The title of the 1909 hit song By the Light of the Silvery Moon was not just poetic, it was also prophetic. A NASA spacecraft that crashed into the moon last year has found what appears to be silver, perhaps buried under a small layer of moon dust.
Last October, NASA crash-landed a rocket near the lunar south pole, lofting water in the resulting debris. Newly published studies of this mission, called LCROSS, reveal that about 5.6 per cent of the ejected material was water, and that similar concentrations of water may exist under the surface in a "permafrost" layer. Lead scientist Anthony Colaprete at NASA's Ames Research Center in California estimates that there could be a billion gallons of water within 10 kilometres of the probe's impact site.
Other chemicals were also detected in the impact plume by a spacecraft flying behind the impactor. "We're seeing a kitchen sink of other stuff that may be useful for human exploration," says Michael Wargo, NASA's chief lunar scientist.Along with the surprisingly large amount of water detected, this is all the more reason why we should be going back there asap. To read the rest of the article, click here.