Where does NASA hold meteors

Meteorites release unimagined amounts of water on the moon

Meteor shower

It has been known for a long time that water exists on the moon. It is there in the form of ice in the shady craters or deep below the surface. New water can get to the moon in two ways. Solar winds carry hydrogen into the thin lunar atmosphere, which combines with oxygen to form hydroxyl, which in turn interacts with the lunar rock and creates hydrated minerals. Comets and asteroids can also deposit water on the moon when they collide with it.

However, the new data from NASA's LADEE probe revealed something unexpected. During its time in lunar orbit, the probe recorded several meteor streams, as we can also observe them on Earth. At certain times of the year the earth and moon cross the orbits of comets, which sometimes contain ice and rock debris. Many of these legacies burn up in our atmosphere and provide for the annual shooting stars like the Geminids, the Perseids, the Leonids and so on. Strictly speaking, there is no atmosphere on the moon, only an exosphere. Therefore, the debris collide unchecked with the lunar surface.

"Every meteor shower consists of millions of particles, like a rain of small impact bodies," says Benna. "We were able to observe 29 known meteor streams, each of which is related to a comet."

When these small particles hit the surface, they swirled up the fine upper regolith layer, exposing more water than the team expected below the first few inches of the moon's surface.

"This loss of water cannot be compensated for by the hydrogen brought in by the solar wind or by the water from the micrometeorites," says Benna. “So there must be more water in the bottom of the moon that cannot be replenished from these two known sources. The only explanation for this is an ancient water reservoir that was drawn from over the course of the geological ages. "

Data showers

Benna and his team estimate that there is a relatively evenly distributed amount of water a few centimeters below the surface of the moon. It illustrates a problem that planetary scientists have puzzled over for decades.