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Photo of the moon. // Photo courtesy of Nicolas Thomas/Unsplash.

There’s water on the sunlit side of the moon

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, November 29 2020—

If you thought you had seen all of the unpredictability that 2020 has for the world, you were wrong.

In addition to the news of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, scientists made a new discovery — one of the basic necessities of life on earth was found on a neighbouring celestial body, the moon.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) by NASA, confirmed the existence of water in the Clavius Crater located on the sunlit side of the moon. This comes after a previous observation, which provided information about the presence of hydrogen on the satellite. 

The discovery has raised questions about how water can exist “on the harsh, airless lunar surface [of the moon],” according to a statement released by NASA TV. It also notes that even if only a small amount of water was found, it is a significant discovery in terms of the advancement that can be made through more research, especially to better understand how water is created. The main question is how water came to exist on the moon. One of the potential explanations to this is that it arrived when meteorites hit the moon’s surface. 

The finding comes two years before the Artemis project by NASA reaches its objective of sending a man, as well as the first woman, to the moon by 2024. Their mission will help gather more information about the latest discovery and begin to establish “human presence there by the end of the decade.”

“Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars,” says NASA. 

Video courtesy of NASA/YouTube.

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