New geological research suggests that the hydrogen levels that have detected on the moon — which are used to predict the presence of water — might be a false positive and not exist at the levels predicted.


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The uncertainty of science: New geological research suggests that the hydrogen levels that have been detected on the moon — which are used to predict the presence of water — might be a false positive and not exist at the levels predicted.

Instead, what scientists thought was hydrogen in water molecules might be calcium as part of a mineral called apatite. If so, this would mean that the Moon has a lot less water than hoped. This data might also explain the lack of water seen in the Apollo samples as compared to what is suggested should be there from more recent orbital data. This also might explain the conflicting results from instruments on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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  • Patrick Ritchie

    Should probably note that this article is not discussing water that may be at the moon’s poles, but rather the overall concentration of water in lunar regolith.

    We are long overdue for getting robots on the surface to help expand our understanding of both potential sources of water.

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