We’ve needed to take most of today to start to write this incredible bit of news, but it would appear that NASA has actually, truly, found water on the Moon. NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) confirmed this morning that while viewing the sunlit surface of the moon, a detection of honest-to-goodness water.
This means that Apple TV+’s “For All Mankind” was TOTALLY RIGHT, and we can’t get over this.
Clavius Crater, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere, is where TRUE water molecules (H2O) were detected. This isn’t the first time some form of hydrogen has been found on our celestial neighbor, but in those cases NASA was unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative- hydroxyl (OH).
Paul Hertz, Director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate, said of this incredible news:
“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon. Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”
Data from the Clavius Crater location reveal water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million (think a 12-ounce water bottle) trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface.
“Prior to the SOFIA observations, we knew there was some kind of hydration,” said Casey Honniball, the lead author who published the results from her graduate thesis work at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu. “But we didn’t know how much, if any, was actually water molecules – like we drink every day – or something more like drain cleaner.”
You can read NASA’s official announcement here, and the additional report filed here.