Confirmation Of Water On Sunlit Surface Of Moon

For the first time in history, scientists have confirmed the presence of water molecules on the sunlit surface. It is the surface on the moon which is lighted by the sun.


The research has been done by “SOFIA”. SOFIA stands for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. “SOFIA” is a joint program between NASA and German Aerospace center. It is a 2.5 m telescope.  It is capable of making an observation from onboard an airplane at an altitude (height) of 45,000 feet.


  • PREVIOUS OBSERVATION DESCRIPTION: The observation by SOFIA indicates that water molecules may be distributed across the lunar surface. Lunar surface is the surface on the moon. This observation declined the previous thought that water on moon is only limited to the cold and shadowed places.                        In the past, by using three independent aircraft widespread hydration was detected on the lunar surface. This was done through observation of a characteristic absorption features at 3µm (a type of measurement perform by SOFIA) . But it was not confirmed at that time whether the hydration is molecular water (H2O) or other hydroxyl (OH) compounds. Because there are no established methods to distinguish the two using 3µm band.


  • CURRENT OBSERVATION: But by the observation of the moon at 6µm (another type of measurement perform by SOFIA). A fundamental vibration of molecular water produces a spectral signature. This signature is not produced by other hydroxyl compounds except water. Observation reveals a 6µm emission feature at high lunar latitudes due to the presence of molecular water on the lunar surface. On the basis of the strength of the 6µm band. Scientist estimate abundances of about 100 to 400 µgg-1 H2O. It has also been detected that this water molecule is located in the southern hemisphere. Southern hemisphere is visible from the earth.


We concluded that the distribution of water over the small latitude range is because of local geology and is probably not a global phenomenon. Observation also suspect that the water found in the crater (ditch) could have possibly been delivered by tiny meteorite (a solid peace from object like asteroid) impact or could have been formed by the interaction of energetic particles ejected from the Sun. The hydrogen delivered by the solar wind could have possibly reacted with the oxygen present in the minerals or hydroxyl compound present on lunar surface, could produce water on the lunar surface. In the end the observation suggests that the discovery of water, which has been detected must be stored within glasses or in voids between grains sheltered from the harsh lunar environment, allowing water to remain on the lunar surface.

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