A team of researchers at the University of California says that there could be way more ice water on the surface of the Moon than previously believed – and that could be a huge deal for future missions to the Moon.
By comparing shaded areas that are protected from the Sun on the surface of Mercury with similar shadowed craters on the Moon, they concluded that ice deposits, sometimes several meters thick, could survive inside shadowed craters near the Moon’s south pole.
Since they’re shielded from the Sun and endure temperatures as low as -233 Celsius at night, the interiors of those craters could harbor plenty of ice, according to the researchers. Their research was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday. Read more
We think of the Moon as a dry and dusty sort of place, but over the years, scientists have learnt that Earth’s satellite is actually rather loaded with water – in volcanic deposits, in its chilly poles, in the permanent shadows of its craters.
But it looks like water has also been hiding somewhere else, in significant abundance: the lunar subsoil, mere inches from the Moon’s surface.
We had hints it was there. Cassini detected trace amounts of it on its 1999 flyby. NASA probe Deep Impact detected it on a 2009 flyby, as did Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan-1. But the source of this water was unknown – scientists thought it had been deposited there, perhaps by the solar wind or passing meteoroids. Read more
Inequality around the world is rising, expanding the divides between the “haves” and “have-nots.”
Waiting for water in Darfur
This is true for incomes, development levels—and for water security. The gap between those countries able to manage drought, flooding, and dirty water and those with little capacity to do so is also widening, with the potential to deteriorate as climate change makes water supply less predictable and extreme weather more common. This year’s World Water Day centers on leaving no one behind as communities, governments and businesses tackle the global water crisis. Primary attention rightly centers on access to clean, safe water and sanitation, but managing water resources also lie at the center of the challenge.
Right now, water issues are making existing inequalities worse. It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, we can harness the power of water to improve livelihoods and opportunities. Read more