Scientists Discover Water Inside Tiny Glass Beads On Moon

Image copyright: France 24

The Facts

  • According to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, it has been discovered that tiny impact glass beads on the Moon contain an "efficient water recharge mechanism that could sustain the lunar surface water cycle."

  • Scientists suggest such minuscule beads of glass may contain an estimated 270T kilograms of solar wind-derived water – trapped in the top 40 feet of the lunar surface – that future lunar explorers may be able to extract for human use.

The Spin

Narrative A

While hints that the Moon is not an entirely arid wasteland have existed for decades, this discovery is one of the most important breakthroughs since NASA's orbiters found evidence of frozen water in deep, steep-sided craters near the Moon's poles. The discovery could one day help future astronauts produce drinking water and breathable air, as well as manufacture rocket fuel on the Moon's surface, enabling sustainable surface operations with decreasing supply needs from Earth.

Narrative B

This study fills some gaps in the theories surrounding a lunar water cycle. However, there are likely better places for astronauts to harvest water for practical purposes. With scientists theorizing that there may be large deposits of water ice at the Moon's poles, as NASA prepares to return to the Moon it is essential to focus scientific efforts on exploring the Moon's polar regions, which seem to have a lot of water mixed in with the regolith.

Metaculus Prediction

Sign up to our daily newsletter