Lunar Water- Will humans be able to drink it ?? Add Comment

18 Dec

Scientists solved the long standing mystery of the moon. They cracked the deep mysterious presence of water on the surface of moon. Basically the moon acts like a mega sponge. Sounds funny ? But yes, that is the truth. The lunar surface is a loose collection of irregular dust grains, known as regolith. Basically, the regolith absorbs electrically charged particles given out by the Sun. These electrically charged particles interact with molecules of oxygen that are already present in lunar dust and form water. Incoming protons are trapped in the spaces between the grains, absorbed, and then interact with the oxygen in the lunar regolith to produce hydroxyl and water.

The next question that arises is, ‘Will you lunar base humans be albe to utilise this water ?

“The main problem on making water available for human consumption will be how to extract it from the lunar rocks,” Detlef Koschny, an ESA Chandrayaan-1 Project Scientist, explained to The Daily Galaxy. “This is technically very challenging and needs to be solved first.”

This discovery was made by SARA ( an instrument jointly developed by India, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland ), which was attached to Chandrayan-I.

Also SARA will help scientists in imaging the water content of the moon. The research confirmed that solar hydrogen nuclei are indeed being absorbed by the lunar regolith but also revealed a mysterious occurrence: not every proton is absorbed. One out of every five rebounds into space. In the process, the proton joins with an electron to become an atom of hydrogen.

“We didn’t expect to see this at all,” says Stas Barabash, Swedish Institute of Space Physics.

Although Barabash and his colleagues do not know what is causing the reflections, the discovery paves the way for a new type of image to be made. Hydrogen is electrically neutral, and is not diverted by the magnetic fields in space. So the atoms fly in straight lines, just like photons of light, so each atom can be traced back to its origin and an image of the surface can be made. The areas that emit most hydrogen will show up the brightest.
Why is this so special ?

Most imaging devices use reflected light to picturise the objects in the solar system. However, SARA uses reflected hydrogen to picturise the water content on the surface of moon.

“Using an instrument like SARA allows to produce a map of the elements itself, so it’s a more direct technique to determine the surface composition.”

I am very sure in the immediate future, scientist would come up with a solution to extract the water from the surface of the moon.

Cheers!

Ashwin

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