Meteoroid bombardments on the lunar surface regularly release lunar water into its delicate atmosphere. A recent study published in the Nature Geoscience, only a small amount of water is present in lunar subsoil.
According to studies conducted at Maryland University in the United States, a source of regolith from a few centimeters below the surface is releasing the water. It was concluded that this buried water must have either been there during the lunar formation or delivered a long time ago.
Mehdi Benna, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who is also the author of the study, declared that his paper “helps complete our view of the global water cycle on the moon: its origin, how it is transported, recycled, or permanently lost. Finally, our findings establish how much water is available in the soil for in-situ resource utilization by future manned or robotic lunar expeditions.”
Benna also stated that the study relies on observations collected with the help of the Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) aboard NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).
Meteorites collisions on the Moon release tons of lunar water each year
From October 2013 to April 2014, the LADEE orbited the moon. The LADEE orbited the moon from October 2013 to April 2014. It also couples an over-the-years complete analysis of the data and high-fidelity numerical modeling of the behavior of water in the lunar exosphere.
Researchers found that all of their detections coincided with meteor streams. They determined that the uppermost 8 cm of lunar soil is dehydrated by studying the amount of water released my meteor streams of different sizes.
Even more, according to their calculations, it seems that water is uniformly present at concentrations up to about 0.05%. Through approximate estimations, they conclude that meteorite impacts on the moon cause the lunar surface to lose as much as 200 tons of water per year.
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