Scientists around the world are working tirelessly to learn more about life on the Moon. According to reports, Chinese scientists have found traces of water on the moon. The neighboring country’s lunar lander has detected traces of water ions and hydroxyl in samples collected from moon rocks.
Chinese scientists claim to have analyzed traces of solidified lava obtained by the uncrewed Chang’e 5 mission from a field known as the “Ocean of Storms”, according to a recently published study in Nature Communications.
Read | Cosmic Cannibalism! Dead Star Caught Ripping Planetary System, Here’s More About ‘White Dwarf’
Scientists have found evidence of water in the form of hydroxyls trapped in a crystalline mineral called apatite.
Quoting co-author Li Chunlai, who is a planetary scientist at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), Space.com reported, “For the first time in the world, the results of laboratory analysis of lunar return samples. And these Spectral data from the in situ Lunar Surface Survey were used to jointly investigate the presence, form and quantity of ‘water’ in the lunar samples.
The uncrewed Chang’e 5 mission landed on the Moon in December 2020. It took samples of lunar soil and rocks.
Interestingly, NASA also obtained hydroxyl in samples from the Moon several decades ago.
According to studies, most of the water found on the Moon is caused by chemical reactions that took place after charged particles from the Sun arrived on the lunar surface. According to Reuters, Chinese scientists confirmed that the source of hydroxyl-apatite is likely to be indigenous.
Following this remarkable discovery, China is expected to launch several other unmanned lunar missions in the coming years.
As studies hint at the possibility of water on the Moon, researchers hope to find more clues about long-term human habitation in the Solar System.
Nevertheless, the scientists claim, “the source and distribution of water on the Moon is still an open question with no consensus”.