Brown University | 2017 Sep 13
A new study maps the trace concentrations of water implanted in the lunar soil by the solar wind, a water source that could be used as resource in future lunar exploration.In research that may prove useful to future lunar explorers, scientists from Brown University have created the first quantitative map of water and its chemical building blocks trapped in the uppermost portion of the Moon’s soil.
The study, published in Science Advances, builds on the initial discovery in 2009 of water and a related molecule — hydroxyl, which consists of one atom each of hydrogen and oxygen — in the lunar soil. The latest study uses a new calibration of data taken from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, to quantify how much water is present on a global scale. ...
The water concentration reaches a maximum average of around 500 to 750 parts per million in the higher latitudes. That’s not a lot — less than is found in the sands of Earth’s driest deserts — but it’s also not nothing. ...
Water on the Surface of the Moon as Seen by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper:
Distribution, Abundance, and Origins - Shuai Li, Ralph E. Milliken
- Science Advances 3(9):e1701471 (13 Sep 2017) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701471