Meteorite Provides Evidence of Water Ice at Mid to Low Latitude on the Moon
A team from Tohokus University Japan have concluded there’s more water on the moon than previously thought after discovering Moganite crystal in a lunar meteorite. Moganite precipitates when alkaline water is evaporated under high pressure conditions. This could have implications for the future of lunar colonization and commercialization.
A team lead by Masahiro Kayama at Tohokus Universities Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science in Tokyo have used electron microscopy to peer closer in to the material and Micro-Raman spectroscopy to deduce it’s structure based on atomic vibration.
Based on this study researchers have proposed that the meteorite owes it’s origin to a part of the moon called Procellarum Terrane – a large chunk of geography that resides on the north western axis of the moons near side. Procellum Terrane also boasts large deposits of Thorium, Pottassium, and Rare Earth elements.
Now the main working theory is that ice crystals inhabit subterranean layers of the moon at Procellum Terrane.
We’ve known for a while that water ice exists at the lunar north and south pole were sunlight strikes at a very limited angle creating a type of night-day fusion suspended in time. However this is the first sign of water ice at mid to low latitudes.
The team has estimated that lunar soil is 0.6% water. That is extremely good news for the future of space colonization in general. Many experts in the field are proposing the moon as a preliminary headquarters fo further expansion to Mars and beyond. If water can be extracted from soil at mid to low latitude then that greatly increases the chance of success and expands the amount of available space for colonization.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for examples want to work with NASA and the Euroepan Space Agency to erect “moon villages” of egalitarian exchange in the future.