Would you drink the old moon water? Future astronauts can sup from ancient lunar volcanoes scientists say

Before complex life evolved on our planet, volcanoes on the moon spewed water vapor onto the lunar surface that probably still exists in the form of frost and ice in its craters.

It could be the perfect drinking water for astronauts, say the authors of a new study published this month in The Journal of Planetary Sciences.

If it were possible to see a sliver of frost on the terminator of M0on, the divider between sunlight and darkness (thus, day and night), even though there was no human being at that time.

The research examines simulations of the moon dating back billions of years.

At the time, according to their models, the Moon experienced a massive volcanic eruption roughly every 22,000 years, covering its surface in pools of lava. “They’ve dwarfed nearly all eruptions on Earth,” said study co-author Paul Hayne, assistant professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder (University of Colorado Boulder).

You can see them today as the dark spots on the near side of the Moon, which they are known as maria. They have names like Mare Serenitatis (Sea of ​​Serenity), Mare Crisum (Sea of ​​Crisis) and Mare Tranquillitatatis (Sea of ​​Tranquility). They are thought to have been caused by massive asteroid impacts on the opposite side of the moon.

However, this new research suggests that volcanoes may have left ice sheets around the Moon’s poles perhaps tens or even hundreds of feet thick.

“We envision it as a frost on the moon that has accumulated over time,” said Andrew Wilcoski, lead author of the new study and graduate student at CU Boulder.

This is good news for future astronauts, who will need water to drink and possibly even to turn into rocket fuel.

We’ve known for some time that the moon has water, but the authors of this new research say it may be more substantial than suspected. “It is possible that there are large sheets of ice 5 or 10 meters below the surface,” Hayne said.

This new frost theory comes in the wake of further evidence that lunar volcanoes may have ejected clouds of mostly carbon monoxide and water vapor, which may have created a thin atmosphere for a short time.

The new research theorizes that about 41% of the water from its volcanoes may have condensed on the Moon in the form of ice. In total, about 18 quadrillion pounds of volcanic water may have condensed like ice on the moon.

However, there is a slight problem with advising future astronauts to seek out old Mon’s water to drink. In addition to being mostly sharp at the Moon’s north and south poles, he’s likely buried under several feet of regolith: lunar dust.

Some researchers think older ice may have come from water-bearing comets and asteroids that hit the moon, while newer water ice may have come from the bombardment of pea-sized micrometeorites.

I wish you clear skies and eyes wide open.

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