Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moon Water Discovery Hints at Mystery Source Deep Underground

An artist's illustration of India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft orbiting the moon. 

Evidence of water spotted on the moon's surface by a sharp-eyed spacecraft likely originated from an unknown source deep in the lunar interior, scientists say.

The find — made by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 probe — marks the first detection of such "magmatic water" from lunar orbit and confirms analyses performed recently on moon rocks brought to Earth by Apollo astronauts four decades ago, researchers said.

"Now that we have detected water that is likely from the interior of the moon, we can start to compare this water with other characteristics of the lunar surface," study lead author Rachel Klima, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., said in a statement. [Water on the Moon: The Search in Photos]
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