Although water has been found in a very dark place on the moon, a Boeing 747 converted into a NASA Stratospheric Observatory found water on the ground under the sun. This discovery may be related to future manned missions .
This NASA’s Stratospheric Infrared Observatory (Sophia, Its English abbreviation) for the first time confirmed the presence of water on the part of the moon’s surface under the sun. This discovery indicates that water can be distributed on the surface of the moon and is not limited to cold and dark places.
SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in water KravisIt is one of the largest visible light on the earth located in the southern hemisphere of the moon. Previous observations of the moon’s surface have found some form of hydrogen, but cannot distinguish between water and its chemically close relative, hydroxyl (OH).Now, measurements taken from this location show the presence of water in the water Concentration from 100 to 412 parts per million, Roughly equivalent to a bottle of 350 milliliters of water, trapped in cubic meters of soil scattered on the surface of our satellite.The results are published in the latest issue of the magazine Natural astronomy.
He explained: “We have signs that H2O (the familiar form of water we know) may exist under the sun on the moon.” Paul HertzDirector of the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Division. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises interesting questions about resources related to deep space exploration.”
In contrast, the SOFIA content of water detected in the mid-moon soil of the Sahara Desert is 100 times that. Despite the small number, this discovery raises new questions about how water is produced and persists on the harsh airless lunar surface.
As we all know, water is a precious resource in deep space and an important component of life. Whether a SOFIA found can be conveniently used as a resource remains to be determined.inside Artemis Project The agency is eager to learn all the information about the existence of water on the moon from NASA, and then send the first woman and the next man to the moon in 2024 and establish a lasting human presence by the end of this century.
SOFIA’s results are based on years of research, studying the presence of water on the moon.Be an astronaut Apollo When we first returned from the moon in 1969, it was thought that our natural satellite was completely dry. In the past 20 years, orbital and impact missions (such as NASA’s Moon Crater Detection and Observation Satellite) have confirmed the presence of ice in permanently shadowed craters located near the Moon’s poles.
Water (H2 pcs0) instead of hydroxyl (OH)
At the same time, several types of aerospace, including the Cassini mission and the “deep impact” mission to the comet, the Indian Space Agency’s Chandrayaan-1 mission, and NASA’s ground-based infrared telescope facility Both of them investigated the surface of the moon and found evidence of hydration in the solar system. position. However, these tasks cannot distinguish exactly how it exists: H2 pcsOh, oh.
He said: “Before observing SOFIA, we knew there was some kind of hydration.” Casey Honniball, The lead author, he published the preliminary results of this work in a paper published by the University of Hawaii. “But we don’t know how much this hydration is actually in the water molecules, such as the water we drink every day, or more like a drainpipe cleaner.”
SOFIA provides a new way to observe the moon.Fly towards Up to 13.7 kilometers above sea level, This airliner Boeing 747 SP modified with 2.7m telescope Aircraft with a diameter exceeding 99% of the water vapor in the earth’s atmosphere can see the infrared universe more clearly.
Use your Infrared weak objective lens for telescope (predictionThe observatory is able to capture the unique specific wavelength of water molecules at 6.1 microns, and has found relatively surprising concentrations of these molecules in the sunny Kravy crater.
Hongnibauer said: “Without the protection of a dense atmosphere, the water from the sun’s surface on the moon should be lost to space. ”He is now a postdoc at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Nevertheless, we are seeing it. Something is producing water, and something must trap it there.”
Possible water source
There are several elements that may contribute to the supply or creation of this water.This Micro element Water that falls on the surface of the moon with a small amount of water may be deposited on the lunar soil after the impact.
Another possibility is that there may be a two-stage process, namely Solar wind The hydrogen is brought to the surface of the moon and chemically reacts with oxygen-containing minerals in the soil to produce hydroxyl groups. At the same time, the radiation produced by the bombardment of the micrometeorite will convert the hydroxyl groups into water.
How to store and accumulate water also raises some interesting questions.Water may get trapped in it Small structures on the ground, appearing in the form of necklace beads, Is formed by the high heat generated by the impact of micrometeorites.Another possibility is that it may be hidden Between grains The lunar soil is protected from sunlight, which makes it more accessible than when trapped in a bead-like structure.
For the mission that was originally aimed at observing faint and distant objects (such as black holes, star clusters, and galaxies), aiming SOFIA at Earth’s closest and brightest neighbor is a major change.
Telescope operators often use guided cameras to track stars, thereby fixing the telescope on their observation target. But the moon is so close and bright that it fills the entire field of view of the camera. Since there are no visible stars, it is not clear whether the telescope can track the moon reliably. In order to determine this, the operator decided to conduct a test observation in August 2018.
He recalled: “This is SOFIA’s first observation of the moon. We are not even sure if we can get reliable data, but the question about lunar water made us try.” Naseem Rangwala, Is a SOFIA project scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. “It is incredible that this discovery was actually derived from a test, and we are already planning more observations.”
Follow-up flights of SOFIA will look for water in other locations illuminated by the sun and at different stages of the moon to learn more about how this material is produced, stored and transported on the moon.
These data will increase the work of future lunar missions, such as Volatile exploration polar rover (ViperThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) created the first water resources map of our satellite for future human space exploration.
Water trapped in the cold microtrap
In the same amount Natural astronomyScientists published another paper using theoretical models and data from “Moon Reconnaissance Orbit”, pointing out that water may be trapped in small shadows or cold microtraps, in which the temperature remains at the freezing point. Below, on a larger area of the earth. Currently believe.
He emphasized: “From the perspective of scientific purposes and our space explorers, water is a precious resource.” Jacob Bleacher, Chief Exploration Scientist of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Department of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “If we can use the resources of the moon, then we can transport less water and more equipment to help make new scientific discoveries.”
SOFIA is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The Ames Center cooperates with the American University Space Research Association (US) and the German SOFIA Institute of the University of Stuttgart to manage SOFIA programs, scientific research and mission operations. The aircraft is maintained and operated by NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, USA.