There is water on the Moon, studies show

The moonrise over the capitol city of San Jose, Costa Rica. A trio of new studies show signs of water on the moon.

We're not talking waterfalls, or fast-flowing rivers. Or even a pond. But data returned from three different space probes shows the chemical signatures of water on the lunar surface. The results were published this week in Science magazine.

In each of the studies, scientists used spectroscopic data to find light absorptions characteristic of water.

"We always think of the moon as dead and this is sort of a dynamic process that's going on," Jessica Sunshine, one of the scientists who discovered the water, told the Associated Press.

The find has excited many scientists, who say the traces of water could eventually be utilized by future visitors to the moon.

Here's Lauren Davis of popular blog io9 on the significance of water on the moon:

It's hardly a vast lake, and it won't yet support that lunar agricultural colony you've been dreaming of, but it's far more water than scientists ever expected to find on the moon, and it could prove a valuable resource to future lunar visitors. The researchers have also found that the concentration of water is higher toward the poles, lending credence to the theory that larger deposits of water near the poles, and researchers note that it's possible we'll continue to find wetter lunar regions in the future.

In July, at a presentation in Washington, D.C., Google rolled out Google Moon, the latest addition to the popular application Google Earth 5.0. Google Moon, which is free to all users, was created with the help of a team of scientists from NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Like Google Earth, Google Moon is multi-layered. The first layer is comprised of photographs taken by the Clementine mission, and offers a glimpse of the moon as it might appear from orbit. But users can also toggle an elevation function, which utilizes maps generated by the USGS, and color-codes the moon by elevation.

Hey, maybe if you look really closely, you'll see a couple drops of water.

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