China landed on the moon and found water in dirt and rocks

Water was found on the moon for the first time by scientists.

A Chinese lunar lander returned more than 60 ounces of soil and rock from the moon in December 2020. Before Chang'E-5 arrived back on Earth, it used an onboard instrument to take measurements. Scientists knew it had probably encountered water, since it was 239,000 miles away.

In deep space, water is rare. The scarcity of it beyond Earth presents an obstacle for people to explore space. The moon's small amount of water could be used by astronauts for a long time away from the planet.

A research team led by scientists at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was able to identify H2O molecule based on their distinct wavelength of light, a measurement of how something reflects or absorbs the sun's radiation. The study was published last week.

The detection of Chang E-5 shows there may be more water on the moon than was expected, according to a senior scientist for the Planetary Science Institute.

There are a lot of American scientists who are jealous that we didn't have the lander on the moon to do this measurement. NASA will be sending a rover to the moon next year to drill for ice.

People's understanding of lunar water has increased. The Apollo astronauts thought the moon was bone dry.

In the late 2000s, a number of missions, including the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1, found signs of hydration on the sunlit surface, but couldn't say whether it was H20 or hydroxyl, water's close chemical relative. The latter chemical is similar to a drain cleaner, according to a NASA fellow.

Ice has been found in the hard-to-reach craters around the moon's poles by previous missions. The Apollo moon samples were reexamined in 2008 and found water in glass beads and minerals. Some people were skeptical of whether the water came from the moon or Houston.

In November 2020, a month before the Chinese lander detected water on the moon, NASA said it could confirm water was in a sunny part of the moon. The SOFIA was used by NASA to pick up the wavelength signals of water. Water may be widespread on the moon, not just at its poles, as suggested by the telescope finding.

A researcher is looking at the lunar soil brought back from the moon. Credit: VCG/VCG

There have been many previous studies of the moon, but they have never looked at the moon itself. The difference is that the temperature of the object has to be adjusted to get the amount of water in it. The reflected light features could be masked by the heat from the moon's surface. He said it was hard to know the temperature of a target at an extreme distance.

He said that it was significant about this one on the lunar surface. There is no ambiguity about the temperature of that specific rock.

There were no lagoons, gushing rivers or cascading waterfalls in the previously unexplored area. Think about the trace of water in the soil where it landed. The gasses flowing off the sun are believed to have formed water. The solar wind can sometimes make water by hitting the oxygen in the moon's soil and rocks.

A moon rock from the same location contained a higher concentration of water than the soil around it, suggesting it had another water source. The researchers said that the rock fragment may have been ejected from an older volcanic rock deep within the moon.

A figure in a new study depicts water at a landing site. Credit: Honglei.

Parvathy said she was still smiling days after reading the study.

She said in an email that the region around the rock seems to be drier, which raises more questions about the different ways water is forming and staying on the moon.

The water detection by the landers was not much. Some of the driest places on Earth, such as the Antarctic Dry Valleys, have soil content between 0.2 and 5% water. The moon rock had a small amount of particles, while the nearby soil had a small amount.

The first moon mission to collect and return material since 1976 was Chang'E-5. The last time NASA retrieved moon rocks was in 1972.

It's easier to study a single moon in its environment than it is with a telescope.

"You're not going to measure that from the ground," he said. If America wants to do this kind of science, we need to be on the moon.