Recently, NASA discovered water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. According to NASA scientists, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, also known as SOFIA, confirmed its presence.
This is not the first time water has been found on the Moon. An article from NASA, published on Sept. 24, 2009, explains how small amounts of water and hydroxyl, a compound containing the same components of water, hydrogen and oxygen, were found in the polar regions of the Moon. However, this more recent discovery has a greater significance.
“I think the discovery of water at sunlit locations of the moon is significant because those are areas of the Moon humans are more likely to travel to if we go back to the Moon,” said science teacher Brian Hourigan. “It was previously thought that ice only existed in the shadow regions of the moon. Those areas are extremely cold and would be very difficult for humans to survive there for long periods of time. Water is essential for life, so with the discovery of ice in these sunlit regions it opens up the possibility to sustain life on the Moon for longer periods of time.”
Although only very little water has been found on planets outside of earth, these discoveries could add to the possibilities the future holds.
“I think with this discovery NASA will follow up with similar missions to other sunlit areas to see how widespread this ice is,” continued Hourigan. “Then the question for NASA becomes can they extract this ice from the ground so that it can be used as drinking water.”
Future research may lead to even more promising evidence that is yet to be discovered.