through some kind of internal activity.
Earlier, Chandrayaan-1, India’s first moon mission, was the first to detect wavelengths of light reflected off the surface of the moon which indicated a clear chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen — thus pointing to the presence of either water or hydroxyl. Cassini, on its way to Saturn, passed by the moon in 1999, and also reported quite similar findings. And quite recently, NASA’s controversial Deep Impact spacecraft made infrared detections of water and hydroxyl on the moon.
Water on moon will now help NASA to set-up a lunar space station on the moon. But since water has been found on moon, it’d be good to know if it has some life, even in the form of smallest of bacteria.