Water Released from Moon During Meteor Showers: Animations

  • Released Monday, April 15, 2019

Scientists have discovered that water is being released from the moon during meteor showers. When a speck of comet debris strikes the moon it vaporizes on impact, creating a shock wave in the lunar soil. For a sufficiently large impactor, this shock wave can breach the soil’s dry upper layer and release water molecules from a hydrated layer below. The LADEE spacecraft detects these water molecules as they enter the tenuous lunar atmosphere.

This artist's concept animation shows meteor showers sweeping over the Earth and moon, causing the LADEE spacecraft (not depicted) to measure spikes in the lunar water signal.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, April 15, 2019.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:46 PM EDT.


This visualization is related to the following missions: