NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has detected traces of moving water molecules on the moon’s surface. These water molecules were observed moving on the day-side of the moon and scientists believe it will act as a catalyst for humanity to establish a colony on the lunar surface. “These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about the accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the Moon. Lunar water can potentially be used by humans to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management; if these materials do not need to be launched from Earth, that makes these future missions more affordable,” said Amanda Hendrix, the lead author of the study. Read more for a video and additional information.
The scientists discovered these water molecules would remain stuck to the surface throughout the lunar morning, and as it warmed around lunar noon, some of them lifted off into its thin atmosphere. They would then migrate around the moon’s surface until they landing someplace cold enough to settle back down on the surface.