On the Moon, China finds hidden water in glass beads!

Analysis of lunar regolith samples has revealed a hidden source of water on the Moon locked in glass beads, as per a recent study.

| Updated on: Mar 31 2023, 15:24 IST
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A hidden water source on the moon has been found locked in glass beads. (Pixabay)

Mankind has been in search of planets which could support life one day should the need ever arise to leave Earth. Although there are more planets in the Universe than you could ever imagine, most have one substance missing which makes our Blue Planet so unique – Water. It is the elixir of life behind every living being on planet Earth. Shockingly, China has now found found water on a source not far from Earth – the Moon. Although the presence of water on the Moon was already confirmed by NASA's lunar orbiters back in the 1990s, another probe has now discovered a hidden water source on the Moon.

Water found in glass beads

A Chinese probe has recently discovered a hidden water source on the moon which has been found locked in glass beads. About 1731 g of regolith samples were brought back by China's Chang'e-5 lunar lander back in 2020. Upon analysis of these glass beads, researchers revealed that more water was found locked in these beads than previously thought. The researchers looked at how much water was there in different places of these small glass beads.

According to the study, up to 270 trillion kg of water may be trapped in the top 40 feet of the lunar surface. Hu Sen, a scientist at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and co-author of the paper said in a statement, "These findings indicate that the impact glasses on the surface of the moon and other airless bodies in the solar system are capable of storing solar wind-derived water and releasing it into space."

The research was published in the Nature Geoscience journal.

Previous discoveries

This is not the first time that new findings have been revealed by analysis of samples brought back by the Chinese probe. The evidence of native water on the Moon was confirmed through spectral analysis of samples taken from various places on the Moon in June last year.

The lunar samples were taken from Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon. During the mission, the on-board scientists conducted a spectral analysis of the collected samples which provided the first confirmation of presence of water on the Moon, back in 2020. The lander returned to Earth in 2021 and a thorough lab analysis was conducted which re-confirmed the results of the spectral analysis.

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First Published Date: 31 Mar, 15:23 IST