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Can we drink moon water?Scientist explains



There is water on the moon, and the amount of water is much greater than scientists previously thought.

On Monday, NASA scientists announced that they had found molecular water on the surface of the moon and had been trapped in ice. Based on these data, they estimate that there is approximately 40,000 square kilometers (more than 24,000 miles) of water on the moon.

So much water is of great significance to mankind’s ambition to create a lasting existence on the moon.We can also Really drink it?

The short answer: Yes, we can, Explained Shuai Li, an assistant researcher at the Geophysics and Planetary Institute at the University of Hawaii. At least in theory we can.

Li said: “This is water ice, the same as water ice on earth.”

; inverse.

John Priscu, a professor at the University of Montana, who studies the biochemistry of cold environments, agrees.

He told reporters: “The most important thing is that if handled properly, it should be drinkable.” inverse.

However, the water on the moon is not ready for astronauts to make cocktails.

First, scientists must learn more about what other vortices may occur in the water.

What’s in the moon water? – The water on the earth is not always pure. For example, seawater contains about 96.5% water, 2.5% salt, and then a small amount of organic matter, as well as other undesirable additives, such as microplastics or atmospheric gases.

Similarly, lunar water may not be pure. Li said it may be mixed with heavy lunar rocks-a layer of loose debris about 5 to 10 meters thick, depending on where you are on the moon. NASA describes the lunar heavy rock as a “fine dust” made of rock fragments from the moon itself. It also contains the remnants of tiny meteorites after bombardment, as well as masses of material formed when these meteorites melted the existing chabstone parts.

Astronaut’s footprint on the moon. NASA

Li added that this “fine gray soil” is likely to end up in lunar water, but it is not clear that there may be other compounds in it. He said it may depend on which part of the moon the water comes from.

The water drawn from the illuminated area of ​​the moon (not the poles, but the pale visible area) may be “occupied” by the perovskite-white perovskite. Scientists have proposed that in-situ rocks are the oldest rocks on the moon. They were formed by rock-forming minerals floating to the top of the magma sea that swallowed the moon about 4.5 billion years ago.

Li said the water in the larger crater may also be exposed to basalt materials. These were found at the bottom of craters formed by large meteor impacts, which would melt rocks in those areas. About 29% of the near side of the moon contains basalt, but basalt is only found in 2% of the far side of the moon.

If there are lunar remnants and other deposits from other meteoroids in the lunar water, it may not taste good now. (But we are not sure, Li pointed out.)

Priscu added that moon water may be A bit salty If it is extracted from an area where the sublimation process has concentrated the salt. Sublimation is a process by which a solid becomes a gas without passing through a liquid phase.

However, if we purify it, it may taste fresh.

“If you can separate water from all other compounds, it will be pure water and tasteless,” Li said.

The near side of the moon is covered by a large crater, which may change other components of lunar water found there. Encyclopedia Britannica/Getty Images

Can we get it enough drink water? – Li Wei participated in the NASA study published yesterday, but he has been studying water on the moon for many years. In 2018, he Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Provide evidence called “conclusive evidence” that the moon has ice deposits at its north and south poles.

Li said that the poles can be used as a source of water. We need to determine the thickness of the ice layer to be sure, but Li estimates that “each pole has billions of tons of water.”

The sun will never shine on the moon’s poles, where the temperature may drop to -250 degrees Fahrenheit. These are extreme environments and difficult to access.

The new paper reveals that water sources on the moon may not be limited to the cold poles. A paper published on Monday stated that, on the contrary, water appears to be scattered all over the surface of the moon, thousands of tiny “cold traps.”

NASA postdoc Casey Honniball said at a press conference on Monday that one cubic meter of lunar soil may have enough water to fill 12 ounces of water.

If we can mine and purify it, then a bottle of moonlight is likely to eliminate the thirst of lunar residents within a day.


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