back to article There's water on the Moon, scientists confirm

Analysis of the lunar surface by three different spacecraft has provided "unambiguous evidence" of water on the Moon, reports. India's Chandrayaan-1, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and the agency's Deep Impact probe have all detected the presence of either water or hydroxyl - one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom linked …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Reg units

    So is that an official update to the reg units? Volume of liquid measured in mass of lunar surface?

    I'll be down the pub, consuming a couple of tons...

  2. Alastair McFarlane

    H2O, or H20?

    I was entertained to read the Beeb's article on the same topic, which stated that there were "thin films of H20"

    Yep, that's H-two-zero. Typo I'm sure, but it still provided me with a chuckle.

  3. Ian Ferguson

    So there's water...

    ...but are there whales?

  4. Robin


    The BBC article also included this:

    "The amounts are small, say researchers, but boost the notion that astronauts based on the Moon could use it as a resource."

    So the benefits are obvious. A new place that we can bleed all the resources from!

  5. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    Outstanding, moonbase by 2099?

    I'm looking forward to Commander John Koenig flying up there in Eagle 1.

    I just hope that they don't start dumping nuclear waste up there, which leads to a chain reaction causing a massive explosion sending the Moon hurtling out of Earth's orbit.......

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Where are you .. ?


    A positive story on India published almost 2 hours ago now, and NO supremacist bigots bashing Indian call centers, outsourcing operations, and all other usual stereotypes of snake charmers, poverty, cows, caste system YET?

    Very mysterious indeed!

  7. Bilgepipe


    Didn't Sting and The Police sing about this years ago?

  8. Frostbite


    Who will be the first to bottle & sell it?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Where are you .. ? by AC 24/09 10:50

    Quote the BBC ...

    "The Indian Moon mission was launched late last year but has already stopped working due to a fault. Nevertheless, the Indian space agency (Isro) will consider the water discovery a major triumph and a vindication of its endeavours."

    No doubt the call centre it tried to contact failed to give the correct response as the operative didn't have the right flow-chart of responses in front of him/her/it and the supervisor refused to take any calls.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    Indian probe discovers water on moon

    I'd recommend the astronauts boil it before consuming.

  11. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!


    Great, I just got your version of the song in my head now.

    "Water on the moooon"

    Thanks for ruining that song for me ;-p

  12. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    32 Ounces per Tonne?

    "If you had a cubic metre of lunar soil, you could squeeze it and get out a litre of water," explained US moon researcher Larry Taylor. (from the BBC)

    By the time this gets to the Daily Mail there will be swimming pools of the stuff.

  13. Daniel 1

    32 ounces per ton?

    That's a curiously convenient yield-rate, isn't it? 1 ton is 32,000 ounces - i.e. one thousandth of the lunar surface (by mass) is water. By a more metric measure, that's a potential yield rate of 1 litre per cubic meter - which is surely rather higher than anyone would have thought likely, prior to this? I'll wait until they've shot a few probes into the surface, and analysed the dust thrown up, before reading much into that sort of off the cuff statistic, mind.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah the BBC

    'The Indian Moon mission was launched late last year but has already stopped working due to a fault'

    It worked for 312 days in lunar orbit which is considerably longer than the majority of American and Soviet probes. There's nothing 'only' about the probe's performance.

  15. Yorkshirepudding

    @ Ian Ferguson

    lol! no whales just tall tales

    wont be long before someone lands an amusment park on it

    give disney 50 years or so

  16. Anonymous Coward

    You're my besht mate

    That's water OR HYDROXYL. So it's possible it may not be water, but alcohol!

  17. E 2

    Let's grind up the moon

    and take all it's water

  18. Dave 135

    Oh come on...

    we all know this is simply residue from the daily activities of the little grey men who hide out on the dark side of the moon.

    They told us not to come back after the last moon landing.

  19. graham crocker
    Thumb Up

    Water On The Moon On The Brain

    I can't be the only person to have read about the discovery of water on the moon many times before.

    I have seen photographs of 'ice' - inches thich and there was a very successful, but under-reported, UK radar scan, that identified water or ice several feet thick, beneath the surface, a couple of years ago.

    Is this latest 'news' really news or attempt by researchers to justify their grants? I would genuinely be interested in an answer.

  20. Anonymous John


    AKA dihyrogen monoxide.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @graham crocker

    "UK radar scan, that identified water or ice several feet thick, beneath the surface, a couple of years ago."

    So the government put the data into a database of all planetary bodies , there children and anyone with in 100,000,000,000 miles of the scene of the offence. The data was obviously lost in the tube.

  22. M7S

    @ Andy 97 - Its leftover atmosphere that crystallised

    from a downed SHADO Interceptor.

    Gerry's (blessed be his works, [well most of them]) better moon installation.

  23. faceplant

    The Emperor's Lunar Well

    Hmmm, yield of 1 litre per cubic metre, about 1.5 tonnes. Daily drinking water requirement = 3 litres. So, they are saying that they will dig up, process and extract water from 4.5 tonnes of soil per person per day? Since the water is available only in the top 'few' (let's say 3) millimetres, they will have to scrape up 1000 square metres of moon surface per person per day. That's just for drinking. Assuming 100% efficiency in the processing.

    Environmentally friendly? Feasible? My *rse!

  24. No, I will not fix your computer


    @Water/hydroxyl - no, only water is "AKA dihyrogen monoxide"

    @Alastair McFarlane - Yep, that's H-two-zero. Typo I'm sure, but it still provided me with a chuckle, you're a happy chap! you'll p155 yourself at this then.

    @faceplant - I suspect that once consumed the water would be recycled, oh and 1000 square metres is "only" 31m square (whereas the moon is over 35,000,000,000,000 square metres), see what I did there? mixed metres square with square metres just to add to the confusion.

