A group of researchers from the United States has announced that they have discovered the moon is covered with soil containing a water substructure. The water substructure packed soil is created by a constant stream of charged particles coming from the sun according to the researchers. The water substructure that the soil contains is called hydroxyl.
Hydroxyl has one atom of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen making it OH rather than H20. The researchers who made the announcement are from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of Technology. The discovery has led scientists to say that the moon is not is bone dry as many believe.
Observations conducted on the moon previously, and new analysis of lunar samples returned to Earth by the Apollo missions have discovered that icy drops of water can be found on the moon's surface. In 2009, NASA crashed the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite into a southern lunar crater that is always in shadow at 6200 mph.
The purposeful crash of the satellite was the equivalent of detonating two tons of dynamite inside the crater and sent a plume of material into the sky. Observations of that ejected plume discovered that the material was rich in water ice. The scientists believe that the stream of subatomic hydrogen proton particles ejected from the sun's upper atmosphere combined with oxygen on the moon's surface to form the OH hydroxyls.
"Our work shows that the 'water' component, the hydroxyl, is widespread in lunar materials, although not in the form of ice or liquid water that can easily be used in a future manned lunar base," Michigan geological sciences Professor Youxue Zhang said.