In 2020, a Chinese Lunar Lander, the Chang E-5, was sent to the Moon to observe the Moon’s surface. When the probe returned, not only did it bring samples of moon rocks, but it also brought evidence related to water on Moon along with it. Upon further analysis of the information gathered by the lunar lander, researchers confirmed the presence of water on the Moon.
In a study published in the journal ‘Science Advances’, scientists confirmed that more than 150 parts per million water could be found in the area where the spacecraft was present – the Northern Oceanus Procellarum. Though there were shreds of evidence related to water being present on the Moon suggested before, this is the first time when scientists have directly observed the presence of water on the Moon’s surface.
This groundbreaking observation confirms the fact that Moon does indeed have abundant water on its surface. However, it must be noted that the quantity of water available there must be far less than our blue planet.
Upon closer analysis of the proof, as gathered by the spacecraft, it was observed that the boulder that held water came from a volcanic origin – hinting that more water sources must be present elsewhere on the Moon. This also suggests that such volcanic deposits could be vital for the survival of human life at the lunar bases over low latitudes – especially in areas with fewer ice deposits.
However, further research needs to be conducted to understand the origins of the water, that is, whether or not the water observed on the Moon came from below the lunar surface. Furthermore, researchers are still unsure whether the observed water is molecular or hydroxyl.