A vital step towards extra long-term manned missions to the moon is finding a supply of water. If water is accessible to future astronauts on the moon, they’ll be capable of staying for much longer than if they’ve to hold a considerable amount of heavy water with them on their trip from Earth. Current research has advised that there could possibly be frozen water in craters near the moon’s poles, and there might even be minute amounts of liquid water which travel throughout the moon’s surface. However, scientists aren’t certain whether or not this water originates, so it’s exhausting to predict where it could possibly be found.
Now, new research has investigated the age and origin of lunar water and found it could have a number of different sources. A few of the ice deposits appear to be billions of years old, whereas others are more recent.
The researchers used information from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to have a look at craters close to the south pole where proof of water has been discovered. They analysed the age of those craters and located that the ice inside them couldn’t be older than 3.1 billion years. More proof for the age of the ice comes from the patterns of deposits that are patchy throughout the ground of the crater. This implies the deposits have been impacted by small meteorites over a long time period.
The researchers also looked for extra clues about the age of the deposits by analysing their depth. “There have been models of bombardment by way of time, displaying that ice begins to concentrate with depth. So when you’ve got a surface layer that’s old, you’d expect more underneath,” Brown University researcher Ariel Deutsch defined in a statement.