For a long time, scientists believed that the moon was completely dry – until NASA discovered the water reserves in 2009. But where do these come from?
The basics in brief
- Huge amounts of water were discovered on the moon’s surface in 2017.
- Since then, science has been at odds over the source of the water on the celestial body.
- A study by the University of Alaska Fairbanks put forward a new theory.
Scientists have long believed that the moon dried up until NASA made new discoveries in 2009. This led to the conclusion that there are reserves of water on the only natural satellite on Earth. Eight years later – 2017 – satellite images actually showed massive amounts of H20 on the celestial body.
Science has not yet been able to explain the origin of water. It can get as cold as 150 degrees Celsius on the moon’s surface at night. When the sun warms the surface during the day, any form of water will simply evaporate. However, the deep pits and elevation ensure that temperatures stay very low and the water does not evaporate immediately.
The water on the moon comes from the earth
According to a study by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, water comes from the Earth’s atmosphere. The water and oxygen ions would have separated from the gaseous atmosphere and recombined on the Moon. It is as if the moon is taking a bath – water ions fall on the surface of the moon. So says Gunter Klitschka from Charles University in Prague.
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