Planets and Moons  ID: 13078

Water Released from Moon During Meteor Showers

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, with peaks in the water signal correlating to known meteor showers on Earth. The discovery of water just beneath the Moon’s surface provides a potential resource for future exploration, and it improves our understanding the Moon’s geologic past and its continued evolution.

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Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Lead Animator:
Brian Monroe (USRA)

Adriana Manrique Gutierrez (USRA)
Chris Meaney (KBRwyle)
Chris Smith (USRA)
John Blackwell (LPI)

Data Visualizer:
Ernie Wright (USRA)

Rob Andreoli (AIMM)
John Caldwell (AIMM)

Mehdi Benna (UMBC)
Dana Hurley (Johns Hopkins University/APL)
Richard Elphic (NASA/ARC)

Mehdi Benna (UMBC)

Art Director:
Michael Lentz (USRA)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Narrator (Spanish):
Pablo Ramirez (Intern)

Paul Mahaffy (NASA/GSFC)
Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase)

Technical Support:
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET)

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

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LADEE: Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

SVS >> Lunar
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Rocks/Minerals >> Meteorites
SVS >> Impactors
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Discovery
SVS >> Science
SVS >> Meteor
SVS >> History
SVS >> Hydrated
SVS >> Chandrayaan-1

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version