Fancy a Tall Glass of Moon Juice From Space Volcanoes?

Fancy a Tall Glass of Moon Juice From Space Volcanoes?
Image: Futurama, Fox

“I’m going out to drink that moon juice,” astronauts on the Moon will say, one day, when science allows them to.

New research from Colorado University indicates that the Moon could be stuffed with sheets of ice that may measure hundreds of metres thick.

“It’s possible that 5 or 10 meters below the surface, you have big sheets of ice,” said Paul Hayne, an assistant professor in astrophysical and planetary sciences and from the laboratory for atmospheric and space physics at Colorado University.

Hayne added that water sources on the Moon could be used as drinking water for future explorers, or could even be used in rocket fuel. There could even be big sheets of ice five or 10 metres below the surface.

Previously, we’ve thought about if Moon water would be safe to drink, and it turns out that you could totally have a gulp of Moon Franklin… If you had an excellent filtration system.

So, how did the water get there? Well, the ancient volcanoes on the Moon could have, once upon a time, spewed out huge amounts of water vapour, that then resettled on the Moon as a kind of frost, leading to build ups of ice (which could now be hiding in lunar craters). Keep in mind that this is a theory, and that there could be other reasons for the moon juice.

The team behind the research relied on computer modelling and comparisons to Earth to come to these conclusions. Previously, the team estimated that almost 6,000 square miles of the Moon’s surface could be trapping ice, mostly near its poles.

It’s estimated that the Moon experienced one eruption every 22,000 years, which could have led to about 41 per cent of water from the volcanoes becoming condensed on the Moon as ice. There could be so much ice on the Moon that, at some point, you could have been able to spot the frost and the ice caps from Earth.

Anyway, it remains a theory until it’s one day either proven or disproven (the lead author behind the research, Andrew Wilcoski, would like to drill for it).

And why not drill into the Moon? Come now, I need my moon juice.

You can read the findings in The Planetary Science Journal.