    If there is a lot of hydroxyl then this *could* be used to develop energy as it's very reactive (and would produce water or perhaps useful hydrocarbons).

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    @ Daniel 1

    "That's a curiously convenient yield-rate, isn't it? 1 ton is 32,000 ounces - i.e. one thousandth of the lunar surface (by mass) is water. By a more metric measure, that's a potential yield rate of 1 litre per cubic meter - "

    You might like to check your thinking on this. Your presuming the average density of the moon is that of water. IIRC the CRC Physics & Chemistry handbook reckons the average Earth density is about 5700 Kg/m^3. That's a bit over 2 metric tonnes. conversion factors can be a real pain.

  26. Luther Blissett

    Mastery of the Universe - or Do You Want to Be a Millionaire

    > "there appears to be more water/hydroxyl at the poles"

    Know the answer to this, and you are no longer a mere human. Not quite in the realm of the Gods, but a Hero certainly. Luther does, but it is not in his interest to disclose - too many darned jealous (small g) gods. (Hint: it's not water, and its temperature is not what is seems).

  27. Brett Leach

    Um, density anyones?

    The density of the lunar surface material is roughly 3 g/cm3. Which if my math is correct amounts to about three litres per cubic metre, given the figure of 32 oz/tonne.

    Spanks all round (boffins, reporter & you lot) for automagically equating 1 m3 & 1 t.

  28. paul brain

    where there's watering hole. . . . .

    There will be an Irish bar..

    Moon base O'Reiily's

  29. Louis Savain

    Great News But Rocket Propulsion Blows

    Great news indeed. Still, it's depressing to think that we're still using an ancient, dangerous, primitive and very expensive space transportation technology: rocket propulsion. One thing is sure; we'll never colonize the solar system with rockets at the rate we're going.

    But rejoice. Soon, a new form of transportation will arrive, one based on the realization that we are immersed in an immense ocean of energetic particles. This is a consequence of a reevaluation of our understanding of the causality of motion. Soon, we'll have vehicles that can move at tremendous speeds and negotiate right angle turns without slowing down and without incurring damages due to inertial effects. Floating cities, unlimited clean energy, earth to mars in hours, New York to Beijing in minutes... That's the future of energy and travel. Check it out.

    The Problem With Motion

  30. J 3


    @Anonymous Coward Thursday 24th September 2009 10:50

    Well, maybe they only show up when the story is actually at least slightly related to call centers, outsourcing operations, snake charmers, poverty, cows, caste system, etc. Why so pissed off? Angry about being a dalit or a boring day at the call center?

    @ John Smith 19

    "Earth density is about 5700 Kg/m^3. That's a bit over 2 metric tonnes."

    Hm... as far as I know 1 metric ton (t) is 1,000 Kg.

  31. Stevie


    "Unambiguous" signs of water would be a wooden stake driven into the regolith with a tap mounted on it with bent nails or a big sign declaring "this crater property of the Severn-Trent Water Authority". Once again so-called 'scientists" flub the pass.

  32. Jeff 10

    But that 32 ounces can be recycled over and over

    as the icon on the left shows...

  33. John Sanders
    Paris Hilton

    Im sure the chinesse

    Will bottle the lunar water and sell it as an aphrodisiac that can cure a lot of illnesses...

    The Indians will probably use it to try to raise call center efficiency.

    Nestle would say that Lunar water is better than London's tap water...

  34. Adrian Esdaile

    @Louis Savain

    Prove just little part of what you are saying, and you will be a VERY rich man.

    We're waiting....

    Though I notice that you failed to mention vril, orgone, Aldous Huxley, ewige blumenkraft, perpetual motion, zero-point energy, the Time Cube or The Force; so I can't see how any of your theories will work.

    As for water on the moon: hooray! Now to find intelligence on Earth.

  35. Austin Modine (Written by Reg staff)

    Alternative headline:

    The moon is a hydrated mistress

  36. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    There's water on the moon...

    Because somebody pissed on it. That's why it's yellow, innit?

  37. Joe Cooper
    Thumb Up


    Water is recycled.

    You have machines sent ahead of time to start grinding through and processing dirt into water.

    You store it, then use it, then _recycle it_ and use it again.

    Environmentally friendly? What environment?

  38. Anonymous Coward


    While it's a slightly supremacist stance it does seem a little odd that the some of the money I give to wateraid each month goes to provide drinking water to folk in India.

    While their govt spunks money finding it on the moon.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    water on Mars too...

    According to NASA photo:

  40. H 5

    Dispersed Hydroxl?

    Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

  41. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: There's water on the moon...

    Oops, my bad. In my defence, I'd had a few too many, had a bladder like the TV Times* so I just had to go and didn't think anyone would notice.

    *I never knew there was so much in it.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    give me funding

    News alert : apparently there is stuff out in space so space boffins are clever.

  43. Flakey

    Believe me.....

    you couldnt make this up...the UK is bankrupt yet gives India £852 million in aid, which in turn spends over £50 million on a rocket...the whole world has gone bonkers

  44. Mike Flugennock

    @ dave 135

    Dude, c'mon. There _is_ no "dark" side of the Moon; there's the side that's always facing away from Earth owing to the Moon being in a "tidally locked" orbit.

    Kinda' ruins it for Messrs. Gilmour and Waters, though.

    "There is no Dark Side Of The Moon...matter of fact, it's _all_ dark..."

  45. ShaggyDoggy

    dark side

    in fact the dark side receives more light from the sun than the earth-facing side, which suffers from earth-shadow

    you can work this out for yourself with a football, an orange, and a torch

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