UK news Water found on Moon: Belfast firm plays a key role in study last news
MetiNews.Com - A Belfast company that leads the world in top-end camera and lens technology has played a key role in the discovery of water on the sunlit surface of the Moon.
Breaking News ! "A Belfast company that leads the world in top-end camera and lens technology has played a key role in the discovery of water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. Nasa's discovery suggests water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not just limited to cold, shadowed areas. Nasa's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia) has detected water molecules (H2O) in a crater located on the Moon's southern hemisphere. The crater is so large that it is visible from Earth. Previous observations of the Moon's surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish whether it was water or its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). The researchers found water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million - roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water - trapped in a cubic metre of soil spread across the lunar surface. As a comparison, the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water than what Sofia detected in the lunar soil. Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division in the science mission directorate at Nasa Headquarters in Washington, said: "We had indications that H2O - the familiar water we know - might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon. "Now we know it is there." It is still unclear how easy to access the water will be. Under Nasa's Artemis programme, the agency is eager to learn all it can about the presence of water on the Moon in advance of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024 and establishing a sustainable human presence there by the end of the decade.
. But we didn't know how much, if any, was actually water molecules - like we drink every day - or something more like drain cleaner." Sofia offered a new means of looking at the Moon. Flying at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, the modified Boeing 747SP jetliner was able to train its a 106-inch diameter telescope on the Moon. Using its Faint Object Infrared Camera for the Sofia Telescope (Forcast), it was able to pick up the specific wavelength unique to water molecules, at 6.1 microns, and discovered a surprising concentration in sunny Clavius Crater. Andrew Dennis is director of product management at Andor Technologies in Belfast, a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance scientific imaging cameras.He said the main imaging device that stabilises the entire telescope system on Sofia is based around Andor's technology."The observations that we're working with on the Moon now - understanding those levels of moisture, for example - that's going to be absolutely pivotal in the exploration of Mars, in that they won't have to transport water from Earth up to the Moon (and) on to Mars as part of the next set of missions," he told BBC Evening extra.A base on the Moon is the first step towards the red planet's future exploration - and finding water there to do so was a key discovery."I'd be amazed if, in this current decade, we don't get both men and women landing on Mars," added Mr Dennis."
Source = MetiNews.Com