Lisa M. Krieger


NASA mission discovers watery surprise on moon

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The moon is a wet place, NASA scientists announced Friday at a Mountain View, Calif., press conference, unveiling their long-awaited analysis of a mile-high plume of debris kicked up by the impact of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. “We saw real crystalline ice and lots of water vapor, as well as other species,” such as sodium and perhaps even carbon dioxide, methane, ethanol and sodium dioxide, said Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. “It’s been a ‘Holy Cow!’ moment every single day since the impact,” as NASA’s analysis of the debris plume continues, he said. Scientists say the discovery of ice and water vapor transforms our perception of this celestial neighbor, long thought to be a dry and barren place.