Luckily, the other paper used new theoretical models, based on temperature data and higher resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, to refine predictions of where conditions are right for molecular water to be trapped as ice.
The new discovery was made by the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.7 meter (9 ft.) telescope mounted inside a retrofitted Boeing 747, which flies at altitudes of 13,700 m (45,000 ft).
However, Russian-state media has claimed that the USSR actually discovered water on the Moon nearly 50 years ago.
However, even though the amount seems small, scientists are wondering how water is created and could withstand the harsh surface of the Moon - in which, further observations are necessary. It can be chemically split into hydrogen and oxygen, yielding components for rocket fuel-and breathable air. Another possibility is that solar wind delivers the hydrogen ions necessary to cause a chemical reaction with oxygen in the moon's soil to create hydroxyl. In organic chemistry, alcohols tend to include hydroxyl, which contributes to making molecules soluble in water.
NASA x Moon: Scientists Talk Discovery Casey Honniball, the lead author on the study who published the results from her graduate thesis work at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu, said, "Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space, yet somehow we're seeing it".
"And this would mean that without a lunar atmosphere the water could stay on the surface of the Moon". But this study argues that in our haste to focus on very large potential sources of water, we've missed a myriad of smaller locations where ice might also survive.
For now, Sofia can analyze only the moon's outermost surface, but these water molecules could be buried yards deep, Dr. Honniball noted. "To fill a litre bottle with Moon water you'd need about 10 tonnes of lunar soil, or regolith, so it still makes the Sahara look waterlogged by comparison".
Plus - another team found the moon possesses roughly 15,000 square miles of permanent shadows that potentially could harbor hidden pockets of water in the form of ice.
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"As our closest planetary companion, understanding the origins of water on the moon can also shed light on the origins of Earth's water - still an open question in planetary science", Hayne added.
"This indicates that water might be distributed across the lunar surface", NASA tweeted on Monday from its moon-related account.
The scarcity of the water and the difficulty of the extraction might simply drive astronauts back to those shadowed craters-which are now the target spots for NASA's plans to have Americans back on the moon by 2024, via the Artemis program.
Is there enough water on the moon to drink?Then, once hydroxyl is formed, radiation from more micrometeorites may be helping to transform OH into H2O.
Furthermore, NASA says that learning more about water on the moon could support long-term exploration under its Artemis lunar exploration program, as part of which NASA wants to send the next order and the first woman to the moon by 2024. "It's more spread out than we thought it was", Honniball said.
© Courtesy of NASA's Ames Research Center/Youtube "Something is generating the water, and something must be trapping it there".
There are various spots on the moon that are called, "micro-cold traps".
"If the water is trapped in glass beads, it might require too much energy to extract it", said Bleacher. It may be possible to find ice cream in places that are much easier to get to, e.g.