Has the Chinese probe found traces of water on the moon?

Scientists say they have found new evidence that there is water on the moon. Their study is based on findings from the Chinese probe Change´E.

In December 2020, the Chinese space probe Change´E’s landers collected just over 1.7 kilos of samples from the moon. An international group of researchers has analyzed the material using, among other things, spectroscopy and now states that they have detected water under the moon’s surface, tells Engadget.

The lander must have found signs that there may be water molecules or hydroxyl (OH). But the water concentration on the moon is in that case significantly lower than on our planet. The researchers state that in the majority of the lunar material it amounted to less than 120 parts per million.

In December 2020, Change´E’s landers landed on the moon, collecting samples from there to Earth. Photo: China National Space Administration / Xinhua via AP / TT

The researchers’ theory is that solar winds have gradually transferred hydrogen atoms to the surface of the moon, where they have then bound to oxygen to form water and hydroxyl.

Read more: Researchers want to send bears on interstellar travel

If there is enough water on the moon, for example, you would not have to take this with you from the earth. This can be especially relevant if one day we have a permanent base there.

Study “In situ detection of water on the Moon by the Chang’E-5 lander” has been published in Science Advances.


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