Watch: Water discovered on moon’s sunlit surface using NASA’s SOFIA
Scientists have confirmed, for the first time, the presence of water on the sunlit surface of the Moon, a discovery which indicates that water molecules may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to the cold, shadowed places as previously thought. Using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the researchers, including those from the University of Hawaii in the US, detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater -- one of the largest craters visible from the Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. Data from the current study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, revealed that the Clavius Crater region has water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million -- roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water -- trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. As a comparison, the researchers said the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water than what SOFIA detected in the lunar soil.