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Moon may hold massive water from ancient volcanoes — a potential source for astronauts, CU study finds – Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado 2022-05-23 08:00:42 –

Researchers at the University of Colorado may have left more water than the ancient volcanoes on the Moon at Lake Michigan. study..

They don’t know where to start digging.

The findings reflect NASA’s interest in the possibility of a long-term moonbase that requires a water supply to drink and produce rocket fuel. A 2020 NASA survey found water crystals on the surface of the moon. This indicates that there may be more water than previously thought, as well as cold and shadowy terrain.

CU researchers described the water they identified as “moon frost that accumulated over time.” They said further studies of the source would be important as contaminants must be removed.

“Astronauts need water for us to have a sustainable presence on the Moon,” said Planetary Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric and Space Physics, the lead author of the study presented at Planetary Sciences this month. Said Andrew Wilcoski. journal.

“We are entering a new era of lunar exploration, and we believe that long-term missions and resources such as water will become increasingly important.”

He and fellow researchers analyzed lunar temperature data collected by the spacecraft to identify potential locations for water vapor condensation.

According to researchers, water was formed more than two billion years ago when the moon was chaotic, volcanoes erupted, and water vapor erupted along with lava and carbon monoxide. They assumed that the water was swirling before it settled down. They estimated that 41% of the water from the volcano turned into ice and is likely to remain on the moon.

They calculated that 18 trillion pounds of volcanic water could have condensed as ice, more than Lake Michigan’s water. They also concluded that ice probably accumulated near the poles of the moon, perhaps under a few feet of lunar dust.

“You have to go to a specific place to find the water,” Wilcoski said. “If it came from a volcano, it could be mixed with others.”

Other potential water sources include asteroids and comets that contain water that may have collided with the Moon.

A few years ago, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory detected water molecules in the Clavius ​​crater, one of the largest lunar craters visible to Earth. Located in the southern hemisphere of the moon.

The NASA Artemis mission will begin in the next two years. These are designed to eventually send astronauts to the surface of the moon. The first mission targets the region, including the Moon’s Antarctica.

These are expected to extend our understanding of the lunar resources and adaptability to people beyond what Astronaut Apollo discovered half a century ago.

Moon may hold massive water from ancient volcanoes — a potential source for astronauts, CU study finds Source link Moon may hold massive water from ancient volcanoes — a potential source for astronauts, CU study finds

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